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The Nation, indeed, desired it eagerly; but was diverted from it by the dangerous collision of opinions. The form of the Government had no consistency; it appeared destined either to be used in aid of the despotism of those who struggled against its Independence, or to be annihilated by its most enthusiastic Protectors. Our Country was at one time likely to drench with its blood the steps of a Throne, in order that a Foreign Prince might ascend it, and at another to be torn in pieces by the factions of its own Sons. Meanwhile a general apathy began to prevail, which stopped the supplies of the National Treasury, enervated the Army, paralyzed the Government, impaired the vigour of the Empire, and prepared us to be the easy prey either of Foreign Invasion, of secret machination, or of intestine discord. Every thing, in short, betrayed symptoms of that anarchy into which the Mexican Nation was about to plunge, at the time when the Imperial Army proclaimed its Independence at Iguala.
And was not the Nation freely to exert its will at such a crisis? Was not the hand which had been enabled to rescue it from its former perilous situation, under an obligation, in consistency, ever afterwards to protect and save it? Yes, adored Country, that same hand, with the sole object of your preservation, will sway the Sceptre which you have confided to it! In the same spirit and to the same extent, that he sought honestly to decline it as a reward for past services, will he labour to sustain it, and the weight which is added to it by the very onerous circumstances under which it is received. That which could not be accepted, without reproach to your mere gratitude, cannot blamelessly, be denied to your service, to your benefit, and to your authority.
You have before you, my Fellow-Citizens, the real impressions of your grateful Compatriot. Heaven, which has deigned, so visibly, always to countenance his sincere intentions, is now witness to them. He invokes Heaven, in proof of the purity of those which have determined him to accept the Crown. You are also aware of our deplorable situation, and of the necessity of escaping from it, by whatever course is open to us. Full of virtue and moderation, you have chosen to pursue the dictates of gratitude, and to exercise the right inherent in every free Nation, to establish the form of its Government, and to nominate its Rulers.
The national will is respected; and he, in whose favour it is pronounced, cannot take umbrage at the dissent which was manifested by some Persons, before the formal Act was promulgated which elevated him to the rank of First Citizen and Chief of the Nation: much less can they be objects of his disapprobation and resentment, who, for their beloved Country, can discover in him who is charged with the common welfare, only the tenderness of a Fellow-Citizen and Friend. Accustomed to obedience from his earliest years, he has received lessons of command unknown to those who acquire power by hereditary
title: a stranger to prejudice, vanity, and adulation, he can feel and acknowledge the supremacy of the Law, and be penetrated with the undoubted truth, that in the love of the People is the felicity of the Prince, and in the kindness of the Prince the happiness of the People.
Let this, therefore, be the glorious foundation of your choice! And as you, my Fellow-Citizens, appreciate the motives which have prompted my acceptance of your favour, at so great a sacrifice of inclination, let me invite you to co-operate with me, so that the Imperial Authority may be constantly directed to the Publick Weal; to the repulse of all dangers which may threaten it, and to the aggrandisement of the Empire. Above all, be persuaded of the very tender affection and cordiality with which the wishes of the Nation are gratified by AUGUSTIN.
DECREE of the Emperor Augustin de Iturbide, dissolving the Congress of Mexico, and establishing a Representative Junta of Government.-31st October, 1822. (Translation.) His Majesty the Emperor has been pleased to issue the following Decree :
Augustin, by Divine Providence, and by the Congress of the Nation, first Constitutional Emperor of Mexico, and Grand Master of the Imperial Order of Guadaloupe, to all those who shall hear and see the present, know :-That, from the moment that I proclaimed at Iguala the Independence and Liberty of the Mexican Nation, I be came the centre of the general opinion of all the Towns and Provinces; and that I contracted the obligation of bringing to a conclusion that glorious enterprize. I succeeded in this by the Divine aid, and the efforts of the gallant Army, which, under my orders, left nothing undone for the fulfilment on its part of the general wish, it having, together with me, constituted itself a guarantee for consolidating the Representative Government which I promised in the Plan, published at Iguala, and which was ratified by the subsequent Treaty of Cordova. I have religiously performed my promise. The Nation trusted that the Constituent Congress would dictate wise Laws for the organization of the Government, and the felicity of the Empire: such was the expectation of all the People; but melancholy experience has shewn that, far from fulfilling its duties with exactness, the Congress entered into questions quite foreign to its institution, exceeding, from the very moment of its installation, the powers confided to the Deputies by the Provinces; arrogating to itself titles and attributes which do not belong to it; and looking with a cold indifference upon the wants of the State, the administration of Justice, the condition of the Employés, and the misery, which it has employed by every means to aggravate, of the Army; notwithstanding that many of the Deputies endeavoured to dissuade it from such proceedings.
I have exhausted all the means of prudence, of moderation, and of lenity, in order to induce the Congress to see the path which it ought to follow; but, blind in its ideas, and unwilling to enter upon the consideration of the publick evils, it wishes that the Nation may remain still longer without a Constitution, for it has not yet framed one; it has neglected to organize the Financial System; the Army is naked and ill paid; the Judges and Employés are full of misery, their salaries being unpaid; and, in short, the Nation is suffering the greatest evils, which are precipitating it to its ruin, and crimes are daily increasing, so as to excite the greatest apprehension.
Being responsible for the completion of the work which I commenced, and which the Nation unanimously confided to ine, I cannot permit that it shall be ruined by the evils which are obvious to every one; I have therefore resolved upon the following Decree, which has been already executed, but which, for the information of the Nation, I command to be published by proclamation in this Capital, and in the Cities, Towns, and Villages of the Empire.
