Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

!

re

[ocr errors]

previously secured. It was not at of sovereigns exposed them both last secured until after a struggle to peril and discredit One of seventeen years' duration; and of the few of them since the if the merit of it did really belong days of Charlemagne, was that to Lord Shaftesbury, as was some which ended in the partition of times asserted, it went far to re Poland, and they were now deem the faults of that great, ceiving a sad earnest of the obthough not blameless character. jects and intentions of that last But the law of habeas corpus was

abouchement which had produced evidently as perfect in its kind as

a treaty amongst powers describlegislative wisdom could make it; ing themselves as engaged in a and although we had been doomed holy alliance. This term appeared to witness too frequent suspen

to him to be an unmeaning rhapsions, it still existed for the bene- sody, or, if it meant any thing, to fit of the present age, however signify that the contracting powers disagreeable it had been to Charles would, in future, observe the holy the second, and notwithstanding scriptures more faithfully than that his brother told Barillau, the their predecessors. But had these French ambassador, that it was professors of theology and ethics a law too good to be carried into clearly understood the sacred obexecution. The care taken in ligations by which they bound establishing the protestant suc- themselves to regulate their future cession proved how seriously our policy? The Christian religion ancestors had laboured to prevent was not a religion of slavery, but future ministers from degrading a faith that embodied in it the and dishonouring the country by principles of morality and freea departure from those general dom. Its doctrines were preached principles to which they them- originally to the poor and humble, selves adhered. He recollected nor would any modern confederacy that an honourable and learned of tyrants find in it a fit instrufriend of his (Mr. Brougham) had ment for debasing them. He on a former occasion, when allud. . would now shortly refer to the ing to the congress of sovereigns, celebrated meeting of Catherine talked of the abouchement des rois, de Medici, and of Philip the seand congratulated the noble lord cond, of Spain, at Bayonne, the on his coming back reeking from object of which was to maintain the friendly and no doubt convi- ancient establishments against the vial intercourse of those illustrious innovations of that time. The persons. The example was, how- object was to put down the proever, one of danger to kings: he testants, who were then beginning could conceive nothing more cal to exercise the long-forgotten culated to be subversive of mo- rights of human reason. But did narchical authority than the prac- England make herself a party to tice of transferring from respon- the league? No! It was opposed sible ministers to those who were by three illustrious princes, and not responsible the business of the cause of protestantism became settling national affairs, and of at length triumphant. Those dividing the world amongst them princes placed themselves at the in the giddiness and extravagance head of that great movement of of power. These personal debuts the human mind. Queen Elizabeth,

Henry

1

Henry the fourth of France, abject slavery and superstition. and William the third, all act. He did not mean to compare the ed on the same magnanimous Neapolitan revolution with our policy. The last was inferior own; but our own might have in talents; but Elizabeth and been prevented by a coalition Henry, the immortal chiefs of the similar to that with which Naples cause, were perhaps the greatest was threatened. Pretexts might contemporary princes who ever have been found by M. Gentz reigned ; and what was not less of 1688 quite equal to those on singular, the woman endowed which the interference with Naples with a superior genius, and the was justified. He who admired man with those milder virtues the talents of M. Gentz could have which had procured him the well- suggested topics of equal plausimerited name of “ father of his bility, and calculated to have the country." Those virtues had un same effect as those by which the happily not saved him from the noble lord had heartened the predagger of an assassin; but the sent despots. He might have reign of our own princess was as talked of treacherous statesmen, happy as it was splendid. He of impious daughters, of rebellious knew not how to express his ad- subjects, of a clergy faithless to miration when he contemplated its own creed, of unlimited obeher at one time braving the thun- dience, and of a mutinous army. ders of the Vatican, and the in- What was thus said might also trigues of the Jesuits, at another have been repeated, and applied the arms of Spain, beset conti- to many transactions in Ireland and nually with dangers, and, though Scotland, in which the ancestors scarcely conscious of her of several whom he then saw begreatness, dying at last full of fore him had been actively engaged. years and glory. There were not He thanked the house for the atwanting persons, however, who tention which he had received, had represented her as tearing but the more he considered this her country from the christian subject the more fully he was sachurch—as the head of an unna tisfied that he was then speaking tural as well as unholy union, the sense of a majority in that and as an object of general exe- house. Whatever might be the cration. Yet had it not been for technical rule of disposing of the her successful maintenance of the question, there was no real differpolicy which she adopted, we ence of opinion. He hoped, at might at this moment have been least, that Europe would underobliged to submit to arbitrary im- stand that in this country all men prisonment, to torture, and might concurred on the main point; and have been rendering forced obe. that the grave, honest, and intel. dience to a hated yoke. These ligent people of England viewed might have been our inheritance, the present aggression against instead of the habeas corpus act, Naples with indignation and abthe bill of rights, the protestant horrence. Feeling, however, that succession, and all that genius and the expression of this sentiment virtue which those measures had had been, if not concealed, softencarried in their train. We might at ed in the official language emthis day have been sunk in the most ployed, be should conclude by

