Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/64

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collapse of the emperor's plans. The details of the invasion scheme were fully explained to General Sir Neil Campbell by Napoleon himself at Elba, in 1814, and afterwards continued by him in precisely similar terms to O'Meara at St. Helena. Those plans were defeated by the suspicions and vigilance of Lord Nelson; by his habit of acting promptly upon his suspicions; by the alacrity with which the Admiralty of the day obeyed his warnings; by the prescience of Lord Collingwood; and by the consequent intercepting of the combined French and Spanish fleets off Ferrol by Sir Robert Calder, in July, 1806. The moment this happened, Napoleon saw that his game—so far at least as England was concerned—was at an end; and fertile in resources, he immediately carried out the second part of his programme. Then followed, as we know, the campaign of Austerlitz, the treaty of Presburg, the war with Prussia, and finally the battle of Jena, in October, 1806.

Berlin Decree.Ever bent on humiliating and crippling the resources of England, Napoleon on the 1st of November, 1806, issued his memorable "Berlin Decree," containing eleven clauses, of which this country formed the exclusive topic. By it, all trade and correspondence with the British Isles was prohibited; all letters and packets at the post office, addressed to England, or to an Englishman, or "written in English," were to be seized; every subject of England found in any of the countries occupied by French troops or those of their allies, was to be made prisoner of war; all warehouses, merchandise, and property belonging to a subject of England were declared lawful prize; all trading in English merchandise forbidden; every article belonging to England, or coming from her colonies, or of her manufacture, was declared good prize; and English vessels were excluded from every European port.[1] This outrageous "decree" Bonaparte imposed upon every country that fell under the iron sway of his military despotism.

The policy, therefore, of the emperor towards England, which was contrary to all the usages of civilized warfare, will explain

  1. London Chronicle, December 6th, 1806.