Obrazy na stronie

Stralsund. Great Britain on the other and other advantages, were proposed hand acceded to engagements already through the medium of neutral powers, subsisting betwixt Sweden and Rus- and every attempt was made to gain sia,-bound herself not to oppose the the accession of Sweden to the French annexation of Norway to Sweden, but system ; but even these insidious of. to afford the necessary naval co-opera- fers failed of effect. Much difference tion should the King of Denmark re. of opinion existed among Russian fuse to accede to the grand alliance. statesmen as to the real value of the The British government also agreed conquests which that power had been to grant Sweden a subsidy of one mile making for the last twenty or thirty lion sterling, for the service of the years ; but none of them ever doubtcampaign of this year, and to cede to ed that the acquisition of Finland was her the possession of the island of Gua- highly important, with a view even to daloupe in the West Indies. In re- the security of the Russian dominions. turn for this last concession, Sweden It was reasonable that Sweden should bound herself to observe the capitula. have some compensation for so matetion under which the island submitted rial a loss, when about to embark in to Great Britain-to prevent her sub- what was considered as almost a desjects from engaging in the slave-trade— perate cause. She had engaged to to exclude ships of war from Guada- unite with Russia against the common loupe belonging to the enemies of enemy; but in these circumstances it England-to protect British subjects was necessary to her safety that Norand their property in the colony, and way should be added to her dominions ; not to alienate the island without the and it was agreed, therefore, between consent of Great Britain.

Russia and Sweden, that these powers In deciding upon the justice and should, in the first instance, make com. policy of these proceedings, it is neces- mon cause for that purpose, and aftersary to take a general view of the state wards bring their united force to bear of Europe at the period when they oc- against France and her allies. curred. While the storm of French It may be asked — were Russia and invasion was hanging over the Russian Sweden justified in entering into these dominions, two things were required engagementsy--was Great Britain jus. to give that empire a chance of ulti. tifiable in acceding to such a treatymate sucess ;-peace with Turkey, and was it wise or politic to accede to and the co-operation of Sweden. The it? It seems clear that Russia and first object was effected, in a great Sweden were justified in entering into measure, by the mediation of Eng. these engagements. It is an importland ; the other was scarcely less im- ant fact, which has often been kept out portant. It was the interest of France of view, that Denmark formed part of to use all the means in her power to the confederacy against Russia. Densecure the alliance and co-operation mark engaged to assist the object of of Sweden in the attack upon Rus. Buonaparte by occupying the north sia ; and Buonaparte, in his usual man. of Germany with her troops ; this was ner, tried the effect of intimidation, as complete a co-operation with France by seizing the Swedish Pomeranian as if the Danish troops had marched dominions. When he found that threats to Smolensko and Moscow. The and insults were unavailing, he chan- countries which Denmark agreed to ged his policy, and made the most se. occupy were in alliance with Russia ; ducing offers to the Swedish govern- the duchy of Oldenberg, for instance, ment. The restoration of Finland, had been in some degree the origin of

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the last dispute between Russia and ought to have been deprived of this France. Denmark thought it for her appendage of the monarchy ; but if it interest to adhere to France ; she was could with justice be placed in the following the steps and co-operating hands of a power more willing to coin the objects of that power.-The operate in the great cause of Europe, accession of Great Britain to the en- it was highly desirable, with a view to gagements between Russia and Swe- the interests of this country, that such den may easily be defended, for Eng- a change should be accomplished.land was at war with Denmark ; Da. The British government was completenish seamen manned the French fleets; ly justified in acceding to the treaty Danish ports were shut to the Enge for annexing Norway to Sweden ; it lish; Danish privateers covered the was for the interest of England that Nor. sers in that quarter, annoying the trade way and Sweden should be united ; for of England. Was not Great Britain so long as Denmark declined to sacrias much justified in conquering Nor. fice her German dominions for her inway as in conquering any other place sular independence, her dependence on belonging to her enemies ? The pro. France was inevitable. But it had been ject of annexing Norway to Sweden the policy of Denmark (whether wise

