Page images

ments had declared to them, that, although they did not hesitate still to recognize them as Ministers of His Most Faithful Majesty, they having been nominated previously to the 24th of August, 1820, yet that they were determined not to admit any others, who, by virtue of a nomination subsequent to that period, might be sent to replace them; because they had resolved by common consent not to recognize the new order of things, nor the actual Government existing in Portugal,— His Majesty then ordered, not only that the said Ministers should immediately retire from those Courts, but also that the Consuls of Portugal, residing in the Ports of the respective Countries, should suspend the exercise of their functions, so long as those Governments should persist in the strange pretension of constituting themselves Arbiters of the internal government of this Kingdom; since the powers of the said Consuls must necessarily cease to exist in the opinion of those Governments, so soon as they considered illegitimate the Government from which they held their patents. But, that Commerce might not suffer from these political differences, the Government caused it to be declared to all the Custom-houses of the United Kingdom, that the want of legalization by our Consuls, of the Papers of such Ships as should enter our Ports, coming from those Countries, should occasion no obstacle to their dispatch, but that they should be treated in all respects as Ships coming from Ports where no Portuguese Consuls reside, in which case it is sufficient that the Papers be presented, duly legalised by the Local Authorities.

At the same time, His Majesty determined that the Chargé d'Af faires of Sardinia, residing at this Court, should no longer be considered as a Diplomatick Agent, although he might reside therein as long as should be agreeable to him, as a private Individual.

A few months after this communication made to M. Avogadro, he, having received from Hamburgh various articles forwarded to him, applied for an Order for their delivery at the Custom-house free of duty, according to the usual practice with respect to Foreign Ministers. This demand was acceded to without hesitation, because, although no longer invested with a diplomatick character, it was evident that he had ordered the goods at a period when he still exercised at this Court the functions of Chargé d'Affaires, and that therefore it was not right that an act practised in good faith should redound to his prejudice.

The following Order was accordingly transmitted to him:

"The King, through the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, commands the Administrator-General of the Principal Custom-house of Lisbon, to cause to be delivered, free of duty, to Augustus Avogadro, a Case, set forth in the accompanying Bill of Lading, countersigned by J. P. M. de Carvalho e Brito, Secretary in this Foreign Office, which has been forwarded to him from Hamburgh, on board the Ship Cuxhaven, J. Meyer, Master; the said Case having been ordered by him

at a time when he still exercised at this Court the functions of Chargé d'Affaires of Sardinia.

"Foreign Office, 24th April, 1822.


Three days afterwards, M. Avogadro came to my house, and, asking my Servant for paper and ink, left me the following Note, open, to be delivered to me, together with the Order to the Customhouse, which, agreeably to the official form, had been courteously sent to him under a flying seal:

"The Count Avogadro regrets much that he cannot deliver to His Excellency in person the inclosed Order, which he finds himself compelled to return to the Secretary of State.

"The total forgetfulness of every sort of decency observed in that Order, does not permit the Count Avogadro to accept or avail himself of it."

No sooner had I received this singular Communication, than I laid the same before His Majesty, by whose order I, on the following day, addressed the accompanying Note to M. Avogadro:

"The Undersigned, Minister and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in answer to the indecorous Note of M. Augustus Avogadro, late Chargé d'Affaires of the Government of Sardinia, transmits to him, by command of the King, his Passports, in order that he may quit this Capital within 24 hours, and the Kingdom within 8 days. "Foreign Office, 30th April, 1822.

"SILVESTRE PINHEIRO FERREIRA." Such is the series of facts, which prove, that this Government makes it a point to pay to all others the tribute of respect that belongs to them respectively, and that, for that very reason, it will never consent to submit to the slightest insult from them,-much less from their Agents.

You will make such prudent use of this Communication as circumstances shall dictate. God preserve, &c. SILVESTRE PINHEIRO FERREIRA.

Lisbon, 4th May, 1822.

ADDRESS of the General Extraordinary and Constituent Cortes of the Portuguese Nation to the People of Brazil, on the New Constitution of the Monarchy.-17th August, 1822. (Translation.)

To establish and to consolidate the Monarchy in both Hemispheres, is the constant object of the Cortes, and the ardent desire of all good Portuguese. To strengthen, by indissoluble ties, the union of two

brotherly Nations, though separated by so great a space, is the difficult problem, which can only be solved by means of a thorough conviction, and a frank declaration, of what our circumstances loudly require. Let us not, therefore, spend in useless disputes and reciprocal recriminations, that time which we ought to employ in maintaining the integrity of so vast an Empire, whose greatness and solidity depend upon a well adjusted and permanent Union.

Brazilians! Your European Brethren do not oppose, nor do even the Cortes deny, the natural right which belongs to you, to constitute yourselves Independent, and to select the system of Government which is most agreeable to you; this the Cortes expressly recognized, when they proposed to you the Fundamental Law, as the basis of the Constitution, in order that you might declare whether you wished to form with us, under its conditions, the same Society, and the same Empire. If, in consequence of time and distance, your Representatives could not co-operate in the framing of this Law, you, nevertheless, have since adopted it; you have sworn to it, and the voices of all the Political Assemblies in Brazil re-echoed in the Halls of this Building, amidst the greatest applause and the liveliest enthusiasm. It was then notorious to the whole World, that, far from adopting an unconditional submission, you had recognized and sworn to the basis of the Constitution of the Portuguese Monarchy, and had proclaimed your Union with Portugal, in the most solemn and spoutaneous manner, and that under the political system, and the conditions of Government, therein determined.

