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and of this they secured the performance by taking off the rudder.
To an inhabitant of the land there appears nothing in all this unreasonable or offensive. If the English intended to keep their stipulation, how were they injured by the detention of the rudder? If the rudder be to a ship what his tail is in fables to a fox, the part in which honour is placed, and of which the violation is never to be endured, I am sorry that the Favourite suffered an indignity, but cannot yet think it a cause for which nations should slaughter one another.
When Buccarelli's invasion was known, and the dignity of the crown infringed, we demanded reparation and prepared for war, and we gained equal respect by the moderation of our terms, and the spirit of our exertion. The Spanish minister immediately denied that Buccarelli had received any particular orders to seize Port Egmont, nor pretended that he was justified, otherwise than by the general instructions by which the American governors are required to exclude the subjects of other powers.
To have inquired whether our settlement at Port Egmont was any violation of the Spanish rights, had been to enter upon a discussion which the pertinacity of political disputants might have continued without end. We therefore called for restitution, not as a confession of right, but as a reparation of honour, which required that we should be restored to our former state upon the island, and that the king of Spain should disavow the action of his governor.
In return to this demand, the Spaniards expected from us a disavowal of the menaces with which they had been first insulted by Hunt; and if the claim to the island be supposed doubtful, they certainly expected it with equal reason. This, however, was re.
fused, and our superiority of strength gave validity to our arguments.
But we are told that the disavowal of the king of Spain is temporary and fallacious; that Buccarelli's armament had all the appearance of regular forces and a concerted expedition; and that he is not treated at home as a man guilty of piracy, or as disobedient to the orders of his master.
That the expedition was well planned, and the forces properly supplied, affords no proof of communication between the governor and his court. Those who are intrusted with the care of kingdoms in another hemisphere, must always be trusted with power to defend them.
As little can be inferred from his reception at the Spanish court. He is not punished indeed, for what has be done that deserves punishment? He was sent into America to govern and defend the dominions of Spain. He thought the English were encroaching, and drove them away. No Spaniard thinks that he has exceeded his duty, nor does the king of Spain charge him with excess. The boundaries of dominion in that part of the world have not yet been settled; and he mistook, if a mistake there was, like a zealous subject, in his master's favour. • But all this inquiry is superfluous. Considered as a reparation of honour, the disavowal of the king of Spain, made in the sight of all Europe, is of equal value, whether true or false. There is indeed no reason to ques. tion its veracity; they, however, who do not believe it, must allow the weight of that influence by which a great prince is reduced to disown his own commission.
But the general orders upon which the governor is acknowledged to have acted, are neither disavowed nor explained. Why the Spaniards should disavow the
defence of their own territories, the warmest disputant will find it difficult to tell; and if by an explanation is meant an accurate delineation of the southern empire, and the limitation of their claims beyond the line, it cannot be imputed to any very culpable remissness, that what has been denied for two centuries to the European powers, was not obtained in a hasty wrangle about a petty settlement.
The ministry were too well acquainted with negociation to fill their heads with such idle expectations. The question of right was inexplicable and endless. They left it as it stood. To be restored to actual possession was easily practicable. This restoration they required and obtained. .
But they should, say their opponents, have insisted upon more; they should have exacted not only reparation of our honour but repayment of our expense. Nor are they all satisfied with the recovery of the costs and damages of the present contest; they are for taking this opportunity of calling in old debts, and revivingour right to the ransom of Manilla.
The Manilla ransom has, I think, been most mentioned by the inferior bellowers of sedition. Those who lead the faction know that it cannot be remembered much to their advantage. The followers of lord Rockingham remember that his ministry began and ended without obtaining it; the adherents to Grenville would be told, that he could never be taught to understand our claim. The law of nations made little of his knowledge. Let him not, however, be depreciated in his grave. If he was sometimes wrong, he was often right.*
* In the first edition, this passage stood thus: “ Let him not, however, be depreciated in his grave. He had powers not universally possessed; could he have enforced payment
Of reimbursement the talk has been more confident though not more reasonable. The expenses of war have been often desired, have been sometimes requir: ed, but were never paid; or never, but when resistance was hopeless, and there remained no choice between submission and destruction.
Of our late equipments I know not from whom the charge can be very properly expected. The king of Spain disavows the violence which provoked us to arm, and for the mischiefs which he did not do, why should he pay? Buccarelli, though he had learned all the arts of an East-Indian governor, could hardly have collected at Buenos Ayres a sum sufficient to satisfy our demands. If he be honest, he is hardly rich; and if he be disposed to rob, he has the misfortune of being placed where robbers have been before him. .
The king of Spain indeed delayed to comply with our proposals, and our armament was made necessary by unsatisfactory answers and dilatory debates. The delay certainly increased our expenses, and it is not unlikely that the increase of our expenses put an end to the delay.
But this is the inevitable process of human affairs. Negociation requires time. What is not apparent to intuition must be found by inquiry. Claims that have remained doubtful for ages cannot be settled in a day. Reciprocal complaints are not easily adjusted but by reciprocal compliance. The Spaniards thinking themselves entitled to the island, and injured by captain Hunt, in their turn demanded satisfaction, which was refused; and where is the wonder if their concessions
of the Manilla ransom, he could have counted it." There were some other alterations suggested, it would appear, by lord. North:
were delayed! They may tell us, that an independent nation is to be influenced not by command, but by persuasion; that if we expect our proposals to be received without deliberation, we assume that sovereignty which they do not grant us; and that if we arm while they are deliberating, we must indulge our martial ardour at our own charge.
The English ministry asked all that was reasonable, and enforced all that they asked. Our national honour is advanced, and our interest, if any interest we have, is sufficiently secured. There can be none amongst us to whom this transaction does not seem happily coneluded, but those who having fixed their hopes on public calamities, sat like vultures waiting for a day of carnage. Having worn out all the arts of domestic sedition, having wearied violence, and exhausted falsehood, they yet flattered themselves with some assistance from the pride or malice of Spain ; and when they could no longer make the people complain of grievances which they did not feel, they had the comfort yet of knowing that real evils were possible, and their resolution is well known of charging all evil on their governors.
The reconciliation was therefore considered as the loss of their last anchor; and received not only with the fretfulness of disappointment but the rage of desperation. When they found that all were happy in spite of their machinations, and the soft effulgence of peace shone out upon the nation, they felt no motion but that of sullen envy; they could not, like Milton's prince of hell, abstract themselves a moment from their evil; as · they have not the wit of Satan, they have not his virtue; they tried once again what could be done by sophistry without art, and confidence without credit. They represented their sovereign as dishonoured, and their.