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not room to allow it. The efforts of those to be entrusted with the execution of this important duty should be unremitted, and indeed of all public and private individuals, until the country shall be completely secure against any attacks of the enemy. This security is certain, if every man will be active in his station; and of that activity I have not the least doubt, if Government will give the proper stimulus.

"The amount of our danger, therefore, it would be impolitic to conceal from the people. It was the first duty of ministers to make it known, and after doing so, it should have been their study to provide against it, and to point out the means to the country by which it might be averted. It is quite impossible that a people will make adequate efforts to resist a danger, of the nature and extent of which they are studiously kept in ignorance.

"I shall express my earnest hope that no time will be wasted hereafter-that every instant will be actively engaged, until the country be completely safe. I think that some arrangements should be made to connect the different departments of the executive authority, that, upon orders issued from Government to the lord-lieutenants of counties, the people might be immediately set in motion; that, without interfering with agriculture, which should not by any means be disturbed, the several classes might be disciplined, to attend the drill at least two days in each week, to assemble in parti

cular places throughout the country; the limitation of distance from the residence of each man to the place of assembly to be about six miles, the time of attendance to be not less than half a day. The distance I propose is not more than the stout English peasantry are in the habit of going, when led to a cricket match or any other rural amusement. These men, in my conception, might be disciplined by soldiers on furlough, who, on being called back to their regiment, when danger should actually reach our shores, might be enabled to bring with them one hundred sturdy recruits, prepared for military action through their means.

"Much has been said of the danger of arming the people. I confess that there was a time when that fear would have had some weight; but there never was a time when there could have been any fear of arming the whole people of England, and particularly not under the present circumstances. I never, indeed, entertained any apprehensions from a patriot army regularly officered, according to the manner specified in the measure before the House, however I might hesitate to permit the assemblage of a tumultuary army otherwise constituted. From an army to consist of the round bulk of the people, no man who knows the British character could have the least fear—if it even were to include the disaffected; for they would bear so small a proportion to the whole, as to be incapable of doing mischief, however mischievously disposed. There was indeed

a time when associations of traitors, systematically organised, excited an apprehension of the consequences of a sudden armament of the populace: but that time is no more, and the probability is now, as occurred in the case of the volunteers, that if there are still any material number of disaffected, by mixing them with the loyal part of the community, the same patriotic zeal, the same submission to just authority, will be soon found to pervade the whole body, and that all will be equally anxious to defend their country or perish in the attempt - that the good and the loyal will correct the vicious disposition of the disaffected, will rectify their errors, and set right their misguided judgments. We may thus enlist those among our friends, who would otherwise, perhaps, become the auxiliaries of our enemy. Under all these circumstances, Mr. Pitt said, he felt that the objections urged upon this score were not tenable, and that they ought not to have any weight against a measure which was necessary to the preservation of public order and private happiness."

The organisation of the volunteers at this time is alluded to as affording an example, hitherto unknown in the annals of mankind, of an entire population arming themselves of their own free will, in defence of their country, without pay or any other motive than patriotism.

Although the war was not unattended with success, and the vanity of the people was flattered

by many naval victories, yet public opinion was gradually turning against the continuance of what was considered a useless and expensive contest. Apprehension from French aggression gave way before the universal spirit shown by our country. The Government of Great Britain had deemed it advisable to conclude the Treaty of Amiens with the First Consul, to the satisfaction of, and in accordance with, the wishes of the community. The Revolution in France was then considered to be concluded. The Government of that country had the appearance of being established, and the Chief Consul was in all probability possessed of sufficient power and influence to repress anarchy and restore order.

But when the determined hostility of Bonaparte towards Great Britain was perceptible; when it was evident that many of his edicts were calculated to injure the trade, and affect the commercial prosperity, of this island; and when, moreover, it was apparent that the treaty was nothing more than an armed truce, in which nearly an equal expenditure was incurred as during the war, without any corresponding advantage; public opinion turned in favour of renewed hostilities. Without such support, no Government could have found it possible to impose on a free people the enormous taxes then levied yet were these imposts not only not opposed by the voice of the country, but paid without reluctance. The exertions of Britain during the

contest were unparalleled, and afford an example of what can be achieved by public opinion, and the resistance capable of being made by a free, virtuous, and civilised people against foreign invasion.

There is no necessity to enter into details of the war; they are accessible to all. These circumstances have only been alluded to here, as serving to illustrate the power, the vigilance, and the paramount influence of public opinion in Great Britain.

But war did not accord with the interest or the views of the French Government at that precise period, although their intentions were far from being pacific, as appeared by subsequent events, and by Napoleon's conduct.

After the Peace of Amiens, the exertions of emissaries in Great Britain, to spread amongst the lower class the doctrines of equality and of a division of property, were unremitting. It may appear singular that these were attended with no better success, considering that such sentiments are always agreeable to the lower classes, particularly when ignorant and in distress, and considering also the activity of the agents employed. It follows from this, that the strength of public opinion, and of the upper and middle classes, must have been considerable; it also evinces how little influence remains in the lower class, in a civilised country, where public opinion is dominant, and what small danger there is of any revolution taking place by their means in this country.

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