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king [of France] can no longer defer taking the fame refolution.
Independent of the motives which are common to the two monarchs, each hath separate grievances to alledge against Portugal, which of themselves would be fufficient to juftify the extremity to which their majesties fee themselves with regret obliged to proceed.
Every one knows the utmost and violent attack made by the English, in 1759, on fome of the [French] king's fhips under the cannon of the Portuguese forts at Lagos. His majefty demanded of the most faithful king to procure him reftitution of those ships: but that prince's minifters, in contempt of what was due to the rules of justice, the laws of the fea, the fovereignty and territory of their mafter (all which were indecently violated by the moft fcandalous infraction of the rights of fovereigns and of nations) in answer to the repeated requifi- tions of the king's ambaffador on this head, made only vague fpeeches with an air of indifference that bordered on derifion.
At the fame time, the court of Lifbon, pretending to be ignorant that fovereigns, who hold their rank of their birth only and the dignity of their crown, can never permit, under any pretext, any potentate to attempt to infringe prerogatives and rights belonging to the antiquity and majefty of their throne, hath pretended to establish, without diftinction, an alternative of precedence between all the ambaffadors and foreign minifters about the king of Portugal. The king, being informed by his ambaffador, of the notification that had been made to him of this extraordinary and un
public of the United Provinces he had even advised her to embrace, and joined the enemies of France and Spain. The fame confidence, and the fame fecurity, on the part of the two crowns, in the prefent ftate of things, would undoubtedly have been followed by the like defection in the court of Lifbon.
United to the Catholic king by indiffoluble fentiments of tender friendship and common interests, the king hopes that their united efforts will be favoured by the God of hofts, and will in the end compel the king of Portugal to conduct himself on principles more conformable to found policy, the good of his people, and the ties of blood which unite him to his majefly and his Catholic majesty.
The king commands and enjoins all his fubjects, vaffals, and fervants, to fall upon the fubjects of the king of Portugal; and exprefly prohibits them from having any communica tion, commerce, or intelliger ce with them, on pain of death; and accordingly his majefly hath from this date revoked, and hereby revokes, all licences, paffports, fafe-guards. and fafe-conducts contrary to these prefents, that may have been granted by him or his lieutenant generals, and other officers; declaring them null and void, and of no effect; and forbidding all perfons to pay any regard thereto, And whereas, in contempt of the XVth article of the treaty of peace between France and Portugal, figned at Utrecht, April 11, 1713 (and by which it is exprefly ftipulated, "That in cafe of a rupture between the two crowns, the space of fix months after the faid rupture fhall be grant ed their fubjects refpectively, to fell or remove their effects, and withdraw their
their perfons if they think fit") the king of Portugal hath juft now ordered that all the French who are in his kingdom fhould leave it in the space of fifteen days, and that their effects fhould be confifcated and fequeftered; his majesty, by way of just reprifals, commands, that all the Portuguese in his dominions fhall, in like manner, leave them within the space of fifteen days from the date hereof, and that all their effects fhall be confifcated.
Versailles, June 20, 1762.
Her majefty, the emprefs, having this day afcended the imperial throne of all the Ruffias, at the unanimous defire and preffing inftances of all her faithful fubjects and true patriots of this empire, hath commanded notice thereof to be given to all the foreign ministers refiding at her court, with an affurance of her imperial majesty's invariable refolution to live in good friendship with the fovereigns their
Papers relative to the late revolu-
the foundations of our orthodox
Greek religion have been fhaken, and its traditions expofed to total ruin; fo that there was abfolutely ground to fear, that the faith, which hath been established in Ruffia from
the earliest times, would be entirely changed, and a foreign religion in
troduced. In the fecond place, the glory which Ruffia has acquired at the expence of fo much blood, and which was carried to the greatest height by her victorious arms, has been trampled under foot by the peace lately concluded with its greatest enemy, And lastly, the
domeftic regulations, which are the Making known thefe prefents to all our loving fubje&ts, ecclefiaftical, military, and civil.
have notice of the day when they The foreign minifters fhall foon may have the honour to pay their court and present their compliments of congratulation to her imperial majesty.'
Petersburg, June 28, O. S. 1762, Some days afterwards the empress Some days afterwards the empress
iffued the following manifesto, giving an account of her motives for taking the reins of government into ber bands.
We Catherine II. by the grace of God, emprefs and fovereign of all the Ruffias,
bafis of the country's welfare, have been totally overturned.
For these causes, overcome by OUR acceffion to the imperial the imminent dangers with which
throne of all the is a
manifeft proof of this truth, that when fincere hearts endeavour for good, the hand of God directs them. We never had either defign or defire to arrive at empire, thro' the means by which it hath pleased the Almighty, according to the infcrutable views of Providence, to place us upon the throne of Ruffia, our dear country.
