HENRY GRATTAN.

CRIPPLED BUT UNCONQUERED, 1805.

CHAPTER III. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (concluded).

The Duke arrived at Paris on the 9th of December, having spent more than two months at diplomacy with very unsatisfactory results. He found the king and his Minister, M. de Villele, much cooled in their feelings towards the Spanish Government, in consequence of the tone of moderation it had assumed after its defeat of the Royalist insurgents. The king was now disposed to recall his army of observation, if he could do so with honour, and all he pressed for now was that Spain should so modify her system as to make the Constitution emanate from the king, by resting it upon a royal charter and not upon the will of the people. If this were done, and done in time for him to explain the case to the Parliament, when they met on the 28th of January, everything else, every matter of arrangement and detail, would be left to the undisturbed management of the Spanish Cabinet and Cortes. This was truly very accommodating. If Spain would only recant her constitutionalism, and adopt the absolutist creed of Divine Right, the Allies would not send their armies into the country for the protection of the king against his people. The Duke having reported the altered state of feeling in the French Government, and all that had passed, to Mr. Canning, the Foreign Secretary instructed him to deliver an official note to M. de Villele, containing a direct offer from England to mediate. This offer was declined. On the 20th of December the Duke quitted Paris, and arrived in London early in January. Subsequently the diplomatic war was carried on between M. Chateaubriand and Mr. Canning, both men of genius, and masters of a brilliant style of rhetoric, to which the Duke of Wellington had no pretensions. Mr. Canning, alluding to the[236] proposed armed intervention in Spain, with a view to stamp out the revolution, said, "The spirit of revolutionwhich, shut up within the Pyrenees, might exhaust itself with struggles, trying indeed to Spain, but harmless to her neighbours, when restrictedif called forth from within these precincts by the provocation of foreign attack, might find, perhaps, in other countries fresh aliment for its fury, and might renew throughout Europe the misery of the five-and-twenty years which preceded the peace of 1815."