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Policy of Sweden.-Dissensions betwixt that Power and France. The Swedisk
Government abandons the Continental System, and joins the Alliance of the European Powers.
The Swedish government had long do not enter there !—They exchange temporised with Buonaparte, and en- their merchandize in the open sea, or deavoured to avoid the evils towards near to the coasts, --your
little islands which he was pressing the state, by serve as magazines in the winter seademanding of it an accession to the son,--your vessels openly carry colocontinental system and a declaration of nial produce into Germany, I have war against England. But when the caused half a score of them to be sei. French ruler perceived that no stepszed at Rostock - Is it possible that were taken by the Swedes to aid his one can affect thus to be mistaken on the projects, he shewed how much he first principle of the continental syswas mortified, and to what extremities tem - You have had the address to he was disposed to carry his vengeance. gain the bad season,,you have time to In his famous conference with the Swe. settle your interests with England, dish minister at Paris, he betrayed all you have had time to put yourselves his impatience." You signed the in a state of defence,-you have still peace,” said Buonaparte, “ with me in the winter before you, here are no the beginning of the year,—you enga. longer any neutrais.—Egland acged yourselves to break off all commu. knowledge: none, nor can I acknownications with England, -yet you kept ledge them any longer. It is only now, a minister at London, and an English that, more and more undeceived with agent in Sweden, until the summer was respect to Swedish politics, I have tafar advanced,—you did not interrupt ken a decisive step which I will not the ostensible communication by the conceal from you." Cannon must be way of Gottenburgh until late, and fired on the English who approach what was the result of it? That the your coasts ; and their merchandize in correspondence remained the same, nei. Sweden must be confiscated, or you ther more nor less active.—You have must have war with France. I cannot do vessels in all the ports of England.- you any great harm.— I occupy PomeThe English trading vessels besiege rania, and you do not much care about Gottenburgh-a fine proof that they it; but I can cause you to be attack
ed by the Russians and by the Danes; He perceived how great might be
the sad condition to which the last war
have been selected, was could aspire but after a long peace.followed up by the execution of the It afforded the only prospect of regain. threats of the French ruler. Assailed ing, by agriculture and commerce, the by France, by Russia, and by Den- losses she had sustained,—of re-estamark, the Swedish government an- blishing by degrees her finances,-of nounced, in a manifesto, its adherence recruiting her military system, and imto the continental system, and declared proving her administration. Yet Swe. war against Great Britain. All inter. den had just declared war ;-she had course with the British dominions was hazarded this step without a single thus prohibited, and the importation battalion ready to march,-without arof colonial produce interdicted. The senals or magazines ;—and what was British government was, however, well still worse, without a single sous to aware of the causes which occasioned provide for the expences of so great an this manifesto, and these nominal hos- enterprise. Sweden, indeed, possesses in tilities made no perceptible difference herself the materials of a great force ;in the relations of this country towards her inhabitants are by nature warriors, Sweden. The declaration of war, how. -her constitution allows of 80,000 ever, was far from being popular with men being levied ; and the male pothe Swedish nation. Opinions were pulation of the country is such, that propagated throughout the kingdom this levy can be easily raised. But ihat it was the design of Bernadotte to armies can only be supported by war ; enforce the continental system, esta- and a great military force, purely deblish the French power in the Baltic, fensive, is an expence which Sweden and finally, by a war for the recovery could not support without foreign of Finland, to co-operate with Buona- aid. The constitutional laws forbid parte in his designs against Russia.. the king from imposing new taxes But Marshal Bernadotte was alive to without the consent of the general the critical and singular situation in states ; and the war with England had which his destiny had placed him. just destroyed one of the principal
