« VorigeDoorgaan »
sire of calm repose, which, to use But after this declaration of the the words of a great writer, was object of future congresses, came the atmospbere in wbich despo- the stipulation, which he should tism liked to breathe-following, like to see some German statist, as he had said the cant of their some man versed in the manufacancestors, the allies declared at tory of state-papers, compare with, Aix-la-Chapelle, that their ob- and reconcile to, the recent notes ject was to secure the tranquillity got up at Verona, not unlikely by of Europe—that their fundamental the very bands wbich had produprinciple would be, never to de- ced the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. part from a strict adherence to the 'The stipulation was this:-“ Spelaw of nations : “ faithful to these cial congresies concerning the afprinciples,” (continued this half- fairs of states not parties to this sermon, half-romance, and half alliance, shall not take place, exstate paper,) “ they would only cept” (and here he should like to study the happiness of their people know how Spain bad brought herand attend carefully to the inte- self within the exception) —"ex rests of morality.” Here, again, fol- cept in consequence of a formal inlowing the example of the autocratic vitation from such states.” How Catherine, the partitioner of Po- would any German statist reconland, who, having wasted and di- cile these contradictions? Here the vided it, province after province, interference in the internal affairs of sent in bordes of ber barbarians, Spain was not only not “ by special who, from the rising to the setting invitation” from, but was in downof the sun for one day, were en- right opposition lo, the will of gaged in shedding the blood of its Spain. Thus were those holy alinnocent and unfortunate people; lies posed to their own princiand not content with this work of in- ples ; and by such was the attempt discriminate slaughter, renewed the now made to crush the indepencarnage, and continued it through. dence of a brave people. But it out the ensuing; and after this, a was not in the case of Spain alone Te Deum was sung, to return that the consideration of these pathanks for her success over the pers were important—they furnishenemies of Poland. That mild ed natural grounds of fears to all and gentle sovereign, immediately independent governments; for he after these outrages upon huma- should be glad to learn what case nity, issued a proclamation, in it was (upon the doctrines now which she said" The empress advanced) to which this principle assures the Poles, and desires them of internal interference might not to believe, that she possesses for be extended-upon which the authem the solicitude of a tender mo- thority to comment, criticise, and ther, whose heart is filled with dictate might not be assumed ? kindness for all her children." The house was not aware of the Who could, or who dare, doubt latitude to which the interference that she was what she so described of those armed legislators might herself, and who could, after the be extended :—the revolt of the experience of the last year, dis- colonies was one alleged cause, the pute the purity of the intention of weakness of an administration che allied powers towards Spain ? another. Russia, forsooth, was
anxious to see Ferdinand surround- tablished government--the governi. ed with the" most enlightened and ment which the Emperor Alexander most faithful of his subjects”-- himself had recognized as legitiby men, of course, who would be mate in 1812; and this he had every way worthy of himself. So now the audacity to call the “shedthat, according to these wise men ding of blood by Spaniards in the of Verona, (and this was a consi- palace of the king.” As well deration which should be looked might be accuse the people, the to,) an inefficient administration parliament, and the crown of Eng. would be a just ground of inter- land, of " causing blood to flow in ference. The principle did not the palace of the king,” on account stop here : “ ruinous loans," let of their ordering their sentinels to that be marked, formed another fire on every person whom they ground, and “ contributions un- might find attempting to assassiceasingly renewed.” What were nate the sovereign, these but taxes which were called the Spaniards of such a crime, on for year after year? All these account of the events which hapwere instances in which the prin- pened in July 1822. He should ciple of interference might apply pass over the different phrases to countries besides Spain; and about " disorganized philosophy," perhaps (for it was not out of the u dreams of fallacious liberty," wide range of this principle) agri- and“ venerable and sacred rights," cultural distress would appear to with which the Prussian nole was the wisdom of those high powers crowded to repletion ; and should as just a ground as any other. But, pass on to the Russian note, which to complete all the reasons assigned objected to the Spaniards their to Spain, on the 7th of July, want of the “ conservative prinblood was seen to flow in the pa- ciples of social order"- or, in other lace of the king and a civil war words, of despotic power, and to raged throughout the Peninsula." their not falling in with the scope It was true, blood had flowed, and of those grand truths, which, a disposition to treason was excited though they were ever in the in soine quarters; but who was the mouths, wore no where explained cause! An ally. It was produced by any one of the three sovereigns. by those cordons of troops which The Austrian note talked of the were posted on the Spanish frontier, solid and venerable claims which armed with gold and steel, and af- the Spanish nation had upon the fording shelter and assistance 10 rest of Europe; prayed it to adopt those in whose minds disaffection a better form of government than had been excited. Blood bad been it had at present; and called upon shed: but would it not be supposed it to reject a system which was at. by any person unacquainted with once “ powerful and paralyzed.”. . the fact, that this was blood shed It would be disgusting to enter at in an attempt to dethrone Ferdi- any length into papers at once so nand, or an attempt to introduce odious, so iniquitous, and so abosome new and unheard-of form of minable. There was but one sengovernment? But what was the timent held regarding them out of fact? A few persons were killed the house, and be merely noticed who had mutinied against the es- them now to call forth a similar
