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Title: Observations on the Present State of the Affairs of the River Plate
Author: Baines, Thomas
Language: English
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                         ON THE PRESENT STATE
                                OF THE
                           THE RIVER PLATE.

                            THOMAS BAINES.

    "Malheur au siècle, témoin passif d'une lutte héroïque, qui
    croirait qu'on peut sans péril, comme sans pénétration de
    l'avenir, laisser immoler une nation."

                            CASTLE STREET.


                         THE PRESENT STATE OF
                    THE AFFAIRS OF THE RIVER PLATE.

The destructive war which has now been waged for so many years, by the
Chief of the Province of Buenos Ayres against the Republic of Uruguay,
involves questions of so much importance to the commercial interests,
and to the national honour of England, that nothing can account for the
very slight attention which it has received from Parliament and the
press, except the fact that many of the principal considerations
connected with it have never yet been fully brought before the British
public. In order to supply this deficiency, and to show how much it
concerns the character of this country that this war should at once be
brought to a close in the only manner in which it can be ended; that is,
by the prompt and decided interference of the Governments of France and
England, I have thought that it might be useful to lay before the public
the following observations and documents, explanatory of the principles
involved in the war; of the conduct pursued by Mr. Mandeville, the
British Minister to the Argentine Confederation, at the most critical
period of its progress; and of the strong and rapidly-increasing
interest which this country, and more especially the port of Liverpool,
has in the preservation of the threatened independence of the Republic
of Uruguay.

Most of the readers of these remarks are no doubt aware that the
Province of the Banda Oriental, or eastern bank of the River Plate, was
first constituted an independent state, under the title of the Republic
of Uruguay, at the close of the war between the Argentine Confederation
and the Empire of Brazil, in the year 1828. This arrangement was in a
great measure brought about by the good offices of Lord Ponsonby, the
Ambassador of the British Government to the Court of Rio, and the result
of his negociations was so agreeable to the English Government, that
the peace thus concluded was made a subject of congratulation in the
speech from the throne in the year 1829. The principal object in forming
this new Republic was, to put an end to the destructive war between
Buenos Ayres and Brazil, originating in the claims put forward by both
these countries to the possession of the Province of the Banda Oriental.
The Brazilians, who had had possession of it for several years, were
naturally unwilling to have so warlike and powerful a state as the
Argentine Republic on their most vulnerable frontier, and the Argentines
were not less unwilling to have the Brazilian frontier pushed more than
a hundred leagues up the River Plate, and within the limits of the
ancient Viceroyalty of Paraguay, which had for ages been occupied by the
Spanish race. As the only effectual solution of these difficulties, the
English Government proposed that the Banda Oriental should be rendered
independent of both countries, and this, after some negociation, was
agreed to by all the parties concerned.

The primary object of the mediation of the English Government was the
re-establishment and preservation of peace and amity between two
nations, with both of which England had valuable commercial relations;
and this object has been completely gained by the arrangement then
effected. During the sixteen years which have elapsed since the treaty
was concluded, no serious difference has occurred between Brazil and the
Argentine Confederation, nor is any likely to occur so long as the
barrier of an independent state is interposed between them. It is only
during the last two years that serious discussions have arisen between
them, and these have originated in the fears of Brazil, lest the
successes of the Buenos Ayrean army, now before Monte Video, should be
such as to break down the barrier established by the Ponsonby treaty,
and again to bring the Buenos Ayreans on the frontiers of Rio Grande.
From apprehension of this event, the Brazilian Government has allowed
General Paz, with his military staff, to pass through its territory to
place himself at the head of the Correntino insurgents, who have risen
against Rosas, and made common cause with Monte Video; it has also
recalled Admiral Grenfell, its commander in the River Plate, as well as
its diplomatic agent at Monte Video, for engaging in an ill-timed
quarrel with the Monte Videan Government; and if the Buenos Ayrean army
should succeed in gaining possession of the city of Monte Video, it will
in all probability, whether backed or not by England and France, decide
to take part in the war, rather than allow General Rosas to succeed in
the designs which he now avows on the Republics of Uruguay and Paraguay,
the two bulwarks of the western provinces of the Brazilian empire.
Notwithstanding the recent victories of the Brazilian General, Baron
Caxias, over the rebels of Rio Grande dó Sul, that province is still in
a very unsettled state--far too much so to be safely exposed to the
machinations of such dangerous neighbours as Generals Rosas and Oribe.
It may, therefore, be confidently expected, that if the great naval
powers do not interpose, the progress of events will again bring on a
war between Brazil, strengthened by the army of Uruguay, under General
Rivera, that of Corrientes under General Paz, and the forces of Paraguay
on one side; and Buenos Ayres on the other, backed by those other
provinces of the Argentine Confederation, which still follow the
fortunes of General Rosas.

