Imágenes de página

in the ports and harbours of the United States, and the several acts supplementary thereto,” by suspending the embargo law and its supplements, as regards Great Bri. tain. I am authorised to give you this assurance in the most formal manner ; and, I trust, that upon impartial inquiry, it will be found to leave no inducement to persewere in the British orders, while it dictates the most powerful inducements of equity and policy to abandon them. On the score of justice it does not seem possible to mistake the footing upon which this overture places the subject ; and I venture to believe, that in any other view there is as little room for doubt. If, as I propose, your orders should be rescinded as to the United States, and our embargo rescinded as to Great Britain, the effect of these concurrent acts will be, that the commercial intercourse of the two countries will be immediately resumed ; while, if France should adhere to maxims and conduct derogatory to the neutral rights of the United States, the embargo, continuing as to her, will take the place of your orders, and lead with an eficacy, not merely equal to theirs, but piobably much greater, to all the consequences that ought to result from them. On the other hand, if France should concur in respecting those rights, and comlinerce should this regain its fair immunities, and the law of nations its just dominions, all the alledged purposes of the British orders will have been at once fulfilled. If I forbear to pursue these ideas through all the illustrations of which they are susceptible, it is because the personal conferences to which I have before a posed, as well as the obvious nature of the ideas themselves, render it unnecessary. I cannot conclude this note without expressing my sincere wish, that what I have now suggested, in confornity with the liberal sentiments and enlightened views of the president, may contribute not only to renove the more in mediate obstacles to the ordinary intercourse of trade between your country and nine, in a manner consistent with the honour of both, but to prepare the way for a satisfactory adjustment of every question important to their future friendship.—I have the honour to be, with the highest consideration, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, (Signed) WM. PIN cKN EY. Extract of a Letter from Mr. Pinckney to the Secretary of State. Dated London, 24th Sept. 1808, I am now able to transmit to you a Copy of Mr. Canning's Answer, roceived only

last night, to my note of the 23d of August—I regret extremely, that the views which I have been instructed to lay before this government, have not been met by it, as I had at first been led to expect. The overture cannot fail, however, to place in a strong light the just and liberal sentiments by which our government is animated; and, in other respects, to be useful and honourable to our own country. Mr Secretary Canning's Letter to Mr. Pinckney. Dated Foreign Office, Sept. 28, 1808. The undersigned, his majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, had the honour to receive the official letter addressed to Mr. Pinckney, minister plenipoten

tiary of the United States, respecting the

orders in council issued by his majesty, on the 7th Jan. and 11th Nov. 1807–He has laid that letter before the king, and he is commanded to assure Mr. Pinckney, that the answer to the proposal which Mr. Pinckney was instructed to bring forward, has been deferred only in the hope that the renewed application, which was understood to have been recently made by the government of the United States to that of France, might, in the new state of things which has arisen in Europe, have met with such a reception in france, as would have rendered the compliance of his majesty with that proposal, consistent as much with his majesty's own dignity, and with the interests of his people, as it would have been with his majesty's disposition towards the United States.—Unhappily there is now no longer any reason to believe that such a hope is likely to be realised ; and the undersigned is therefore commanded to communicate to Mr. Pinckney the decision, which, under the circumstancos as they stand, his majesty feels himself

compelled, however unwillingly, to adopt.—


The mitigated measure of retaliation, announced by his majesty in the orders in council of the oth January, of the further extension of that measure (an extension in operation, but not in principle) by the orders in council of November, was founded (as has been already repeatedly avowed by his majesty) on the “unquestionable right of his majesty to retort upon the enemy the evils of his own injustice;” and upon the consideration, that, “if third parties incidentally suffered by those retaliatory measures, they were to seek their redress from the power by whose original aggression that retaliation was occasioned."—His majesty sees nothing in the embargo laid on by the president of the United States of Anjerica, which varies this original and simple state of the question.—If considered as a measure of impartial hostility against both belligerents, the embargo appears to his majesty to have been manifestly unjust, as, according to every principle of justice, that redress ought to have been first sought from the party originating the wrong; and his majesty cannot consent to buy off that hostility, which America ought not to have extended to him, at the expence of a Concession, made not to America, but to France.—If, as it has more generally been represented by the government of the United States, the embargo is only to be considered as an innocent municipal regulation, which affects none but the United States themselves, and with which no foreign state has any concern ; viewed in this light, his majesty does not conceive that he has the right or the pretension to make any complaint of it, and he has made none. But in this light, there appears not only no reciprocity, but no assignable relation between the repeal by the United States of a measure of voluntary self-restriction, and the surrender by his majesty of his right of retaliation against his enemies.—The government of the United States is not now to be informed,