On the death of our most auguft and dear aunt, the empress Elizabeth Petrowna, of glorious memory, all true patriots (now our most faithful fubjects) groaning for the lofs of fo tender a mother, placed their only confolation in obeying her nephew, whom she had named for her fucceffor, that they might fhew thereby, in fome degree, their acknowledgments to their deceased fovereign. And, although they foon found out the weakness of his mind, unfit to rule fo vaft an empire, they imagined he would have known his own infufficiency. Whereupon they fought our maternal affistance in the affairs of go
But when abfolute power falls to the lot of a monarch, who has not fufficient virtue and humanity to place juft bounds to it, it degenerates into a fruitful fource of the most pernicious evils. This is the fum, in fhort, of what our native country has fuffered. She ftruggled to be delivered from a fovereign, who, being blindly given up to the most dangerous paffions, thought of nothing but indulging them, without employing himfelf in the welfare of the empire committed to his care.
bitter griefs to his moft auguft aunt and fovereign, (the truth of which all our court knows) however he might behave himself outwardly; being kept under her eye by her tenderness, he looked upon this affection towards him as an infupportable yoke. He could not, however, difguife himself fo well, but it was perceived by all our faithful fubjects, that he was poffeffed of the moft audacious ingratitude, which he fometimes fhewed by perfonal contempt, fometimes by an avowed hatred to the nation. At length, throwing afide his cloak of hypocrify, he thought it more fit to let loose the bridle of his paffions, than conduct himself as the heir of fo great an empire. In a word, the leaft traces of honour were not to be perceived in him. What were the confequences of all this?
During the time of his being grand-duke, and heir to the throne of Ruffia, he often caufed the most
He was scarcely affured that the death of his aunt and benefactress approached, but he banished her memory entirely from his mind nay, even before she had fent forth her laft groan. He only caft an eye of contempt on the corpfe expofed on the bier; and, as the ceremony at that time required obliged him to approach it, he did it with his eyes manifeftly replete with joy; even intimating his ingratitude by his words. I might add, that the obfequies would have been nothing equal to the dignity of fo great and magnanimous a fovereign, if our tender refpect to her, cemented by the ties of blood, and the extreme affection between us, had not made the care of it a duty to us.
He imagined that it was not to the Supreme Being, but only to chance, that he was indebted for abfolute power, and that he had it
it in his hands, not for the good of his fubjects, but folely for his fatisfaction. Adding therefore licence to abfolute power, he made all the changes in the ftate, which the weakness of his mind could fuggeft, to the oppreffion of the people.
Having effaced from his heart, even the leaft traces to the holy orthodox religion (although he had been fufficiently taught the principles thereof) he began firft by rooting out this true religion, established fo long in Ruffia, by abfenting himself from the houfe of God, and of prayers, in fo open a manner, that fome of his fubjects, excited by conscience and honefty, feeing his irreverence and contempt of the rites of the church, or rather the railleries be made of them, and fcandalizing them by his behaviour, dared to make remonftrances to him concerning it; who, for fo doing, fcarcely escaped the refentment which they might have expected from fo capricious a fovereign, whofe power was not limited by any human laws. He even intended to deftroy the churches, and ordered fome to be pulled down. He permitted thofe to have chapels in their own houses, whofe infirmities hindered them from vifiting the houfe of God. Thus he would have domineered over the faithful, in endeavouring to ftifle in them the fear of God, which the holy fcripture teaches us to be the beginning of wisdom.
From this want of zeal towards God, and contempt of his laws, refulted that fcorn to the civil and na tural laws of his kingdom; for, having but an only fon, which God had given us, the grand-duke Paul Petrowitz, he would not, when he
afcended the throne of Ruffia, declare him for his fucceffor; that being referved for his caprice, which tended to the detriment of us and of our fon, having an inclination to overthrow the right that his aunt had vefted in him, and to make the government of our native country pafs into the hands of ftrangers; contradicting this maxim of natural right, according to which nobody can tranfmit to another more than he has received himself.
Although with great grief we faw this intention, we did not believe that we ourselves, and our moft dear fon, fhould have been expofed to a perfecution fo fevere : but all perfons of probity, having obferved that the measures that he pursued, by their effects, manifefted that they had a natural tendency to our ruin, and that of our dear fucceffor, their generous and pious hearts were july alarmed: Animated with zeal for the interest of their native country, and astonished at our patience under these heavy perfecutions, they fecretly informed us, that our life was in danger, in order to engage us to undertake the burthen of governing fo large an empire.
While the whole nation were on the point of teftifying their difapprobation of his measures, he nevertheless continued to chagrine them the more, by fubverting all thofe excellent arrangements establifhed by Peter the Great, our most dear predeceffor, of glorious memory, which that true father of his country accomplished by indefatigable pains and labour through the whole courfe of a reign of thirty years. The late Peter the Third defpifed the laws of the empire, and her moft refpectable tribunals,