What the result of such a war would be no one can predict, but its first
consequence would be another blockade of Buenos Ayres, by the Brazilian
fleet, its next the reinforcement of the garrison of Monte Video by a
detachment of Brazilian troops, and its probable final result, after the
whole of the countries engaged in it had been thoroughly ruined, the
establishment of the ascendancy either of the government of Buenos
Ayres, or of that of Brazil at Monte Video. This would be alike opposed
to the wishes and the interests of the Monte Videans themselves, to the
interests of a large portion of South America, and to those of the
nations trading with it. A small Independent State, like the Republic of
Uruguay, governed as it has ever been since the date of its independence
on the most liberal commercial principles, is the best of all checks on
the commercial illiberality of the neighbouring countries, and is much
too valuable to be sacrificed by the Government of any commercial nation
which has at heart the prosperity of its subjects.

If it should be said that neutral nations have no right to interpose
between belligerents, even for the purpose of preserving the national
independence of the weaker, I answer, that no longer since than last
year, the Government of this country was prepared to have interposed, if
it had been necessary, in order to preserve the independence of the
Empire of Morocco; and that the Government of France fully admitted the
right of England to do so in such a case, by giving a promise beforehand
that it would not use its victory either to conquer the territory or to
destroy the independence of the offending state. The reason why England
was prepared to resist the conquest of Morocco was, that such a conquest
would have seriously endangered her interests and influence in the
Mediterranean; and one principal reason why she should interfere to
prevent the conquest of Monte Video by the army and squadron of Buenos
Ayres is, that such a conquest would jeopardise her valuable commerce
and her influence in the River Plate, the only outlet of regions larger
than all the great Kingdoms of Western Europe united. Brazil has the
same right to interpose that Austria would have to resist the conquest
of Sardinia, or Prussia the conquest of Belgium, by France.

Many advantages have resulted both to the commerce of foreign nations,
and to the prosperity of the people of Uruguay, from the recognition of
its independence both of Buenos Ayres and Brazil, which were not
anticipated at the time when it was established, the whole of which, as
we shall show, will be lost if it is allowed to be absorbed by or placed
in dependence on Buenos Ayres. Amongst these advantages are the

