« PreviousContinue »
Paris, October 9, 1836. I persist in believing that the Miguelite party has had a considerable share in the movement at Lisbon. Independ. ently of what I have written to you on the subject, and the revelations made by the "Morning Chronicle," there are other facts which confirm this opinion. The French Government seems to know little or nothing respecting these circumstances: it is very imperfectly informed of what is passing at Lisbon, but particular reports from all quarters are throwing light on this important subject. It appears certain, according to letters from Rome, that, at the moment when Miguelite refugees at Paris were beforehand announcing troubles in Portugal, Don Miguel and his little court were preparing to leave Italy, accompanied by a French legitimist general and by German officers; that they had put themselves in correspondence with Don Carlos and Gomez, and that the Carlist expeditions towards Santiago were intended to have an influence on Portugal; that the French legations in Italy have themselves made representations relative to the departure of Don Miguel and the succours; that a French (legitimist) banker at Rome has promised a loan to Don Miguel, and that he has arranged for this purpose with the Duke of Modena, who seems disposed to reserve one of his daughters to be the wife of Don Miguel.
At the same time, the Northern Courts were conspiring in favour of Don Miguel, and against the Prince of SaxeCoburg, the husband of Donna Maria. Austria, after having afforded reason to suppose that she would recognize Donna Maria in regard to her marriage (for the SaxeCoburgs are viewed with a favourable eye at Vienna) began all at once to hesitate. Russia indulged all her animosity against the principles sanctioned by the charter of Don Pedro, and Prussia her aversion to every thing bearing the name of Saxony. Notwithstanding the ignorance in which
the French diplomatists in Belgium have left our Government, it appears certain that the discontents, and the diplomatic misunderstandings of Belgium, have been fomented by Prussia. That power, whilst ostensibly flattering the Belgians to obtain their accession to the Customs' Union, detests the King of Belgium, the Prince of Portugal, and the ducal house of Saxe-Coburg. In its enmity to Saxony, which, supported by Austria, contributes to prevent the aggrandizement of Prussia, the Court of Berlin has gone so far as to spread, in the journals of its agents, a report that disturbances had broken out in Saxe-Coburg; and this report was circulated with so many details, that every body at first believed it to be true; but it was wholly unfounded. SaxeCoburg will remain tranquil; the Belgian Government will maintain itself; legal order, an order conformable to oaths, will be re-established in Portugal.
Since Don Miguel and the North are conspiring against Portugal, it is but natural that public opinion in France should declare itself more and more against these conspiracies, and by all possible means prevent their duration. It has given great satisfaction at Paris to learn that the Court of St. James', which has besides to protect the persons, the property, and the commerce of the English, is strengthening its squadron in the Tagus. The diplomatists of the North at Paris were first informed of this, and they have endeavoured to get up articles in the newspapers against this expedition; but well-informed persons have unmasked these designs. The French Government cannot but approve this expedition, which will be at the same time serviceable to the French residing in Portugal. The more careful the English squadron shall be to protect the interests of both countries, the more the public approbation, and, I may say enthusiasm, in behalf of the British enterprize will increase in Paris. At the same time, enlightened public opinion VOL. IV.-NO. XXXII.
would see with satisfaction French ships alongside of the English. If these French ships were to cruize a little on the coasts eastward of Spain, this might serve to render Carlist succours more difficult, to alarm the Carlist guerillas, and, perhaps, to overawe the ultra-radical party. Thus England would approve the demonstrations against the disorders in Spain, France would support the eventual demonstrations against the disorders in Portugal, and the AngloFrench differences would be adjusted. I say the demonstrations, for assuredly there will be no fighting in Portugal; the majority of the country will of itself overthrow the more or less voluntary supporters of Don Miguel and the North.
Enlightened persons in France make a difference between the situation of Spain and Portugal, between the Constitu tions of 1812 and 1821. The Spanish Constitution is supported by a strong majority, which is arrayed against Don Carlos; the Portuguese Constitution of 1821 by a minority, which is extremely serviceable to Don Miguel. The Constitution of 1812 supersedes the inefficient estatuto real; that of 1821, the liberal Charter of Don Pedro. If the whole Peninsula had a Charter as liberal as Don Pedro's, this might be all the better for both the countries of the Peninsula and their allies.
The demi-official press of France is beginning to paint Spain in dark colours. We conceive that there is tactical skill in these reports. There cannot be anarchy at Madrid, where Martinez de la Rosa is allowed to reside; and we do not believe in the success of Don Carlos.
The misunderstanding with Switzerland originates in a snare laid for France by the Northern Powers, and into which M. Thiers rushed headlong. The North feigned to offer its alliance, and Austria affected to hold out the hope of a marriage, if France would take part against the refugees in Switzerland, and against the liberal policy of that
country. To support the charges against the refugees, they were denounced as implicated in a plot against Louis Philippe, which was to break out on the 28th of July. After the review had thus been prevented, the circumstance was used as a pretext to decline the marriage, and France was left with the Swiss quarrel on her shoulders.
Switzerland having gone great lengths against France and against her Ambassador, M. Molé cannot help following up the matter; but he will strive to come to an adjustment. The foreign papers assert that France will not have the majority at the Diet; M. Molé believes the contrary. Should he find himself mistaken, France may, perhaps, be obliged to accept the mediation of England, which our Government now refuses. At any rate, M. Molé seems thankful for the mediation which England is disposed to grant; and he does not listen to the other powers which make the same offer. How could he give ear to the Russian Diplomacy, which is at the same time exciting the radicals of Switzerland?
The "Morning Chronicle" complains of the accusations preferred by French Diplomacy against the internal policy of Switzerland: that Journal is in the right. It is, also, in the right to censure the tone of the last French note. But it errs in charging the Government with what the Council is supposed to have done; and it mixes up M. Molé too much with the faults of M. Thiers.
The new French Administration has just manifested its good intentions by taking the first step towards an amnesty. M. Thiers was hostile to it. The first idea of the amnesty belongs to Marshal Gerard; M. Guizot was favourable to it; M. Molé also made it a condition at the moment of the entrance of Persil and Martin (du Nord) into the Council.
This commencement of amnesty will produce a lively
sensation in Europe, which will at length ascertain that the French Government is sufficiently consolidated to entertain no more fears of its old internal enemies. We should not be surprised if Austria, in consequence of this conviction, should draw a little closer towards France. Inhabitants of Vienna now at Paris say that the Archduchess Theresa is betrothed, but they know not to whom! Still, if M. d'Appony himself were to promise her hand to the Duke of Orleans, his promise ought not to be relied upon.
The Ministry hopes to meet the Chamber with the commencement of amnesty and the adjustment of the misunderstanding with Switzerland. It is not at all afraid of M. Dupin, who declared himself against all intervention. It reckons upon a fraction of the tiers-parti, connected with Messrs. Molé, Bernard, and Rosamel. In a word, it hopes to obtain a majority.
However, in order to make sure of a majority, it will have occasion for more acts than those which it has begun or consummated; and it will have, also, occasion to carry to the Chamber still more guarantees of the English alliance.
POSTSCRIPT, OCTOBER 17, 1836.
AFFAIRS OF SWITZERLAND.
AFFAIR OF CONSEIL.
We have this moment received a singular communication which throws new light on the Swiss question. It appears certain that the report from Berne of the 23rd of September, which produced the difference with France, reposed on very equivocal data. It appears to be proved that the depositions of Conseil were as false as those of his witnesses, and one