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They received and encouraged invitations from that faction to retain their armies in France beyond the term stipulated by treaty for its evacuation, and even to enter again upon its territory; and in a recent instance they assumed the direction of the councils of that kingdom, by demanding such alterations in its fundamental laws as might assimilate its government more to the MONARCHICAL PRINCIPLE as by them defined, declaring that under the laws which then regulated the construction of its representative assembly, there could be no safety for the Sovereigns.
Under pretence of alarm from noxious sects and societies, they have procured from the Diet of the German Confederation a set of the most arbitrary decrees,' affecting the state of society and civilisation throughout all Germany at its very source. They have drawn within the action of their own power and influence, the whole scheme of education in that country; appointing every where commissioners to reside at its universities and seats of learning, with power to examine into and report, not the acts only, but even the dispositions, of the several professors and students; who on such report, are made liable to civil incapacities affecting their future means of subsistence. They have subjected the Press to a rigid censorship. They have established in the centre of Germany a committee of federal inquisition, to take cognisance of offences proceeding from a pretended conspiracy, which they are pleased to impute to all mankind against their lawful rulers. And they have compelled those States of the Confederation whose chiefs had given constitutions to their subjects without previously consulting their sovereign pleasure, to adopt those decrees, under pain of separation from the union.
PROCEEDINGS of this nature were well calculated to awaken the fears of all people living under governments of their own creation and choice. They became more alarming from the conduct and language of one of the principal Sovereigns, on the notification made to him, by the Spanish minister resident at his court, of the Revolution of Spain. Deceived in their hopes, and wearied out by severities, the people of that country took up arms for the recovery of their Constitution. The first measure of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia, on hearing it, was to declare this act of the Spanish nation to be an "aggression which nothing could justify;' to tell them that "all Europe was about to speak in one unanimous voice to the Spanish government" in the same language; that the institutions they had adopted were "imposed on their Sovereign by one of those violent acts, the fatal patrimony of the French Revolution ;" and that the nature of the relations which he
Acts of the Confederation at Frankfort, 20th Sept. 1819.
himself meant thenceforward to preserve with the Spanish government, "would depend on the measures by which Spain should endeavour to destroy the impression produced on Europe by the event of the month of March."
This Declaration was succeeded by a circular Memorial addressed by the Russian Cabinet to all its ministers at foreign courts,' announcing the same sentiments in terms still more peremptory and offensive. Contrary to the evidence of the clearest facts, the Revolution of Spain is again affirmed to be one and the same with that of France, and to have been brought about by "the genius of evil." Threats are held out, that although revolution had changed its ground, the DUTIES OF MONARCHS had not changed their nature; that in virtue of the treaties of 1818, the Emperor was bound" to mark with his most forcible reprobation the revolutionary measures of Spain;" and the Spanish nation is called upon to perform "AN EXPIATORY DEED" at the shrine of offended legitimacy. Similar insulting language was held by the agents of the Sovereigns in all the Courts of Europe; nor was it till they had discovered the physical obstacles to an attack by force on the kingdom of Spain, that they evinced a reluctant and hollow acquiescence in the revolution; while they still omit no occasion of traducing and vilifying the Spanish Constitution, and of holding it out to Europe as the source of every crime and every mischief.
But it was reserved for the changes which the Neapolitan Nation, in concert with the King and his family, had effected in its government, to call forth on the part of the Sovereigns not only the most violent denunciations of wrath and revenge against that devoted People, but likewise a full avowal of their arbitrary designs.
In vain the Neapolitan government offered to the power in nearest connection with it, every satisfaction that she could require with regard to the nature and pacific character of the changes which had taken place. In vain it had given early proofs of that character by suppressing an insurrectionary spirit, favorable to the views so unjustly imputed to it, which had broken out in the papal dominions. The changes were condemned by the court of Vienna, before they could even be fully known. A constitution which guaranteed the succession of the throne to the present dynasty of Naples, was declared "subversive of ALL thrones." A compact agreed to on the part of the King in compliance with the unanimous wishes of his People, and originating in his own voluntary promise, was characterised as 61 sapping the social edifice to its foundations." Minister after minister charged with the explanation of these
' Circular Memorial of the Russian Court on the affairs of Spain.
2 Austrian Note to the Senate of Hamburgh.
3 Proclamation of Ferd. IV. dated Palermo, May 1, 1815.
changes to the Austrian Emperor, was insulted in his capital, or contumeliously repulsed from his frontiers."
The Sovereigns assembled at Troppau. There, the resolution was taken not to treat on any terms with the new government of Naples, but "to put an end to it by a common effort." They resolved also to punish the chiefs and fomenters of those changes," and in order to give a more striking proof of the feelings by which they were animated, they selected the King of Naples himself to bear the first marks of their insolent vengeance. Regardless of his venerable age, they summoned him to attend them at their adjourned High Court to be held at Laybach. They knew that by a fundamental law of the new Constitution (to the operation of which, by an inconsistency ever attending on force under the direction of fraud, they had themselves submitted by the very act of summoning him) the King could not pass his frontiers without the consent of his Parliament. They knew that he could obtain that consent in order to meet and confer with them, only on the condition or maintaining that which they had confederated to destroy. Yet they forced him "to submit to this humiliating condition." It was enough for them that he had become a Constitutional King, to deprive him of the respect due to his crown. It was enough that he had sworn to maintain inviolate his compact with his people, for them to resolve that he should exhibit in his own person (if they could make him do so) the example of a monarch perjured, because he was a monarch by the Laws.