The creation of an Independent State on the eastern bank of the River
Plate has given the commercial nations of Europe trading with those vast
countries of South America, whose only means of intercourse with the
rest of the world is through that River, a greatly increased security
against being again cut off from communication with them, as they were
during the Brazilian blockade, in the years 1825, 6, and 7. At that
time, both banks of the river were involved in the war, the city of
Monte Video being in the hands of the Brazilians, and the Province which
now forms the Republic of Uruguay being in arms against them. The
consequence of this state of things was, that the whole of the countries
watered by the great rivers Parana, Paraguay, Uruguay, and their
innumerable tributary streams, as well as the provinces of Buenos Ayres
and Monte Video, were cut off from all communication with Europe for
nearly three years, and that the great commerce which even then was
carried on by England and other nations with those countries, was for
the time destroyed. Some notion may be formed of the inconvenience which
this country alone sustained from the blockade of the river, from the
following facts. In the years 1822, 3, 4, and 5, the four years
preceding it, the average annual value of the exports from England to
the River Plate, was £909,330, whilst in 1826, 7, and 8, during the
blockade, it fell to £279,463, and in 1827, to £150,000, and even that
small remnant of trade was carried on by vessels which broke the
blockade. At a subsequent period, namely, in the years 1838-9, and 40,
there was again a blockade in the River Plate, established by France, a
power much more capable of making a blockade respected than Brazil, but
as the east bank of the river was no longer under the control of Buenos
Ayres, which was the power against whom the blockade was directed, the
evils resulting from it were comparatively small. Foreign ships were
still able to proceed to Monte Video, (thanks to the independence of
Uruguay), and thus, although one line of intercourse with the interior
was cut off by the blockade of the port of Buenos Ayres, the other up
the river Uruguay was kept open. In consequence of this, the evils of
the blockade were, in a great measure, confined to the city of Buenos
Ayres and its immediate neighbourhood, for the eastern bank of the river
flourished more than ever, the communication with the interior was never
closed, and the commerce of the nations trading with those countries
continued to increase. When it is considered (and it ought never to be
lost sight of,) that the commerce of foreign nations with the whole of
the central regions of South America depends entirely on the keeping
open one or other of these lines of communication, it will be seen that
it is a matter, not merely of national but of universal importance,
though in an especial manner to England, to maintain the entire
independence of Monte Video of Buenos Ayres, so as to diminish as much
as possible the danger of both being closed at the same time and by the
same political events. We say the entire independence of Monte Video,
for though the nominal independence of the country might be preserved,
even if the Buenos Ayrean army, under General Oribe, should get
possession of the city of Monte Video, that officer would be compelled
to lean on General Rosas for support to protect him against the majority
of his fellow countrymen, who are now in arms against him quite as much
as the chiefs of the Banda Oriental were in 1826, 7, and 8, compelled to
lean on Buenos Ayres for protection against the arms of Brazil; and to
follow the fortunes of Buenos Ayres in any war in which General Rosas
might involve himself, either with Brazil or any of the nations of
Europe. This would again be fatal to the trade of the River Plate.

It is not generally known, although it is very important that it should
be, that this trade amounted in 1842, including both imports and
exports, to upwards of Three Millions sterling, at the port of Monte
Video alone. It is still, however, in its infancy, and requires nothing
but a few years of peace, with the introduction of steam navigation on
the Parana, the Uruguay, and their tributaries,[A] to give it an
extension which will render it of vital importance to the merchants and
manufacturers of England. The Parana and the Paraguay, together, are
known to be navigable to Assumption, which is fifteen hundred miles
above Buenos Ayres, to vessels drawing nine feet water, and there is
every reason to believe that both those rivers might be navigated a
thousand miles higher by iron steamers, such as those recently built at
Birkenhead, by order of the East India Company, for the navigation of
the Indus and the Sutlej, the former of which, when carrying guns and
troops, draw only four feet water, the latter of which, when loaded in
the same manner, not more than two and a half. The Uruguay is equally
navigable for several hundred miles to the Salto Chico, (the little
leap), and if a short canal was cut, to turn that rapid and the much
more formidable one of the Salto Grande,[B] it would be navigable for
many hundred miles above the Falls. Several of the tributaries of these
gigantic streams are larger than the Rhine, the Elbe, or the Tagus, and
great numbers of them than the Thames or the Mersey, and the whole of
this vast net-work of waters is connected with the still more stupendous
river of the Amazons, by a short portage to the Madeira, one of the
principal tributaries of that king of rivers. The natural products which
these unrivalled lines of river communication might be made the means of
bringing to the ports on the Rivers Plate and Amazons are varied and
inexhaustible. In addition to the large supplies of hides, wool, tallow,
and provisions, which these countries now furnish, Paraguay and
Corrientes are capable of supplying the finest timber for ship-building
purposes, sugar the growth of free labour, the best kinds of tobacco,
cotton-wool, dyewoods, drugs, the tea of Paraguay, and the precious
metals from Bolivia and the back provinces of Brazil. It is now only
twenty or thirty years since steam navigation was introduced on the
Mississippi, and the consequence of its introduction has been an
extension of cultivation and population such as the world never before
saw. The natural resources of the great valleys of the Parana, Paraguay,
and Uruguay, merely require to be developed by the same means to make
Monte Video and Buenos Ayres as flourishing as New Orleans, and to make
the commerce of the River Plate rival that of the Mississippi. It is
perhaps vain to hope that anything will induce the present Governor of
Buenos Ayres to abandon the suicidal policy which is at once impeding
the intercourse with the interior, and depriving that city of the
principal benefits of its unrivalled position, but this only renders it
the more necessary to keep open the only other course, namely, that
through the Uruguay, by which the resources of these vast countries can
be brought into activity.

