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The firmness of the king of Portugal on this trj'ing occasion, is worthy of admiration. In answer to the insulting proposition of the confederates,'he observed, with judgment and temper, that his alliance with England was ancient, and, consequently, could give no reasonable offence at the present crisis: that it was purely defensive, and therefore innocent in all respects; that tie late sufferings of Portugal disabled her, were she even willing, from taking part in an offensive war; into the calamities of which neither the love he bore to his subjects, nor the duty by which he was b >urtd to them as a king, would suffer him to ptange them. The two courts denied that his alliance was purely defensive, orentirely innccent; and for this astonishing reason, that the defensive alliance was converted into an offensive one, "from the situation of the Portuguese dominions, and the nature of the English power !"* The English fleet, said they, cannot keep the sea in all seasons, nor cruize on the coasts best calculated for cutting off the French and Spanish navigation, without the harbours and friendly assistance of Portugal. Nor, added they, couri those haughty islanders insult all the maritime powers of Europe, if the riches of Portugal did not pass into their hands. And, after endeavouring to awaken the jealousy of his most faithful majesty, by representing his kingdom as under the yoke of England, they insultingly told him, that he ought to be thankful for "the necessity which they had laid upon him to make use of his reason, in order to take the road of his glory, and embrace the common interest." i
Although the king of Portugal was sensible, that the necessity here alluded to was the immediate march of the Spanish army, to take possession of his dominions, he was not intimidated from his honourable resolution. The treaties of league and commerce, subsisting between Great Britain and Portugal, were such, he maintained, as the laws of God, and the laws of nations, have always deemed innocent; he intreated their majesties to open their eyes to Vie crying injustice of turning upon Portugal the hostilities kindled against Great Britain; and to consider that theii were giving an example which would lend to the utter destruction of mankind; jbat there was nn end of public safety, if neutral powers were to be attacked, because they have entered into defensive alliances with the powers at war; that if their troops should invade his dominions, he would, therefore, in vindication of his neutrality, endeavour to repel them with all his forces, and those of his allies. He concluded with declaring, that he would rather sec the last tile of his palace fail, and his faithful subjects spill the last drop of their blood, than sacrifice the honour or the independence of his crown, and afford the ambitious princes, by his submission, a pretext for invading the sacred rights of neutrality.
In consequence of this magnanimous declaration, the ministers of Prance and Spain immediately left Lisbon, Their departure was soon followed by a joint denunciation of war against Portugal, in the name of their most christian and catholic majesties. The British government could not view with indifference the danger of their ally, who depended upon them for support; nor prudently avoid acttng with vigour in his defence. Ten thousand troops, together with arms,- ammunition, and provisions, were immediately sent over to Portugal.
By the help of these additional forces, the enterprizing valour of the Brilish officers, and the skilful conduct of the count de la Lippe, the Spaniards, who had passed the mountains in three divisions, taken several places, and confidently hoped soon to become masters of the whole kingdom; found themselves under the necessity of abandoning their conquests, and evacuating Portugal before the close of the campaign. -. •■ ''
This transaction bears a very great analogy to the present situation of Portugal, but it will be readily perceived, that there is now a prodigious difference between the characters of all the persons concerned at that epoch, and those of three of the leading parties who are implicated in the events of our times. Although there was no inconsiderable portion of the same ferocious, vindictive, and ambitious spirit in Lewis XV: which characterizes the usurper of his descendant's throne; yet, there is an immeasurable distance between the vices of a gentleman and the atrocities of a
* See the whole of the state papers which passed upon this subject, in the 5th, volume of the Annual Register, for 1 /02.
