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Christina was hailed as the triumph of Lord Palmerston; and our Queen was made, in Lord Melbourne's speech from the throne, Ilth of August, 1840, 'to congratulate parliament upon the termination of the civil war in Spain: the objects for which the quadruple engagements of 1834 were contracted have now been accomplished.' And it has since appeared (in the newspapers of the 14th Sept.) that on the same 11th of August the Duke of Sussex, as acting Grand Master of the Order of the Bath, addressed an official letter, communicating to Espartero Duke de la Victoria, that our Queen had conferred upon · His Excellency' 'the Grand Cross of that most honourable military Order as a mark of her high esteem for your person, and as a pledge of her approbation of your LOYAL CONDUCT TO YOUR SOVEREIGN.' To which his Royal Highness adds an inflated personal panegyric on Espartero, which would be worth quoting if the matter were not too grave for laughter. But while the ministry, the parliament, and the Queen of England were thus celebrating the triumph of Queen Christina, the loyal Espartero, on or about, we believe, the very same 11th August, had, under colour of a change of ministry, virtually usurped the dictatorship of Spain, and after a series of dark and bloody intrigues and tumults, he eventually forced the beloved Christina' to imitate her rival Don Carlos in seeking by a hasty flight her personal safety; and on her abdication Espartero has possessed himself of the person of the infant queen, and of the sovereign powers of the State!
Now, if those most unreasonable and unseasonable panegyrics and honours showered on Espartero had been the mere result of Lord Palmerston's ignorance of the state of Spain and of his illluck in having his assertions and his expectations so suddenly and so scandalously disappointed, it would have been sufficiently unfortunate; but the real state of the case is still more deplorable. At least three weeks before our Queen was advised to congratulate her parliament on the tranquillity of Spain, and to reward the loyalty of Espartero as the author of that tranquillity, with a British honour, it was well known that tranquillity was not restored, and that Espartero was machinating the overthrow of the Queen Regent's authority. In the last days of June, the Regent had found her position at Madrid so difficult that she was induced by the advice, as it seems, and at all events by the influence, of Espartero,* to remove with her infant daughters to Barcelona, where Espartero was concentrating his army, and where her person
* The Spanish journals assign other personal and not reputable motives for this fatal journey, which, however, if true at all, must have been very subordinate.
and authority would be safe under his protection- an imprudent step'-says the French paper La Presse, which is supposed to speak the opinions of Louis Philippe- but one for which she ought not to be too hastily blamed, because Espartero had up to this time professed the most entire devotion (dévouement) to the royal authority in general, and especially to the person of the Queen Regent. However he soon threw off this mask-his appearance in Barcelona was the signal of tumult and massacre, got up to intimidate the Queen : for a time she resistedEspartero then affected to resign—the crisis became still more perilous, and the Queen was at length forced to submit after a series of outrage and horrors which excited the indignation of all Europe, except the neighbourhood of St. James's Park. Now, observe what the organ of the Tuileries says under the date of the 24th July :
"Thus has Espartero overthrown the reputation he had acquired by terminating the civil war—which he has now revived for his own behoof. He overthrows in one hour the fruit of three years of conservative policy. Spain has relapsed into anarchy. Espartero perhaps flattered himself that he should act the part of Buonaparte on the 18th Brumaire; but he is not of the stuff of which Napoleons are made, and he has only played that of Sergeant Garcia at La Granja. The tumults at Barcelona and La Granja have the same features—the Queen Regent has been subjected to actual restraint--she has been personally outraged, and by the very man whom she herself had raised to be generallissimo of her armies. These tumults, half military, half popular, which have thus subjugated the Queen, have been organised by Linange, Chief of Espartero's staff. It is he-this leader of the agitators, this “ âme damnée” of the English partywho has thus perilled, and now directs, the destinies of Spain!'-La Presse, 24th July, 1840.
These shocking events, frightful in their details and atrocious in their object, were known, we see, throughout Europe on the 24th July. It was known that the Queen had been personally outraged-intimidated, and in fact deposed—it was known that not merely civil war, but anarchy was revived—it was known these disasters were produced by Espartero—it was known that they were (however absurdly) attributed to English influenceand yet with all this before their eyes and sounding in their ears, the English ministry more than a fortnight after the arrival of the intelligence of the revolution of Barcelona--things having grown, if possible, worse in the interval- put into the official mouth of her Majesty the mendacious allusion to the tranquillity of Spain, and sent Espartero, in a false and fulsome rigmarole panegyric, the Grand Cross of the Bath, as a reward for his fidelity to the Sovereign whom he had just insulted, betrayed, and deposed.
Queen Christina herself excites little sympathy; neither her public nor her private character are entitled to much esteem—but her regency was the main pivot of Lord Palmerston's Spanish policya chief object of the Quadruple Alliance. She was our ally, and more than that, our creature. Lord Palmerston would have been better justified in intervening for her protection than he was in forming the Quadruple Alliance to support her accession-but he not only does nothing of that sort, but chooses the moment of rebellion against her to honour and exalt the rebel; and, adding insult to injury-to reward the successful rebel for his imaginary loyalty to the Sovereign he had just deposed. We have already hinted that we consider as quite absurd the French suspicion that England had something to do with the intrigues of Linange and Espartero—'tis impossible :—but it is not at all surprising that this hypothesis, besides being universally believed in France, should also have received no slight degree of credit throughout Europe from the extraordinary—the unprecedented—the unjastifiable blunder--for we hope it was no worse—of sending at that particular juncture our highest military honour, the Red Riband, to Espartero, as if it were expressly and literally designed
'to face the garment of rebellion
With some fine colour.'Such then is the result of Lord Palmerston's policy-such is the triumphant termination of the Quadruple Alliance. The exRegent is in France-her poor little daughters-one ten and one eight years old-are miserable prisoners---like the children of Edward, without relation or friend, in the hands of the usurping faction-Espartero is dictator where his army happens to be quartered; and of the rest of Spain, anarchy is lord.