For another of the great advantages which has resulted from the
independence of Monte Video, has been the opening of a new channel for
the commercial intercourse between Europe and the central states of
South America, in peace as well as in war; and this channel the Monte
Videan Government has laboured to improve and keep open, as zealously
and as successfully as the Buenos Ayrean Government has laboured to
narrow and impede the old ones. The Buenos Ayrean Government has been
warned repeatedly by its warmest friends of the consequences which would
result from its illiberal commercial policy; but they might just as well
have reasoned with the winds; for, the only effect of the contrast
between the rapidly increasing prosperity of Monte Video and the
declining state of Buenos Ayres, has been to excite the most deadly
hatred and jealousy towards Monte Video on the part of the Buenos Ayrean
Government, and a settled determination to drag down that rapidly
improving city to its own level. The following sketch of the commercial
policy of the two countries will show what have been the principal
causes of the prosperity of Monte Video, and what of the decline of
Buenos Ayres; and also how strong a claim the policy of the former gives
it on the sympathy and support of this country.

A large portion of the revenue, both of Monte Video and of Province of
Buenos Ayres, is raised by taxes on the importation of foreign goods,
and the rate of duties is not excessive in either case. It is not on
this account that any one complains of the Buenos Ayrean Government, but
because it confines foreign commerce to the single port of Buenos Ayres,
and excludes both foreigners and foreign vessels from the other ports of
the Confederation, as strictly as the Chinese formerly excluded them
from every port except Canton. This it is able to effect by its command
over the entrance to the river Parana, the direct route to Entre Rios,
Corrientes, and the other provinces of the Confederation. Whilst the
provincial Government of Buenos Ayres thus excludes all foreign vessels
from the Parana, and as far as its control extends from the Uruguay, it
claims the right to expend the whole of the customs' revenue raised at
Buenos Ayres. The upper provinces very naturally consider this unjust,
and insist on having either a share of the revenue collected at Buenos
Ayres (somewhat on the principle adopted amongst the states of the
German Zollverein), or on having a general Congress of all the provinces
of the Confederation to decide how the money shall be distributed. This
General Rosas and his adherents refuse, and this refusal, coupled with
the equally positive refusal of the same parties to allow foreign
vessels to ascend the river, is one principal cause of the frequent wars
between the states of the Argentine Confederation on the banks of the
river and the Government of Buenos Ayres, one of which is now raging
between it and Corrientes. In this way the commerce with the interior is
continually interrupted. The policy of the Monte Videan Government is in
every respect the reverse of this, for it not only throws open the ports
of Monte Video, Maldonado, and Colonia, on the River Plate, but those of
Soriano and Paysandú, on the Uruguay, the Yaguaron, on the Laguna Merin,
and the dry port of Taquarembó on the Brazilian frontier to all the
world, and thus gives every part of the republic all the advantages of
foreign commerce.

