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Dispute witb Spain. Representation of the earl of Briffel. Disposition of the
court of Madrid, Treaty between France and Spain. England defires
of Spain in the late negocia-: disavow. or even to explain away tion, raised so many difficulties, this offensive transaction, he was and created for much mischief both readily to accept it, and to afford to abroad and home, that it becomes that court as handsome a retreat as an era in this hiftory, and it is necefw possible. The letter which conveyfary we should pursue that objected these instructions was written by from the point at which we left it, Mr. Pitt, and dated on the 28th to its final and fatal determination. of July, a few days after the fatal
The answer which had been re- memorial had been delivered by ceived from the Spanish minister in Mr. Bussy. London was far from being fatisfac. The earl of Bristol punctually tory to our court. Orders were im- obeyed those orders. He found mediately given to the eart of Brigeneral Wall, the Spanish minifter, ftol, our ambossador in Spain, to re. much in cold blood, and in very monftrate with energy and firmness equivocal dispositions, He heard on fo extraordinary a proceeding; with great patience the proper and to adhere to the negative put upon energetic representation that had the Spanish pretensions to fish at been very ably made by the earl of Newfoundland; to reft the article Briffol. He applauded the king of of disputed captures, on the justice Great Britain's magnanimity in not of our tribunals; to continue the suffering France as a tribunal, to be former professions of our desire of appealed to in his disputes with an amicable adjuftment of the log- Spain; and declared that in the prowood difpute"; and of our willing- position which had been made with nefs to cause the settlements on the the consent of his court, things were coalt of Honduras to be evacuated, not considered in that light; alked as soon as ever his Catholick majesty, whether it could be imagined in hould suggest a method for our en England, that the Catholick king joyment of that traffick to which we was seeking to provoke us in our had a right by treaty, and which prelent molt flourishing and most exwas further confirmed to us by re alted situation, and after sucli a series peated promises from that court. of prosperous events as no fingle naç
At the same time that the earl of tion had ever met with ? He valued, Bristol was authorised to proceed and reciprocally returned, our frewith that spirit, which the offended quent professions of friendship, and dignity of our court required, and our desire of amicable adjustment. to bring Spain to a categorical and But these favourable demonftrations fatisfactory declaration, concerning were accompanied with some cirker final intentions; ye: if he per- cumstances, that had a very menac. Vol. IV.
ing appearance. For, in the first agreed to that method. But that place, he declared, that at that time fix years had elapsed without their che utmost harmony subfifted be. receiving the least fatisfaction. tween the courts of France and They even alledged that the Eng. Spain; that in consequence of their lish encroachments on their coats perfect agreement, there was a mu- in that time increased. tual unreserved communication of In this manner the Spaniards vinevery step taken in their several dicated the form and the matter of negotiations with England ; that their proceeding : they thewed no France had even offered to affilt sort of disposition to relax from their Spain, in case the discussions the claims ; but at the same time they had with us should grow into a rup- no longer insisted on blending toture; and that this offer was con- gether the several discusions.; and fidered in a friendly light. Such they professed, in general, though · an intimate union of a third power not in very warm terms, a desire of with one of the parties at war, continuing in amity with us. With forebodes no long duration to its regard to the matters in dispute, the friendship, or even to its neutrality pretensions of both powers ftood with the other. If Spain justified in this posture throughout this whole the procceedings of France, and discussion ; except that they were owned herself concerned in them, urged with more or less asperity, it was but one, and that a short, according to the fluctuating dispostep to a junction with her.
