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they looked, as they themselves declare, to its notoriety, and the high degree of respect and strength given to the laws by their external formality. The Estates, neverthe. less, do not hesitate to lay this ground to one side, which, although extremely weighty, as it assuredly is, they do not consider necessary to the present purpose.
"Neither have the civil warsthe shameful violation of the country's laws the unjustifiable, and even despotic seizure of powerescaped them; in a word, they do not neglect their venerable country, either attacked with hostile fury, or else neglected and insulted in its rights and dignity. But, as already stated, they feel a repugnance in touching only half-closed and delicate wounds, on which account they leave the vindication of an offended and outraged country to the justice of divine Providence; and besides this, to the confusion of the guilty themselves, as well as to the severe censure of a cotemporary world and posterity.
On a view of reasons of such great weight, the Three Estates justly confide, that their award and resolution respecting the exclusion of Dom Pedro, and the restoration of the crown of Portugal to his august brother, will not be liable to any other objections than such as are merely specious. As some one, however, might attribute to fear, that which could be no other than contempt, they have resolved to meet those same specious objections which might be raised, and make appear, even to the most profound men on the subject, that these same objections are no other than phantoms, which interest and party spirit have seized upon, in the absence of a better weapon.
"Dom Pedro is the first-bornand who denies this? Granted, and readily, that he possessed the rights of primogeniture, and if he had not lost them, previous to the 10th of March, they would still readily and constantly have been ac knowledged. Notwithstanding the love which our august sovereign has merited from the people, and which they have long devoted to him, it is not the Portuguese nation alone that sacrifices its passions, and even its best ones, to justice. Our monarch would be the first to object to any attempts on the part of the people, if they, impossible as is the case, sought to attribute to him a right, robbed from another. The moderation of his royal mind is fully proved and well known. But, it may be asked, cannot the rights of primogeniture, like any others, be alienated, or lost? Most assuredly they can; and it has already been clearly shown, that Dom Pedro had actually lost them, previous to the 10th of March, 1826. It is a very different thing to vio. late and disregard a right still ac. knowledged, and acknowledge that a right has been lost. It is the last case that Portugal, without the shadow of injury, and from which she is far removed, has been called upon to judge as regards Dom dro.
"How then did it happen, it may be said, that Portugal had him for her King immediately in March, 1826? How was it that she ac cepted, swore to, and carried the charter of the 29th of April into execution? How was it that he was retained in possession, and that the kingdom continued to be governed in his name, and accord. ing to the law which he himself gave, till May or April, 1828 ?
The answer is easy :-In exactly the same manner as we once had for our sovereigns the three Philips of Castile, when Portugal was held under their subjection for seven. ty years. We arrive at the same point, although by different ways.
"The Three Estates would have wished to spare themselves the necessity of referring to the low cunning, the criminal means, and the occult and wicked stratagems of which a faction availed itself, in order to destroy the kingdom, presuming, with very little judgment, that it would thus find its own elevation on the general ruin. But this is necessary, in order to defend the honour of our country, and all considerations ought to yield in the presence of so sacred a mo- tive.
Was there not a well-disciplined army, posted on the Portuguese frontiers, under the orders of a distinguished general? But, possibly, gold and promises were not wanting, when the insidious nego. tiation of D. Christovao de Moura was carried into effect, by lulling some and frightening others-by deceiving, with apparent reasons and equivocal expressions, and even by falsely alledging the notice and interference of the great powers.
"Good faith, ever inseparable from minds really loyal, was then thrown off its guard; the voice of a wise and zealous council was silenced; the contrary efforts of some honourable persons were undermined by machinations and disloyal expedients, and the sentence of Ayamonte was renewed. What, in this case, could the unhappy Portuguese nation do? The legitimate heir, in anticipation, placed at a distance of four hundred leagues from the kingdom, and consequently unable to direct us-the
Three Estates, whose duty it was to contend for our liberties, not convened--the people, without a leader,-without any legal point of union, could not do otherwise than fluctuate, amidst anxiety and incertitude. The good Portuguese bewailed their condition in secret ; whilst some of the most determined of them went beyond the frontiers, there to record their protests: but the work of scandal prevailed, and the kingdom was dragged on and forced to submit to the yoke thus imposed. And could all this prove the rights of Dom Pedro more than the events which occurred in 1580 proved those of the King of Castile?
"The Three Estates view the solemnity of an oath with the same profound respect that is due to the Sovereign Lord who is therein invoked, and acknowledge its extremely great importance in the government of human societies.— They most sincerely regret, in our times, to see it prostituted, and on this very account despised, by such sacrilegious irreverence shown to. wards the Divine Majesty, to the enormous injury of men and commonwealths. They cannot, however, grant that the oath does not fail to become null and void, when applied to an illegal act-when it has been extorted by violence, and when, from its observance, necessarily would result the violation of the rights of persons and of nations, and, above all, the complete ruin of the latter. Such, in fact, is the oath to which the present objection alludes. To keep such an oath, would not amount to less than the stripping our country of life; and no solemnity whatever of an oath can compel any one to become the paricide of his country.
"If, however, the Portuguese received through violence, and indured with repugnancy, a yoke which they abhorred, was not Dom Miguel also reduced and compelled, in foreign countries, to make declarations of his having no right to the crown of Portugal, as well as promises to come and govern the king. dom as regent, and in the name of his brother? Why and wherefore? It appears to the Three Estates that, by this interrogation alone, the vaunted objection itself is destroyed. They expect to find no answer; but if, contrary to their expectations, any should be given, Portugal will break that silence to which the respect due to illustrious nations, for the present, binds her representatives. They will, nevertheless, add, that even although Dom Miguel, for his own interest, should have wished to compromise, not to involve himself in disputes, which might, although unjustly, be charged with ambition-even although he were to prefer following the most exalted moderation, could such a line of conduct annihilate his rights? And even although these rights were held as annihilated, is not this a point that belongs to the Portuguese nation, and to the Portuguese nation alone, to decide?