The essential principles of our original Political Charter have not been altered by the Constitution; they have only been better developed and expounded. They consist, generally speaking, of the division of the Political Powers ;-one single Chamber of Representatives, with Legislative Power, assembling once in each Year;-an inviolable King, with responsible Ministers;-the Liberty of the Press;-the Right Petition. These are the first guarantees of the Political and Civil Liberty of the People of Portugal and of the People of Brazil; a liberty, Brazilians, which is one and the same, as well for you, as for your European Brethren, since it is equally valuable and efficacious to both; nor does the Constitution allow to one what it refuses to the other; those who tell you to the contrary, wish only to gratify ambitious passions, by alienating your minds, in order to compromise your security, and to draw down upon you all the horrors of anarchy and Civil War; they are evil disposed Persons, who stigmatize every species of authority, for the purpose solely of ascending to the summit of power and wealth, without regarding the mischief and desolation they may occasion. Let, therefore, all illusion, which may yet possess some minds, disappear at once.

Brazilians! When the Cortes displayed to your sight the Standard of Liberty, and invited you to rally with them under it, they certainly did

not contemplate the retaining you in the abject state of Colonial dependence; when they offered to you the same Constitution, the same liberty and the same guarantees, it certainly was not for the purpose of making you Slaves. It would indeed be a singular mode of reducing to a colonial condition, and of enslaving a People, by recognizing the rights, of which they had been deprived, and the privileges which they had never fully enjoyed. As if Civil and Political Liberty were some abstract speculation, beyond the reach of ordinary understandings, a Faction of disorganizers have endeavoured to persuade you, that it would be inconsistent with that liberty, to continue the Provincial Juntas, although they have been established by the Elections of the People; to abolish the Tribunals, which are notoriously useless and a heavy charge; to withdraw from America the Heir of the Crown, when political reasons called him to the foot of the Throne, and when you had manifested an unwillingness to obey him. This Faction of ambitious men, enemies of the publick tranquillity, have advanced, and have circulated in the South of Brazil, such ill-founded pretexts; they at first alleged, that the Cortes had no power to legislate for Brazil; they afterwards alleged that there was injustice in their Legislative measures; and they have, at last, declared their formal disobedience and meditate revolt-whereas the Legislative Authority of the Cortes had its basis in the will of the People, who have adopted, sworn to, and recognized that authority;-the justice of the Legislation was founded, both in the nature of things, and in the will of the same People, which had been previously and expressly declared;-and, finally, partial resistance has become the very crime of Rebellion, which is always the forerunner of anarchy, and ought to be punished in every well organized Society.

The Cortes, being aware that this revolt is merely the work of a few Individuals who have signed a certain Document, have decreed that these Rebels shall be prosecuted. The Cortes respect the general will of all Brazil, and they know that the general will of a People is the vehicle and organ of all prudent Legislation; but they know, at the same time, that the general will of all Brazil is to adopt, under the same conditions, the same system of Government, uniting itself to Portugal by an indissoluble tie, and they also know, that these disorganizing attempts at partial resistance are merely the ramification of the Factions of the South. In order to prevent the consequences of these and other turbulent proceedings, obnoxious to liberty and contrary to the general opinion of the People of Brazil, the Cortes have determined, that the Executive shall be authorized to send Troops to that Continent. A new pretext for the Factions!--but as groundless as their former pretexts. This measure, in the terms in which the Cortes have adopted it, (who of you, Brazilians, does not perceive) is calculated to serve the purpose of suppressing dangerous Parties, but is certainly inadequate to make conquests or to maintain tyranny; this

consideration alone is sufficient to free it from every appearance of hostility. The Cortes, however, having taken into consideration the degree to which the prejudice between the Europeans and Natives has been carried in Brazil, and how much is to be apprehended from the excesses of a popular frenzy, which the Troops of the Country might not be able to restrain, have deemed it necessary to protect the real and personal property of a great number of Citizens. How could so great a mass of interests and opinions be indifferent to them? No other motive has influenced this determination of the Cortes.

Brazilians! The resolutions of the Cortes and of the Government, whose authority you have recognized and sworn to, have not exceeded either the principles of universal justice, or the maxims of good govern ment, in the Laws and Orders which they have addressed to you. Do not, therefore, lend yourselves to the intrigues of a Party, which endeavours to persuade you to the contrary, because it desires only to distract and to ruin you. Reflect within yourselves; reflect upon your former condition, and upon the political consideration to which the Constitution elevates you; examine attentively what these violators of the most solemn oaths attempt to insinuate, and you will find that some want the excess of liberty, by proclaiming a democratick Independence, and that others want the excess of servitude, by opening a road to absolute power and to the privileges of an aristocracy. The Cortes on the contrary, offer you the Constitutional Monarchy, as a middle term between these two dangerous extremes, and as the plank of your political salvation: they extend a helping hand to you, and render it unnecessary for you to undertake the arduous and hazardous task of establishing a Government entirely new. Your Representatives co-operate with activity and wisdom, in making to the Constitution such additions, as may be consistent with the unity of Power, and of the Empire, and as may contribute towards the general and immediate benefit of the Nation. You will possess the most absolute Independence in the exercise of the Judicial Power ;-Courts of Justice, inconveniently situated, cannot properly administer justice. And you will not be without an Authority, delegated by the King, which may, in the distribution of Offices and Rewards, place you more within the reach of the intervention of the Royal Power.

Brazilians! The act of adopting or of rejecting a system of Government, is a compromise; let us then weigh the inconveniences; we must give and take; we must renounce some rights, the better to enjoy others, and, as we sacrifice our natural liberty, in order to enjoy with more security the advantages of civil society, so we must sacrifice a part of the civil advantages to the superior utility of the union of a great Empire. Although the seas be agitated and months may pass away, although an ocean of 1,500 leagues may interpose both space and time between the Law and the execution of it, yet the sphere of human ingenuity is not so circumscribed, but that the wisdom

« PreviousContinue »