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those who desired to plunge this country into the now reposing on their shadows in perfect stillness difficulties of war, partly from the hope that those -how soon, upon any call of patriotism, or of difficulties would overwhelm the administration; necessity, it would assume the likeness of an ani. but it would be most unjust not to admit that mated thing, instinct with life and motion-how there were others who were actuated by nobler soon it would ruffle, as it were, its swelling planprinciples and more generous feelings, who would age-how quickly it would put forth all its beauty have rushed forward at once from the sense of and its bravery, collect its scattered elements of indignation at aggression, and who deemed that strength, and awaken its dormant thunder. Suck no act of injustice could be perpetrated from one as is one of these magnificent machines when end of the universe to the other, but that the springing from inaction into a display of its sword of Great Britain should leap from its scab- might—such is England herself, while, apparentbard to avenge it. But as it is the province of ly passive and motionless, she silently concentrates law to control the excess even of laudable pas- the power to be put forth on an adequate occasion." sions and propensities in individuals, so it is the But God forbid that that occasion should arise. duty of government to restrain within due bounds After a war sustained for near a quarter of a centhe ebullition of national sentiment, and to regu- tury--sometimes single-handed, and with all Eulate the course and direction of impulses which it rope arranged at times against her, or at her side, can not blame. Is there any one among the latter England needs a period of tranquillity, and may class of persons described by my honorable friend enjoy it without fear of misconstruction. Long (for to the former I have nothing to say) who con- may we be enabled, gentlemen, to improve the tinues to doubt whether the government did wise- blessings of our present situation, to cultivate the ly in declining to obey the precipitate enthusiasm arts of peace, to give to commerce, now revis. which prevailed at the commencement of the ing, greater extension, and new spheres of emcontest in Spain ?? Is there any body who does ployment, and to confirm the prosperity now not now think that it was the office of govern- generally diffused throughout this island. Of ment to examine more closely all the various the blessing of peace, gentlemen, I trust that bearings of so complicated a question, to consider this borough, with which I have now the honor whether they were called upon to assist a united and happiness of being associated, will receive nation, or to plunge themselves into the internal an ample share. I trust the time is not far disfeuds by which that nation was divided—to aid tant, when that noble structure of which, as I in repelling a foreign invader, or to take part in learn from your Recorder, the box with which a civil war? Is there any man that does not now you have honored me, through his hands, formed see what would have been the extent of burdens a part, that gigantic barrier against the fury of that would have been cast upon this country ? the waves that roll into your harbor, will protect Is there any one who does not acknowledge that, a commercial marine not less considerable in its under such circumstances the enterprise would kind than the warlike marine of which your port have been one to be characterized only by a term has been long so distinguished an asylum, when borrowed from that part of the Spanish literature the town of Plymouth will participate in the comwith which we are most familiar-Quixotic; an mercial prosperity as largely as it has hitherto enterprise romantic in its origin, and thankless done in the naval glories of England. in the end ? But while we thus control even our feelings
It will interest the reader to compare this pas by our duty, let it not be said that we sage with one conceived in the same spirit by the
cultivate peace either because we fear, poet Campbell, on the launching of a ship of the line. being ready or because we are unprepared for war; of the launching of a ship of the line will perhaps
“Those who have ever witnessed the spectacle on the contrary, if eight months ago the forgive me for adding this to the examples of the government did not hesitate to proclaim that the sublime objects of artificial life. or that spectacle country was prepared for war, if war should be I can never forget the impression, and of having witunfortunately necessary, every month of peace nessed it reflected from the faces of ten thousand that has since passed has but made us so much spectators. They seem yet before me-I sympathize the more capable of exertion. The resources with their deep and silent expectation, and with created by peace are means of war. In cher. their final burst of enthusiasm. It was not a valgar ishing those resources, we but accumulate those joy, but an affecting national solemnity. When the
peace should be
vast bulwark sprang from her cradle, the calm water Our present repose is no more a proof
on which she swung majestically round, gave the im of inability to act, than the state of inertness and agination a contrast of the stormy element on which inactivity in which I have seen those mighty masses she was soon to ride. All the days of battle, and that float in the waters above your town, is a proof the nights of danger which she bad to encounterthat they are devoid of strength, and incapable of all the ends of the earth which she had to visit and being fitted out for action. You well know, gen- all that she had to do and to suffer for her country, tlemen, how soon one of those stupendous masses, rose in awful presentiment before the mind; and
when the heart gave her a benediction, it was like 1 See this subject explained in the introduction to one pronounced on a living being.”—Essay on Es Mr. Brougham's speech respecting it, page 904, glish Poetry.
