« PreviousContinue »
utter violation of the faith of treaties; that act their independence was pronounthe disturbing of his Majesty's subjects ced and eftablished, and it had in some in their trade and pavigation, under the fort been acknowledged by England hermost absurd pretences; the assuming of felf, in permitting several acts to fubfift a tyrannic empire over tbe feas; the which tended towards sovereignty. If it prescribing of arbitrary laws, unknowo had been his Majesty's intention to have and inadmiffible; the insulting of his Ma- deceived the King of England, he would jesty's flag in more instances than one ; have concealed his engagements with his in fine, the seizing on his territories in new allies ; but, acting upon principles Europe and America in the most point of juftice, and a fincere defire of prefered and insulting manner.
ving peace, he determined to behave Had his Majetty paid less respect to with the most noble frankness, and conthe laws of humanity; had he been more fidered it as a duty to himself, to declare prodigal of the blood of his subjects ; in openly to the King of England bis en mort, had he, infead of following the gagements with the United States. impulse of his own inclination, beeo ru Nothing could be more fimple or moled by the dictates of his insulted dig, derate tban the declaration delivered by nity, he would not have heftated an in- his Majesty's ambassador to the British ftant to retaliate and repel the inlyles by minister (40. 451.). But the council of force of arms.
St James's judged differently; and the But his Majesty deferred his just re. King of England, after breaking the fentment. He was willing to continue peace, by recalling his ambassador, an. his good offices, having till fo favour. nounced this proceeding of his Majesty able an opinion of his enemies, as to to the parliament as an act of hoftility, hope, tbat, by his amicable interpofi. as a formal and premeditated infult. Netion, he lould be able to produce a re- vertheless his Majesty cannot fuppose that conciliation, which it was their own in, it was his acknowledging the independ, tereft to wish for.
ence of North America which irritated During this time his Majesty made the his Britannic Majesty : that prince can mok ferious representations to the King not certainly be ignorant of many exof England, that he might bave no doubt amples of this kind in the British annals, of his firm intention to maintain his rights and even in his own reign :- his refent. and dignities, and the honour of his fag. ment proceeded from a different cause. But the court of London kept the mott The treaty of France destroyed the plan insulting filence to the greateft part of formed at London of a momentary and the propołals made by his ambassador; precarious coalition with America, and and in those particulars which they con- entirely overturned the secret projects descended to speak of, they made no which influenced his Britannic Majesty fcruple to deny the most positive facts, to such a proceeding; and the true cause to advance priociples contrary to all of the animosity which the King of Engtreaties and customs, and to encourage land manifested and communicaied to judgements and confiscations with the his parliament was, that he could 900 greateft injustice,- excluding even the reunite the Americans to his crown, in privilege of appeal.
order to arm them against France. So While the court of London was treat. çxtraordinary a couduct fufficiently indied with fo much moderation, they made cated to his Majetty what he was to exarmaments and preparations which evi. pect from the court of London; and if dently could not be on account of Ame- there had remained the least doubt, his rica : their motive was too plain for a Majesty bad shortly a full confirmation pollibility of miltake; and from thence of his opinion in the immense warlike It became an indispensable duty on his preparations which were carried on with Majefty to make such difpofitions as most astonishing speed in all the English might defeat the evil defigos of the ene. ports. my, and prevent depredations and insults. Demonstrations so manifefily hostile to fimilar to those experienced in 1755. Trance, determined the King to put
Matters tood thus, when the King, himself in such a state as to repel force who till then, in opposition to his own by force. With that view he haftened intereft, had rejected all overtures from the armament of his ports, and dispatchthe United States of America, judged ed a squadron to America under Comie that there was not a moment to be loft d'Etaiga. in iciming an alliance with them. By
: It is notorious that the forces of France ever, the hope of a reconciliation fill were ready for action first ; - it was in flattered the heart of the King. When the King's power to have given an un- the sailing of the feets under the com. expected and severe blow to England. mand of the Admirals Keppel and ByHis Majesty avows that it was his design, ron, entirely rent the thin veil under his schemes were on the point of being which the court of London erideavoured put into execution, when the voice of to hide their real defigns, it was not pospeace stopped him. - The King of Spain fible to credit any longet their infidious fignified to him the desire which the insinuations, nor to admit a doubt any court of London shewed towards a con. longer of their aggressive schemes : and, ciliation through the mediation of Spain. in this situation of things, bis Majefty That monarch would not however ap- found it absolutely neceffary to give dipear as a mediator, without a previous rections for changing those measures assurance of a clear and positive accepta which he had previously taken for the letion of his friendly offices, and without curity of his pofleflions, and the preknowing the principal objects which were fervation of his subjects commerce. The to form the basis of the negotiation. event has shewn how just the precaution
The King received the overture with has been. All the world is acquainted a fatisfaction proportioned to the pro. with the manner in which the Belle feßions he has always made of his paci. Poule was treated by an English frigate fic intentions. Although the King of in light of the French coast. It is De Spain declared that it was a matter of less notorious that two other frigates and indifference to him, whether they ac- a smaller vefsel were intercepted by surcepted of or refused his mediation, and prise, and conducted to the English ports that, notwithstanding his overtures, he [40. 325, 384.] left the King his nephew entirely at lie "The failing of the naval armament berty to act as he judged proper, his Ma- which the King has sent out under ttc jefty not only accepted of his offers, but conduct of the Comte d'Orvilliers, be immediately suspended the failing of the came necefiary for opposing the deligtas Breft fleet, - and consented to commu- of the enemies of his crown, and for a nicate the conditions of peace as soon as venging the insults which had been pat England had exprefled in a pofitive man. upon the Gallic fiag. - Providence faner her desire for a reconciliation, in voured the arms of his Majesty, and he which the United States of America were triumphed. Comte d'Orvilliers was atincluded, France being determined not tacked by the English fleet :- he fought to abandon them.