fition of the court of Spain, which As to the three matters in dis. seemed to reft upon no sure and set. pute, the Spanish minister resolutely tled principles. There were proadhered to them all; and as to bably two factions in her councils, the last (that of the logwood) he who as they alternately prevailed, observed, that Great Britain had changed the language nd counteoffered them nothing, but what they nance of the Spanish minifter. had long since been tired of, treaty However, for some time the aspect and negotiation ; that this matter of things continued on the whole had been already fully discussed ; to be rather favourable, and even and that on this head Spain had an express declaration was at length given the most convincing proofs of made, that Spain had been, at no her desire to be on the belt terms time, more intent on cultivating a with England; for in the beginning good correspondence with us. But of this war, before England had itill the French interest silently gaingrown terrible by her successes, ed ground at Madrid, the confiwhen their American governors had dential communications of that court endeavoured to dislodge the Eng. with Spain, her affected moderation lith from some new establishments in the treaty ; the dangerous great. on the coast of Honduras, they had ness of England: the commoa inat the complaint of our court, in terest of the house of Bourbon, every order to take away all cause of mis- part of which must suffer, both in truit, ordered the governors to de- its dignity and fatety, by allowing fit from so justifiable an enterprize, the principal of its branches to be That on the offer of England on pruned to the quick, these points this occasion to settle matters in an were urged with continual follici. amicable manner, they chearfully
tation ; and they assured the Spa- But as soon as France had loft all niards that even the signing an al- hopes of concludidg the negotiation liance between the sovereigns of in the manner the had wined, and the two nations, 'would intimidate had failed in the use she made of the England, already exhausted by the intervention of the claims of Spain, war, and apprehensive of Icfing the circulated with great induftry a the valuable commerce she carried report, that Spain vould immediateon with Spain.
ly declare against Great Britain, in These arguments and suggestions consequence of a treaty lately con, at length prevailed, and a treaty cluded among the Bourbon courts. was signed between the two courts, England found that those boafts the purpose of which was to pre- of the French were too confidently serve from oppression, and to main- made, and too generally believed, tain the interests of the house of to be altogether without foundation. Bourbon. This alliance was of a In consequence of these apprehena nature the more dangerous, as it fions, orders were sent to Spain, to turved upon family, not national in- demand in the most moderate terms, terefts, and becaufe not stating ex. but in a manner not to be evaded, adly its objects, it might be made a communication of this treaty, or just of what extent they pleased. at least a disavowal that it contained We make no mention of any other any thing to the prejudice of Great treaty than this, of itself suffici- Britain. But before these orders ently alarming, because whatever could reach Spain, lord Bristol had fufpicions may be entertained, there himself received intelligence of the is no certainty that any other treaty, and of the hopes, which has been concluded between those the French made no secret of their powers.
deriving from that source. He there. France had obtained in this trea: fore thought himself under a necesty almost all that the aimed at; by it fity of deliring facisfaction from the the entered into the closest connec Spanish secretary of state concerna tion with Spain; this connection did ing it. not indeed seem directly, and of Upon this application there ap. necessity to include a breach with peared on a sudden such a change in England; it led to it, however, al, the countenance, language, and molt inevitably. At first the whole sentiments of that minister, as indi. transaction was kept a profound se, cated but too fully, he juftness of cret ; the inferiority of the marine the suspicions that were entertained, of Spain, and the precariousness of The Spanish flota was now safely their Supplies from America, in case arrived with a very rich cargo ; the they came to a presen: rupture with French arms had made a confiderEngland, obliged them to this tém, able progress in the king's electoral porary reserve. France took care dominions ; the success of the iinthat this treaty should not transpire perial arms was no less ftriking; until the negotiation was broken oft; the reasons for their former Thew of and Spain, whilt the was ur.der moderation no longer exilted. They these apprehenfions exhibited those therefore gave a loose to those occasional proofs of a pacific dispo- movements which they had hitherto Sition, which we have just now seen. concealed. M. Wall. evading a
