« PoprzedniaDalej »
possess her of it, would be not to in a friendly manner, upon a system of understand the interests of the Swe- pacification, which might insure to dish people. Such a conquest would Europe a durable repose. Such were occasion
expences which Sweden is not the sentiments which the Swedish goin a condition to support, and the ac- vernment avowed till the last moment, quisition, admitting that it could be when it was forced into an open rupture accomplished, would never compensate with France, by the obstinate violence for the risk which she must incur. of Buonaparte. It is impossible, thereThe English, while she was pursuing fore, to accuse Sweden of precipitation this wild career, might give her fatal -it is unfair to charge her with enmiblows; her ports would be burnt or ty towards France, and absurd to predestroyed, and her maritime towns re- tend, that she did not scrupulously duced to ashes. Besides, so soon as a maintain her faith, until every obligaa change should be effected in the poli- tion was dissolved by the insolence and tical system of Russia, whether after perfidy of her enemies. success or defeat, her ancient views On the 20th of April, 1812, the King upon Finland would not fail to make a of Sweden assembled the diet of his disastrous war weigh heavy upon Swe- kingdom at Orebro, and opened the den. The gulph of Bochnia separates sitting by a speech, in which he announthe two states ; no motive of division ced, in terms by no means equivocal, the exists, and the national hatred daily dis- policy of his government. “I have callappears in consequence of the pacific ed you together," said he, “ at a mo. dispositions of the two sovereigns. If ment when great and important ocFrance will acknowledge the armed currences, out of our native country, neutrality of Sweden, a neutrality which seem to threaten Europe with new must carry with it the right of open. misfortunes. Guarded by her situa. ing her ports with equal advantages tion from the necessity of paying obefor all powers, she has no motive to dience to foreign sway, which possiinterfere in the events which may oc- bly might not accord with her own in. cur. Let France restore Pomerania ; terests, Sweden has every thing to but if she should refuse this restitution, hope from unity, valour, and conduct ; which, at the same time, the rights of everything to fear if she gives herself up nations and the faith of treaties de tointestinedivision.”.-Healso announmand, Sweden will accept for this ced his determination to unite with his object only, the mediation of the em. son, (Bernadotte) in defiance of threats perors of Austria and Russia. Swe- from without, and possibly of opinions den will agree to a reconciliation com- at home, to maintain the liberty and patible with the national honour and independence of the country. The with the interests of the north." Crown Prince, in his speech, addressed
The government of Sweden, per the following remark particularly to suaded that all the preparations made the burghers; “ you will shew what by Russia were for a purpose purely a nation is capable of effecting, when defensive, and intended but to prepare determined to free its commercial infor the Russian empire that armed dustry from all foreign yokes,”-thus neutrality, which Sweden wished, in clearly intimating his opinion of the concert with Russia, to establish, en- continental system. gaged to use all its efforts to prevent a A Russian general had already been rupture till a period should be fixed for sent on a mission to Stockholm ; Mr Swedish, French, Austrian, and Rus. Thornton, the British minister, al. sian plenipotentiaries to meet, and agree, though appearing in no public character, had joined him. But soon after the was satisfactory to both parties; and assembling of the diet, orders were dis- they agreed to make common cause patched to the coast, to afford British against the measures of France. With ships in distress the assistance which a view to the security of Sweden, it they might require; and Mr Thornton was stipulated that Norway should, in was afterwards received at Orebro as the first instance, be conquered for that theaccredited minister of Great-Britain power; after which, a diversion by at the Swedish court. About the same their united forces should be made on time a decree relative to commerce was the continent. The result of this inissued, which announced a departure terview was, however, for some time from the continental system.