There is a still greater difference, if it is possible, in the policy
adopted by the two governments with regard to the transit trade. At
Monte Video goods may be landed without the payment of any duty, may be
there deposited in the Custom-house stores for any length of time, on
the payment of a smaller warehouse rent than is usually paid in
Liverpool, and may be sent to any of the independent countries in the
interior, or re-shipped to foreign parts, without the payment of a
dollar. The Government goes even further than this, for it allows goods
in transit to be conveyed through the whole territory of the Republic,
with a guia or Custom-house Permit to all parts of the frontier, and to
be forwarded into the Argentine provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes,
into the Republic of Paraguay, and into the back provinces of the empire
of Brazil, perfectly free from duty. Hence goods are constantly
forwarded up the Uruguay, instead of going to Buenos Ayres to pay duty
to General Rosas. The natural consequence of this is, that the people of
all the adjoining states have a friendly feeling towards Monte Video.
Corrientes has several times risen against the connection with General
Rosas, in support of Monte Video, and Brazil is prepared, if necessary,
to interfere to save it from his grasp. In fact, it is quite evident
that nothing but an entire change of policy on the part of Buenos Ayres
can prevent a general war against its usurpations. The policy of Rosas
with regard to goods in transit to the Independent States of the
interior is altogether different from that of Monte Video, for, when
landed at Buenos Ayres, they pay the same duties as if they were
intended for consumption there, and not a sixpence, or what is less than
a sixpence, a Buenos Ayrean paper dollar, is ever returned. When goods
are intended for re-exportation by sea, the difference is in appearance
less, but much the same in reality, for whilst they can be landed at
Monte Video without paying any duty, can remain there as long as the
owners like, and can then be re-exported duty free, at Buenos Ayres they
cannot be landed without paying the full duties, their owners lose all
claim to have any part of those duties returned, if they are not
re-exported within six months, and it is only with the greatest
difficulty and after waiting many months that they obtain any return at
all, even if they are exported within that time.

A similar contrast is also seen in the spirit in which the Governments
of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video treat the diplomatic agents of foreign
nations. Soon after the death of the Dictator Francia, the English
Government determined to send a diplomatic agent to the Republic of
Paraguay. This gentleman, Mr. Gordon, first landed at Buenos Ayres,
hoping to be allowed to proceed up the Parana to Assumption, the
capital, but he soon found that it was no part of General Rosas's policy
to allow any such communication. The consequence was, that after
remaining at Buenos Ayres for some time combatting the pretences under
which permission was refused, he found that there was no hope of his
being allowed to proceed to the seat of his mission, through the
countries subject to the dominion of General Rosas, and crossed over to
Monte Video. There he was received with every attention, and furnished
by General Rivera with a guard of honour, under whose escort he
travelled to the frontiers of Paraguay. Mr. Gordon's letter of
acknowledgement to General Rivera will be found in the Appendix, and it
would be difficult to find a stronger illustration of the opposite
spirit of the two Governments than is presented by this transaction. Not
Francia himself was ever more determined to cut off Paraguay from
communication with the rest of the world than is General Rosas, and the
key to his conduct is, that he is determined, if possible, to reduce the
people of that Republic to subjection to his authority. No longer since
than the 15th of January last, a long article appeared in the official
_Gazette_ of Buenos Ayres, censuring the Governments of Brazil and
Bolivia for recognizing the independence of Paraguay.

In addition to all these advantages arising out of the independence of
the Republic of Uruguay, it ought to be mentioned that the Government of
Monte Video has preserved an undepreciated silver currency through all
its difficulties, whilst the Buenos Ayrean Government has issued such
masses of paper without ever redeeming it, that the Buenos Ayrean paper
dollar is not worth more than 4-1/4d. at the present time. The other
states of the Argentine Confederation positively refuse to take the
Buenos Ayrean paper money, but foreign merchants are compelled to take
it, or to dispose of their goods by barter, which is seldom possible.