Sweden had lost Fin. or not signifies little) to cling to her land, by her refusal to accede to the German possessions; and while Nor. treaty of Tilsit,-a treaty by which way was annexed to Denmark, it was Sweden was involved in a war both therefore under the controul of France, with Russia and France. An expedi- In the existing state of Europe it was tion sailed from this country, under the most important, with a view to the inlate Sir John Moore, to co-operate with terests of Great Britain, that Norway Sweden in the conquest of Norway, should belong to Sweden. Even in as a compensation for the loss of Fine the course of the antumn of 1812, a land. As Sweden had co-operated so Swedish force in the north kept a powerfully with England, and evinced French Marshal in check; and al. a determination to support her inde- though an engagement had been enterpendence, she had a strong claim upon ed into by Russia to employ a consithe liberality of this country to pro- derable force solely for Swedish obmote her objects in any legitimate con- jects, yet at the very moment, when test. Great Britain was fully justified, Buonaparte was marching to Smolenstherefore, in making comnion cause ko, 18,000 Russians, who were in Finwith Russia and Sweden.

land, were released by the friendship The policy of acceding to the en- of Sweden, and left at liberty to act gagements between these two powers against the French. The destruction was not less manifest. No object, ex- of the French army on the Beresina cept the independence of the Spanish may be ascribed to the junction of this peninsula, seemed so important to Russian corps with Wittgenstein ; and Great Britain, as that Norway should to the co-operation and good will of belong to a power able and willing the Swedes, resisting, as they had, all to preserve its independence against the offers of France, and making comFrance. Norway is a maritime coun. mon cause with Russia, might the suc. try, full of harbours, from which Eng. cesses of the Russians in that quarter land procures a considerable portion of be ascribed. The Russians felt this, her naval stores. Not that for this rea- and were anxious that Great Britain son, solely, the crown of Denmark should accede to the agreement sub


sisting between them and Sweden.- cause to be relinquished for the sake She did accede, and the most beneficial of accommodating a government whose results were secured.

views were so equivocal? While Sweden was resisting France One question remains-Did the Sweat all points, Denmark, so far from ex- dish government shew a disposition to hibiting in the hour of danger any ma- perform the treaty? Never was there nifestations of good will to the com- an instance of more complete and zeal. mon cause, was actively concurring ous exertion than that of Sweden. with the common enemy against Rus. Her troops were dispatched to the sia. When Buonaparte was marching very point where they could act with in full force towards the Russian capi. the greatest effect. As to the compental, Denmark was appealed to by the sation given for her exertions, it may Russian government, and answered, be remarked, that the measure of ceding that she was determined to stand or a West India island to that power was fall with France. Was it immoral, not new; and never was there a case then, to refuse to forego the aid of an in which it was less detrimental to Engimportant ally-for what? out of ten- land to make such a cession, thau on derness to a power which had exerted the present occasion. In return for this all its means of injury against us !- boon, a depot for British commerce There can neither be sense nor policy was opened in Sweden ; and it may in any line of conduct, except that asked whether such an effectual' de. which serves to conciliate our friends parture from the continental system and to punish our enemies. After the was not an advantage to be purevacuation of Moscow by the French, chased, even at a considerable price? the Danish ambassador at St Peters- - It was the duty of this country, burgh had indeed shewn some disposi- above all others safe and prosperous, tion towards a reconciliation. But what to set the example of generosity ; and was the consequence ? When this fact it would have been madness in her to was known at Stockholm, endeavours treat in the same manner the friends were made on the part of Sweden to and the enemies of France. Those who follow up the supposed pacific dispo- take the field must be paid

by others sition of Denmark ; but the profes. in whose cause they fight. This is but sions of the Danish envoy were in- common justice ; and the principle stantly disavowed by the government fully warranted the pecuniary aid of at Copenhagen. Perhaps the ambas- 100,0001. a month, which, by the treasador acted without instructions ; or, ty, Great Britain engaged to bestow if he was instructed to act in this upon Sweden.—The wise policy, inmanner at the time of Buonaparte's deed, which dictated this alliance was greatest danger, yet the escape of the signally manifested in the course of the French ruler had occasioned a com- campaign. plete alteration in the Danish councils. Early in the month of May, the It was only after the entire destruc- Crown Prince of Sweden visited Stocktion of the French army that formal holm, and reviewed the troops assemovertures were made by Denmark ;- bled for embarkation. When they in the doubtful state of Europe, she were embarked, he proceeded to Carlsmight wish to keep well with both crona, and on the 14th of May, departies, and to unite at last with those parted for Stralsund. Before leaving who might prove the stronger. Was Carlscrona, he addressed the Swedish the friendship of a power which had army in the interior, and announced done its utmost to support the common the objects of the war.--- The king,”

