« PreviousContinue »
trance into France had no other object than to support the throne of Louis XVIII. and the integrity of his kingdom. At the same time another Spanish army under Gen. Castanos crossed the frontier on the side of Perpignan. So little, however, was such aid desired, that the Duke of Angouleme, in an interview with the latter commander, persuaded him to march back into Spain. Count Avisbal being informed of this transaction by Lieut.-Gen. Count de Viomesnil, announced that as soon as he should receive official notice of it from General Castanos, he would also repass the Bidassoa. This intention he put in execution on Sept. 4th, after having addressed a letter to Count Viomesnil, in which he extols the discipline observed by his troops whilst in France, who were neither provoked by the menaces of the local authorities, nor by the recollection of the enormities practised by the troops of Buonaparte in Spain, to acts of hostility. His letter concludes with the wish that the King of France may not one day have to repent of being deprived of the assistance ef SO.OOO Spaniards. This must appear mere vapouring, at a time when the presence of nearly a million of foreign troops had quelled all resistance to the Bourbons; and it is difficult to discover the motive of this invasion of the French territory, which must have excited high indignation in all parties, and would have been powerfully resisted, unless it were that of seeming, though late, to do something in the cause of the «llies, and earning a subsidy. The disgrace of several persons
who had been favourites of the King, and the dismissal of some ministers, immediately after Porlicr's insurrection, were thought to indicate an intended change in the measures of government; and a free pardon to the confined liberates, and even a restoration of the Cortes, were fondly predicted, especially as it was known that the allied powers disapproved the policy which had been pursued in Spain. Nothing of this kind, however, took place j and the remainder of the year exhibited the same predominance of arbitrary principles, superstition, and resistance to improvement, which had re-plunged this country into its former state of degradation.— The character of the monarch was exhibited in a peculiarly odious light by the despotic rigour which he personally exercised upon the state prisoners. Having given orders that the trials of the liberates should be concluded within a fixed period, and that he should be consulted with regard to the sentences to be pronounced, he was greatly dissatisfied on being told that nothing appeal ed in evidence to convict the accused, and that it would be consonant to royal clemency to cast a veil over the past, and restore them to liberty. This recommendation only induced him to transfer the causes to another tribunal, to which he referred the consideration whether they were not comprised in certain laws relative to traitors and the exciters of tumults and disturbances . Receiving a reply that none of those who had been seized were guilty of offences of that nature, the king, in a rage, ordered the clerk of the court to bring to
him him the proceedings, when he by himself pronounced sentence of exile or imprisonment for longer or shorter terms upon thirty-two persons, who had been the most distinguished deputies to the Cortes, or promoters of liberal principles. Of the nature of these sentences a specimen may be given in that of the celebrated Argu elks, to serve ten years as a common soldier in the regiment stationed at Ceuta; and in that of Garcia Herreros, former minister of grace and justice, to serve eight years in chains in the garrison of Gomera. Such is the prospect afforded of the reign of the beloved Ferdinand!
Of the occurrences in Italy during this year, the most important have been related in the chapter •oncerning Murat and the revolution at Naples; some circumstances however remain to be noticed with respect to that country. The Roman Pontiff continued to pursue the plan of restoring to his see all the authority belonging to the head of the Catholic church, and of renovating the impaired dignity of religious institutions. On the first day of the ▼ear he issued a bull against ecclesiastical abuses, which contained various injunctions for rendering more sacred and respectable the characters of persons in holy orders. His expulsion from Rome ia consequence of the advance of king Joachim's troops, and his subsequent restoration after the fall of that temporary sovereign, were mentioned among the incidents of the Neapolitan war.