OF MR. CANNING ON AFFORDING AID TO PORTUGAL WHEN INVADED FROM SPAIN, DELIVERED
IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, DECEMBER 12, 1826.
INTRODUCTION. ENGLAND had been for nearly two centuries the ally and protector of Portugal, and was bound to defend her when attacked.
In 1826, a body of absolutists, headed by the Queen Dowager and the Marquess of Chaves, attempted to destroy the existing Portuguese government, which had been founded on the basis of constitutional liberty. This government had been acknowledged by England, France, Austria, and Russia. It was, however, obnoxious to Ferdinand, king of Spain ; and Portugal was invaded from the Spanish territory by large bodies of Portuguese absolutists, who had been there organized with the connivance, if not the direct aid, of the Spanish government.
The Portuguese government now demanded the assistance of England. Five thousand troops were, therefore, instantly ordered to Lisbon, and Mr. Canning came forward in this speech to explain the reasons of his prompt intervention. "This," says his biographer, " is the master-piece of his eloquence. In propriety and force of diction-in excellence of appropriate and well-methodized arrangement-in elevation of style and sentiment; and in all the vigorous qualities of genuine manly eloquence- boldness-judgment -firmness, it fully sustains its title to the high eulogy given it by Mr. Brougham at the close of the debate."
SPEECH, &c. Mr. SPEAKER, -—In proposing to the House of ed. These causes are, adherence to the national Design of the Commons to acknowledge, by an hum- faith, and regard for the national honor.
ble and dutiful address, his Majesty's Sir, if I did not consider both these causes as most gracious message, and to reply to it in terms involved in the proposition which I which will be, in effect, an echo of the sentiments have this day to make to you, I should faith and honor and a fulfillment of the anticipations of that mes- not address the House, as I now do, proposed meassage, I feel that, however confident I may be in in the fall and entire confidence that ares. the justice, and however clear as to the policy the gracious communication of his Majesty will of the measures therein announced, it becomes be met by the House with the concurrence of me, as a British minister, recommending to Par- which his Majesty has declared his expectation. liament any step which may approximate this In order to bring the matter which I have to country even to the hazard of a war, while I ex- submit to you, under the cognizance of Part First, plain the grounds of that proposal, to accompany the House, in the shortest and clearest Treaty obli. my explanation with expressions of regret. manner, I beg leave to state it, in the Portugal.
I can assure the House, that there is not with first instance, divested of any collateral considerHigh sense en: in its walls any set of men more deep- ations. It is a case of law and of fact : of naimportance the ly convinced than his Majesty's min- tional law on the one hand, and of notorious fact
isters-nor any individual more inti- on the other ; such as it must be, in my opinion, mately persuaded than he who has now the hon- as impossible for Parliament, as it was for the or of addressing you—of the vital importance of government, to regard in any but one light; or the continuance of peace to this country and to to come to any but one conclusion upon it. the world. So strongly am I impressed with this Among the alliances by which, at different opinion—and for reasons of which I will put the periods of our history, this country has House more fully in possession before I sit down been connected with the other nations of those obli--that I declare there is no question of doubtful of Europe, none is so ancient in origin, or controverted policy—no opportunity of present and so precise in obligation—none has continued national advantage—no precaution against re- so long, and been observed so faithfully—of none mote difficulty—which I would not gladly com- is the memory so intimately interwoven with the promise, pass over, or adjourn, rather than call most brilliant records of our triumphs, as that by on Parliament to sanction, at this moment, any which Great Britain is connected with Portugal. measure which had a tendency to involve the It dates back to distant centuries; it has survived country in war. But, at the same time, sir, I an endless variety of fortunes. Anterior in exfeel that which has been felt, in the best times istence to the accession of the house of Braganza of English history, by the best statesmen of this to the throne of Portugal—it derived, however, country, and by the Parliaments by whom those fresh vigor from that event; and never, from that statesmen were supported—I feel that there are epoch to the present hour, has the independent two causes, and but two causes, which can not monarchy of Portugal ceased to be nurtured by be either compromised, passed over, or adjourn- the friendship of Great Britain. This alliance
felt that they ought to be broken ofl.