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said he, “ in directing me to take the part in the operations on the continent, command of his army in Pomerania, Russia and Prussia had engaged to has charged me to leave in Sweden two place at her disposal an army of 50,000 corps of the army, sufficiently nume. men. The corps which was organizing rous to ensure the safety of the fron- in the north of Germany, under the tiers of the kingdom, and to act offen. protection, and at the expence of Engsively wherever the honour and inte- land, was, together with these Rus. rests of the country require. In se. sian and Prussian troops, to be placed parating from you for some time, it is under the command of the Crown not to disturb the repose of nations, Prince. Bernadotte was thus to have but to co-operate in the great work of a an army of 90,000 men, including his general peace, for which sovereigns and Swedish troops. The Swedes to be nations have sighed for so many years. brought into co-operation with the alA new career of glory, and sources of lies in Germany were not to exceed prosperity, are opening to our country. 30,000 ; and of these a proportion ne. Treaties founded upon sound policy, cessarily remained at Stralsund, where and which have the tranquillity of the an entrenched camp was preparing for north for their object, guarantee the 15,000 men.-But a part of the Sweunion of the people of Scandinavia. dish force had not at this time arrived, Let us make ourselves worthy of the and Bernadotte had not received the splendid destiny which is promised us ; expected reinforcements of Russians and let not the people who stretch out and Prussians. He could have detachtheir arms to us have cause to repent ed only a small force, therefore, to the their confidence.-Our ancestors dis- Elbe, which, being exposed to the tinguished themselves by their bold, joint attacks of the French and Danes, daring, and steady courage. Let us might have been entirely cut off. At unite to these warlike virtues the en. this period the main armies of the al. thusiasm of military honour, and God lies were retiring from the Saale and will protect our arms."

the Elbe ; and as the whole course of On the 18th of May, Bernadotte the Lower Elbe, from Magdeburgh arrived at Stralsund to take the com. to Hamburgh, was but partially guardmand of the army. A Swedish force ed by small detachments, the river of 3000 men had been stationed near might have been easily crossed at any Hamburgh for the protection of that point by a superior French force. city. On the 21st of May, it was By attempting to defend Hamburgh directed by the Crown Prince to fall under these circumstances, the Crown back; and the commanding officer Prince must have risked the destruc. was ordered to repair to Stralsund, to tion of his army in detail, as all supbe brought before a court-martial, for port from his allies was remote and un. having made an application of his certain. troops which had never entered into The importance of preserving Hamthe plans of the Swedish government. burgh on principles of humanity, as The Swedish



consequence of well as of general policy, must have this order, retired, although Count been obvious to Bernadotte ; and he Walmoden made the most pressing re- must have been dissuaded from attemptpresentation to induce them to remain. ing it on military considerations alone. To explain this resolution, which ex- Every military man would object to a cited suspicions at the time, it is ne. plan by which a of


should cessary to state some particulars. be thrown into a large town, unforti

To induce Sweden to take an active fied, and placed in a cul de sac, of which

a corps

the chief protection, a river, had been hend that an armistice, and afterwards destroyed by the appearance of a new a peace, might be concluded without enemy who commanded the right bank. his concurrence or approbation. In It would appear also, that at this pe- such circumstances, he could not have riod the Crown Prince was left in the been justified in committing, beyond dark as to the views of the Russians the reach of support, or the power

of and Prussians. He had already been retreat, the disposable military force disappointed of their promised sup- of Sweden, or in risking the destrucport; while their inadequate exertions, tion of the whole, or a part of his army, their retrograde movements, and the when its only security might have deexperience of their conduct in former pended on its being kept together in a contests, gave him reason to appre. formidable body at Stralsund.

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