prudently concealed. On the 18th of August the Swedish The measures adopted by Sweden in diet terminated its sittings. The king 1812 had a considerable influence upon again took occasion to observe, that the Russian campaign of that year. no foreign power could loosen those The troops assembled in Swedish ports bonds of union, which maintain the detained a considerable French force independence of Sweden. He also in- in the north of Germany. By dispenformed the diet, that, confident in the sing with the immediate fulálment of maxim, that
engagements undertaken by Rustions are the best means to ensure the sia, the Swedish government set at tranquillity of a state, he had found it liberty a force of 18,000 men, which necessary to pay particular attention had been assembled in Poland, and to the military force of the kingdom; which was afterwards sent to join the and he further announced, that on the army of Wittgenstein, and contributed 18th of July he had concluded a peace materially to the destruction of the with the King of Great Britain, which French on the Berezina. had been ratified on the 16th of Au. In the beginning of the year 1813, gust Bernadotte also addressed the the Swedish government resolved on diet, and commended the coolness main- decisive measures, and explained its tained in the deliberations of that as. views to all Europe. The oumerous sembly,“ amid the din of arms resound. injuries which France had inflicted uping from the Dwina to the Tagus, and on Sweden were clearly explained and the animosity of their neighbours."- ably commented on.-“The manifestaHe added, “ that should there be notions of ill-will, on the part of France, hope that Sweden might pursue her it was observed, which, during the way in peace, then will your king course of 1810, had often threatened have recourse to your manly courage, serious pretensions, at first were conand our watch-word will be--God, fined to the rigid maintenanceof theconliberty, and our native country.” tinental system in Pomerania, but were
A treaty had for some time been at last openly directed against the inde. proposed between Sweden and Rus- pendent existence of Sweden. A desia ; and a Russian general was at mand was made to exclude the AmeriStockholm for the purpose of opening cans from Swedish ports. The governthe negociations. Some difficulties, ment succeeded by perseverance and however, having arisen, a personal in. moderation in averting the conseterview between the Emperor of Rus- quences. It was to be presumed, sia and Bernadotte was decided upon. however, that this fortunate situation
These personages accordingly met affording Sweden the means of recruitat Abo, in Finland, on the 28th of ing her strength, already exhausted by August; the result of the conference a destructive war, would not be of any long duration. Buonaparte had laid domination. In the mean time the down for subjugated Europe a peremp- season fit for navigation arrived, and tory rule, that he would acknowledge with it the capture of Swedish vessels as the friends of France only the ene- by French privateers. The Swedish mies of Great Britain ; that neutrality, minister at Paris demanded redress for formerly the bulwark of the weaker the injuries done to Swedish com. states, amidst the contests of the most merce; representations with the same powerful, no longer had any real view were addressed to the French meaning ; and that all the combina- minister Alquier; his answers had all tions of policy, as well as every feel- the marks of a dictator, the character ing of dignity, must disappear before which he had resolved to play in Swethe omnipotence of arms.
den. “Scarcely was the declaration of war “ If the English government viewed by Sweden against England published, with a pitying eye the situation of and the commerce of Sweden abandon. Sweden, and did not consider her deed to the discretion of the British ca. claration of war as a sufficient motive binet, when the French minister began for directing hostilities against Sweto develope a plan, pursued without dish commerce-if this tolerant system interruption, to force Sweden to take facilitated to a certain degree a vent upon herself the same obligations which for the immense stores of Swedish ha e brought 40 many misfortunes on iron, and so far obviated the pernicious the confederated states. A consider effects of the war-still Sweden could able body of seamen was at first de. not expect that the French govern. maoded for the purpose of manning ment would have built its accusations the French fleets at Brest,-next, a against her on the forbearance of Engcorps of Swedish troops to be in the land. The Swedes were, on the conpay of France, then the introduction trary, rather entitled to hope, that the into Sweden of a tariff of 50 per cent. French ruler would see with satisfac. on colonial produce-and, finally, the tion their country treated with forbear. establishment of French douaniers at ance by a power, which had so many Gottenburgh. All these demands ha
means of annoying Sweden. ving been rejected, the consequence “ The depredations of the French was, that the measures of the French privateers on Swedish vessels were daily government towards Sweden soon as- augmenting. The Swedish minister sumed a hostile character.
at Paris represented, in suitable terms, “Soon after his arrival, M. Alquier, the losses which thence resulted to the the French agent at Stockholm, spoke nation ; but the prize courts of France of the necessity of a closer alliance be always decided in favour of the captween Sweden and France; and though tors. The privateers being thus sehe received a polite answer, the reply cure of impunity, had a fine field for had no effect. He then proposed an exercising their piracies. Not satisfied alliance between Sweden, Denmark, with condemning as good prizes Sweand the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, dish vessels under the pretence that under the protection and guarantee of they were provided with English liFrance. This proposal had for its cences—not satisfied with capturing object to create a confederation of the in the Sound small coasting vessels la. north, similar in its obligations and in den with provisions, and the produce its object to that which combined the of the native manufactures not constrength of Germany under French tented with seizing such as were in German ports waiting for cargoes Russia. Denmark also had already France even treated as prisoners of assumed a menacing attitude. war the Swedish seamen. They were
