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CHAPTER XXIV. THE MEASURE OF PUNISHMENTS.
Trade of the Jesuits.As I have observed in a former volume, the charge against the Jesuits of trading in beaver-skins dates from the beginning of the colony. In the private journal of Father Jerome Lalemant, their superior, occurs the following curious passage, under date of November, 1645: Pour la traite des castors. Le 15 de Nov. le bruit estant quon sen alloit icy publier la defense qui auoit est publie aux Trois Riuieres que pas vu neut traiter avec les sauvages, le P. Vimont demanda Mons. des Chastelets commis general si nous serions de pire condition soubs eux que soubs Messieurs de la Compagnie. La conclusion fut que non et que cela iroit pour nous U ordinaire, mais que nous le fissions doucement. Journal des Jsuites. Two years after, on the request of Lalemant, the governor Montmagny, and his destined successor Aillebout, gave the Jesuits a certificate to the effect that les pres de la compagnie de Jsus sont innocents de la calomnie qui leur a t impute, et ce quils en ont fiait a t pour le bien de la communaut et pour un bon sujet. This leaves it to be inferred that they actually traded, though with good intentions. In 1664, in reply to similar calumnies, the Jesuits made by proxy a declaration before the council, stating, que les dits Rvrends Pres Jsuites nont fait jamais aucune profession de vendre et nont jamais rien vendu, mais seulement que les marchandises quils donnent aux particuliers ne sont que pour avoir leurs
On the 24th of June Parliament was prorogued by commission. The Royal Speech expressed thanks for the attention that had been given to the affairs of Ireland, and the settlement of the Catholic question, which the king hoped would tend to the permanent tranquillity of that country, and to draw closer the bonds of union between it and the rest of the empire. It was announced that diplomatic relations had been renewed with the Porte, for which ambassadors from England and France had taken their departure. But it was with increased regret that his Majesty again adverted to the condition of the Portuguese monarchy. He repeated his determination to use every effort to reconcile conflicting interests, and to remove the evils which pressed so heavily on a country the prosperity of which must ever be an object of his solicitude. The condition of that country was, indeed, most deplorable under the lawless despotism of Dom Miguel, who, on the abdication of his brother Dom Pedro in favour of Do?a Maria da Gloria, had been appointed regent, but had subsequently assumed the royal title, and driven his niece from the country. He overruled the decisions of the courts of justice regarding political prisoners, and inflicted the punishment of death by his own mere arbitrary order, when only transportation had been decreed by the judges. He crowded the prisons with the most distinguished supporters of constitutional government, confiscated their property, and appropriated it to his own use. Yet this monster would have been acknowledged by the Duke of Wellington. Had the Duke been free to follow the dictates of his own judgment, he would have at once resumed the diplomatic relations which had been broken off between the two states. But Britain was committed to the young queen by the policy of the preceding Administration; and the Duke, though he believed that policy to be unwise, could not break through it in a moment. It was not without difficulty, however, that Britain maintained her neutrality between the contending parties. The Portuguese refugees endeavoured, under various false pretences, to avail themselves of British hospitality, for the purpose of conveying arms and ammunition, and bodies of troops into Portugal, to restore the queen. They asserted that they were sending them to Brazil, but really conveyed them to Terceira, one of the Azores, where Do?a Maria had been proclaimed. The consequence was that 4,000 Portuguese troops, which were lying at Plymouth, were ordered to disband, and Captain Walpole, with a squadron, was sent to watch the Portuguese ships in the Atlantic, in order to avoid the imputation of violating the neutrality. His orders were to proceed to the Azores, to intercept any vessels arriving at those islands, and "should they persist, notwithstanding, in hovering about or making any attempt to effect a landing, you are then to use force to drive them away from the neighbourhood." Walpole intercepted four vessels, containing a force of 650 men under the command of the Duke of Saldanha. They declined to bring-to, whereupon he fired a shot which killed one man and wounded another. Saldanha thereupon declared that he considered himself Walpole's prisoner, and turned his vessels towards Europe. Walpole, in great perplexity, followed him, until he was within 500 miles of Scilly, when they parted company and Saldanha went to Havre. These proceedings were regarded with indignation in Great Britain, the enemies of the Government asserting that, in spite of their declarations of neutrality, they had proved themselves partisans of Dom Miguel. Debates were raised in both Houses, Lord Palmerston in the Commons making his first great speech in condemnation of the Duke's foreign policy. It is significant that Wellington should have written to Lord Aberdeen in a private letter: "In respect to Portugal you may tell Prince Polignac that we are determined that there shall be no revolutionary movement from England or any part of the world." by the Historical Society of Montreal.