own

moving an humble address to his former principles ? From private majesty, praying that he would information which had been transbe graciously pleased to direct mitted to him by persons residing that copies of the late correspon on the continent, as well as from dence relative to the affairs of confidential communications which Naples be laid before the house. he had received from the cabinets

Lord Castlereagh observed, of the allied powers, he was fully that in proceeding to examine of opinion that they were sincere some of the positions of the hon. in the application of those princiand learned gent. he was perfectly ples to Italy. That, however, was willing to join in many of the sen à point, which, fortunately for timents and general principles Europe, could be ascertained, by which he had laid down. With re better criteria than personal assergard to the alliance on which so tions, or cabinet communications. many strictures had been passed, It was one of the virtues of that he was not at all disposed to alliance so vehemently decried shrink from its defence. This by the hon. gent. opposite, that alliance, which he hoped would it was hardly possible for the long continue to cement the peace human mind to conceive any sysof Europe, had proved to demon- tem of territorial aggrandizement stration the absurdity of those which did not find in it a counprophecies in which the hon. gents. teraction to its own impurity. If opposite had indulged, and of the Austria wished to obtain territoschemes of policy which they had rial aggrandizement at the expence recommended. The people of Eng- of Naples, she was certain to land whose courage had nerved the meet with immediate opposition, arm of government in its military both from Russia and France, not exertions, would not easily be in- to say any thing of Sardinia, and duced to think that the views on the countries in the north of Italy, which that alliance was formed had through which her forces were been departed from. It was but an now allowed to march by special act of justice to others to say, and permission. he said it with the utmost solem The question with regard to Ausnity, that as far as his own know- tria divided itself into a question ledge extended, and as far as his of right, and a question of expemeans which were derived from diency: for the difficulty of it did personal and confidential commu not consist so much in the means nications enabled him to judge, to be employed for the occupation there had not been since the year of Naples, as in the manner in 1814 the slightest indication on the which the elements of government part of any of the allied powers, of were to be compounded after its a wish for territorial aggrandize- occupation, so as to secure its ment. Now, if he could declare future independence. For hothat this opinion of his was founded nourable members were not to on his knowledge of the allied suppose that it was in contemplapowers, the next question for the tion to quarter an Austrian garhouse to consider was, whether rison for a prepetuity in Naples; there was any thing in their con- far from it: those who did so, duct towards Naples which showed Jaboured under very erroneous that they had departed from their impressions, and did great injustice

to

in

to the allied sovereigns, who vernments which did not possess a were acting in this transaction representative system were justiunder the most painful circum- fied in throwing off their allegistances for the general benefit of ance and resorting to arms mankind. He was dy to ad- order to obtain one.

Such an mit that great difficulty would attempt to force the liberties of arise after the occupation of Na- mankind was the very last method ples with regard to the manner of which he should advise the in which it was hereafter to be adoption. A representative form governed; and that being his view of government, founded on the of the case, nothing could be model of the British constitution, more impolitic in a British minis- had been introduced into Sicily ter than to involve himself and his under the auspices of a noble lord country in it. Assuming, for the (lord W. Bentinck,) but had not sake of argument, that Austria been productive of the advantages had a right to go to war, still he which had been anticipated. In had never given her any intima- short, it had entirely failed, and tion that he wished that she therefore it was too much to say should go to war.