that the Berlin decree of November 21,

1806, was the practical commencement of an attempt, not merely to check or impair the prosperity of Great Britain, but utterly to annihilate her political existence through the ruin of her commercial prosperity ; that in this attempt almost all the powers of the European continent have been compelled, more or less, to co-operate, and that the American embargo, though most assuredly not intended to that end, (for America can have no real interest in the subversion of the British power ; and her rulers are too enlightened to act from any impulse against the real interests of this country) : but by some unfortunate concurrence of circumstances, without any hostile intention, the American embargo did come in aid of the blockade of the European continent, precisely at the very moment when, if that blockade could have succeeded at all, this interposition of the American government would most effectually have contributed to its success.--To this universal combination, his majesty has opposed a temperate, but a determined retaliation upon the enemy, trusting that a firm resistance would defeat this project, but knowing that the smallest concession would infallibly encourage a perseverance in it.—The struggle has been viewed by other powers, not without an apprehension that it might be fatal to this country. The British government has not disguised

from itself that the trial of such an experiment might be arduous and long, though it has never doubted of the final issue. But if that issue, such as the British government confidently anticipated, has providentially arrived much sooner than could have been hoped; if “the blockade of the continent,” as it has been triumphantly styled by the enemy, is raised even before it had been well established ; and if that system, of which extent and continuity were the vital principles, is broken up into fragments, utterly harmless and contemptible, it is nevertheless important, in the highest degree, to the reputation of this country (a reputation which constitutes great part of her power) that this disappointment of the hopes of her enemies should not have been purchased by any concession, nor that a doubt should remain to distant times of her determination, and of her ability, to have continued her resistance, and that no step, which could even mistakenly be construed into concession, should be taken on her part, while the smallest link of the confederacy remains undissolved, or while it can be a question, whether the plan devised for her destruction has or has not either completely failed, or been unequivocally abandoned.— These considerations compel his majesty to adhere to the principles on which the orders in council of the 7th January and the 11th November are founded, so long as France adheres to that system by which his majesty's retaliatory measures were occasioned and justified.—It is not improbable, indeed, that some alterations may be made in the orders in council, as they are at present framed ; alterations calculated, not to abate their spirit, or impair their principle, but to adapt them more exactly to the different state of things which has fortunately grown up in Europe, and to combine all practicable relief to neutrals, with a more severe pressure on the enemy.—But of alterations to be made with this view only, it would be uncandid to take any advantage in the pre

sent discussion ; however, it might be hoped, that, in their practical effect, they might prove beneficial to America, provided

the operation of the embargo were not to

prevent her from reaping that benefit.—I:

remains for the undersigned to take notice

of the last paragraph of Mr. Pinckney's let

ter.—There cannot exist, on the part of Mr.

Pinckney, a stronger wish than there does

on that of the undersigned and of the British

government, for the adjustment of all the

differences subsisting between the two coun

tries. His majesty has no other disposition than to cultivate the most friendly intercourse with the United States.—The undersigned is persuaded that Mr. Pinckney would be one of the last to imagine, what is often idly asserted, that the depression of any other country is necessary or serviceable to the prosperity of this. The prosperity of America is essentially the prosperity of Great Britain, and the strength and power of Great Britain are not for herself only, but for the world.—When those adjustments shall take place, to which, though unfortunately not practicable at this moment, nor under the conditions prescribed by Mr. Pinckney, the undersigned, nevertheless, confidently looks forward, it will perhaps be no insecure pledge for the continuance of the good understanding between the two countries, that they will have learnt duly to appreciate each other's friendship, and that it will not hereafter be imputed to Great Britain, either, on the one hand, that she envies American industry, as prejudicial to British commerce, or, on the other hand, that she is compelled to court an intercourse with America, as absolutely necessary to her own existence.—His majesty would not hesitate to contribute, in any manner in his Fo to restore to the commerce of the nited States its wonted activity, and if it were possible to make any sacrifice for the repeal of the embargo, without appearing to depreciate it as a measure of hostility, he would gladly have facilitated its removal, as a measure of inconvenient restriction upon the American people.—The undersigned is commanded, in conclusion, to observe, that nothing is said in Mr. Pinckney's letter of any intention to repeal the proclamation by which the ships of war of Great Britain are interdicted from all those rights of hospitality in the ports of the United States, which are freely allowed to the ships of his majesty's enemies.—The continuance of an interdiction, which, under such circumstances, amounts so nearly to direct hostility, after the willingness professed, and the attempt made by his majesty to remove the cause on which that measure had been originally founded, would afford but an inauspicious omen for the commencement of a system of mutual conciliation : and the omission of any notice of that measure in the proposal which Mr. Puckney has been instructed to bring forward, would have been of itself a material defect in the overtures of the president.—But the under-igned is commanded no further to dwell upon this subject, than for the purpose of assuring Mr. Pinckney, that on this, and every other point in discussion between the two governmeats, his majesty earnestly desires the