has never been seriously interrupted; but it has | Portugal. That convention, I say, was conterabeen renewed by repeated sanctions. It has poraneous with the migration to the Brazils; a been maintained under difficulties by which the step of great importance at the time, as remov. fidelity of other alliances were shaken, and has ing from the grasp of Bonaparte the sovereign been vindicated in fields of blood and of glory. family of Braganza. Afterward, in the year
That the alliance with Portugal has been al. 1810, when the seat of the King of Portugal's No one has ever ways unqualifiedly advantageous to government was established at Rio de Janeiro,
this country—that it has not been and when it seemed probable, in the then appar
sometimes inconvenient and some ently hopeless condition of the affairs of Europe, times burdensome,I am not bound nor prepared that it was likely long to continue there, the seto maintain. But no British statesman, so far as cret convention of 1807, of which the main obI know, has ever suggested the expediency of ject was accomplished by the fact of the emigrashaking it off; and it is assuredly not at a mo- tion to Brazil, was abrogated, and a new and pubment of need that honor and, what I may be al- lic treaty was concluded, into which was translowed to call national sympathy, would permit ferred the stipulation of 1807, binding Great us to weigh, with an over-scrupulous exactness, Britain, so long as bis faithful Majesty should the amount of difficulties and dangers attendant be compelled to reside in Brazil, not to acknowlupon its faithful and steadfast observance. What edge any other sovereign of Portugal than a feelings of national honor would forbid, is for- member of the house of Braganza. That stipbidden alike by the plain dictates of national ulation which had hitherto been secret, thus befaith.
came patent, and part of the known lax of na. It is not at distant periods of history, and in tions. Solemnly re
by-gone ages only, that the traces of In the year 1814, in consequence of the hapnewed in 1813. the union between Great Britain and py conclusion of the war, the option was afford. Portugal are to be found. In the last compact ed to the King of Portugal of returning to his of modern Europe, the compact which forms the European dominions. It was then felt that, as basis of its present international law-I mean the the necessity of his most faithful Majesty's abtreaty of Vienna of 1815—this country, with its sence from Portugal had ceased, the ground for eyes open to the possible inconveniences of the the obligation originally contracted in the secret connection, but with a memory awake to its past convention of 1807, and afterward transferred to benefits, solemnly renewed the previously exist-the patent treaty of 1810, was removed. The ing obligations of alliance and amity with Portu- treaty of 1810 was, therefore, annulled at the gal. I will take leave to read to the House the Congress of Vienna ; and in lieu of the stipulathird article of the treaty concluded at Vienna, tion not to acknowledge any other sovereign of in 1815, between Great Britain on the one hand, Portugal than a member of the house of Braand Portugal on the other. It is couched in the ganza, was substituted that which I have just following terms: "The treaty of Alliance, con- read to the House. cluded at Rio de Janeiro, on the 19th of Febru- Annulling the treaty of 1810, the treaty of ary, 1810, being founded on circumstances of a Vienna renews and confirms (as the House will temporary nature, which have happily ceased to have seen) all former treaties between Great exist, the said treaty is hereby declared to be Britain and Portugal, describing them as *anvoid in all its parts, and of no effect; without cient treaties of alliance, friendship, and guarasprejudice, however, to the ancient treaties of alli- tee;" as having “ long and happily subsisted beance, friendship, and guarantee, which have so tween the two Crowns ;" and as being allowed, long and so happily subsisted between the two by the two high contracting parties, to remain Crowns, and which are hereby renewed by the "in full force and effect.” high contracting parties, and acknowledged to be What, then, is the force—what is the effect of of full force and effect."