blackguard. Besides, the situation of Europe is as different now from what It was in the time of Lewis, and the policy of nations as thoroughly changed, as if aa inundation of barbarians had completely swept away every vestige of its ancient principles and former governments. Spam now exists only by sufferance, and is the tool of France, herself the supreme dictator of tlie continent. We know that Portugal has long been menaced, and that she has hitherto been spared only through some shew of respect for the Spanish connection, and the dread lest an invasion of her independence should throw her distant colonies into the arms of Great Britain. But it is very problematical whether the same forbearance will continue to operate, now that the absolute sovereignty of Europe, and the complete annihilation of our maritime power, are the things desired and avowed. To this consideration we may add, that the extraordinary accession of power which the continental tyrant has recently acquired, by the tergiversation and pusillanimity of Russia, will probably induce him to act as if Great Britain were reduced to extremity; and her relative condition so equivocal, that, far from being able to spare a force to take possession of the Brazils in the event of a French attack upon Portugal, it will be as much as she can do to preserve her own independence, by detaining all her forces within her watery confines. It is probable that the governor of France may reason after this manner. We know that he is never at a loss for a reason when he is about to commit injustice, or rather, I ought to say, that he is never at a loss for a reason after having committed it. He does not even condescend to excuse his devilish deeds upon the tyrant's plea; but avows, justifies, and glories in their perpetration. When it suited his convenience to incorporate Piedmont into his dominions, he assigned as a vindication of the measure "the necessity of existing circumstances, and its inability to support either the weight of its own independence, or the expenses,of a monarchy .'"* Who will deny, that this argument wiU not be applied to Portugal as well as to Piedmont ?f But some persons may flatter themselves with the hope, that the impending dangers of the Portuguese will rouse them from their long lethargic slumber, to call forth the latent energies of their country; and that the magnanimous rejection of the proposals of France and Spain, which are still within their recollection, and which a considerable part of their population has witnessed, will animate the councils of the prince Regent, with equal zeal, to maintain the independence of his country at present. But I fear, that persons who entertain this notion have not considered, that the energies of a nation can only be looked for from a people, every one of whom feels within himself a consciousness of the dignity of his nature; and that where this sentiment has long ceased to prevail, or has rarely been excited, these energies take a retrograde direction, and can only be revived by some great moral change in the habits of men.
We do not doubt the sincerity or the good wishes of the Portuguese, nor do we doubt their inclination to resist the demands of the enemy; but it is not from a people who have languished in a state of mediocrity without making any attempt to recover the great monuments of the capacity of their former kings and commanders, and the character of whose government is narrow and bigotted, that wc are to expect efforts correspondent with the embarassmenfs of their country. In such a war as the present, therefore, and such a government as that of France to contend against, it is right that we should be prepared to frustrate the schemes pf the enemy if possible; and if not, to take advantage of the opportunity which his injustice may afford to augment our own power and resources. As an appendage of 'ranee, Portugal must sink into absolute insignificance; she will be deprived of that commerce which has proved her only support; her European merchants, who may be considered in no other light than as intermediate agents or factors, between Great Britain and the Brazils, will be utterly ruined; the direct trade to. her American settlements will devolve upon our merchants; and thus, the encroachments of France, and the spread
* See his "View of the State of the Republic," February 22d, 1803.
-+ It is not at all improbable, that the time may have arrived when the services of Spain will be requited with the gift of Portugal, in consideration of the resignation of the queen of Etruria, whose kingdom may be incorporated into our kingdom of the iron crown.
of her pernicious system, will only tend to open new sources of commerce an J wealth to our country, without occasioning any extraordinary expense, and without causing one drop of British blood to flow; for, it will then become our duty to secure the exclusive commerce of that tract of fine sea-coast upon the Atlantic Ocean, which stretches above two thousand miles from the river of Amazons to the Rio de la Plata. It is here, that the principles advanced at such length, in the preceding article, may be successfully applied 5 and to avoid repetition, all parties agreeing upon the necessity of strengthening our bulwarks in proportion to the approaches of the enemy,' Jet us inquire how we should set to work upon so goodly and indispensable a measure.