No sooner had they gotten possession of his person, than they forced him to write to his son, enjoining his Royal Highness to submit to the demands of the Sovereigns: and an Austrian army advanced towards the Neapolitan territory.
This hostile aggression was accompanied by a Manifesto from the Court of Vienna, containing in substance a denunciation of war against all popular governments.
Speaking in the name of the other Sovereigns, the Emperor of Austria declares that he will put down by force of arms the Constitution and Parliament of Naples; and that if his armies be not sufficient for that purpose, the Emperor of Russia will join him.
He declares that "after having accomplished this, it will be for the KING ALONE to provide for the strength and stability of his Government."
And he declares further, that when all these designs shall have been completed-when the Sovereigns shall have thus "insured the Rights of Thrones, WITHOUT WHICH EXTERNAL PEACE
Letter from the Duc de Campo Chiaro to Prince Metternich.
3 Austrian Declaration,
ITSELF CAN NEITHER HAVE VALUE NOR DURATION, they will devote the means and the power conferred upon them BY HEAVEN to the exclusive happiness of their subjects."
These events cannot pass, and yet less can these principles be recognised without materially affecting the basis on which the Peace of Europe depends. The avowal by the Sovereigns charged with its maintenance, that Peace can be of no value or duration unless the "RIGHTS OF THRONES," as by them understood, be insured, contains in itself a doctrine of great and permanent danger to the public tranquillity; and the practical illustration of it in the war they are now making upon Naples, must give immediate as well as serious alarm for the extension of its effects all over the world. Even if the occupation of the Neapolitan States by one of the Sovereigns could take place without disturbing the European balance, the measures concerted at Laybach are known to have reference to future prospective arrangements of still wider scope, all grounded on the same principles, with a view to the same assumed Rights, and to be executed by the same means.
IT IS NOT TO BE EXPECTED that the people of these free realms, the throne of which stands, and is secured to its possessor, on principles directly adverse to the only legitimate title acknowledged by the Sovereigns, can view with indifference the consolidation of a system which, in its progress, must inevitably come into mortal conflict with their own laws and liberties. Standing at the head of the Representative Governments of Europe, all and each of which are menaced in their foundations by the acts and declarations of the Sovereigns, we have felt, therefore, the necessity of turning our attention to some means of mutual defence, in an emergency which, by no very remote possibility, may arise, if it should please Providence to favor for a time the cause of the confederates.
But in order to arrive at this object, and to clear the way for a System becoming the British name and character, it was necessary to ascertain whether any, and what obstacles might exist to the adoption of measures towards its attainment in consequence of our foreign treaties. Our first step therefore was to enquire into the state of our relations with Austria, Russia, and Prussia, as well to inform ourselves how far the public faith stood engaged to take a direct part with those powers in the present war, as with the view of understanding how far the British Government was agreed with them on that which seems the vital principle of all modern treaties, the Right of interference in the internal concerns of other nations. We wished likewise to learn whether the British Government had
2 Circular from the British Cabinet, 19th Jan. 1821.
remonstrated, or interposed its good offices, with the Allies, in order to dissuade them from invading the Neapolitan territory.
Explanations were asked and granted. These, although deficient in many respects, satisfy us that there is no immediate intention, on the part of His Majesty's servants, of joining our arms to those of the combined Sovereigns. They lead us also to believe that the principles of the confederacy, carried to the extent avowed by it, are not the principles of the British Government. So far we are satisfied: inasmuch as it is clear that no lawful impediment exists to the attainment of our proposed end. Great Britain is free to unite with other states on the basis of mutual defence, and the guarantee of INSTITUTIONS EMANATING FROM OUR
It was not however without sorrow that we learned that no suitable interposition had been attempted with the Sovereigns, in order to induce them to desist from their present designs. Professing a regard for rational liberty, it spoke but ill for the credit and influence of the leaders of His Majesty's councils, that they should have ventured upon no step in favor of an unoffending People, in close amity with Great Britain. They were in a situation to make honorable terms for both parties. They were the natural mediators between Austria and the two Sicilies. If the new Government of that country was, in reality, calculated to give alarm to Austria, what power so able as Great Britain to obtain from it securities which might enable her to become the guarantee of Peace between them? Under such a compact, Naples could take no hostile step against Austria, without subjecting her Capital to sudden destruction, and one half of her dominions to be severed from the other. These, also, were our means of protection for Naples, if Austria, in defiance of our representations, should have persisted in her aggression. But we never will believe that she would have so persisted; or that a sincere and serious demonstration by our Government at Troppau would not have stopped at once the course of the present calamitous events.
But the backwardness of His Majesty's Ministers on this occasion, and their declared incompetence to obtain respect to their remonstrances, were not the only painful disclosures which resulted from our enquiries. It appeared that on the 19th of January, a Circular dispatch had been addressed from Downing-street to all British Ministers at foreign Courts, for the professed purpose of explaining the principles and conduct of His Majesty's Government in the present circumstances. In this document, the fact is for the first time made known to us, by authority, of the existence, among the Sovereigns, of Projects "in direct repugnance to the fundamental laws of this country." Of the general views of the
Circular from the British Cabinet.