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Mr. REDHEAD YORKE's WEEKLY POLITICAL REVIEW. Vol: III. No: 20. Saturday, November 14, 1807. Price 100.

369

HISTORICAL DIGEST. Sincë tlie publication of our last digest, there has occurred scarcely any event in the political world, deserving of particular animadversion. A dead calm, the sure forefunner of a storm has hovered over our hemisphere for more than six weeks. Where the thunderbolt will next fäll, it is difficult to conjecture. From Portugal we have received merely contradictory statements, and the only fact which we can record with safety is, the removal of the English factory from Lisbon, as a preliminary to our exclusion from all commerce with that country. It does not appear that the prince of Brazil intends to follow the advice of Horace to the Romans,* or that the nobles of Portugal are disposed to leave their country, and seek a new seat, by way of cure for the core suption of their manners, and to avoid the tyranny of French influence. The English have quitted the dominions of their ancient ally, taking with them their property; and every facility has been hitherto afforded them by the Portuguese government. A very short space of time must determine what course that government will pursue, be#ween its just dread of the ambition, injustice, and rapacity of its continental opprescors, and its unwillingness to offend its maritime, and uniformly faithful ally. The Portuguese fleet must be taken into our hands as a pledge, until the restoration of peace, should the harbours of Portugal be shut against our commerce; and as to the mans-atlantic settlements of that power, I have already prescribed a rule for our conduct in relation to them. For the present, therefore, I shall not enlarge this topic.

Our expedition against Denmark, has safely returned, laden with the spolia opima of that kingdom. All the Danish ships of war that were in the harbour of Copenhagen have been brought to this country, and all the materials contained in their arsenals, are deposited in our stores. No conversion has been wrought upon the mind of the crown prince: he has formally declared war against us, and it will be seen arzongst our state papers of this week, that our government has not been backward in returning the compliment. In about two montlis, therefore, we may expect that an official aca count will be published of the capture of Santa Cruz, and St. Thomas, by the British arms; and their East India settlement at Tranquibar will share the same fate, with all convenient speed. The hostility of Denmark will be ruinous to herself, and not at all injurious to England; for the numerous privateers which she is said to have Gitted out against our maritine commerce, will not only thwart the invasive designs of Buonaparte, but they will infallibly add, after the first ebullitions of resentment shall bave subsided, to the number of our able-bodied seamen. A few of our sloops of war ind armed-brigs, properly stationed in the north sea, and between the Orkneys and the north of Ireland, will effectually intercept their marauding speculations; and I havesuch

upon

* The application of the lines of Horace to the present state of the Portuguese, ind to their fertile colony of Brazil, is too striking to be here omitted.

Secunda
Ratem occupare quid moramur alite? -
Nos manet oceanus circumvagus : arva, beata
Petamus arva, divites et insulas,
Reddit ubi cererem tellus inarata quotannis,
Et imputata fioret usque vinea;
Germinat et nunquam fallentis termes olivæ,
Suamque pulla ficus ornat arborem;
Mella cava manant ex ilice; montibus altis
Levis crepante lympha desilit pede.

Hor. carm. 16. lib. 5. TOL. IILNO, 20,

a perfect reliance in the vigilance and activity of the present first lord of the admiralty, from the earnest he has already given of his administration, that I may safely predier, the Danish privateers, well-manned as they may be, will gain little else besides hari blows and salt water. The Danes will soon experience the difference between British and French amity; and when, perhaps, it is too late, the crotvn prince will repent c: that p:inctilious obduracy, which has precipitated the fall of his country. If any 21ditional circumstances were necessary to justify the expediency and policy of the conduct of our government toward Denmark, the refusal of the crown prince to listen to all proffers of reconciliation, and the marked inveteracy of his resentment, would he sufficient to convict him of an undue connection with France, and of a clandestine ittention to co-operate against us when the opportunity should have presented itself.

The arrival of the hereditary sovereign of France in this country, has been alreads noticed in an article in our last number, which I recommend to the attention of the reader. For the present, I must decline entering into any disquisition on the nature and object of this visit, having not yet had any opportunity of making inquiry re. specting so unexpected an event.*

The only remaining articles of intelligence relates to the transactions of the Turkiä government. These are detailed in the Vienna court gazette of October 14, 15, and 21st, and which I have inserted in its own words, as they do not require any comment.

In consequence of the armistice concluded between Russia and the Ottonen Porte, the navigation of the Black Sea is become free; but the advanced state of the season will permit only a small number of vessels to profit by this liberty The Russian officers and soldiers, prisoners of war, have been released from the slave pri son, where they were confined at Constantinople. They will be conveyed to Odesz in Ragusian vessels. The Turks have nominated Silistria as the place for carrying on the negociations for a definitive treaty of peace; but many obstacles seem to stack in the way of the approaching opening of the congress. The Janissaries, after some fresh motions towards a rebellion, on the first of September, received their pay, wbich had been in arrear for a considerable time. The 10th of September, General Gas danne, ambassador from France to Persia, passed over from Tophana, to Scutari, na his journey to Tehrami, by the way of Bagdad. This minister is accompanied by Xzer Mahmoud, envoy from the Shah of Persia, the French officers destined for the East Indies, commercial agents, and missionaries.”

