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Sovereigns, their declarations already afforded sufficient evidence; but that a system of action had been grounded on them, that it had been proposed to His Majesty for his concurrence, and that its ulterior objects and the details necessary to carry it into execution, were actually in a train of negociation and settlement, was a discovery, wholly unexpected, and could not fail of exciting suspicion and alarm. What the projects may be, is still unexplained to us. All we know is, that they are supported by three powerful Monarchs, having at their disposal more than a million of men in arms, and who avow their determination to consider no Peace as valid any longer than it shall provide for the maintenance of their pretended Rights. Doubtless it were unworthy the dignity of Great Britain to notice the slights of these Powers; still more so to alarm herself at their menaces; nevertheless, she cannot in prudence wholly dismiss from her consideration projects that bear a character of hostility to her laws and constitution. It is not enough that we have not acceded to them. It is fit that we know what are these measures in direct repugnance to our fundamental laws," in order that security may forthwith be taken against their being directed to the destruction of those laws. It is fit also that we know how far they may be calculated to affect the Independence of the smaller states. Under the ancient system of our foreign Policy, we should have a right to such explanations: it is our duty to call for them now, when a totally new scheme of relations has been established for the European community, not grounded, as formerly, on a just balance of territory among its Princes, but on a balance of monarchical pretensions against popular rights.
But if these considerations render it fit that we should obtain a more clear knowledge of the projects thus announced, it is become the more so from the scope and tenor of the Downing-Street Circular. On the face of this document it appears that the foundation of these projects had been laid at the settlement of the Peace in 1815, and that in the judgment of the Sovereigns, the system on which they were built, and the principles on which it is now proposed to enforce them, had obtained the sanction of the British Government. The belief of the Sovereigns in this sanction is confirmed by a Memorial officially communicated in December last, by their several Ministers to the Senate of Hamburgh. The allegations coutained in that communication have never been retracted; on the contrary, the Manifesto of the Court of Vienna expressly declares, that although " particular reasons, and weighty 1 Austrian Declaration.
"On vous traitera comme une nation pestiferèe" was the punishment denounc ed against us by a foreign Minister of high rank, on being told by an English gentleman that the People of England disclaimed the schemes of the Holy
3 Hamburgh Note,
considerations, induce the British Government not to take part in the resolutions of the other Cabinets, no difference of position, or action, between the Powers of Europe, would give rise to any difference as to the basis of their alliance, and as to the general uniformity of principles and VIEWS."I
These are serious assertions; they convey a charge against the good faith and honor of Great Britain, which it is highly necessary to repel by proof. His Majesty's Ministers, it is true, declare that they have uniformly expressed their dissent from the construction put by the Sovereigns on the several treaties; that they regard the principles on which these measures (the projects proposed to them) rest, to be such as could not be safely admitted as a System of international Law; and that their adoption would sanction more extensive interference in the internal transactions of states, than can be reconcileable with the authority or dignity of independent Sovereigns." On the other hand, the allegation of the Allies derives but too much support from the nature of the alliance itself, and from its unanimously admitted objects. The union of Sovereigns, to which Great Britain had become a party, was, in the very terms of the compact itself, to be the "pledge" for the future peace of Europe.3 The basis of that union is declared by them to be THE RIGHTS OF THRONES; and the peace resulting from it, and of which it is thus pronounced to be the pledge, is further declared by them" to have neither value nor durability" except in company with those Rights. But certainly the Rights of Thrones, in the sense entertained and promulgated by the Sovereigns, and not controverted by the British Government at the time of negociating the several treaties, have been contravened in the case of the Neapolitan Revolution. The confederates, therefore, have some apparent cause of complaint against the British Government, for now declaring to the world that the principles on which they are proceeding for the re-establishment of those Rights are "inadmissible into any system of international law, and incompatible with the authority or dignity of independent Sovereigns."
It is deeply to be regretted that His Majesty's Ministers should have declined producing more satisfactory evidence of the uniformity and perspicuity of their explanations with the Allies, with regard to their common engagements. They would then have cleared the good faith of Great Britain from the imputation which now rests upon it. They would not appear to be retreating from their solemn engagements, after having for six years given reason to believe that on the great foundations of the Europeau system, and on the principles which had presided over "all their common
relations and interests, and the RIGHTS resulting from their several treaties," no difference of opinion had at any time existed. Interests so vast ought not to be suffered to rest on ambiguous generalities. The "extreme principle" contended for by the Sovereigns, "of suppressing all revolutions, without enquiry into their necessity," ought to have been officially disavowed by His Majesty's Government; and the mere fact of a fundamental change effected by a people in their institutions with the sole intent of improving their internal condition, ought to have been expressly denied to be a casus fœderis.
