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Lord Palmerston, on the contrary, persists in the ideas and passions which induced him to sigo the convention of London, and every thing tends to increase bis obstinacy. He is led away by the cajolery of Russia, and by a hatred for France, which dates from the period of the residence of M. de Talleyrand in London." ;
It is a very common belief in France, that Lord Palmerston has a personal hatred of the French, and that in his desire to gratify it, he overlooks those considerations of prudence which would strike a minister who might be, as all ministers ought to be, without personal feeling on questions connected with the welfare of their own country and the peace of Europe. We know not what foundation there may be for such belief; but certainly nothing authentic has transpired to show that it is well founded. As soon as Lord Palmerston began to show that there were in his opinion other countries in Europe besides France, whose alliance was worth having, the flood-gates of virulence of the Paris press were opened upon him, and he was charged with being at once a hater of France and a traitor to his own country in favour of Russia. Some of the journals asserted that this supposed hatred had its origin in his jealousy of Talleyrand, to whose superior powers he was compelled to submit; others said that in some secret negociation he had been outwitted by Louis Philip, and that his hatred was all concentered on that personage, to dethrone whom he sought to arm against France the other powers of the continent, convinced that such an alliance would have the effect of rousing the French populace against a monarch who preferred peace to military glory. As any assertion, however false, absurd and unfounded, which appears in a French journal, has only to be repeated from time to time to obtain all the character of truth, it is not surprising that Lord Palmerston should at this moment be regarded as the personal hater of France or of its sovereign Louis Philip. Nothing that Lord Palmerston could do with a view to remove this belief would be attended with a successful result; and as he knows this, he is perhaps more indifferent to the good or bad opinion of the French, and therefore less courteous towards them than he might be under different circumstances. But there has certainly been nothing in his intercourse with M. Guizot to warrant the new imputations of hatred and ill-will which are cast upon him. Not many weeks ago he gave a striking proof of his desire to maintain the harmony-so called—which exists between the two countries, by immediately complying with a personal request of M. Guizot, on a subject connected with an effort to promote good feeling; and all his despatches have been written with calmness and apparent good temper. As regards the present, there is no manifestation of the
hatred ascribed to Lord Palmerston, whatever the original sin may, have been, and perhaps a minute and impartial inquiry would show, įhat the real ground of offence was his trhaving thwarted the too exclusively French views of his date colleague, Lord Holland, whose pride it was to be regarded as the friend and champion of the French nation. The jealousy or hatred of the noble secretary of foreign affairs towards M.de Talleyrand, if be ever really did feel either, was no ground for hatred of the whole French nation ; and it is difficult to conceive when and on what occasion the Citizen King had the misfortune to fall under the displeasure of Lord Palmerston. The event cannot have been of very recent date, for at least seven or eight years have passed since the rumour was first circulated, and yet we can scarcely assign to it a more distant period; for we remember that in the early part of the Whig government, and shortly after the accession of Louis Philip to the French throne, M. de Flahaut came to England twice on private missions from Louis Philip to Lord Palmerston, and on both occasions found the noble secretary exceedingly well disposed towards bim and his royal master, We do not mean to assert that the intercourse be tween the Citizen King and the English minister was never ruffled, for we know that Louis Philip was much tanmayed at a series of articles in the Courier newspaper, then the official organ of the Whig cabinet, and that he, more than once, remonstrated with Lord Palmerston on the subject. But these articles, which were an exposure of the cupidity of the French king, were disclaimed by Lord Palmerston, and Louis Philip had subsequent proof that they were written by a traitor in his own camp, and had been censured by the British cabinet., We cannot therefore account for the popular belief in France, that Lord Palmerston hates the French; but we can easily understand why the French - the French opposition journals at least-hate him. They believe that of all the cabinet he is the least disposed to encourage the damnable doctrines of French republicanism ; and if this be the real ground of dislike, Lord Palmerston may be proud of their hatred. I
But if in the spirit of fairness and impartiality we defend Lord Palmerston against unjust imputations and accusations, we are not blind to the inconvenience which must result from a state of things in which the Whig cabinet find no sympathy from any part of the French nation, The French Conservatives, and they are a numerous and influential body, have no confidence in a ministry which in England fosters and encourages the spirit of discontent, which in France led to rebellion, anarchy and wholesale butchery. If Lord Palmerston be really more conservative than his colleagues, he is not sufficiently so for French Conservatives, and even they are displeased with the brúsquerie of his conduct on the Eastern question, although they do not admit that France has been humiliated. On the other hand, Lord Palmerston is hated by the republican and dynastic parties. Can it then be reasonably expected that the Whig ministry'will be able to settle the Eastern question with satisfaction to itself, and at the same time without sowing the seeds of eternal discord between the two nations. The accession to power of the English Conservatives might not be productive of all the results which are expected by the French to arise from such an event, for it is utterly in possible to reconcile considerations of justice and equity with the wild doctrines which are preached in France on this subject; but it is evident that the question would not be complicated by a change of ministry in France. The French have been disappointed by those wliom they regarded as their friends, and they would accept much less than they asked from their allies, from those whom they have been accustomed to regard as their enemies. ser ... The affair of the East is not the only question on which there is a bad feeling between the governments of France and England. The Peninsula of Europe is another field full of the elements of strife and contention, and there is as little prospect that the Whig ministers will bring the French to