those ancient treaties? In order to appreciate the force of this stipu- pared to show to the House what it sot by this bar lation-recent in point of time, re- is. But before I do so, I must say, treators to pero
tect Portugal connected with cent, also, in the sanction of Parlia- that if all the treaties to which this
ment—the House will, perhaps, al- article of the treaty of Vienna refers, had perished low me to explain shortly the circumstances in by some convulsion of nature, or had by some exreference to which it was contracted. In the traordinary accident been consigned to total obyear 1807, when, upon the declaration of Bona- livion, still it would be impossible not to admit, as parte, that the house of Braganza had ceased to an incontestible inference from this article of the reign, the King of Portugal, by the advice of treaty of Vienna alone, that in a moral point of Great Britain, was induced to set sail for the view, there is incumbent on Great Britain, a deBrazils; almost at the very moment of his most cided obligation to act as the effectual defender faithful Majesty's embarkation, a secret conven- of Portugal. If I could not show the letter of a tion was signed between his Majesty and the single antecedent stipulation, I should still couKing of Portugal, stipulating that, in the event tend that a solemn admission, only ten years old, of his most faithful Majesty's establishing the of the existence at that time of "treaties of alseat of his government in Brazil, Great Britain liance, friendship, and guarantee," held Great would never acknowledge any other dynasty than Britain to the discharge of the obligations which that of the house of Braganza on the throne of that very description implies. But fortunately
I am pre- England brand.
there is no such difficulty in specifying the na- of the treaties which I have quoted, it is possible ture of those obligations. All of the preceding to raise a question—whether variatreaties exist—all of them are of easy reference tion of circumstances or change of sion of these —all of them are known to this country, to times may not have somewhat relaxSpain, to every nation of the civilized world. ed its obligations. The treaty of 1661, it might They are so numerous, and their general result be said, was so loose and prodigal in the wordis so uniform, that it may be sufficient to selecting--it is so unreasonable, so wholly out of naonly two of them to show the nature of all. ture, that any one country should be expected to
The first to which I shall advert is the treaty defend another, even as itself ;" such stipulaBy treaty of 1661, which was concluded at the tions are of so exaggerated a character, as to re
time of the marriage of Charles the Sec- semble effusions of feeling, rather than enunciaond with the Infanta of Portugal. After reciting tions of deliberate compact. Again, with re. the marriage, and making over to Great Britain, spect to the treaty of 1703, if the case rested on in consequence of that marriage, first, a consid- that treaty alone, a question might be raised, erable sum of money, and, secondly, several im- whether or not, when one of the contracting parportant places, some of which, as Tangier, we no ties-Holland—had since so changed her relalonger possess; but others of which, as Bombay, tions with Portugal, as to consider her obligations still belong to this country, the treaty runs thus : under the treaty of 1703 as obsolete—whether “In consideration of all which grants, so much to or not, I say, under such circumstances, the obthe benefit of the King of Great Britain and his ligation on the remaining party be not likewise subjects in general, and of the delivery of those void. I should not hesitate to answer both these important places to his said Majesty and his heirs objections in the negative. But without enterforever, &c., the King of Great Britain does pro- ing into such a controversy, it is sufficient for me fess and declare, with the consent and advice of to say that the time and place for taking such obhis council, that he will take the interest of Port-jections was at the Congress at Vienna. Then ugal and all its dominions to heart, defending the and there it was that if you, indeed, considered same with his utmost power by sea and land, these treaties as obsolete, you ought frankly and even as England itself ;" and it then proceeds to fearlessly to have declared them to be so. But specify the succors to be sent, and the manner of then and there, with your eyes open, and in the sending them.