But while Lord Palmerston was so mischievously active in violating the old law of nations and disorganising the political, moral, and social condition of the Peninsular monarchies, his apathy on points which fell within the legitimate scope of his duty, and really required his diligence, was equally remarkable. He permitted the China question to grow to a height for which there was no solution but the sword. He permitted the commercial treaty with France to linger till the growing misunderstanding between the two governments on the affairs of the East seems to have adjourned it sine die : he has suspended the American boundary question until the accumulation and gravity of our difficulties in Europe have given to the obstinacy and ambition of our antagonists a more confident tone, and, as they hope, a stronger position. These three great objects, vitally affecting our own interests and the peace of the whole globe, VOL. LXVII. YO. CXXXIII.
have been, as far as we are informed, blindly and obstinately neglected or postponed, while Lord Palmerston must have known-at least every one else knew-that a crisis was approaching which might render their solution extremely difficult if not altogether hopeless. But what was an arrangement with China, or a French treaty of commerce, or the accommodation of our differences with the United States, compared with the importance of expelling Don Carlos and decorating Don Baldomero Espartero?
While these things were going on in the Peninsula, and those other more important matters were not going on in China, France, and America, a storm was brewing in Egypt and Syria, which from small beginnings grew to a magnitude which threatenedwe hope we may speak of this danger in the past tense-- the peace of at least the European and Levantine world. In this affair Lord Palmerston seems to us to have exhibited the same tardiness in applying timely remedies, and the same precipitancy in adopting violent courses which have generally characterised his administration.
We are not, as will be seen more fully in the course of our observations, amongst those, few we believe in number, who disapprove of the general policy which England has adopted in the questions between the Sultan and Mehemet Ali, and still less do we belong to the more numerous and noisy sect which has produced the majority of the pamphlets whose titles we have prefixed to this article, who talk of Lord Palmerston as ' u tool of Russia, and a traitor to England. We hesitate, in hearing and reading these extravagant declamations, whether to attribute them to madness or to malice—they are probably a mixture of both. But one of our complaints against Lord Palmerston is, that he himself was the creator of this very mischief; and however much our taste and our justice may be offended by the rabid fury of his adversaries, we cannot much sympathise with bim personally who is only doomed “sentire canum fera facta suorum,'—and to be bunted by a pack which he had himself trained for purposes almost as unjustifiable. Our readers have not forgotten Lord Palmerston's indiscreet and worse than indiscreet patronage of Mr. Urquhart—a gentleman adopted by his Lordship into the diplomatic service, on no other recommendation that we could ever discover than his denunciations of Russian ambition, perfidy, and so forth, and the publication, in a sort of periodical pamphlet called the Portfolio, of a series of diplomatic papers wlrich, whether genuine or false, were all intended to bring discredit and obloquy on the Russian governinent.* * See Quarterly Review, vol. Ixii, p. 458.
It becomes a minister to receive with attention and to weigh with care all the information that may be offered him, and to employ talents, wherever they may be found, in such a direction as may be most useful to the public service; but while he watches foreign powers with vigilance, or even with jealousy, he should still do so with a certain courtesy, and, above all, with a careful respect to the dignity of his own station and the character of his own country. Now the patronage of the Portfolio outraged all diplomatic courtesy, but still worse was the appointment of this volunteer antagonist of Russia, per saltum, to the important rank of Secretary of Embassy; and, worst of all, the placing him in that character, with, we believe, the additional distinction of Chargé des Affaires, at Constantinople—the principal scene and object, as he alleged, of the hostile manœuvres and intrigues imputed to Russia. Can any man, we will not say acquainted with the forms of diplomacy, but of ordinary common sense, doubt that Russia would have been justified in considering this appointment under all its circumstances as an insult, as a proof that the English minister adopted what she would call the calumnies of the individual traveller, and had sent him back to Constantinople in a public character in order to give those calumnies consistence and effect ?
For the argument, we care not whether they were truths or calumnies-in either case the appointment of Mr. Urquhart was a gratuitous and puerile insult, which, if Russia had really any sinister designs, would have facilitated their execution. She however bore, as far as we know, in silence probably not unmixed with contempt, this poor bravadoforeseeing, probably, if she be so miraculously clear-sighted as the Urquhartites represent, that it would eventually recoil on its authors. She was not mistaken. Mr. Urquhart soon quarrelled with his ambassador, and consequently with the Foreign Office, and was recalled; and he has ever since, in his own writings and those of a clique of crazy partisans, been railing at Russia and Lord Palmerston, and Lord Palmerston and Russia, till at length, by dint of exaggeration of statements, misrepresentation of facts, and a general confusion of ideas and language, they have almost driven us into the conviction that Russia is the most innocent and innocuous of powers, and Lord Palmerston the most discreet and patriotic of ministers. It would be wholly beneath the office of rational criticism to examine the detail of the numerous pamphlets which have issued from this party, in none of which is there any novelty but the title-page, the rest of the pamphlet being filled by the same commonplaces of the deep perfidy, the insatiable ambition, the monstrous aggrandisement of Russia, under the connivance