It may be urged, that being bound by the most sacred ties of ancient alliance and friendship with Portugal, we ought not to count our gains upon her distresses, but generously to exert our whole force in her support. This is honest doctrine: but I hope it will be allowed, that we are bound by no moral or political obligation to expend our strength upon a nation which will not, or cannot, stir an inch in its own behalf. Let it also be recollected, that this bond of alliance has been scarcely reciprocal, as the balance of good hitherto derived from it, has uniformly been in favour of Portugal. During the last war, we sent her a protective force, which deterred the enemy from annihilating her independence, because the face of Europe then exhibited a very different appearance; but it would be more than could be expected from the most romantic friendship and valour, that the whole disposeahle force of this country should undertake the defence of Portugal against the combined armies of the whole continent; for such I may term the French and Spanish armies, since no power remains to overawe, or to create a diversion of the French force while engaged in the invasion and plunder of Portugal. If, therefore, the French ruler be determined to occupy Portugal, Portugal he will have, there being no human power that can prevent it. But, in this case, it follows as a,necessary-consequence', rhat if he make a breakfast of the body of this state, we ought to take instant measures to secure to ourselves a good substantial meal of its wings. Now the question is, how we are to proceed consistently with the regard we owe to our ally, to our own security, and his advantage ?: v :£ :c
In the first place, the necesssity of the case being clearly established, we should keep constantly before us the causes of our failure in Spanish America, and endeavour to . make that very circumstance serve as a beacon to us in our future course. Our occupation of Brazil must not, therefore, be contemplated until every other effort shall have been exhausted. We should begin with this business to-morrow; first, by sending a squadron directly into the Tagus to take possession of the Portuguese navy pclo amor de Deos e pelas almas, which, reduced into sterling, means " for the love of God and of the souls;" without which nothing is done in Portugal.* By the navy 1 do Dot mean the ships of war only, but the very large ships which are engaged' in the Portuguese navigation j for if the Corsican should invade Portugal, this description of vessels would be of the first importance, as they would serve to embark a large body of troops for Ireland, according to the French mode of packing up their bales of squalid flesh, while our attention would be occupied with diversions along the whole extent of coast from Rochefort to the Elbe. In the next place, our minister at the court of Portugal should be instructed to feel the pulse, and pry into the hearts of the leading persons, in order to ascertain what line they mean to adopt in the event of an invasion; whether they mean to resist to the last extremity, and expect succour from us ?—if not, whether they entertain thoughts of removing the seat of government to South America, which idea should be urged strenuously in case they talk of it, and put into their heads if they should not? On the other hand, should they resolve to succumb and "submit to the will of Heaven," as they will call their want of public spirit, then, in either of these cases, we shall see our way j for as the court of Portugal has no other alternative than the adoption of one
* Portugal, though a maritime power in ruins, possesses, nevertheless, about twelve ships of the line, and as many frigates. It is understood, that by taking possession, is meant a temporary deposit according to the noble and generous principle of our operations before .Copenhagen. The least resistance would of course occasion a second edition of the Copenhagen affair.
of them, our conduct will be governed by its decision. All this while, we should be actively engaged in collecting transports, and equipping a fleet for a long voyage.
When I have mentioned the term invasion, I would not be understood to mean a violent attack upon Portugal by Fiance and Spain, for the purpose of conquest, and the subversion of her independence for ever, but that insinuating mode of rendering the revenues, fleets, and forces of a state, subservient to the views which Buonaparte denominates, the occupation of a country, for tlie exclusion of the British. So that whether the French enter Portugal with or without the consent of the Prince Regent, is to us a matter of indifference; under our present circumstances we are bound t» consider such a measure as an attack upon ourselves and accordingly to treat it in that light. For whoever enters the territory of our ally with a view to exclude us from all intercourse with him, does in effect, constrain us to consider that ally as aa instrument forcibly appropriated by the foe for our injury; and therefore, though we maypity the oppressed condition of our ally, and abstain from inflicting any evil upon him, other than what may be necessarry for our own immediate preservation; yet, we are fully justified in making the greatest efforts to prevent his external resources from Contributing towards the views of the common enemy. Hence our taking possession of our ally's transmarine dominions, and intercepting the returns of their industry, would be an act of tender benevolence towards him, as it would prevent those resources from falling into the hands of the power who is the disturber of our mutual friendship, and intercourse. From this principle, it follows, that we are not to wait until the French army under Junot shall have presented itself on the banks of the Douoro, before we proceed to action; but the very instant our minister at the court of Lisbon receives intelligente that they have arrived at Fontarabia, We should strike.
In this case, we must do one of these three things; First, we must obtain a temporary lease, or rather a mortgage of the Brazils, Goa, and Macao,* from the Prince llegent of Portugal, to be considered as discharged the moment that peace, and the independence of his country shall be restored; which deed will be our warranty for occupying those countries in his name. Or, secondly, if his royal highness should* refuse to accede to this moderate proposal, the fleet and transports which will have been getting ready all this while, will sail directly to Brazil, having proper civil commissioners on board, with a detachment of engineers, geographers, and naturalist*. The force sent ought to be so powerful as to command respect; but not a soul should be suffered to land before the cause and necessity of the expedition should have been explained to the inhabitants. They should be left, if they so pleased, under their present government; but the public revenue, and the commerce, should belong to Britain exclusively for the time being, while we guaranteed their security and property. It is to be observed,: that irfsuggesting this arrangement, lam influenced by the events which have occurred in Spanish America. Although I be of opinion, that Portuguese America is not capable of making that resistance which their neighbours have displayed; I conceive it would not be adviseable to provoke it. Our interests would be better consulted, and their prejudices gratified, by a pacific nogociation, in which the interests of the two people would be arranged upon the most amicable footing. But if they should evince a disposition to reject our proffered protection, thus honourably extended to them, and only while their mother country is under the subjection or controul of a foreign power, it will then become necessary to resort tt measures of force; and, provided the command of the army be confided to a general who will be particular in ordering his troops to load before they go into battle, should fighting be necessary, and who will make a judicious disposition of them, we shall attain our object without much bloodshed. The points of attack, and plan of operations, I shall take the<liberty with greatdeference to submit to the public hereafter.