face of all modern Europe, you proclaimed anew I come next to the treaty of 1703, a treaty of the ancient treaties of alliance, friendship, and By treaty alliance cotemporaneous with the Me- guarantee, “so long subsisting between the
thuen treaty, which has regulated, for up- Crowns of Great Britain and Portugal," as still ward of a century, the commercial relations of " acknowledged by Great Britain," and still "of the two countries. The treaty of 1703 was a full force and effect.” It is not, however, on spetripartite engagement between the States Gen. cific articles alone—it is not so much, General ineral of Holland, England, and Portugal. The perhaps, on either of these ancient treat- ference is to second article of that treaty sets forth, that “If ies, taken separately, as it is on the spir- gations. ever it shall happen that the Kings of Spain and it and understanding of the whole body of treatFrance, either the present or the future, that both ies, of which the essence is concentrated and preof them together, or either of them separately, served in the treaty of Vienna, that we acknowlshall make war, or give occasion to suspect that edge in Portugal a right to look to Great Britain they intend to make war upon the kingdom of as her ally and defender. Portugal, either on the continent of Europe, or on This, sir, being the state, morally and politits dominions beyond the seas; her Majesty the ically, of our obligations toward Port- Part Second. Queen of Great Britain, and the Lords the States ugal, it is obvious that when Portugal, General, shall use their friendly offices with the in apprehension of the coming storm, manded. said Kings, or either of them, in order to persuade called on Great Britain for assistance, the only them to observe the terms of peace toward Port- hesitation on our part could be—not whether that ugal, and not to make war upon it." The third assistance was due, supposing the occasion for article declares, “That in the event of these good demanding it to arise, but simply whether that offices not proving successful, but altogether in occasion—in other words, whether the casus fæeffectual, so that war should be made by the deris had arisen. aforesaid Kings, or by either of them upon Port- I understand, indeed, that in some quarters it ugal, the above-mentioned powers of Great Brit- has been imputed to his Majesty's Answer to the ain and Holland shall make war with all their ministers that an extraordinary delay force upon the aforesaid Kings or King who shall intervened between the taking of the end en metode carry hostile arms into Portugal; and toward determination to give assistance to slowly. that war which shall be carried on in Europe, Portugal and the carrying of that determination they shall supply twelve thousand men, whom into effect. But how stands the fact ? On Sunthey shall arm and pay, as well when in quarters day, the third of this month, we received from the as in action ; and the said high allies shall be Portuguese embassador a direct and formal deobliged to keep that number of men complete, mand of assistance against a hostile aggression by recruiting it from time to time at their own from Spain. Our answer was, that although expense.”
rumors had reached us through France, his MajI am aware, indeed, that with respect to either esty's government had not that accurate inform
This protec tion now de
objections of some that the to act on.
ation—that official and precise intelligence of Chambers an extension of power for the execufacts--on which they could properly found an ap- tive government, and the permission to apply for plication to Parliament. It was only on last Fri- foreign succors, in virtue of ancient treaties, in day night that this precise information arrived. the event of their being deemed necessary. The On Saturday his Majesty's confidential servants deputies gave the requisite authority by acelacame to a decision. On Sunday that decision mation; and an equally good spirit was manireceived the sanction of his Majesty. On Mon- fested by the peers, who granted every power day it was communicated to both Houses of Par- that the ministers could possibly require. They liament; and this day, sir, at the hour in which even went further, and, rising in a body from their I have the honor of addressing you, the troops seats, declared their devotion to their country, are on their march for embarkation.