with it, and compelled it to retreat be Certainly nothing could be more con- fore him with confiderable loss. - Since formable to the apparent intentions of that period, hoftilities bave continued the court of London than this determi- between the two crowns without a denation. His Catholic Majesty loft not a claration of war. - The court of London moinent to act in conjunction with the has not made any, be ause the wartKing of England and his minister ; but ed the means of a juttification for it: he foon convinced the court of Madrid she did not, moreover, dare to accuse that his overtures of peace were infin- France of being the aggreffor, after the cere. - The British minifter answered, capture which the English squadrons without hesitation, that there could be made of three veftels of his Majcity's no step taken towards a reconciliation fleet; but felt that the liad too much to till France had retracted the declaration blush for, when the execution of the of the 13th of March, last year. This orders which she had issued clandestinely answer was as injurious to Spain as to the Indies, had manifested to Europe France, and disclofed, in the moft evi. what reliance was to be placed in her dent manner, the hottile views of Eng. Pacific difpofitions, and had put all ite land. Both the monarchs saw it in that rowers in the ability of deciding to which Biglit; and though the King, animated of the two, to France or England, the by a love of peace, left his Catholic Ma- appellation of perfidiocs (an appellation jelly at his difpofal to continue his me- which the English minifter has omitted diation, he nevertheles commanded his no opportunity of bestowing upon France charge d'affaires at London to observe a ought most justly to be ascribed. As for profound Glence on the subject in future, his Majely, if he has thus far delayed to Notwithstanding all aprearances, how- common cate to all the nations an intel
ligence of tbe various grievances he has between the belligerent powers a trúce fulfered from the court of London, and of several years from their hoftilities, to demonstrate to them the absolute ne. This plan was agreed to by his Majefty, cellity under which he lay of having re- under the condition that the United course to arms, it was, because he flat- States fhould be included, and that they tered himself that the English minifter should be considered and acted with, du. might, at last, have been brought to re- ring that time, as an independent power; flection; and that justice, and more par- and to induce the King of England to ticularly the critical fituation to which acquicfce in this efTential promise with be bas reduced his country, might have the more alacrity, his Majesty confented, induced him to change the fyftem of his that that prince should treat with the political management.
Congress, either directly, or under the This expectation appeared to have so intervention of his Moft Catholic Maje. much the better foundation, as the Eng- fty. In consequence of this overture, hith minifters continued to detach their the King of Spain presented these propo. emiffaries to found the temper and difpo- fitions, after having carefully digelted fition of the King, whilft his Catholic them, to the court of London. IndeMajesty ftill held the language of peace. pendently of an unlimited truce, during - His Majesty, so far from having acted which the United States were to be rein contradiction to the sentiments he has garded as perfectly independent, this always uniformly maintained, liftened prince, willing to adopt every measure with the greatest readiness and zeal to that might stop the effufion of human the various exhortations of the King his blood, took upon himself to propofe, uncle; and to convince this prince of with regard to America, that every indihis Oncerity and perseverance, he sub- vidual should continue in the poffeffion mitted, without reserve, to bis inspec- of all the property that he occupied or tion, the very moderate conditions, on owned at the time of the ratification of the compliance with which he was ready this truce *. There was not a doubt to lay down his arms. The King of with any one that these conditions would Spain communicated to the court of Lon- have been acceded to; they were, howcon those assurances which he had re ever, refused. The court of London ceived from his Majesty, and pressed that rejected them in a manner the most forcourt to effectuate on their part that ul. mal, and which did not carry with it any timate pacification which his Majesty on indication of a disposition towards peace, his had thewn so strong an inclination to unless on condition that the King would produce: - but the Britilh minister, un abandon the Americans to theinselves. der the perpetual affectation of wishing After a declaration fo blunt, the contifor peace, never returned any other an- nuation of the war became inevitable, fwer to the official proceedings of the and his Majesty from thence thought it court of Spain, than by urging negative expedient to invite the King of Spain to and inadmissible propositions. There a junction with him in virtue of their enwas the most complete evidence, that' gagements, that they might avenge their England was avería to peace, and that respective grievances, and put a period all her view was to gain, by procrastina- to that tyranny which England had ution, that time which her military pre- furped, and still pretended to maintain, parations demanded. The King of Spain over the empire of the ocean. feit this truth, and felt no less the insult T his brief exposition which has been it threw upon his dignity. This prince, given of the political views of the proSin the mean time, was so touched by ceedings, and the succeflive events which the reflection of all the calamities infepa. have occafioned the rupture between the rably incident to war, and so filled with courts of Versailles and London, will the hope that all these effects might yet give Europe an opportunity of forming le prevented, that he overlooked all the a parallel between the conduct of his Maoffenfive conduct of the court of Lon: jefty, and the King of England, of dodon with respect to Spain, and neglected ing justice to the purity and rectitude of Heimself in his endeavours to accomplish the intentions which have influenced his
# zeneral pacification. It was under the '. [Had this been agreed to, our corie. Hailuence of this disposition that his Ca• fpondeat's proposal for the relief of loyal tholic Majesty proposed again a new plan Americans (40.462.] might pollib'y have to the King, for the purpose of effecting beca adopted.]