Augustin, by Divine Providence, and the Congress of the Nation, &c. &c. to all those who shall see and hear the present, know: That I took upon myself to establish the Independence of our Country; that the performance of this undertaking is to see it accomplished; that until this happen, I am responsible for the result; that it is unattainable, because the Constituent Congress has not performed its duties with the activity which the critical circumstances of the Nation require.
In order, therefore, to liberate it from the great evils with which it is threatened, it is necessary to adopt energetic measures for the attainment of this important object. Of this description are the following, which, after consulting respecting them with Persons of intelligence, virtue, and patriotic zeal, I have determined upon and decree:
1. The Congress shall be dissolved from the moment that this Decree shall be notified to it.
2. The National Representation, until a new Congress shall assemble, shall be continued in a Junta, consisting of 2 Deputies for each of the Provinces which has returned a greater number, and 1 for each of the other Provinces, together with 8 Substitutes, who shall be named by Me.
3. The labours to which this Junta is to dedicate itself, shall be described in a particular Regulation.
4. The Deputies who are not to belong to the Junta, previously to their leaving the Capital, shall give information of their wish to the Government, through the Political Chief; and during their stay, unless they be permanent Residents in the same, they shall apply to the General Treasury for their daily Allowance.
5. The Commissioner entrusted with the execution of this Decree,
shall take charge of the Secretary's Office, in order that no Paper whatever may be withdrawn from the same; and the Secretaries shall deliver up the Papers now under their charge, and shall collect those which are in the different Committees, for the purpose of delivering them up, on the 2d of the next Month, to the Junta, with the corresponding explanations.
6. The Junta shall assemble, in order to enter upon its functions, on the 2d of November, the Deputy who has attained the greatest age presiding over it, ad interim, until I shall present myself, when the formal Election, conformably to the Regulations, shall be proceeded upon.
[THE IMPERIAL SIGNATURE.] You will take charge of the fulfilment of this Decree, and you will direct that it be printed, published, and circulated.
Mexico, 31st October, 1822.
DON JOSE HERRERA.
DECREE of the Supreme Protector of Peru, declaring certain Ports of the Republick in a state of Blockade.Lima, 15th October, 1821. (Translation.)
THE PROTECTOR OF PERU.
THE Supreme Government being established, and the Independence of Peru having been proclaimed by the greater part of the People, from the moment they could unite their suffrages with those of the Liberating Army; it is one of my duties, conformably to the Oath which I have taken to defend the integrity of the Territory, to take every measure which may conduce to fulfil the universal desire of all who have groaned under oppression.
Wherefore, the Intendancy of Arequipa, which forms an integral part of the Peruvian State, being still occupied by the Enemy's Force, contrary to the wish and opinion of the Inhabitants, I have been induced to declare, in the exercise of the Authority with which I am invested, and of the right of War which renders it necessary, that:
ART. I. The Ports and Creeks comprehended between the parallels of 15° and 22° 30' South, from the Port of Caballas or Nasca to that of Cobija, both included, shall be considered in a state of rigorous Blockade, so soon as the Peruvian Ships of War, destined to render it effective, and which are nearly ready to sail, shall arrive on that Coast.
II. This Declaration will be considered as sufficiently notified to all friendly or neutral Powers, at the periods specified in the following Article, after which, no traffick can be carried on with the before mentioned Ports, except under the responsibility which the Rights of Nations impose in the event of any infraction thereof.
III. The term of 8 Months is fixed for European Nations, the United States of America, and the Ports of Africa; that of 4 Months for the Brazils and the Rio de la Plata; and 2 Months for Chili and Colombia. The term is extended to 12 Months for the European Establishments of Asia and the Eastern Coast of Africa.
IV. From the day on which the destined Force shall render the Blockade effective, no Ship belonging to friendly or neutral Nations can enter the beforementioned Ports; and the Commanding Officer of the Blockade will notify its existence to those who may arrive before them, according to the verification thereof on the back of the Licence of the Ship, in order that, should it afterwards attempt to enter a blockaded Port, it may be sent to Callao, and be judged accordingly.
V. Every Ship which shall arrive at the said blockaded Ports, after the expiration of the term respectively pointed out in the IIId Article, and which shall have on board Articles, contraband of War, such as Arms, Ammunition, Warlike Stores, Provisions, Naval Stores, and other Supplies which might contribute to the defence of the Enemy, and the continuance of the War, shall be sent to the Port of Callao, to be judged according to the Law of Nations.
VI. Vessels arriving at the said Ports without the necessary Documents, or with simulated ones, are subject to the foregoing Article.
VII. The Minister of State of the Marine Department is charged with communicating this Decree to the Commanders of the Neutral Forces which may be in these Seas, and to whomsoever else it may
Protectorial Palace in Lima, 15th October, 1821.
By Command of His Excellency,
JOSE DE SAN MARTIN.
CIRCULAR of the Minister for Foreign Affairs at Lisbon, to the Portuguese Ministers at Foreign Courts, relative to the Departure of the Sardinian Chargé d'Affaires.-4th May, 1822. (Translation.)
M. AVOGADRO, late Chargé d'Affaires of Sardinia at this Court, having, by His Majesty's Command, received his Passports to retire from this Kingdom, it is necessary that you be informed of the circumstances of this fact, so as to be enabled to rectify any false rumour that may be spread abroad upon the subject.
As soon as it was known at this Court, through our Ministers residing at the Courts of Vienna, Naples, and Turin, that those Govern