"The law of the 15th of November, 1825, has been alleged, in which his majesty, King John IV. whom God keep in glory, treats Dom Pedro de Alcántara as Prince Royal of Portugal and Algarves, and as heir and successor to these realms, at the very same time that he decrees the separation between Portugal and Brazil. Although this were considered as a direct and positive declaration of the continuation of Dom Pedro's rights, it cer
tainly cannot be admitted as such, this construction being evidently unwarranted; the essential object of the law being quite otherwise; and if, as the Three Estates judge most probable, the mention merely originated in the compliance with a usage totally indifferent, as regards the part of the narrative, or in an inadvertent repetition of an. cient forms, which escaped the composer of the document, is the circumstance either against, or in favour of our question.
'If, however, it is wished to say that it is neither a positive decla. ration, an indifferent usage, nor a mere mistake of the composer, but rather a cautious insinuation with which the legislator sought to uphold the right of Dom Pedro, which, by the legal separation, he saw, in the opinion of the world, were unguarded, three answers then occur. The first is, that this very acknow. ledgment of the vacillation in which the rights of Dom Pedro were left, without being favourable to him, strengthens those of his brother: secondly, that it cannot be true that King John VI. wished to sacrifice the rights of one Prince to the aggrandizement of another; nor is it credible that he could have wished to resolve a point of such immense importance, without the concurrence of the Three Estates of the realm, which so judiciously and fully he had just before declared indispensable in matters relating to the fundamental laws, in the memorable laws of the 4th of July, 1824: thirdly, that if such had been the will of the legislator, which amounts to an impossibility, the Three Estates could not, and will not, agree thereto.
"Every thing which, without the Three Estates at least legally and
clearly, and readily inferred, is ar. ranged and practised as regards the fundamental laws, and especially as regards the right of succession to the throne, is not only abusive and illegal, but also invalid and of no effect; an assertion which the Three Estates do not take from the the public writer, Vattel, but from universal law, or rather reason, and in which they agree with what our ancestors have already said, when equally assembled in Cortes, in the year 1641. And pre-sup. posing,' says the resolution passed in that year, as a certainty in law, that to the kingdom only does it belong to judge and declare the legitimate succession thereof,' &c.
"Persons impugn, or rather pretend to impugn, the rights of our Sovereign King and those of the Portuguese nation, by reminding us that the acknowledgment, by the sovereigns of Europe, of Dom Pedro, as King of Portugal, was done so de jure and not de facto.
"The Three Estates ought, and wish here to abstain, from every answer that may not be perfectly circumspect, or that might be of fensive to the respect due to the sovereigns, or the importance of their own characters; as, however, that same respect due to the sovereigns requires that some answer should be given to this plea, the Three Estates reply thus:
"They well know that the turbulent and rash faction, by the words, cautiously employed, of Ancient Laws-Primogeniture,' &c., dazzled and deceived the European powers, who, discreetly adhering to their noble system of legitimacy, acknowledged him, and seemed, without perceiving it, to corroborate, by their acknowledgment, a most enormous deviation from the
laws, as well as the most daring in. sult hitherto levelled against the great and respectable principles of legitimacy. But this is no other than a deception practised on the said powers, or, at most, a crime committed by factious men, who do not hesitate at such commission. And could a deception on the part of the said powers, or rather a crime committed by factious men, injure the rights of our sovereign, or ours? If the European powers were to condescend to answer this question, most assuredly they would say-No.
"What now remains, is to request the said powers, and to hope, as the Three Estates of the realm confidently do hope, from their well known wisdom and justice, that, on the internal affairs of Portugal, and, particularly, as regards the fundamental laws thereof, and the right of succession to the throne, they will listen to the solemn testimony of the Portuguese nation, in preference to the sophisms and treasonable insinuations of a faç tion; well assured that in this manner they will not hesitate, as regards the pretended rights of Dom Pedro to the crown of this realm, to correct their judgment as soon as possible.
"All which, being well consider. ed and deliberately weighed, the Three Estates of the realm, finding that most clear and peremptory laws excluded from the crown of Portugal, previous to the 10th of March, 1826, Dom Pedro and his descendants, and for this same reason called, in the person of Dom Miguel, the second line thereto; and that every thing that is alleged, or may be alleged to the contrary, is of no moment, they unanimously acknowledged and declared in their
respective resolutions, and in this general one also do acknowledge and declare, that to the King our Lord, Senhor Dom Miguel, the first of that name, from the 10th day of March, 1826, the aforesaid crown of Portugal has belonged; wherefore, all that Senhor Dom Pedro, in his character of King of Portugal, which did not belong to him, has done and enacted, ought to be reputed, and declared null and void, and particularly what is called the Constitutional Charter of the Portuguese Monarchy, dated the 29th of April, in the said year, 1826. And in order that the same may appear, this present act and resolution has been drawn up and signed by all the persons assisting at the Cortes, on account of the Three Estates of the realm.
"Written and done in Lisbon, this 11th day of the month of July,
Protest of the Plenipotentiaries of
his majesty the Emperor of Brazil, against the usurpation which has recently been made of his crown and kingdom of Portugal.
When we addressed our solemn protest to the Portuguese nation on the 24th of last May,—
1st. Against all violation of the hereditary rights of his imperial majesty and those of his august daughter;
2d. Against the abolition of institutions liberally granted by that monarch, and legally established in Portugal;
3d. Against the illegal and insidious convocation of the ancient states of that kingdom, which had been abolished by virtue of a long