1 The following are the articles of the armistice concluded between the Turks and Servians: The first states, That there shall be a cessation of hostilities for an unlimited time. 2. That orders should immediately be expedited to both armies to cease bova! · tilities. 3. The armistice to extend to the two armies in Bulgaria, as well as they troops in and on the frontiers of Servia. 4. The two armies to remain in their respro tive positions. 5. Either party to break the armistice at pleasure ; but five or * hours to elapse before resuming hostilities. 6. The soldiers of each army prohibiti from going into the camp of the other. The armistice is signed by George Petrowl

. conimander-in-chief of the Servian army of insurrection, Issrailow, general of a di sion of Russian troops, and Ibrahim Pacha, of Macedonia and Romelia.

According to the last advices, Wallachia is entirely evacuated by the Russian. They are preparing also to abandon Moldavia ; the troops are already marching! wards the frontiers of that principality. The quarter-master-general de Suchele kas proceeded from Bucharest to Jassy, to accelerate the evacuation. Prince Him sorowski has at present the command in chief of the Russian forces in that count On the other hand we are informed that the grand vizir has gone into winter quarul at Adrianople and in the environs."

DIPLOMATIC CORPS. An article appeared in the Morning Chronicle last week, upon the subject of 2.0 choice of our foreign ministers, which must not be allowed to pass unobserved. seems to have been the main object of the writer, to gloss over the diplomatic appo*** ments made under the late administration, and to cast an indirect reproach upon les

* For the last six weeks, the editor of this review has been confined to his bed b; á most painful illness, and he is not yet able to quit his room.

present ministers, for their nomination of Mr. Rose, jun: to execute a certain special mission to the United States of America. The manner in which the writer of the article in question has discussed the point, shews that his zeal has outstripped his prudence, otherwise he would not have committed the credit of his party so egregiously as to publish the names of the persons who were selected to fill the situations of our residents abroad, and to challenge his contemporaries to dispute their talents and capacity. It certainly is not judicious to provoke an investigation of this kind, unless the writer is sure that his favourites are without blemish, or, in other words, that they are sufficiently accomplished to go through, without derogation, the ordeal of a public scrutiny. But this is the concern of the partizan, not ours; and if he will vojuntarily expose his friends to the lash of criticism, ha nust not complain of the chastisement that is inflicted upon him, since he himself has put the rod into our hands. I shall apply the touchstone of truth to the fallacies contained in this laboured article of the Morning Chronicle; and, indeed, it is a duty which I owe to myself to expose the:n in a proper light, because, at the period of those diplomatic appointments, I was, I believe, the only writer who denounced them to the public.

Before we proceed, it will not be irrelevant to remind the reader of the letter that I addressed to the late Mr. Fox, upon the appointment of our foreign ministers, in the 13th number of the first volume of this work. I had adverted to the same sub. ject during the life of Mr. Pitt ;* and when “ All the Talents” took

upon

themselves the management of our affairs, after the death of the Great Patriot, it was natural to expect, that men of such high promise would be particular in detaching a portion of those talents to represent us at foreign courts. Anxious for the honour and character of our country, both of which I apprehended would suffer under such a partycoloured piece of Mosaic as the late ministry, I did not hesitate to remonstrate with Mr. Fox, for the want of judgment and respect towards the feelings, both of this nation and of foreign countries, which he had displayed, in the appointments of Mr. Adair, (whom I shall no longer call Bobby Adair) of lord Douglas, and of Mr. Erskine, not forgetting the precious choice of Jemmy Green to the consulate of Morocco. . At the time when the several animadversions were written, the party might have justified the wisdom and patriotism of their leader, if they had been justifiable; for they were fairly and openly challenged. But, whether these gentlemen were so conscious of their weak side, or whether they were so busied in striving each man to secure for himself a slice of the good things which had devolved to the party by the death of the great statesman who had controlled their insatiable propensities, it is most certain that the challenge was never accepted, that the appointments passed on their

part sub silentio, and that we considered ourselves as the undisputed masters of the field. This, however, our opponents are not willing to allow, and, therefore, they revive the controversy, in the false hope that our former reasonings have sunk into oblivion, or that a change of ministry will necessarily occasion a change also in the estimation which the people had before entertained of public characters. But this is a mistaken hope. The same causes which provoked the public indignation at the appointment of such men, operate with equal force to strengthen their reflections now. The times, indeed, are altered, but the men remain, and they would have remained unnoticed, if it had not been for this ill-judged attempt to extol the reputation of a censured and degraded ininistry, who, for endeavouring to split the vessel against a rock, are happily put under the hatches. As long, however, as I can wield a pen, that constellation of state en pirics shall not attempt to creep once upon deck without an effort, on my part, to thrust them down again ; and this object cannot be better attained, than by a manly exposure of their quackeries, ignorance, and follies. Let us begin in the north.