On the con that a representative government trary, he had always held out to was sure to put a stop to all the the allied sovereigns that Great fraud, artifice, and oppression of Britain, was not at all interested

a despotic power. But, even if in the transaction, and had so far it were likely to be attended with separated himself from it as to be such beneficial results, he must no party to it whatsoever. The look upon the introduction of it noble lord then observed, that the by an armed force as most injurihon. and learned gentleman seem To hold any other doctrine ed to him to have argued the was to patronise principles pregwhole question upon an unjust nant with danger, and calculated and unfounded prejudice; he had to loosen all the connexions of not argued it upon general grounds society, and to destroy all of policy or expediency, but had the security of social existence. endeavoured to raise a horror in His lordship, after some further that house, and a detestation in the arguments upon this subject, concountry, against the late govern- tinued to condemn as untrue and ment of Naples, by representing it unjust every representation that of a nature so horrible that the peo- the government lately overthrown ple in self-defence, were obliged to at Naples was arbitrary and tydestroy it: and by thence deduc- rannical. ing, as a conclusion, that the de The Carbonari were a sect, struction of it could not be for. whose operations were not conmidable to the Austrians.

fined to Naples alone, but which As far as he was acquainted extended to other parts of Europe. with that country, it enjoyed all They did not confine their efforts the blessings of a free country, within the borders of any native though it was not in the posses- boundaries, but extended them sion of a representative govern- with philanthropic charity to other ment. He deprecated, however, and distant parties. The cause the doctrine that the subjects of go- of revolution was not with them

local

ous.

local, but it was the cause of Eu- this was the sect into whose rope. They dictated to the prince hands the consolidation of Italy regent of Naples, as well as to was to be intrusted, and who the parliament; they controlled were to rule over it in future as both. It was idle to say they they now did over the parliament only required a free constitution at Naples. Under such circumfor Naples; their aim was not stances, he trusted England Naples, but the consolidation of would not be called upon to inall Italy, under some form of terfere. government which they had not He concluded by repeating that yet modelled; and was not a con- England had as yet taken no part spiracy, having such an object in in these proceedings, and he view, hatched within the territory trusted that ministers would not of Austria, and acting with others now be called upon to take any in concert out of it, a very natural part in them after what he had ground of apprehension against said respecting Austria. If she which an Austrian minister might were called on, she must be prefeel himself justly called upon in pared to enforce her remonstrance, behalf of his own government to and he trusted that this was not a interfere? It was in vain then to situation in which it would be urge that England should inter- advisable to place his majesty's pose to prevent Austria from ministers at this crisis. At all guarding herself against the ma times he should be ready to afford chinations of the Carbonari, whose every explanation respecting the designs were evidently calculated part which his majesty's governto the overthrow of the existing ment took in the affairs of the frame of government in Italy. continent. The hon. and learned gentleman Sir Robert Wilson said, that the might declaim in the fine language noble lord had directed it against which it was his faculty to possess, his hon. and learned friend as a about the principles of liberty matter of reproach, that he was which England ought to cultivate struggling to hasten this country in Naples, and might endea- into a war with Austria, and to vour to reconcile the temporary blame his majesty's ministers for ears of his audience to such a not rushing, to use his own tone of declamation; but the peo- phrase, into the arms of that Carple of England would see through bonari. His hon. and learned the delusion, and awake to the friend had been urging no such object which the hon. gent. op- thing, but quite the contrary, for posite had in view. Reverting his whole argument went to reagain to these Carbonari--their commend a line of policy which, strength amounted to hundreds by the interposition of ministers of thousands; and he knew, in a firm but amicable manner, positively that at the moment would, in all probability, prevent when the late events were going the ultimate recurrence of a war on in Naples, a simultane- under circumstances of great disous plan was matured at the advantage to the country. On other extremity, namely, in the the subject of the constitution, north of Italy, at Bologna Yet which was so long called for by

the

« ПредишнаНапред »