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that the voice of the law only should be heard, founded on public utility.” Another passage runs thus : « Yes, Spaniards, the great day is drawing near, when, according to the uniform desire of our beloved King (!!!) and of his loyal people, the Monarchy will be established on solid and durable bases ; you will then possess fundamental laws which will be beneficial, friends of order, restrictive of arbitrary power.” *** « The Junta, which holds in its hand the supreme direction of the national forces, in order by all means to insure its defence, felicity and glory; the Junta, which has already publicly acknowledged the great influence a nation ought to have in the government, which alone and without any assistance has done every thing for the King and his Government; the Junta solemnly promise you, that you shall possess that country you have invoked with so much enthusiasm, and defended or rather conquered with so much valour.”
It would be a waste of time to transcribe the multitude of simi. lar passages to be found in the public documents of the different Juntas, existing under British auspices at that period the princi. ple was universally recognised, that a limited hereditary monarchy should be established in Spain, and the Constitution of the Cortes, sanctioned by the public voice, should be adopted by the legitimate King. But upon the settlement of Europe, when Ferdinand the Seventh was re-established upon his throne, as the head of an independent nation; it was no longer competent to Great Britain to interfere in the internal policy of his kingdom; he was left to pursue liis course according to his own views he refused to accept the Constitution, and was supported in his refusal by a large body of his subjects : our government refrained from any expression of their opinion--and they acted wisely, for a difference of political sentiments is no sufficient ground for interfering in the internal concerns of an independent nation. But if we now allow to other governments, that power of dictation which we refused to exercise in a much juster cause ourselves, and calmly look on, while our allies invade and desolate that country by whose co-operation we were enabled to baffle and defeat our enemy-if, while our acts and influence were notoriously the causes of that invasion, (by fostering and maturing the constitution which now excites the jealousy of the continental Sovereigns) we sneak aside and tranquilly behold the ruin of a noble people, urged forward by ourselves to their destruction-the British honor must become a hacknied phrase, like Punic faith, to express the last degree of perfidy and baseness. Or if we who proclaimed ourselves to the world, as the champions and assertors of every invaded right, during twenty years of danger to ourselves from such invasion, shall voluntarily resign this lofty character when we are
no longer to be rewarded for its exercise--what mercenary slave could be accused of a more revolting conduct ?
Let us not refer for subjects of indignant declamation to the corruption of courts, at any former period, or the arrogance of commonwealths ; let the acts of France under the Convention, the Directory, and the military tyranny, be forgotten-a fruitful theme remains in the pretensions of that oligarchy who now assume the sovereignty of the European states.
But the independence of Great Britain is no less involved in the issue of this question, than her national honor. There cannot be two codes of public law in Europe if nations hitherto considered independent, be formed into one great federal republic, directed by hereditary monarchs, as its executive council, Great Britain in common with the rest, must send her 'envoy periodically to their appointed congresses, to bring back a rescript for the management of her internal affairs. If their authority be legitimate, why should we refuse to obey it ? if not legitimate, for what reason should Spain be subject to its control? Can a homage be exacted from one European state, and a privilege be conceded to another, according to the custom of the Turkish government to its several provinces? If not, by what means are we secure, that those who expostulate upon the conduct of Riego, may not also remonstrate upon that of Hunt ?
Not only is the honor and independence of this country prospectively endangered by a mistaken view of this subject, but her character as a leading power has been affected by the proceedings at the Congress of Verona. While our Foreign Minister attended on the Sovereigns to sanction their aggressions upon the territory of their neighbours, and to dispose of the defenceless portions of Europe at their caprice and suggestion, we were honored with the respect and attention due to our commanding station. But when it appeared that public opinion was beginning to set strongly against their policy, and that a British Minister could no longer act in unison with their pretensions, these august allies began to change their tone, and to intimate in terms tolerably unequivocal that the concurrence of Great Britain was not an essential preli. mináry to their hostile movements against other states. The note of the Marquis of Londonderry was disregarded, and even the personal character of the Duke of Wellington has been unable to give effect to the remonstrances of his Government against the intended system of aggression. . " It should be carefully borne in mind by all who enter upon the
consideration of this question, that the grand alliance was formed by the influence of this country, for a specific object—to overthrow the tyranny of Napoleon over independent governments. It was not because the people of France thought fit to call this despot to the throne, that we lavished such unheard-of treasures upon the Continental Sovereigns, and enabled them to arm and clothe the barbarous hordes of their remote dominions ; it was because no state could reckon upon its internal security, nor venture to renew pacific relations, while a power existed exempt from the control of public law, which held itself absolved from 'treaties when they no longer served its interest or ambition, and sent its mandates to Sovereigns accompanied by a force prepared to invade their dominions. Now, if this grand alliance, having gained the object of its union, by rallying the public opinion of all nations round its standard, shall forget its purpose, and attempt to constitute itself a power exempt from the control of law; if after having roused the indignation of its subjects by detailed accounts of seizures, exiles and proscriptions, for political opinions, it proceed itself in the same course, and wage a war against improvement, in whatever corner of the globe it may present itself, "will not the names of Palm, and Wright, and Enghien, pass' again from mouth to mouth, and rouse the deluded people of the continent to atrue sense of their condition ?