restoration of a perfect good understanding, and that his majesty would decline no measure for the attainment of that object, which should be compatible with his own honour and just rights, and with the interests of his people.—The undersigned requests, &c.—(Signed) GEoRGE CANNING. Po RTUGAL. — Proclamation by the Interdant-General of Police of the Court of Justice District at Oporto. Portuguese — Where does your fury transport you ? Do you suppose that the English are become French No, my dear

countrymen, the English are not come here

in the character of conquerors as the Frenchmen did; they come to free us from the slavery that oppressed us. If we deny this truth, we must be reproached as an ungrateful people. The English did not enter Portugal from any motives of ambition; the motives are more generous, wise, and politic; they know very well, that views of aggrandisement always tend to destroy the equilibrium that forms the fundamental law of nations. What Great Britain aims at, is only the restitution of all countries to their lawful sovereigns. Ah, incomparable George ' How great will be thy glory in future times ' Where is the sovereign in Europe that does not, at present, owe his crown to thee Thy name shall for ever shine in the Portuguese annals. Excuse, then, O mighty king ! the indiscreet zeal of a people who love their sovereign, and whose feelings are partly analogous to thy views. Remain quiet, then, O ye inhabitants of the most faithful and loyal city in Portugal . It is to you, ye inhabitants of Porto, that I speak, for those honourable epithets are indisputably your right. Consider that the glorious cause which you have undertaken, can only be obstructed and retarded by vain and tumultuous mobs. This is what the common enemy wishes for ; and a civil war would only retard their total destruction. Let us then unite ourselves to our faithful allies, the English and the Spaniards, in order to overthrow that hellish monster. The union of these three nations will scorn all Frenchmen's threats, their intrigues and perfidy. We shall then have the glory of being instrumental in the speedy overthrow of the tyrant, in bringing about a general peace, and in restoring our august prince to his lawful throne. This is the just cause that calls aloud for your vengeance, and in which you ought to display all your courage, your love, and your fidelity. Long live Portugal Long live Great Britain Long live Spain --J F.R.G.

[blocks in formation]

which he was penetrated; he made known by signs, that he, as well as all the honest

men of Madrid, groaned under oppression ;

over him.

and when he raised his voice, his words were dictated by the wretches who watched No doubt could be entertained

of the excess to which the tyranny of the

multitude was carried when they saw him minute down ałi his words, and caused the record to be verified by the assassins who surrounded him. The aid-de-camp of the duke of Istria, who had been sent into the

town, was seized by men of the lowest class

of people, and was about to be massacred, when the troops of the line, indignant at the outrage, took him under their protection, and caused him to be restored to his general. A little time after, some deserters from the Walloon guards came to the camp. Their depositions convinced us that the people of property, and honest men, were without

[ocr errors]

influence ; and it was to be concluded that

conciliation was altogether impossible.—

The marq is of Perales, a reputable man,

who had hitherto appeared to enjoy the co

fidence of the people, had been, on the

day before this, accused of putting saud to the cartridges. He was immediately strungled. It was determined that all the carridges shon'd be re-made ; 3 or 4000 monks were employed npon this work at the Retire. All the palaces and houses were ordered to be open to furnish provisions at discretion. The French infantry was still three leagues from Madrid. The emperor enroloyed the evening in reconnoitring the town, and deciding a pion of attack, consistent with the consideration due to the great number of

honest people always to be found in a great

capital. At seven o'clock the division Lapisse of the corps of the duke of Bełłuno arrived. The moon shone with a brightness that seemed to prolong the day The emperor ordered the general of brigade, Maison, to take posse Sion of the suburbs, and charged the general of brigade Lauriston to support him in the enterprize, with four pieces of artis!ery belonging to the guards.—The sh arp-shooters of the 16th, regiment took possession of some buildings, and, in particaHar, of the grand cemetery. At the first fire, the enemy shewed as much cow roce as he did of arrogance all the day. The duke of Belluno employed all the night in placiog his artillery, in the posts marked cat for the attack. At midnight, the prince of Neufchatel sent to Madrid a Spanish lieutenant-colonel of artillery, who had been taken at Somosierra, and who saw with affright the obstinacy of his fellow-citizens. He took charge of the annexed letter, No. 1. On the 3d, at nine in the morning, the same flag of truce returned to the headquarters with the letter, No. 2. But the general of brigade Senarmont, an officer of great merit, had already placed 30 pieces of artillery, and had commenced a very smart fire, which made a breach in the walls of the Retiro. The sharp shooters of the division of Villatte having passed the breach, their battalion followed them, and in less than a quarter of an hour 1000 men, who defended the Retiro, were knocked on the head (cultute).—The palace of the Retire. the important posts of the Observatory, of the porcelain manufactory, of the grandbarrack, the hotel of Medina Celi, and all the outlets which had been fortified, were takenby our troops.-On another side, twenty pieces of cannon of the guards, accompanied by light troops, threw shells, and attracted the attention of the enemy by a false attack.