reason on that subject, as of their ever being able to make them believe that they have acted as they ought to have done in the dispute between the Pasha of Egypt and the Sultan. There always has been, as there is now, a conflict in Spain between French and British influence; but there never was a time, perhaps, at which, both as regards the internal welfare of Spain and the existence of a better understanding between England and France as to the politics of Europe generally, a strong government in England was more necessary. The views of France on Spain are diametrically opposed to British interests; and it is of the greatest iniportance that they should know and feel that their views are impracticable. With a weak government in England, whether Whig or Tory, the English will be unable to keep down the pretensions of France to make of Spain a mere colony. Short of this the French will never stop of their own free will; and if they have bitherto refrained from any open attempt to set up a government in Spain which should lend itself to their views, it has been because their attention was engrossed elsewhere, and because French intrigue had not yet ripened the fruit for plucking. If France is to be re-admitted into what is called the European Compact, there must be some very strong condition by which it can be restrained from
open intervention or secret intrigue in Spain. She must not be allowed to regain influence unless that influence is to be exercised in the common interests of Europe. Hitherto Austria, Russia, and Prussia, although fully alive to the danger of allowing republican principles to prevail in Spain and Portugal, and viewing, as we may reasonably suppose they have viewed, the forcible change in the succession, with dislike and alarm, have tacitly abandoned the Peninsula to France and England, under the impression that the rival influence of the soi-disant allies would effectually prevent such a settlement of affairs in that country as would put an end for ever to the hopes of the despoiled princes. In the compact for the settlement of the Eastern question, something must be done as to Spain and Portugal. There is not, perhaps, a sovereign in Europe of any weight who would recommend an intervention for the restoration of Don Miguel, or even for the enforcement of the claims of Don Carlos ; but there is no sovereign who can be willing to leave the government and fate of these countries, and particularly Spain, to chance or the contending influence of two nations, one of which aims at indi. rect, if not direct, sovereignty, over the Peninsula. The exclusion of France from the Congress of Europe is even in this question a serious calamity; for if she were one of a body arbitrating and deciding the destinies of Europe, she must of necessity comply with the just and equitable views of the majority, for the balance of power throughout Europe. The only influence which any one country should be permitted to have over another in the Peninsula should be that which her commercial energies can procure for her. The first duty of the sovereigns of Europe is to see that a stable and permanent government be established in Spain, and that no exclusive advantages be given to any country. It is a pretty general opinion, indeed, that all foreign intervention should be avoided ; and certainly if intervention by either France or England be meant, this is a wise policy. But why should Europe at large refrain from laying down conditions of settlement and tranquillity in Spain, which they apply to Turkey, Egypt, and Syria ? Is there more danger to the general tranquillity of Europe from the existence of anarchy and rebellion in the East than there is in the Peninsula ? Is it of more consequence to put an end to contention between the half-savage tribes of Syria than it is to close the civil wounds of Spain ? And is it of no importance to establish good government in a country which is rich in its soil and in its climate, and which has within itself the means of becoming great and happy under the guardianship of Europe ? Portugal may be considered settled as compared with Spain, and therefore to claim less of the attentions of the great powers; but
it must not be forgotten that Portugal can never be really tranquil whilst Spain is in a state of anarchy. The elements of discord cannot exist in the one country without threatening discord to the other. If it be true, as it undoubtedly is, that the Spaniards and the Portuguese detest each other as nations, it is equally true that there are in each parties who are willing to forget national antipathies in the common endeavour to upset the existing institutions. It was a false policy which permitted the forcible overthrow of the old institutions of the Peninsula, without the intervention of guarantees for new doctrines of governinent; and now that new systems have been tried and failed, having no other support than the doubtful integrity of parties, it is quite time to lay down laws for the good and effectual government of the Peninsula. Russia, Austria, and Prussia have not intervened, because they could not do so in opposition to France and England, which objected to the kind of intervention which they would have set up, and because they hoped, perhaps, that the Spaniards, disappointed as to their new institutions, would of themselves go back to the old system. Those powers must now feel that a restoration is impossible, and that the reign of anarchy may produce a very different result from that on which they had speculated, if indeed they ever did speculate upon any thing more than such a disgust of anarchy as would induce Spain to consent to a compromise between old and new institutions. Austria, Russia, and Prussia must now be desirous of the tranquillity of the Peninsula, under whatever form of government, for they have no direct interest in a different state of things. France, however, has an interest in perpetuating the poverty and degradation of Spain, and therefore she should be compelled to become a party to the final and irrevocable settlement of this question. The French know that if Spain and Portugal were to be tranquillized, and encouragement were to be given there to the pursuits of industry, they would lose the little political influence which they now possess in the Peninsula, and that in proportion as wealth should again visit the Portuguese and the Spaniards, England would increase her trade with those nations, for France is too much behind the English in those manufactures which are even now in demand in Spain and Portugal, for her to compete successfully with England.
If the French could hope for increased influence from the tranquillization of Spain, and the establishment of a government which would enable the inhabitants of that country to avail themselves of the vast natural resources of wealth and grandeur which they possess, we might expect their cheerful co-operation in some vast and decisive plan of pacification; but as the French do not entertain such hope, their object must be to keep up the spirit of fac