The consequence of the liberal commercial system adopted by Monte Video,
aided by the excellence of its situation has been to raise that city, in
fourteen years, to the position of one of the first commercial places in
America, as will be seen from the following summary of the export and
import trade in 1842, the year before the commencement of the siege:--


        638,424  Hides, salted            $2,553,696
        780,097  Hides, dry                2,340,291
         60,904  Hides                        91,356
        100,583  Skins of Sheep              201,706
        111,801  (arrobas) Tallow            223,602
          4,444  (tons) Bones                 31,108
          2,690  (arrobas) Mares Oil           4,035
         26,462  (arrobas) Hair               79,386
        946,955  Horns                        28,408.5
         96,540  (arrobas) Wool              144,810
          3,341  (dozens) Skins of Sheep       6,682
          8,019  (quintals) Garras             8,019
          1,109  (tons) Ashes                  8,872
         18,198  (arrobas) Fat                36,396
            424  (dozens) Skins of Nonatos       848
            938  Ditto Nutria                  2,345
        513,641  (quintals) Meat           1,540,923
            121  (barrels) Tripe, salted         726
            150  (barrels) Meat                1,200
          2,065  (boxes) Candles               6,195
            170  (dozens) Tongues                170
            470  Mules                         9,400
          2,380  (lbs.) Ostrich Feathers         892.4
                         Value of Exports $7,321,066.1
  Value of Imports on which duty was paid $9,237,696

How much this extensive trade has increased since the establishment
of the independence of Monte Video, will be seen from the following
statement of the increase of British shipping from 1830 to 1842:--

                           BRITISH SHIPPING.

             Years.       Ships.      Tonnage.      Men.
              1830          41          7480        425
              1831          36          6418        387
              1832          30          5577        324
              1833          51          9377        541
              1834          65         12339        664
              1835          54         10571        573
              1836          58         11121        628
              1837          63         12874        708
              1838         100         20800       1143
              1839         103         21257       1147
              1840         132         23821       1447
              1841         159         34537       1788

Up to the 6th of September, 1842, 128 British vessels had arrived at
Monte Video during that year.


Number of merchant vessels arrived at the Ports of Monte Video and
Buenos Ayres during the half-year ending June 30th, 1842:--

                        Monte Video.      Buenos Ayres.
            National         16                  0
            Brazilian        54                 17
            American         48                 31
            Chilian           1                  1
            British         115                 47
            French           52                 20
            Spanish          44                 17
            Sardinian        76                 14
            Portuguese        4                  2
            Hamburgh         14                  8
            Danish           17                 12
            Austrian          6                  0
            Swedish           9                  8
            Belgian           3                  1
            Bremen            3                  3
            Prussian          6                  0
            Russian           1                  1
            Hanoverian        1                  1
            Lubeck            2                  0
            Norwegian         3                  2
            Tuscan            1                  1
                            ---                ---
                            475                186
                            ---                ---

Great as this trade is, there is no reason why its future increase
should not be as rapid as its past. There are at present several
millions of cattle roving over the boundless pastures watered by the
Uruguay, the Rio Negro, the St. Lucia, and the two hundred arroyos or
rivulets which flow into them, and with a few years of peace, this
number would be doubled, or if it was found more profitable, flocks of
sheep might be introduced instead. The repeal of the duty on foreign
wool, by the Act of 1844, gives additional encouragement to the raising
of this kind of stock, and the reduction in the duty on foreign
provisions made by the tariff of 1842, would, if this country was at
peace, throw a considerable portion of the provision trade created by
that reduction of duty, and at present monopolized by the United States,
into Monte Video. Enormous quantities of meat are now wasted, which it
might be worth while to prepare for this market, in a way suited for the
English taste.

Pastoral countries, such as the territory of Uruguay, New South Wales,
Van Dieman's Land, and South Africa, have this great advantage over
arable countries that their resources can be developed much more
rapidly, with a much smaller amount of labour, and with much less
capital. This is one of the causes of the sudden rise of the trade with
Australia, and it is also a considerable cause of the rapid development
of the prosperity of Monte Video. Its power of producing hides, wool,
tallow, and provisions is unlimited, by any thing except the deficient
numbers of its population; and whilst on this subject, I may mention
that Monte Video is the only one of all the Republics formed out of the
ancient possessions of Spain which has been sufficiently well governed
to attract to its shores any considerable number of emigrants from
Europe. It will be seen from the following table extracted from the
books of the Custom House at Monte Video, that not less than 33,607
emigrants arrived in that port between November, 1835, and December,

