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SPAIN, AND PORTUGAL,
TO EACH OTHER, AND TO THE COMMON ENEMY,
AT THIS CRISIS;
AND SPECIFICALLY AS AFFECTED BY
CONVENTION OF CINTRA :
The whole brought to the test of those Principles, by which alone the Independence and Freedom of Nations can be Preserved or Recovered.
Qui didicit patriæ quid debeat ;
Quod sit conscripti, quod judicis officium; quæ
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME,
Bitter and earnest writing must not bastily be condemned; for men cannot contend coldly, and without affection, about things which they hold dear and precious. A politic man may write from his brain, without touch and sense of his heart; as in a speculation that appertaineth not unto him ;—but a feeling Christian will express, in his words, a character of hate or love.-LORD BACON.
THE following pages originated in the opposition which was made by his Majesty's ministers to the expression, in public meetings and otherwise, of the opinions and feelings of the people concerning the Convention of Cintra. For the sake of immediate and general circulation, I determined (when I had made a considerable progress in the manuscript) to print it in different portions in one of the daily newspapers. Accordingly two portions of it (extending to page 25) were printed, in the months of December and January, in the Courier,—as being one of the most impartial and extensively circulated journals of the time. The reader is requested to bear in mind this previous publication: otherwise he will be at a loss to account for the arrangement of the matter in one instance in the earlier part of the work. An accidental loss of several sheets of the manuscript delayed the continuance of the publication in that manner, till the close of the Christmas holidays; and-the pressure of public business rendering it then improbable that room could be found, in the columns of the paper, regularly to insert matter extending to such a length-this plan of publication was given up.
It may be proper to state that, in the extracts which have been made from the Spanish Proclamations, I have been obliged to content myself with the translations which appeared in the public journals; having only in one instance had access to the original. This is, in some cases, to be regretted-where the language falls below the dignity of the matter: but in general it is not so; and the feeling has suggested correspondent expressions to the translators; hastily as, no doubt, they must have performed their work.
I must entreat the reader to bear in mind that I began to write upon this subject in November last; and have continued without bringing my work earlier to a conclusion, partly from accident, and partly from a wish to possess additional documents
and facts. Passing occurrences have made changes in the situation of certain objects spoken of; but I have not thought it necessary to accommodate what I had previously written to these changes the whole stands without alteration; except where additions have been made, or errors corrected.
As I have spoken without reserve of things (and of persons as far as it was necessary to illustrate things, but no further); and as this has been uniformly done according to the light of my conscience; I have deemed it right to prefix my name to these pages, in order that this last testimony of a sincere mind might not be wanting.
May 20th, 1809.