The king's speech at the opening of Parliament, and the martial tone of the speeches by the members of both Houses, exceedingly exasperated Napoleon; for though preparing for war he was scarcely ready, and meant to have carried on the farce of peace a little longer. Talleyrand demanded of Lord Whitworth the reason of this ebullition of the British Parliament and of the Press. Lord Whitworth replied, as he had done regarding the comments on the trial of Peltier, that it was the direct result of the insulting articles in the Moniteur, which was known to be the organ of the French Government; whereas, in Britain, the Government had no direct control, either over the speeches in Parliament or over the press. Talleyrand and Whitworth again discussed all the vexed questions of the retention of Malta, the conduct of Colonel Sebastiani in the East, the aggressions of Napoleon in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, in violation of the Treaty of Amiens; and Lord Whitworth declared that all Britain wanted was, that the Treaty should be faithfully carried out on both sides; that we were ready to evacuate Malta, and recall our complaints, on that being done. But this was what Napoleon was resolved never to do, and he therefore resorted to the most extraordinary insults to the British Ambassador. He requested Lord Whitworth to call at the Tuileries at nine o'clock in the evening of the day on which he had had his conference with Talleyrand. Napoleon had, by an assumption of extreme hauteur and impetuosity, frightened the Austrian Ambassador at Campo Formio, and he probably thought of frightening the British one; but Britain had not been beaten like Austria, and such a proceeding could only enrage the British people. In this interview, Buonaparte ran over, in a rapid and excited harangue of two hours' length, scarcely permitting Lord Whitworth to interpose a word of reply, all the alleged causes of dissatisfaction with England; at one moment threatening to invade it, if it cost him his life; at another, proposing that France and England should unite to rule the Continent, and offering to share with it all the benefits of such an alliance. Lord Whitworth replied, as before, that the British Government desired nothing but the bona fide execution of the Treaty of Amiens, and could not for a moment entertain such schemes of aggression and domination as the First Consul proposed to her. He began to comment gravely on the aggressions in Switzerland and Italy, but Buonaparte cut him short angrily, saying those things were no business of his and that he had no right to talk of them. There was a fresh interview with Talleyrand, and fresh notes from him and Andreossi of the same character. A similar though more violent scene occurred at a levee on the 13th of March, in which Napoleon passionately accused Britain of driving France into war. A shrewd observer, Madame de Rmusat, was of opinion that his rage was simulated.On Monday, the 17th, Fox renewed the discussion, supported by Mr. Grey, who complained that at a so-called loyal meeting held at Manchester, the people had been incited to attack the property of those of more liberal views; and that an association had been formed in London, at the "Crown and Anchor" Tavern, which had issued a paper called "A Pennyworth of Truth from Thomas Bull to his Brother John," containing most unfounded censures on the Dissenters, whom it charged as being the authors of the American war. He declared that this paper was far more inflammatory than Paine's "Rights of Man," and he desired that it might be read at the table. Fox severely criticised the conduct of the loyal associations, and the means taken by the subscription papers to mark out those who maintained Liberal opinions; all such marked persons, he said, were in danger, on any excitement, of having their persons or houses attacked. He mentioned one paper concluding with the words, "Destruction to Fox and all his Jacobin crew!" This was, he thought, pretty plainly marking him out for such treatment as Dr. Priestley and Mr. Walker had received. The motion was rejected.