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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: November 2011
  • First published in: 1840



The fallacy of the peace of Amiens soon became apparent, notwithstanding all the sacrifices which Great Britain had so nobly made, to satisfy the military despotism, and to arrest the insidious designs, of the government of France. As Lord Nelson observed, in the debate on the preliminaries, “The king had often assured his parliament, that he would be ready to accede to terms of peace, as soon as the government of France should wear an appearance of permanency.” The experiment had been tried, and the British nation, fully aware of its inefficacy to answer the intended objects, entered into the present eventful contest with a greater degree of unanimity, and a more general conviction of its necessity. The decision and spirit which marked the operations of our government irritated and astonished Buonaparte; who endeavoured by his conduct to our ambassador, Lord Whitworth, at his court of the Tuilleries on the 13th of March, 1803, to asperse the humanity and integrity of the British character; Nous avons said he, déjà fait la guerre pendant quinze ans: as he appeared to wait for a reply, Lord Whitworth observed, C'en est déjà trop. Buonaparte answered, Mais vous vonlez la faire encore quinze années, et vous m'y forçez. After some time he added, vous pourrez peut-etre tuer la France, mais jamais l'intimider.

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