and their readiness to give their personal serv. I trust, then, sir, that no unseemly delay is im- ices, if necessary, to repel any hostile invasion, They were bound putable to government. But un- The Duke de Cadaval, president of the Chamber, to have evidence doubtedly, on the other hand, when was the first to make this declaration; and the
the claim of Portugal for assistance minister who described this proceeding to me, -a claim clear, indeed, in justice, but at the said it was a movement worthy of the good days same time fearfully spreading in its possible con- of Portugal !” sequences, came before us, it was the duty of his I have thus incidentally disposed of the supMajesty's government to do nothing on hearsay. posed imputation of delay in comply- Proof that the The eventual force of the claim was admitted; ing with the requisition of the Portu- Eterpentine or but a thorough knowledge of facts was necessa- guese government. The main ques. Beded. ry before the compliance with that claim could tion, however, is this : Was it obligatory apon as be granted. The government here labored un- to comply with that requisition? In other words, der some disadvantage. The rumors which had the casus fæderis arisen? In our opinion it reached us through Madrid were obviously dis- had. Bands of Portuguese rebels, armed, equiptorted, to answer partial political purposes; and ped, and trained in Spain, bad crossed the Spanthe intelligence through the press of France, ish frontier, carrying terror and devastation into though substantially correct, was, in particulars, their own country, and proclaiming sometimes vague and contradictory. A measure of grave the brother of the reigning Sovereign of Portuand serious moment could never be founded on gal, sometimes a Spanish Princess, and somesuch authority; nor could the ministers come times even Ferdinand of Spain, as the rightful down to Parliament until they had a confident occupant of the Portuguese throne. These reb. assurance that the case which they had to lay els crossed the frontier, not at one point only, before the Legislature was true in all its parts. but at several points; for it is remarkable that But there was another reason which induced the aggression, on which the original application
a necessary caution. In former in- to Great Britain for succor was founded, is not delayed by the stances, when Portugal applied to the aggression with reference to which that ap
this country for assistance, the whole plication has been complied with. government.
power of the state in Portugal was The attack announced by the French newspavested in the person of the monarch. The ex- pers was on the north of Portugal, in pression of his wish, the manifestation of his de- the province of Tras-os-Montes; an vaded tre sire, the putting forth of his claim, was sufficient official account of which has been re- ferent quar ground for immediate and decisive action on the ceived by his Majesty's government part of Great Britain, supposing the casus fæde- only this day. But on Friday an account was ris to be made out. But, on this occasion, in- received of an invasion in the south of Portugal, quiry was in the first place to be made whether, and of the capture of Villa Viciosa, a town lying according to the new Constitution of Portugal, on the road from the southern frontier to Lisbon. the call upon Great Britain was made with the This new fact established even more satisfactoconsent of all the powers and authorities compe- rily than a mere confirmation of the attack first tent to make it, so as to carry with it an assur-complained of would have done, the systematie ance of that reception in Portugal for our army, nature of the aggression of Spain against Portawhich the army of a friend and ally had a right to gal. One hostile irruption might have been made expect. Before a British soldier should put his by some single corps escaping from their quar. foot on Portuguese ground, nay, before he should ters-by some body of stragglers, who might leave the shores of England, it was our duty to have evaded the vigilance of Spanish authorities; ascertain that the step taken by the Regency of and one such accidental and unconnected act of Portugal was taken with the cordial concurrence violence might not have been conclusive evidence of the Legislature of that country. It was but of cognizance and design on the part of those anthis morning that we received intelligence of the thorities; but when a series of attacks are made proceedings of the Chambers at Lisbon, which along the whole line of a frontier, it is difficult establishes the fact of such concurrence. This to deny that such multiplied instances of hostiliintelligence is coutained in a dispatch from Sir ty are evidence of concerted aggression. W. A'Court, dated 29th of November, of which If a single company of Spanish soldiers bad I will read an extract to the House. “The day crossed the frontier in hostile array, the resica u after the news arrived of the entry of the rebels there could not, it is presumed, be a spanista ce* * into Portugal. the ministers demanded from the doubt as to the charaoter of that in