branches of public revenue the pro. his majesty, to diminish the expences duce of the customs, amounting to of his marine, without, however, leamore than six millions of francs a-year. ving inactive the talents and courage The contributions now in arrear, and of his seamen. The good offices which the confiscations made by France, fell the emperor requires of his majesty upon Swedish subjects, and not upon the King of Sweden have already been foreigners, who took the precaution of performed by Denmark. His imperial ensuring payment for the goods im- majesty is convinced that he has not ported. The situation of Sweden," too much presumed upon the friendcontinued the Crown Prince, “was ship of a power attached for such a most alarming. Nature seems to have length of time to France, by a reci. destined Sweden and France to live in procity of interest and good-will, whick harmony; and if she had refused Swe- has never ceased to exist.' den riches, she had endowed her with The reply of the Baron d'Engesvalour, and all the qualities requisite trom, the Swedish minister, to this for the execution of great designs. communication deserves notice. “ The There was in Sweden but one wish, constitutional laws of the state," said that of being sincerely in accord with he, "prevent the king from acquiesFrance, and of participating in her cing of himself in the emperor's deglory—but Sweden had not the means. mand concerning the 2000 seamen.She was reduced to the most deplora. Rivalling Denmark in the desire to ble state ; and was without any means contribute to the accomplishment of of supporting the war which she had his imperial and royal majesty's views, just declared. Yet the government had the king, nevertheless, does not think redoubled its efforts in so violent a cri. that the example of that country, sis ; but it was not in the power of the where the will of the king is an absoKing of Sweden to extend the system lute law, can be applicable to Sweden. of confiscations, as the constitution In consequence of the late events which guarantees the rights and property of have placed his majesty on the throne, every individual."
a constitutional compact has been reNotwithstanding these remonstran- newed between the sovereign and the ces, Buonaparte demanded that Swe. nation, which it is not in the power of den should place at his disposal a suf- any person to infringe. His majesty, ficient number of sailors to complete in consequence, and in the most lively the crews of four ships of the Brest manner, regrets that the good office fleet. The French agent, in making which the emperor requires of him this application to the Swedish mini- should precisely fall on a matter which ster, observed," It would be suffici- does not depend on his own will. No ent to meet the desire of the emperor, new levy can be made, according to if the number of officers, masters, ma- the tenour of the constitution, but with rines, and sailors, did not exceed 2000. the consent of the states. Those to The emperor will charge himself with which they have already consented exall the expence of their journey, and pressly pre-suppose their being intend. every precaution will be taken in or- ed for the defence of the country; and der that the marines and sailors may the number of common seamen is so be properly supported, and the officers much diminished since the loss of Finfully contented with their treatment. land, that they are scarcely sufficient In the critical state in which the Swe. for the service of the navy, especially dish finances are at this present mo- under the present circumstances. But ment, it will, perhaps, be agreeable to if the king could, as he might wish to do, succeed in putting aside those ties the French privateers on Swedish veswhich are imposed on him by the laws sels were still continued, the Swedish of the state, and the rights of the citi. envoy at Paris stated to the French zens, yet his majesty fears that the minister the immense losses which 2000 Swedish seamen transferred to thence resulted to his nation, and eq. Brest, would not entirely fulfil the just tered a strong remonstrance ; but he expectations of his imperial majesty. could never obtain the restoration of Attached to his barren soil, to his do- the captured vessels. Affairs were in mestic relations and habits, the Swe- this singular condition, when, with the dish soldier could not withstand the in- view of possessing a pledge which fluence of a southern sky. He would might influence the conduct of the be ready to sacrifice every thing in Swedish government in the war about defence of his home ; but when far to commence with Russia, Buonaparte away, and not immediately combat- seized Swedish Pomerania. Io the ing for it, his heart would only beat month of January 1812, 20,000 French for his return to his country. He troops, under General Friant, entered would, consequently, carry with him that province, and on the 26th took into the French ranks that inquietude possession of the capital. When the and discouragement, which destroy Swedish commandant, Peyron, informthe finest armies more than the steel of ed the French general, that it was his their enemies. With regard to the of- intention to resist the occupation of the ficers of the navy, there is no obstacle Isle of Rugen, the latter replied, by against their serving in France, and his making Peyron his prisoner. Rugen majesty with pleasure permits them to was afterwardsoccupied by the French; profit by the generous offer of his im- the vessels and packets on the coast perial and royal majesty.”-Such were were detained for their service, and the the powerful reasons assigned by the French colours were hoisted in place Swedish minister for refusing to an- of the Swedish. A fleet, with Geswer the demands of Buonaparte ; but neral Engelbart on board, arrived at they were stated in vain to his unbend- Stralsund in the month of February,