That important change in the •iairi of Italy was followed by
an event of which notice was given by a proclamation published at Bologna on July 18th, by Cardinal Gonsalvi, secretary of state to the Pope, and addressed to the legations of Bologna, Ferrara, and Ravenna. The people of these districts are informed that by the unanimous will of the allies they are restored To the Holy See. The sentiments of his Holiness on the occasion are then communicated to them, which are, that every display of political conduct and opinion which had taken place in these provinces is banished from his mind, and that it is his desire that all shall look forward to the future with equal confidence and security; further, he expects that all the citizens shall imitate his example, and forgetting everything past, shall regard each other as brothers, being all equally his sons. Moreover, his Holiness engages, that purchasers of property from the preceding governments, who have made their purchases according to the laws then subsisting, shall not be disturbed in their possession; and he also guarantees the public debt of the provinces, and the civil and military pensions, reserving only his claims on foreign countries in respect of them. The reduction of the taxes is then declared, and assurance is given that his Holiness will immediately employ himself on a new system of administration conformable to the welfare of his people. A particular account of the circumstances connected with the restoration of the Papal territory was the subject of an allocution of the Pope in the Secret Consistory,
tory, held on Sept. 4th. His Holiness begins this address with informing his "venerable brothers" that he could have wished to apprize them earlier of the restitution of several of their provinces, but that he waited for its completion. He acquaints them that Cardinal Gonsalvi, after fulfilling the commission with which he was charged to his most Christian Majesty, proceeded to London, where were assembled the allied sovereigns, with the exception of the Emperor Francis, and renewed a spectacle which had not been seen for two centuries, that of the public appearance of a Cardinal Legate, decorated with the distinguishing marks of his dignity. He was received (the Pope says) at the court of the Prince Regent, with such marks of kindness and attachment to our person, that it was impossible to manifest more. The legate then delivered a brief to each of the sovereigns, soliciting the restitution of the provinces bf which the Holy See had been deprived, and stating its rights to them. The departure of the legate to the congress at Vienna is then mentioned, and his conduct there, the result of which was the restoration of the three Legations. For this event acknowledgments are made to those Princes who do not belong to the Romish church, and particular gratitude is expressed to the Prince Regent of England for his earnestness in their behalf, which ■was of great advantage to their cause at the congress. The Pope then confesses that his joy at this restitution is somewhat abated by the still continued retention of the
province of Avignon and the county of Venaissin within France, and the province of Ferrara on the left bank of the Po, belonging to the Holy See as much as the restored parts, and of which he does not despair the restitution, or at least an equivalent compensation. Proceeding to spiritual concerns, he mentions that the legate had been instructed to seize the opportunity presented by the projected establishment of the affairs of Germany, to secure upon their ancient footing the interests of the Catholic church in that country; but that his labours had not hitherto produced any effects, the congress having been dissolved without any definitive arrangement.
The attempts of the papal court to restore the ancient order of things even in Italy were not every where alike successful. At Florence the re-introduction of mortmain, and the re-establishment of the religious orders, met with difficulties from the government; and in the Austrian dominions of Italy little rigard was paid to the wishes of the Pope. The King of Sardinia, on the other hand, showed himself an obedient son of the church; and some useful public establishments were obliged to give way to the return of monks and nuns. That Sovereign, and those of Sicily and Spain, appear to have been the only catholic monnrchs who yielded to the application for restoring the order of Jesuits in their dominions.
The occupation of Elba by the Grand Duke of Florence, though an event of no considerable importance,
portance, may deserve recording, at first asked for a suspension of
on account of the interest attach- arms in order to treat of a sur
ed to that island when the resi- render; but this not being granted,
dence of Buonaparte. A body of a convention was entered into,'
Tuscan troops landed upon it on in consequence of which the Tus
July 30th, and invested Porto cans took possession of all the
Ferrajo, the commandant of which military posts of the island.
America.—Remaining Incidents of the War with the United States.— Capture of the President Frigate.—Failure of the Attack on New Orleans.—Fort Mobille taken.—Treaty of Peace ratified, and President's Message.—Treaty with the Creeks.—Actions of the American Nary against the Barbary Powers.—Commercial Connection with Great Britain.—President's Message in December.—South America.—Arrival of the Spanish Expedition.—Potosi taken by the Insurgents.—Operations in Venezuela.—Mexico.—Insurrection prevented in Martinique.—Guadeloupe declares for Buonaparte: its Reduction by the British.—Furliter Occurrences.—Transactions in the Assembly of Jamaica.
THE signature of peace be* tween Great Britain and the United States of America at the end of the last year could not operate to put a period to hostilities till it had been made known and ratified beyond the Atlantic; and several actions remain to be related as the conclusion of a destructive war, which wisdom and temper might have entirely prevented.
On January 15th a British squadron, consisting of the Majestic, Capt. Hayes, and three frigates, being stationed off the coast of New York, in order to prevent the escape of the United State's ship President, Commodore Decatur, and other vessels, from Staten Island, descried the President attempting to get to sea, and commenced a general chase. After a run of many hours, the Endymion frigate got along side the President, and a warm action ensued, which was maintained with great gallantry on both tides for two hours and a
half, when the Endymion's sails being cut from the yards, the American got a'-head. At length, the Pomonc coming up, and firing a few shots, Commodore Decatur hailed to say he had surrendered. The loss was considerable in both the ships, but much the greatest on board the President. She was a frigate of the largest rate, and had on board about 490 persons.
A series of operations of the British army in the neighbourhood of New Orleans occupied the last week of December and a part of January. An army had been collected for an attack on that town under the command ot Major-Gen. Keane, which, with the assistance of Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, was disembarked without resistance on the 23d. During the following night the troops were assaulted with vigour by a considerable body Oj Americans, who, after repeated efforts, were repulsed with loss. On the 25th Major-General Sir Edward