direct answer, entered into a long question was again put ; and at and bitter complaint, not only of length the only reply was, that the the treatment which Spain had re- king of Spain had thought proper ceived from us, but of the haughti. to renew his family compa&ts; and ness of our late proceedings with then Mr. Wall as if he had gone France; that it was time for them farther than he was authorised, sudto open their eyes, and not to suf. denly turned the discourse, and no fer a neighbour, an ally, a relati. farther satisfaction could be ob on, and a friend, any longer to run tained. the risque of receiving such rigid This revolution in the appearlaws as were prescribed by an in- ances of things in Spain, was too infulting conqueror ; that we were teresting not to be immediately comintoxicated with our successes; and municated. Our ministry saw evi. a continued series of vidories had dently, that the moderation they elated us so far, as to make us re had hitherto displayed, might be jeet the reasonable conditions offer attributed to fear, and that the laned by France. This refusal made guage of the court of Spain would it evident, that our design in ru- permit no doubt of their hoftile ining the French power, was the intentions. Orders were therefore more easily to crush Spain ; that given to the earl of Bristol, conwe propofed entirely to chase the formable to the dignity of the naFrench from all their colonies in tion, and the justice of our claim. America, to have the easier task in He was ordered to renew his infeizing on the Spanish dominions in tances concerning the treaty; to those parts, thereby to fatisfy to the demand an explanation with a utmost our ambition, and to gratify proper firmness, but without the our boundless thirst of conqueft; mixture of any thing which might therefore he would himself be the irritate ; and to fignify, that a pre man to advise the king of Spain, remptory refusal to communicate that since his dominions were to be the treaty, or to disavow an intenoverwhelmed, at least that they tion to take part with our enemies should be seized with arms in his would be considered as an aggressubjects hands, and not to continue fion on the part of Spain, and an the passive victim he had hitherto absolute declaration of war. appeared in the eyes of the world. Things were now brought to
The English ambassador, though a single and precise point. The astonished at fo extraordinary a demand was made in the terms change of file, replied with coolness of the order. Then it was that to the invectives, and with firmness the pride of Spain entirely threw to the menaces of the Spanish mi- off the remainder of that mask, nitter; he obviated the objections which her policy had persuaded which had been made, and sup- her to assume ; the fecretary, M. ported our pretensions ; after an Wall, replied, “That the spirit of Twering in the best manner to haughtiness and of what Wall had urged, he returned « discord, which dic. Dec. Toth. to his first demand, an explanation « tated this inconfiderate ftep, and concerning the treaty; as often as " which for the misfortune of a direct answer was evaded, the fame" mankind still reigns so much in
" the British government, is what the war on the haughtiness of the * has made the declaration of war, late English minifter, and on the " and attacked the king's dignity; little management with which his " and that the earl of Bristol might court had been treated, both during
return when and in what manner the administration of that minifter, was convenient to him.
and since his resignation. That The earl of Bristol parted from had the purport of the treaty been Madrid the 17th of December ; desired in a manner less offenfive and thus was brought on a rupture to the dignity of his master, it which has prodigiously extended might as easily have been obtain. the operations, and consequently ed, as it could have been justified; the miseries of war, and threatens for the treaty, which was believed to protract them to a very long to have been figned on the 15th duration. Europe unfortunately of August, contained only a refound herself plunged into the ciprocal guaranty of the dominions gulph of a new war, at the time of the several branches of the The hoped to emerge from the old house of Bourbon, but with this one, and by the very means which particular restriction, that it fould were used to draw her out of it only extend to the dominions A point of honour alone seemed which shall remain to France after to have been the last and immedi. the present war. ate cause of the breach ; but who It must be remarked that, this ever has diligently attended to the paper, whilst it pretends to set Spanish affairs from the memo- forth the purport of a treaty, dated rial presented by Buffy to the final the 15th of August, does not deny answer delivered by Wall, will see the existance of any other treaty that the motives were, however ill which might more offendvely conunderstood, of a much more serious cern the interests of Great Britain. .and important nature,
It was however answered in every As the two powers had now article with the utmost moderation, come to extremities and the English perspicuity and force, in a memoambassador had departed from Ma- rial of lord Egremont. Here we drid, the Spanish minister also close the Spanish transaction; as quitted London; but before his this is the whole of what belongs departure he left a paper, in the properly to the year we treat of. nature of a manifesto, of very little All that remains to fulfil our annuimportance in point of argument, al talk is to touch upon the affairs but filled with invectives, charging of the East Indies and America.