Lastly, should the prince of Brazil, upon the representation made to him of the state of vassalage to which he would be reduced while a French army occupied his iingdom, accede to our'proposal, which is not novel, but was seriously agitated and
* On our way to Brazil we should of course salute Madeira; and as to the -cttlecients on the coast of Africa, two or three small armed vessels Would suffice 'x> protect their trade.
meant to be put into execution, in the year 17<3'2, nothing then will remain for us to do, but to give every facility to this resolution. For, notwithstanding any appenrances to the contrary, notwithstanding any apparent relaxations of hostile preparations, we may rest assured that Buonaparte will not permit Portugal to rest quiet. It has been said, that it is his interest not to discompose her tranquillity, because France derives great advantages at present from the Poituguese trade. This fact I am not prepared to deny; but, those advantages will not be considered by the governor of France as adequate to counterbalance the intercourse between this country and Portugal. His object is to exclude every thing British from the continent by main force; and it is perfectly indifferent to him, what temporary inconvenience his subjects sustain, provided he can ultimately succeed in the accomplishment of his design. If this reasoning in favour of the forbearance of France be admitted in one instance, it ought to be so in every other similar case; and then, it would be extremely easy to shew, that it is the interest of France, and of its master too, to be at peace with England, leaving her in the undisturbed possession of her maritime power.
But, even upon the supposition that the sense of this interest should predominate over the mind of the French ruler; that the balance of trade between France and Portugal be in favour of die former; and that, consequently, he may feel disposed, on that account, to forbear from executing this part of his scheme; I maintain that this consideration alone would be a sufficient reason for inducing us to acquire the exclusive commerce of the Portuguese colonial settlements. While he is striving by every measure of violence, fraud, and circumvention, to destroy the commerce of Great Britain, which he well knows is the source of her strength and prosperity; surely, it is iucumbent upon her to exert every lerve to monopolize as much of it as she can undertake to manage, and to sieze every opportunity, as well as to pursue every method in her power, to exclude France from participating in the commerce of the rest of the world.
My limits do not permit me to enlarge any further upon this topic, but I shall return again and again to the charge; and 1 trust I shall hereafter exhibit the Brazils in such a light, as to make the people of this country not regret their defeat at Buenos Ayres, provided the former can be placed under the power, or direct influence of Great Britain. The abundant fertility, products, and conveniences, both for trade and navigation, which are to be found in Brazil, render it, at ouce, a station of envy and security.
WAR WITH DENMARK.
The most arduous and unpleasant undertaking, in which tin's country has ever been engaged, has been brought to an honourable"' termination; but for an adequate account of the whole transaction, I must refer my Venders to the next number, as the mass of matter now actually printed, is more than sullicient for the three following numbers.
MANIFESTO, OF HIS EXCELLENCY THE VICEROY OF PERU, ON THE CAPTt'EE OF BUENOS AYKF.S BY THE ENGLISH. (fkom THE PERUVIAN MINERVA.)
"Although I am convinced the perusal of the three proclamations, published at the city of Buenos Ayres by the English general Beresford, must have filled with indignation, the breasts of all his majesty's loyal subjects, and particularly of those who e;ijoy the happiness of inhabiting this metropolis, so much favoured and distinguished by our sovereigns; yet I cannot refrain from indulging myself in pointing out to my countrymen, the venom, hidden under the hypocritical professions of the enemy, therein contained; for which purpose, without recurring to any other arguments, I shall confine myself solely to a retrospect of the recent atrocious conduct observed by that nation in every quarter of the globe. Years after years, have set in and passed, during which all Europe lias witnessed the English government using every means it can invent, for cementing and propagating its detestable tyranny, availing itself of every circumstance favouring such a purpose; stooping to practice the mast vile and infamous, setting aside the most sacred principles of the rights of man, and trampling upon all the usages and customs, for many ages universally received and observed amongst civilized nations. Far from proceeding, either in carrying on war or negotiating peace, with that noble frankness and good faivS, **