According to the Morning Chronicle, the marquis Douglas, who was chosen by Mr. Fox to be our minister at the court of St. Petersburg, was better fitted than any other man in the united empire for that situation, on account not only of his rank, but also of his talents and splendid acquirements. To the rank of his lordship no exception is made, and it is extremely edifying to see the Chronicle advert with reverence to hereditary nobility, as entitled to a preference in the enjoyment of important

* See iso. 6. of Vol. i.

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* Lord Bacon. Nothing can be more entertaining than the ceremonious account which lord Bacon gives of the conference between the foreign embassadors and th: ministers of lienry the seventh.--Sve his life of that prince. No one has written so well as lord Chesterfield upon the qualifications of a foreign minister; but by compi ring his letters with the essays of lord Bacon, the reader will find, that there is scarcer

: public life.

373 Aone among us is without some particularities, it does not follow, that we are all remarkable for singularities; and I conceive, an odd fish should be the last upon earth whom we ought to select to represent the nation abroad, where the rules of decorum prescribe, that the representive, without forgetting the dignity of his character or his duties, should conformn, as much as possible, to the habits of the court to which he is, sent; or, as lord Chesterfield expresses it, when at Rome, to do as Rome does. Much depends upon the exteriour qualities of a foreign minister; and, therefore, if he cannot divest himself of singularities, which, in defiance of the most splendid interiour endowments, must reuder him ridiculous in society, he ought not to be entrusted with a foreign mission. For when the representative of a country is looked upon with derision, when he is considered as a burlesque representation of the majesty of a state, the state itself incurs the risk of falling into contempt. If Algernon Sydney had followed the advice of Oliver Cromwell, when he was sent ambassador from the coinmonwealth to the king of Sweden, he would never have been able to have effected the purpose entrusted to his charge. Ju one of his official dispatches to Sidney, Oliver the saint instructs him, “in the midst of the most solemn and interesting part of a conference with the ministers whom he may have to deal with, to run into a corner, and have a little talk with the Lord, which he would find marvellously refreshing, and a great help to business."* Sidney neglected the admonition, and, without being singular compelled the victorious Swede to raise the siege of Copenhagen.

There is a wide distinction between particularities and singularities, the former of which are not always observable; but the latter are invented for the express purpose of observation. For instance, when I sit down in my study, to prepare my review for the press, there are two requisites necessary, without which, my pen is sure to lag ; these

are, a favourite chair or tripod, and my snuff-box stationed close by the inkstand. Now these are particularities, frivolous in themselves, which no one was acquainted with until this day, and which I can, and do often dispense with, especially when I am from home. But, whenever I appear abroad, it, instead of dressing myself as other men do, I should rig my carcase with histrionick buskins, and display a tail as thick and as long as the tail of a kangaroo, it is most certain that I should be the laughing-stock of all my countrymen : and, if they should turn me into ridicule, what may not be expected from foreigners, at the sight of such an human baboon, exhibiting himself in their country ? Suppose when general Andreossy went to St. James's, as the ambassador froin France, that he had appeared in a red cap, with his neck bare, à la guillotine, and in a pair of half boots, without stockings, as I have seen some of the mad-caps of the French legislature habited, what would the court have thought of such a singular animal?_Why both the collared gentry and the sanscullottes would have taken him for a devil, the representative of the great devil, notwithstanding that every one of them might have known that he was a man of irreproachable character, a profound mathematician, and the best writer in the world upon the subject of a canal. Again, it is possible, that one day or other, we may send to a foreign court, remarkable for etiquette, a minister of vast acquirements, and endowed also with a handsome leg and thigh. If it should happen, that this distinguished personage should prize himself more upon the symnietry of his leg, than upon the furniture of his upper works, and take it into his cranium to go to court in a sinart pair of white leather breeches, and hussar boots, of the Bond-strect çut, what consternation would such violation of the established rules of etiquette create, among a circle of princes, princesses, counts, countesses, barons, and baronesses, every one of whom could trace their genealogy for centuries back; to Pelig, grandson of Salah, who was the grandson of Noah! Could we wonder tliat such an ambassador should ever after go by the name of p. LEG? Another case: Whenever I go to town, I am almost certain of meeting, at the west end of it, north of Oxford-street, a gentleman, who, from his dress, and the episcopal rotundity of his wig, I take to be a dignified clergyman. As he walks along, I have observed his head in constant motion, and in a direction different from that of his body. Every step he takes, the head, beginning at the chin, making a jerk upwards, describes the quadrant of a circle, not unlike the heads of the little Chinese mandarins, were formerly

* See Milcon's State Papers, and Hollis's life of Sidney,

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