expression of feeling from the threat to the quarter from which it house. Monstrous and insolent, issued, caring little whether it was and unjustifiable as all of them from the Goth, the Tlun, or the were, he considered that of Russia Calmuck; with firmness they met to be more inonstrous, more insoe the craft of the Bohemian, and lent, and more unjustifiable than with courage the savage ferocity of all the rest; Russia, a power that the Tartar. If they found leagued was only half European---that with against them the tyrants by which all her colossal mass of physical the world was at present infested, strength was still quite as much they might console themselves with Asiatic as she was European- this reflection, that wherever there whose principles of action were was an Englishman, either of the completely despotic and oriental, old world or of the new-wherever and whose practice had, unfortu- there was a Frenchman, with the nately, always been of the same bar- exception of that little band which barous and anti-European descrip- now swayed the destinies of France tion. In all these precious docu- in opposition to the wishes and inments there were, with a mighty terests of its gallant and liberal number of general remarks, mixed population -a population which, up with a wondrous affectation of after enduring the miseries which honest principles, - there were a the revolution had entailed upon it, great many words covering ideas and after wading through the long that were not altogether clear and and bloody wars into which that intelligible, or, if they happened revolution bad precipitated it, was to be so, only placing their own entitled, if ever any population was, deformity in a more hideous and to a long enjoyinent of the many detestable light : still, though such blessings of peace and libertywas the case, the meaning of the wherever there was an Englishman whole— for argument there was or true-born Frenchman-- wherever none to be found from the begin. there was a free heart or virtuous ning to the end of them—the mean- mind, there Spain had a r.atural ing of the whole was as plain as and an unalienable friend. For his plain could be : they spoke but one own part, he could not but admire language to Europe and to Spain, the mixture of firmness and forand that language was this—" We bearance which the government of have 100,000 hired mercenaries, Spain bad exhibited. When the and we will not stoop to reason allied monarchs were pleased to with men whom we have deter- adopt a system of interference with mined to crush as slaves, or anni- the internal policy of Spain—when hilate as freemen.” He admired they thought it fitting to descend to the parallel frankness with which minute and paltry criticisms upon this haughty language had been the whole course of its domestic mnet by the Spanish government: government—when every sentence the papers which it had sent forth in their respective notes was a diwere plain and laconic, and spoke rect personal insult to every indithis language: “We are millions of vidual Spaniard — and when the freemen, and will not stoop to rea- most glaring attempts were made son with men who threaten to en- in their different manifestoes to exslave us." They hurled back the cite rebellion in the country, and to
stir up one class of the community tended to be so just, when the inagainst the other,-it would not terests of Ferdinand were conhave surprised him if some allusion cerned, had always acted with had been made in the replies of the equal justice towards the interests Spanish government to the domes- of others ? Could any thing have tic policy of the allied sovereigns; been more natural than to have or if some of the allegations which suggested to him, that before he had been so lavishly cast upon it was generous to Ferdinand, he had been scornfully retorted upon ought to be just to George ; and those who had so falsely and so that he ought to return to him the audaciously brought them forward. whole, or, at any rate, a considerWhat would have been more natu- able part of the twenty millions he ral for the Spanish government, bad borrowed of him in his day of than to have asked his Prussian distress-a sum which, remaining majesty, who was so anxious for unpaid, wasted the resources of an the welfare and good governmentally of Spain, and tended mightily of Spain, and who had shown him- to cripple and mutilate her exerself so minute a critic on its laws tions ? Ile wished likewise to know and institutions, to remember the what could have been more natumany vows and promises which he ral– nay, if the doctrine of interhad made some years ago to bis ference in the internal concerns of own free people ? What would neighbouring nations were at all have been more natural than to adınitted,—what could have been have suggested to bim, that it more rightful, in a free people, would be more consistent with than to have asked him how it those promises to give his subjects happened, that his dungeons were a representative form of govern. filled with all that was noble, and ment, than to maintain at their accomplished, and virtuous, and cost, and almost to their utter ruin, patriotic in the Milanese - than a large standing army, for the pure to have called on him to give an pose of ravaging the territories, or account of the ocean of blood putting down the liberties of any which he had shed in his own doneighbouring power? The govern- minions in the north of Italy?
