ON HIS REFUSAL TO NEGOTIATE WITH BONAPARTE
That Bonaparte has an interest in making peace is at best but a doubtful proposition，and that he has an interest in preserving it is still more uncertain.That it is his interest to negotiate，I do not indeed deny.It is his interest，above all，to engage this country in separate negotiation，in order to loosen and dissolve the whole system of the confederacy on the Continent，to palsy at once the arms of Russia，or of Austria，or of any other country that might look to you for support；and then either to break off his separate treaty，or，if he should have concluded it，to apply the lesson which is taught in his school of policy in Egypt，and to revive at his pleasure those claims of indemnification which may have been reserved to some happier period.
This is precisely the interest which he has in negotiation.But on what grounds are we to be convinced that he has an interest in concluding and observing a solid and permanent pacification？Under all the circumstances of his personal character，and his newly acquired power，what other security has he for retaining that power but the sword？His hold upon France is the sword，and he has no other.Is he connected with the soil，or win megabits，the affections，or the prejudices of the country？He is a stranger，a foreigner，and a usurper.He unites in his own person everything that a pure republican must detest；everything that an enraged Jacobin has abjured；everything that a sincere and faithful royalist must feel as an insult.If he is opposed at any time in his career，what is his appeal？He appeals to his fortune；in other words，to his army and his sword.Placing，thed，his whole reliance upon military support，can he afford to let his military renown pass away，to let his laurels wither，to let the memory of his trophies sink in obscurity？IS it certain that with his army confined within France，and restrained from inroads upon her neighbors，that he can maintain，at his devotion，a force sufficiently numerous to support his power？Having no object but the pos-session of absolute dominion，no passion but military glory，is it to he reckoned as certain that he can feel such an interest in permanent peace as would justify us in laying down our arms，reducing our expense，and relinquishing our means of security，on the faith of his engagements？Do we believe that，after the conclusion of peace，he would not still sigh over the lost trophies of Egypt，wrested from him by the celebrated victory of Aboukir，and the brilliant exertions of that heroic band of British seamen，whose influence and example rendered the Turkish troops invincible at Acre？Can he forget that the effect of these exploits enabled Austria and Prussia，in one campaign，to re-cover from France all which she had acquired by his victories，to dissolve the charm which for a time fascinated Europe，and to show that their generals，contending in a just cause，could efface，even by their success and their military glory，the most dazzling triumphs of his victorious and desolating ambition？
Can we believe，with these impressions on his mind，that if，after a year，eighteen months，or two years of peace had elapsed，he should be tempted by the appearance of fresh insurrection in Ireland，encouraged by renewed and unrestrained communication with France，and fomented by the fresh infusion of Jacobin principles；if we were at such a moment without a fleet to watch the ports of France，or to guard the coasts of Ireland，with- out a disposable army，or an embodied militia capable of supplying a speedy and adequate reinforcement，and that he had suddenly the means of transporting thither a body of twenty or thirty thousand French troops；can we believe that，at such a moment，his ambition and vindictive spirit would be restrained by the recollection of engagements or the obligation of treaty？Or if，in some new crisis of difficulty and danger to the Ottoman Empire，with no British navy in the Mediterranean，no confederacy formed，no force collected to support it，an opportunity should pre- sent itself for resuming the abandoned expedition to Egypt，for renewing the avowed and favorite project of conquering and colonizing that rich and fertile country，and of opening the way to wound some of the vital interests of England，and to plunder the treasures of the East，in order to fill the bankrupt coffers of France—would it be the interest of Bonaparte，under such circumstances，or his principles，his moderation，his love of peace，his aversion to conquest，and his regard for the independence of other nations—would it be all or any of these that would secure us against an attempt which would leave us only the option of submitting without a struggle to certain loss and disgrace，or of renewing the contest which we had prematurely terminated，without allies，without preparation，with diminished means，and with increased difficulty and hazard？
What，then，is the inference I draw from all that I have now stated？Is it that we will in no case treat with Bonaparte？I say no such thing.But I say，as has been said in the answer returned to the French note，that we ought to wait for“experience and the evidence of facts” before we are convinced that such a treaty is admissible.The circumstances I have stated would well justify us if we should be slow in being convinced；but on a question of peace and war，everything depends upon degree and up-on comparison.If，on the one hand，there should be an appearance that the policy of France is at length guided by different maxims from those which have hitherto prevailed；if we should here-after see signs of stability in the government which are not now to be traced；if the progress of the al-lied army should not call forth such a spirit in France as to make it probable that the act of the country itself will destroy the system now prevailing；if the danger，the difficulty，the risk of continuing the contest should increase，while the hope of complete ultimate success should be diminished；all these，in their due place，are considerations which，with myself and，I can answer for it，with every one of my colleagues，will have their just weight.But at present these considerations all operate one way；at present there is nothing from which we can presage a favorable disposition to change in the French councils.There is the greatest reason to rely on powerful cooperation from our allies；there are the strongest marks of a disposition in the interior of France to active resistance against this new tyranny；and there is every ground to believe，on reviewing our situation and that of the enemy，that，if we are ultimately disappointed of that complete success which we are at present entitled to hope，the continuance of the contest，instead of making our situation comparatively worse，will have made it comparatively better.