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until new negotiations should be had on the subject. The report was sanctioned by a vote of the Cortes. I presume that the discussion of this subject by a committee, and by the Cortes has occasioned a long delay on the part of the Count da Lapa. By the above mentioned report it appears, that negotiations have been going on between Portugal and Great Britain for some time with a view, on the part of the former, of effecting such alterations in certain parts of the existing treaty, as would enable her to enter into such liberal and reciprocal commercial treaties with other nations, as would be acceptable. But it appears by the said report, that England, as might be expected, is very unwilling to relinquish any of the exclusive advantages, she now enjoys under the present treaty; and, I am persuaded, that this government still finds itself embarrassed by certain stipulations in her treaty of 1810 with Great Britain, and that to that source the long delays, I have experienced, are to be principally attributed. I am satisfied, however, that the government is very earnestly engaged in endeavouring to effect such arrangements with England, as may be necessary for preparing the way for a liberal and reciprocal treaty with the United States."
In the midst of this arrangement, and while the Cortes were endeavouring to procure an alteration in the treaty with England, an insurrection of an ultra royal complexion broke out in the north of Portugal, headed by Count Amarante. The Cortes, not resisting this movement with much spirit, a counter revolution took place in Lisbon, itself, in June 1823, when their power was demolished, and the constitutional cockade, before universally worn, now entirely disappeared;--new ministers were appointed, the constitutional ones having fled to England ;--the Marquess Palmella became secretary of foreign affairs, and an absolute despotism was established. This state of things gave rise to new delays, though it inspired with fresh zeal and animation the endeavours of the French and English in asserting the influence of their respective Courts.
"LISBON, October 16, 1823. "There are great efforts now in operation, both by France and Great Britain, for securing their respective influence over Portugal. France has invested his most Faithful Majesty with the Orders
of St. Michael and the Holy Ghost with great parade, and Great Britain has followed suit, with the noble Order of the Garter with equal parade, and vastly superior decorations. The respective ministers are, I presume, equally industrious.
"How the race will terminate is uncertain. It is understood, that the ministers of his most Faithful Majesty are nearly equally divided in their feelings between the two contending powers. The late arrival of Lord Beresford is considered as a very strong reinforcement to Sir Edward Thornton, being a great favourite of the King."
In a letter from General Dearborn in May, we have an account of a singular proceeding at Lisbon, and which attracted great attention in Europe :
"As evidence of the unsettled state of this government, an attempt has recently been made to arrest the government from the. King. Very early in the morning of the 30th of April, the young prince Don Miguel had the troops assembled at different points; one body of them surrounded the residence of the King at the palace of Bemposta, while detachments were ordered to arrest the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Minister of War and Marine, together with several members of the King's household, and many other respectable persons. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Marquess Palmella, was taken from his house and confined in something like a dungeon in Bellem castle; the other Minister, the Count Subserra, was fortunate enough to effect his escape, and was concealed in a friend's house for a time, and was then received at the house of the French ambassador. Between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning, it was proposed that the members of the diplo matic corps should meet at the house of the Nuncio, where it was concluded, that it would be proper to endeavour to ascertain, whether the King was a prisoner or not, and that for that purpose, it would be expedient to proceed in a body towards the palace; the whole corps proceeded accordingly, and after passing the great square, where a large body of troops were formed under the immediate command of the Prince, we proceeded to within a short distance of the palace, where we were stopped by a military guard, and compelled to leave our carriages, and then allowed to proceed to and enter the palace in the presence of a large body of troops,
regularly formed. We found the King quite overwhelmed with fear and distress, accompanied by two of his chamberlains and Lord Beresford. The appearance of the diplomatic corps evidently gave him great relief; he was asked, whether he considered himself a prisoner; he said that he could not say, whether he was or not; but that he was surrounded by a body of troops, over whom he had no control. We were informed, that the Queen had arrived at the palace, and was in that part of it, which is exclusively occupied by the Prince. After conversing, and waiting in a state of suspense until about one o'clock, P. M., a letter of proclamation from the Prince was received by the King. In the course of two hours, the Prince arrived with a large body of cavalry, he dismounted, and soon after presented himself to the King, and with the aid of Lord Beresford, made a speech to his father, promising to obey his orders and be an obedient subject,-then, on his knee, kissed the King's hand and promised to remove the troops; and in almost an hour the troops were dismissed. The King then requested the diplomatic corps to stay and partake of a dinner, which he had ordered for them. We stayed, and had an excellent dinner, then had a short conference with the King, who requested us to call the next day at one o'clock, and we retired. It is very evident from several circumstances that occurred, that the Prince became at last doubtful, as to the strength of his and the King's party, and, therefore, relinquished the project for the present, with the best grace he could; but what is most extraordinary is, the subsequent orders of the King, in which he approves of all that had been done by the Prince, and authorized the arresting and confining persons, without any particular limits; and thus the affairs of this unfortunate country remain at present."
"LISBON, May 14, 1824.
"The King, being apprehensive of another attempt for dethroning him, and his minister, the Marquess Palmella, having found it necessary for the King to take refuge on board a British man of war, concerted measures for going on board the Windsor Castle, a British seventy-four, and on Sunday the 9th instant, about 12 o'clock, with considerable address, he effected his object, accompanied by two of the young princesses. The members of the diplomatic corps immediately hurried on board, excepting myself, confiding in my privilege as a minister, I remained with my fami
ly. As soon as it was known, that the King was on ship board, terror and consternation pervaded the city, it being generally believed, that the Prince, with the adherents of the Queen, would pursue the most violent measures, and endeavour to cut their way to the throne; but fortunately the Prince, being either intimidated or deceived by the King, went soon after into a boat, and followed the King on board the ship, where he was confined, and in a few hours the city became tranquil. The King issued a proclamation, a printed copy of which I have the honour of enclosing. Having received the enclosed letter from the Marquess Palmella on the night of the 10th, I went on board the ship on the 11th, and was received very graciously by the King. Great numbers of nobility and officers visited the King, among others many of those, who had been released by the King's orders from confinement. None but the King, Prince and Princesses remained on board the ship after bed time. Yesterday being the anniversary of the King's birth day, he received the diplomatic corps on board the ship, where a great number of the nobility and officers attended, and, also, many ladies. At six o'clock, P. M., the Prince sailed for France on board a Portuguese frigate, attended by a British frigate and a French brig of war. The King bestowed many marks of his favour on the members of the diplomatic corps, such as titles and orders, or both, on each member excepting myself; and knowing that I could not receive either, the Marquess Palmella civilly observed to me, that the King would have been happy to have noticed me, as he had done the other ministers, if I could have accepted the same token of respect..
"The late convulsion has probably changed the balance of influence in favour of Great Britain, for the present; how long it may continue, is quite uncertain."
In the winter of 1824 the minister, appearing to have been satisfied, that his endeavours to conclude a commercial convention would prove unavailing, solicited permission to return home, which was granted him in the summer of the same year. He took leave of the King in June, and, on that occasion, a box of diamonds was offered General Dearborn, which he declined in a letter to the Marquess Palmella. "Although I appreciate the liberality of his Majesty in honouring me with the offer of a brilliant present, as a token
of his royal bounty, the fixed regulations of my government, in regard to the usual presents from foreign governments, compel me to decline the honour of accepting the superb box, this day offered me, through the agency of your Excellency, in your usual polite and agreeable manner." Thomas L. Brent was left a chargé, and still remains in that capacity at that court. In 1821, the chevalier Constancio represented Portugal as a chargé in this country; he was succeeded by J. B. Pereira, a diplomatic agent of the same rank.