That His Majesty's Government, even in its amended interpretation of the Treaties, was not much at variance with the combined Sovereigns in regard to the extent to which they carried the right of interference, would likewise appear from the note presented by Sir W. A'Court to the Neapolitan Government, in answer to its demand of explanation as to the presence of a British squadron in the Bay of Naples. The British Envoy in that note professes, that "his Government will interfere in no way IN THE AFFAIRS" of the country, "unless such interference should be rendered indispensable by any personal insults or danger to which the Royal Family may be exposed." It is hence clear that a possible affront to a Sovereign from his subjects is considered by His Majesty's Ministers as a just ground for sending an armament against them; and the affront itself (of which the local resident Envoy is of necessity the sole judge) a just ground for making war upon them. They do not limit the operations of their armed force to the protection of the person of the Monarch; they extend it to an interference with "the affairs," or in other words, with the Laws and Constitution of the offending People. Into the prudence of this measure we do not for the present enquire as little into the precipitation with which it appears to have been abandoned, at the only moment at which it could be of any effect: it is enough that the principle here announced as a ground for interference, differs in nothing from the principles uniformly avowed by the three Sovereigns, from the very beginning of their union-differs in nothing from that which constitutes, in their view, the basis of those "RIGHTS OF THRONES, without which external peace itself can have neither value nor duration.”
Yet in spite of these various causes for mistrust, in contradiction to all the declarations of the allied Cabinets, with regard to the concurrence of that of His Majesty in their "principles and views," we feel it our duty, as loyal subjects to His Majesty, to accept the
Protocol, &c. 1818.
2 Lord Liverpool's speech on Lord Grey's motion, 20th February, 1821. 3 Note of Sir Wm. A'Court to the Duke of Gallo, Feb. 11, 1821.
disavowal of those who represent him, and to take their assurances for our guide in this impending crisis. It is to these alone that we can look for the foundation of a system of precautionary vigilance commensurate to its danger. The consolidation of the continental union on the principles put forth by Russia in her Circular on the affairs of Spain, by Prussia in her Official State Gazette, and by Austria in her Declaration on carrying her arms into Italy, leaves no choice to England as to the course befitting her to pursue, The determination of the Sovereigns to put down all revolutions without enquiring into their necessity, calls peculiarly for resistance from Us, the English People, who were driven, by necessity, to save our laws and liberties through Revolution. The union of arbitrary Sovereigns must be counteracted by a union among all States which have made their own Constitutions. This must be begun, and effected, under the auspices of England. All representative Governments ought to be invited to accede to it. It is not enough that amicable relations actually exist among the States which have adopted that system. Special conventions, with direct reference to the matters which the three allied Sovereigns have now brought to an issue between themselves and every free People, ought forthwith to be negociated. Such conventions would, in their nature, be purely defensive. The nations adopting them would respect the institutions of all other States, even the most opposed to their own. They would defend to the last extremity, and with the whole force of the confederacy, those which they had given to themselves.
The materials for such a union are not wanting in Europe. Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal, the representative Governments of Sweden, the Netherlands, Hanover, Bavaria, Würtemberg, Baden, and the Republic of Switzerland, would be more than equal to the establishment of a Conservative System, which should prescribe limits to the pretensions of " the monarchical principle," as now about to be enforced by the three military Sovereigns.
The concurrence of France in a system grounded on such a basis, could not long be delayed. Without entering into speculative considerations as to the royal or popular origin of her existing institutions, France must be aware that the stability of her internal peace is, beyond that of any other State, dependent on that of the Continent. She must be aware that without war, the Allies can never execute their projects; and that without continuing nearly in a state of war, they cannot maintain them. She must know that no war can break out in Europe, and be continued for long on any possible subject of controversy, without assuming, sooner or later, a revolutionary character; and that although under her
present Sovereign, there might be reason to hope that the horrors of her first revolution would not be renewed, the existence of such a war in any part of Europe could not but be eminently dangerous to the tranquillity of a country still so much in need of moderate and healing councils.
Neither can the possible, and even necessary changes in the territorial limits of the three Sovereigns, be less matter of alarm to France, as affecting her just station in Europe. The new monarchical principle, using war as its means, must require indemnification for the expenses of war. It must take securities against future resistance. Demands of this nature can only be answered by a surrender in trust of the revenues and fortresses of the conquered state. The continued possession of these by one great power requires some counterbalancing advantages for the others. If Austria extend her trust in Italy, Russia must be permitted to do the same on the side of Poland or the Turkish provinces on the Danube; and Prussia must not be forgotten in arrangements which destroy. the comparative balance between her and her rival. All these claims must be satisfied out of the possessions of the smaller states; three of which have already been declared guilty of Revolution by the Congress of Carlsbad. It is for France to consider whether she will find a better security for her present institutions, and for her consideration in Europe, in the extension of "the monarchical principle" by these means, than by an open alliance with Great Britain and the other free Governments, for the express purpose of defending them.
The Sardinian Monarch must see, in the establishment of the "Rights of Thrones" by Austrian armies in Italy, the unlimited aggrandisement of her political power. He cannot forget that the first step of Austria towards the execution of her present designs on Naples was, to require him to admit her garrisons into his fortresses. He must feel that while Austria is exercising a settled, habitual, military influence over the two Sicilies, her ne cessary communications with Lombardy must annihilate the Papal sovereignty; and that when, by a no very distant contingency, she shall have annexed Bologna and the Marches to her own dominions, leaving nothing in Italy that is not Austrian except himself, there will be no safety for him unless he have already joined the free union of Europe.
The States of the New World must rejoice in a confederacy which would secure them from all molestation from the Old, in regard to their settling by themselves their scheme of government. They cannot but be aware that the "monarchical principle" has
'Bavaria, Würtemberg, and Baden.