ment of Spain would have had a than to have demanded of him right to inake this representation some explanation of that iron poto his majesty of Prussia; for his licy by which he has consigned majesty of Prussia owed much, men, women, and children, not to very much, to its exertions : in- exile or to death, but to a merciless deed, the gallant resistance which imprisonment for ten, twenty, and it made to the invasion of Bona- thirty years—nay, even for life, parte, formed a powerful diversion without their being able to ascerin favour of Prussia, when such a tain in the remotest degree the diversion was most necessary to its crime for which they were puinterests, ay, and to its very exist- nished ? Even the Emperor Alexence. Could any thing, he would ander himself, tender and sensitive also ask, bave been more natural as he was at the sight of blood for the Spanish government, than flowing in the precincts of a royal to have asked the Emperor of Aus- palace-a sigbt so monstrous, that tria, whether he, who now pre- if his language could be credited,
it had never before been seen in rate, he should have advised him the history of the world, might to slur it loosely over, instead of have been taught a lesson, which placing it, like an artful rhetorician, even he might not have found over- to form the principal point in his pleasant in the recollection; for most effective climax. He found, the Emperor Alexander, however likewise, in these self-same docupure he himself. might be, and ments, another allusion, for which however innocent his agents, was the Spanish government, bad it nevertheless descended from fa- been so inclined, might have read thers and mothers who had de- the holy alliance another severe throned, confined, and slaughtered lecture - he alluded to the glib husbands, brothers, and children. manner in which the three potenGod forbid that he should impute tates talked of an individual, who, the acts of violence which had let his failings or even bis crimes been committed on the persons of be what they might, must always various members of the present be considered as a great and a redynasty of Russia to their fathers splendent character, who, because and their brothers! but it did hap- he was now no longer either upon pen somehow or other, and by some a throne or at liberty, or even inexplicable fatality, that those re- in life, was described by them, not latives had invariably reaped the merely as an ambitious ruler-not advantage of the atrocities com- merely as an arbitrary tyrant, but mitted, and bad as invariably failed also as an upstart and an usurper. to bring the perpetrators of them This was not the language which to public justice. Under such cir- these three potentates had formerly cumstances, if he had had the ho- used, nor was it the language which pour of being in the confidence of they were entitled to use, regardthe imperial majesty of all the ing this illustrious individual. Russias, he should have been the Whatever epithets others might last person in the world to have have a right to attach to his concounselled his imperial master to duct, their mouths at least were touch upon so tender a topic-he stopped: they could have no right should humbly have besought bim to call him usurper, for in many of to think twice or thrice, nay, even his usurpatious they had been willa fourth and a fifth time, before he ing accomplices. The King of ventured to allude to so delicate a Prussia followed his fortunes witb subject~he should, with all proper the most shame-faced subservideference, have requested him to ency, after the thorough beating meddle with any other topic-he he received from him in the year should have desired hini to try 1807. No sooner had he recoevery other point in the compass vered the upright attitude of a man, he should have implored him to than he took the first opportunity try what he could say about Tur- which chance threw in his way to key, or Greece, or even Minorca, fall upon his knees, and after much on which he had of late been cast- crouching and crawling in the dust, ing many an amorous glance, be- to beg from the blood-stained hand fore he adopted the peculiar phrase of Bonaparte no less a boon than of "blood flowing in the precincts possession of bis Britannic majesof a royal palace;" and, at any iy's foreign dominions, the king