to ascertain the state of the French
Sweden. Her conduct as. for her to make great sacrifices. But sumed a more determined aspect, and her commerce was instantly reduced to it was generally believed that the Crown a mere coasting trade, and greatly suf- Prince would become a competitor in fered from this state of war. Priva- the field with his former associate in teers under the French flag, in the Great expectations of success meantime, took advantage of her con: were therefore indulged on the suppo, fidence in treaties, to capture, one after sition, that, as Bernadotte had joined another, nearly fifty of her merchant the allies, this circumstance must be a men, till at last the Swedish flotilla decisive indication of the hopes enter. received orders to protect her flag and tained by that wary general, respecting her just commerce against piracies, the result of the campaign, since he which could scarcely be avowed by any must have been fully acquainted with government. As the depredations of the personal character of Buonaparte,
and the real extent of the French re. ready justified for the engagements she sources.- Notwithstanding the dis- might make with the enemies of France, trust, however, which Bernadotte now by the menaces and insults of that felt as to the views of Buonaparte, he power. The reiteratedattacks of France still appears to have been anxious to upon the Swedish commerce ; the car. prevent the miseries which were ap- rying off nearly 100 vessels destined proaching the nations of the conti. for friendly ports, and subject to France
-the sequestration placed upon Swe. . On the 14th of March, 1812, he ac- dish property in Dant zic and other cordingly addressed himself to Buona- ports in the Baltic; and at last the inparte, and complained that the arro- vasion of Pomerania, done in contempt gance
of the French minister in Swe- of treaties, must fully acquit her in den had offended every one ; his com- the eyes of the world. Yet how just munications bore no character of those soever the complaints which she had regards which are mutually due from against France, she did not at this crowned heads to each other. “ Ba. time desire war, and did not like to be ron Alquier,” said Bernadotte,“ spoke forced to make it, even to preserve her like a Roman pro-consul, without re- independence and laws. She was reaflecting that he was not speaking to dy to listen to any conciliatory proslaves.” That minister had, there. positions which might be made to fore, been the first cause of the distrust her.-“ If Sweden was convinced," which Sweden had discovered with re- said the Baron de Engerstrom, in a tone gard to Buonaparte's intentions con- of irony, which must have touched the cerning her. Subsequent events had pride of Buonaparte, “ that the Emadded weight to it. Sweden could peror Alexander armed to subjugate not but perceive in Buonaparte an un- Europe, to subject every thing to the merited indifference towards her inte.
Russian system, and extend bis states rests; and she owed it to herself to to the north of Germany, Sweden provide against the storm which was would not hesitate a moment to de. about to break out on the continent.-- clare and fight against this ambition ; Speaking of the war with Russia, the she would be directed by the obvious Crown Prince observed, “ if your ma. principle of policy which should make jesty thinks properthat the king should her fear the increase of so dangerous a cause the Emperor Alexander to be in. power ; but if, on the contrary, Rusformed of the possibility of a reconci- sia only bore arms in her own defence, liation, I augur sufficiently well, from to preserve her frontiers, her
ports, and the magnanimity of that monarch, to even her capital, from all foreign indare assure you, that he will willingly vasion, if in this she did but obey the agree to overtures, equitable at once mandate of necessity, it was for the infor your empire and for the north. If terest of Sweden not to hesitate a an event so unexpected and so univer: moment in defending the independence sally desired could take place, how of the north. Sweden cannot flatter many nations of the continent would herself with being able, as a second bless your majesty! Their gratitude power, to avoid that servitude with would be augmented by reason of the which France threatens states of the horror which inspires them against the first order. A war undertaken to rereturn of a scourge which has lain so conquer Finland would not be for the heavy on them, and the ravages of interests of Sweden. Europe is inwhich have left such cruel traces be. formed of the causes which made her hind."'--Sweden, he observed, was al. lose it. To undertake a war to re