[After a description of the disorder that reigned in Madrid, the bulletin proceeds : “ The enemy had more than 100 pieces of cannon mountad; a more considerable number had been dug up, taken out of cellars, and fixed upon carts, a grotesque train, and in itself sufficient to prove the madness of a people abandoned to itself. But all means of defence were become useless. The possessors of Retiro are always masters of Madrid. The emperor to k all possible care to prevent the troops from going from house to house. The city was ruined if many troops had been employed. Only some companies of sharp-shooters advanced, and the emperor constantly refused to send any to sustain them. At eleven o'clock the Prince of Neufchatel wrote the annexed letter, No. 3.-His majesty at the same time ordered the fire to cease on all points.— At five o'clock on the 4th, Gen. Morla, one of the members of the military junta, and Don Bernardo Yriarte, sent from the town, repaired to the tent of the major-general. They informed him that the most intelligent persons were of opinion that the town was destitute of resources, and that the continuation of the defence would be the height of madness, but that the lower orders of the inhabitants, and the foreigners at Madrid, were determined to persevere in the defence. Convinced that they could not do it with effect, they requested a pause of a few hours to inform the people of the real state of affairs. The in-jor-general presented the deputies to the emperor and king, who addressed them thus –“ You Inake use of the name of the people to no purpose ; if you cannot restore tranquillity and appease their minds, it is because you have excited them to revolt; you have seduced them by propagating falsehoods. Assemble the clergy, the heads of the convents, the alcades, the men of property and influence, and let the town capitulate by six o'clock in the morning, or it shall be destroyed. I will not, nor ought I, to withdraw my troops. You have massacred the unfortunate French prisoners who had fallen into your hands; only a few days ago, you suffered two persons in the suite of the Russian ambassador to be dragged along and murdered in the public streets, because they were Frenchmen born. The incapacity and cowardice of a general, had put into your power troops who surrendered on the field of battle, and the capitulation has been violated. You, Mr. Morla, what sort of an epistle did you write to that general 2– It was became you, Sir, to talk of pillage, you who, on entering Roussillos, carried

off all the women, and distributed them as booty among your soldiers —Besides, what right had you to hold such language 2– The capitulation ought to have induced you to pursue a different line of conduct. See what has been the conduct of the English, who are far from piquing themselves on being rigid observers of the law of nations. They have complained of the Convention of Portugal, but they have carried it into effect. To violate military treaties, is to renounce all civilization : it is placing generals on a footing with the Bedouins of the desart. How dare you, then, presume to solicit a capitulation, you who violated that of Baylen 2 See how injustice and bad faith always recoil upon the guilty, and operate to their prejudice. I had a fleet at Cadiz ; it was under the protection of Spain, yet you directed against it the mortars of the town where you commanded.—I had a Spanish army in my ranks; I would rather have viewed it embark on board the English ships, or be obliged to precipitate it from the rocks of Epinosa, than to disarm it ; I would rather have 7000 more enemies to fight, than be deficient in honour and good faith. Return to Madrid—I give you till six o'clock tomorrow morning—return at that hour— you have only to inform me of the submission of the people—if not, you and your troops shall all be put to the sword."—This speech of the emperor, repeated in the midst of the respectable people, the certainty that he commanded in person, the losses sustained during the foregoing day, had carried terror and repentance into all minds. During the night the most mutinous withdrew themselves from the danger by flight, and a part of the troops was disbanded. At ten o'clock Gen. Belliard took the command of Madrid, all the posts were put into the hands of the French, and a general pardon was proclaimed.” [The Bulletin closes with a panegyric on the order observed by the French, in taking possession of the town, the security enjoyed by the inhabitants, and with a tirade against the English, said to have been pronounced by an aged Spaniard. The principal reproach is, that an army of 40,000 British troops had not appeared on the scene of the war at a proper period of the contest]. No. 1,–To the Commandant of the Town of Madrid. Before Madrid, Dec. 3, 1808 —The circumstances of the war having conducted the French army to the gates of Madrid, and all the dispositions being made to take possession of the town by storm, I hold it

« AnteriorContinuar »