After the annexation of the duchy put in irons, and sent to Antwerp and of Oldenburgh to the French empire, Toulon, there to serve in the French it was known, with certainty, that diffleets. When the season of the year ferences both on that point and on the again removed the English fleet from continental system had taken place bethe Baltic, the French privateers re- tween the courts of Russia and France. newed their acts of violence with more The preparations for war, which were activity than ever. Sweden then felt made on both sides, indicated open herself under the necessity of ordering hostilities. France, however, had neher marine to seize those pirates who ver testified the smallest desire, nor had annoyed her commerce from port made any overture to Sweden, tending to port. The French privateers, which to engage her in a war with Russia. insulted the Swedish coasts, were cha. Although all friendly relations must sed away: The Swedish government have have been regarded as broken by learned 'that the Prince of Eckmuhl, the occupation of Pomerania, a procommanding the French army in the position was at last made, not officially, north of Germany, had announced but through a channel not less authen. that he would order his troops to en- tic on the part of the French governter Pomerania, and the island of Ru- ment. After giving a long exposi. gen, so soon as the ice should permit tion of the pretended deviations of bim. The instructions which the Swe. Sweden from the continental system, dish commandant had received ought which, it was said, had at last come to have induced him to defend the pelled Buonaparte to order his troops German possessions against every fo. to enter Pomerania, without, however, reign aggression. But unfortunately occupying it, the French ruler demand cunning prevailed over duty ; the cou- ed that a new declaration of war should rage of the Swedish troops was para- be issued against England ; that all lyzed by the weakness of their chief, communication with English cruisers and Pomerania was invaded. The should be severely prohibited ; that events which took place in that pro. the coasts of the Sound should be vince had been made public, that it armed with batteries, and that English might be impossible to mistake the vessels should be fired upon with ar. true nature of that extraordinary mea- tillery. Finally, that Sweden should sure. The insolence of the French organize an army of from 30 to 40,000 cabinet was unabated, and every thing men, to attack Russia at the moment announced an approaching rupture be- when hostilities should commence between that power and Russia. The tween that power and France. season approached when the British But Sweden could not overlook feets would revisit the Baltic, and the fact, that a state of active warfare there was reason to presume that the with Russia, the necessary consequence British ministry, in return for the to- of which must be open hostilities with lerance granted to Swedish commerce, Great Britain, surpassed her strength would demand a conduct on the part and resources ; that the presence of of Sweden more decidedly pacific, an English fleet in the Baltic would Sweden in consequence saw herself ex- paralyze, during summer, the Swedish posed, either to the resentment of operations; and that, since the treaty France, or to the hostilities of Great with Russia, there existed no ground Britain, supported by the court of of complaint against that power; That,
VOL. VI. PART I.
in the mean time, the Swedish coasts good the loss of the revenue of customs, and ports would be abandoned to the and of the profits of commerce, by vengeance of England; that the com- imports always increasing. All this plete stagnation of commerce, and the must have been done merely for the interruption of the coasting trade, purpose of supporting the wars into would occasion general misery ; that which the capricious politics of France the pressing wants of Sweden with had drawn her during the last eight respect to grain, imperiously required years. Had Sweden submitted to the pacific relations both with Russia and demands of France, her sons' would England; that the sudden termination have been seen fighting, for a cause of war between France and Russia the most unhallowed, in Spain, along would infallibly leave Sweden without with Germans, Italians, and Poles. any augmentation of territory, espe. They would have been seen even in cially if the Swedish army, in conse- Turkey, had Buonaparte conquered quence of the war with England, were the Emperor Alexander. If, to seprevented from leaving its own con- cure the destinies of Sweden, by esta. fines; and that such preparations, blishing her safety for the present, and and a single year of war, would require security for the future, the government an expenditure of from 12 to 15 mil- was compelled to put the armies in lions of rix-dollars. A multitude of motion, this was not done with a view other considerations determined the of conquering provinces, useless to the Swedish government to look to no- prosperity of the Scandinavian peninthing but the happiness of the people sula. The independence of that peand the prosperity of the kingdom ; ninsula was the sole object; and no and with this view the ports were sacrifice could be reckoned too costly opened to the flags of all nations. by the Swedes to attain that great and
Ancient habits had long induced important result. Sweden rejected the Sweden to consider France as her na: degrading treaty which France tried to tural ally. This opinion of times past make her subscribe ; she placed her--these impressions generally received self above a subservient and versatile -long acted powerfully on the minds policy; and she did not fear to make of her rulers. But when France wish her appeal to the courage, the loyalty, ed to interdict peninsular Sweden from the patriotism, and the honour of her traversing the seas which almost sur children. The government had form. round her, and to deprive her of the ed a just opinion of the Swedes, and its right of ploughing the waves which reward was found in the unbounded wash her shores, it became the duty confidence which they placed in its of the government to defend the rights wisdom. and interests of the nation--to avoid This developement of the views of the situation of those powers, which, Sweden was followed by a treaty beby their submission to France, found twixt that power and Great Britain, themselves without ships, without com- which was signed at Stockholm on the merce, and without finances. The 3d March, 1813. By this treaty, Swealliance of France, while it exacted in den bound herself to employ a corps of the first instance the loss of indepen- 30,000 men against the common enedence, conducted by degrees to all the my, to act with the troops which were sacrifices which annihilate the prosperi- to be furnished by Russia and Prussia; ty of states. To become her ally, it and to grant to Great Britain, for 20 was necessary for Sweden to have no
years, the right of entrepot in the connection with England, and to make ports of Gottenburgh, Carlsham, and