It is the interest of Great Britain, of France, of Europe, of the world, that the pretensions of the Sovereigns at the congress of Verona should be crushed by public indignation--that free go. vernments should be obliged, by the unanimous voice of their subjects, to take a stand upon the broad principles of public law, and to unite in defence of the menaced victims of a lawless autho. rity. There is a power of barbarism and a power of civilisation now in Europe, prepared for rancorous hostility, if events should bring them into too close contact, there are materials ready to excite them both; there is ambition, too, abroad; a contest once begun may compromise the happiness of the existing generation. It is the duty of Great Britain to prevent it, and she has the power to do so.
But by what means ? by a simple declaration of her determined purpose. Let it not be supposed that this confident belief in our ability to controul the counsels of the continent, arises from an arrogant opinion of our superior power. We ought long to hesitate, and submit to many minor disadvantages, before deciding upon an act of apparent hostility against France, or her allies, if any question were to divide the views and interests of these countries and Great Britain. It would be the prudent course in such a case, to measure well our means before committing them against those powerful resources which France is able to call forth in a national war. But in a contest similar to that we now contemplate, in which Great Britain would call out the spirit of European
freedom to fight under her banners, and protect the dearest inter-' ests of men from the assaults of despotism and a degraded superstition in their last convulsive effort to enchain the faculties of mankind, in such a contest we should command the subjects of our declared opponents, and could not fail to excite within the heart of their dominions, a spirit much more dangerous to their repose, than that they fear in the Peninsula. We have proceeded perhaps too long upon a principle of policy unsuited to the new position of the world ; and the new forms of political society, which the progress of the human mind has given birth to; and the consequences have neither been favorable to our character nor influence. The absolute monarchs most favored by this system appear little grateful; and the free states, remaining unacknowledged, and therefore half proscribed, resent our coldness, and have lost a portion of thąt warmth with which they offered to place all their wealth within the range of British commerce.
It is time to retrace our steps, and the moment is favorable: a treaty with the representative government of Spain could only be formed in connexion with a recognition of American independence; forit would be absurd to protect those against aggression who maintain an antiquated pretension to exercise a tyranny over others.
· An attempt has here been made to show, that the progress of those opinions, which do not owe their origin to the peculiarities of nations in their habits and manners, nor to the casual excitements of unconnected events, but which arise naturally in the human mind from that desire of improvement implanted by Providence in us all, can never be controlled by forcé ;if it were possible to extinguish such opinions, the wars of Philip the Second, the anathemas of Leo, and the sufferings of modern Spain, would have been able to suppress them. It has next been proved, that the spirit of change which now pervades the Spanish nation has nothing in it that ought to excite the fears of Sovereigns or their peaceful subjects--that it is unattended by any of those pernicious doctrines which awakened the fears of all established governments at the opening of the French revolution, and is simply a desire of attaining by legitimate means, those blessings of rational liberty and personal security, which the assembled potentates agreed to confer on France, and without which no Englishman would yield allegiance to his Sovereign. · But even though it were pernicious, there are grounds for thinking that it can resist whatever power may be brought against it.
After this, the subject led to an exclusive consideration of . British interests, and the manner in which they may be involved by
the decision of the Spanish question: it was viewed with reference to our national honor, our independence, and our character as a leading power ; and these appeared by argument imperatively to demand, that Spain should not be subjected to the interposition of an armed foreign dictator in the management of her internal affairs..
It only remained to impress upon the British public, the propriety of uniting to resist the new pretensions of a coalition of absolute monarchs, who have a common fear and a common object, and who are subject to no control in their united aggressions, but the public opinion of this free country.in
Whatever may be the result of the negociations pending, this country has but one honorable course before her-the decided maintenance of the rights of Spain against the aggressive pretensions of the continent. And this policy no less consists with her honor than with her interest, for the subjection of the Peninsula to the influence of France, during the period of her military occupation, would derange our general political and commercial relations, and render a series of precautionary measures necessary, which would prove highly injurious to Great Britain. When wars are once begun, disaster serves to stimulate the vanquished; and it is a feeble hope, that France would soon be forced to sign a peace. It is true, she would most probably be baffled in her expedition against Spain, but what new objects of hostility would then arise, to transfer the theatre of war to other countries, and complicate again those interests which another quarter of a century may not be long enough to disentangle. All Europe ought to think of this, and place before its view the mighty changes which another lengthened war would certainly give rise to. The dynasty of France is not yet firmly seated upon its throne ; it has a feeble scion to uphold it, and there is a pretender in the hands and under the control of its natural enemy. The Austrian dominions contain the seeds of civil war within them, and even at this moment require the force of one portion to be employed in the coercion of another.
The Prussian states consist of many conquered provinces, which still retain their former predilections, and have not yet begun to coalesce with their victorious fellow-subjects; the middle classes are known to seek a change of institutions; and the seminaries cannot be prohibited from instilling the detested doctrines of the Spanish Constitutionalists into the minds of the rising population. Russia is still barbarous, and secure; she alone may act with impunity, as executioner of the sentences of death promulgated against the people of the Peninsula..
But her government should recollect, that while barbarism im