      _Table made from the books at the Sala de Comercio of the
      number of passengers who arrived at Monte Video from Nov.
      1835 inclusive, to the end of 1842._

      A: Basques, from both sides of the Pyrenees.
      B: Frenchmen.
      C: Gallicians.
      D: Catalanes.
      E: Spaniards from Cadiz, &c.
      F: Genoese.
      G: Canarios.
      H: Portuguese and Brazilians.
      I: Miscellaneous.
      J: Total.

      |   A   |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F   |  G   |  H  |  I  |  J
  1836|  1116 |  56 | ... |  94 | 112 |  365 |  744 | 782 | 331 | 3600
  1837|   348 |  72 | 101 | 485 | 310 |  175 |  949 | 454 | 223 | 3117
  1838|  1939 |  71 |  85 | 264 | 284 |  645 | 2320 | 294 | 177 | 6079
  1839|   233 |  69 | 141 |  64 |  53 |  202 |  ... | 160 | 111 | 1033
  1840|  1107 |  80 | 106 | 107 |  58 |  727 |  ... | 316 | 122 | 2623
  1841|  3965 | 121 | 408 | 104 |  92 | 2552 |  365 | 101 | 111 | 7819
  1842|  4968 | 227 | 502 | 143 | 293 | 2123 |  774 | 140 | 166 | 9336
      | 13676 | 696 |1343 |1261 |1202 | 6789 | 5152 |2247 |1241 |33607

Of this large number of emigrants, 13,676, it will be seen, were from
the Basque provinces; 696 from France; 3806 from Spain; 6789 from Genoa;
5152 from the Canary Islands; 2247 from Portugal and Brazil, and 1241
from other parts of the world. If, as has been said by one of our
greatest writers, there is no worse sign of the condition of a country
than the fact of large masses of its subjects leaving it, surely it must
be considered an equally strong proof of the goodness of a Government
and the resources of a country when great masses of foreign emigrants
are pouring into it. In this respect, Monte Video stands pre-eminent
above all the States of America, except those founded by the British
race, and considering the limited extent of its territory, and the short
period of its independent existence, it can scarcely be said to yield to

Having thus shown the grounds on which the Government and people of
Monte Video are entitled to the sympathies and support of England, I
shall now proceed to say a few words on the present disastrous position
of the affairs of that Republic.

For the last two years, the city of Monte Video has been besieged by an
army composed almost entirely of Buenos Ayrean troops, commanded by
General Manuel Oribe, the expatriated President of Uruguay, who claims
to be the legal President of the Republic, and whose avowed object is to
overturn the present Government, and to seize on supreme power for
himself, and blockaded by sea by a Buenos Ayrean squadron, commanded by
William Brown, a British subject in the pay of General Rosas. If the
army of General Oribe was composed of Monte Videans, England could have
nothing to say in this matter, as his success would be merely the
substitution of the chief of one native party for another; but this is
not the case. Oribe has neither army, fleet, nor treasures of his own,
and owes every thing to General Rosas as absolutely as if he was a
Buenos Ayrean citizen. To allow him, therefore, to get and to retain
possession of Monte Video, would be to establish the authority of Buenos
Ayres on the east bank of the river as effectually as on the west, and
this I have already shown would be most injurious to the interests of
England, of Brazil, and the other adjoining States, as well as to Monte
Video itself, and to the upper States of the Argentine confederation.

Whatever might be the wishes of General Oribe, it is evident that he
would have no chance of retaining power any longer than he made himself
agreeable to General Rosas. In the city he has a considerable number of
supporters amongst the shopkeepers and a few amongst the merchants, but
in the country, the landed proprietors and gauchos or peasantry are all
opposed to him, and are enrolled in the armies of General Rivera, or his
lieutenants. When President, he was besieged and deposed by this class,
against which the mere townsmen can effect nothing. If he got possession
of the city, he would not be able to raise such a native force as would
sustain him. He must, therefore, retain the Buenos Ayrean army in his
pay, or he could not stir a mile from the walls without being attacked
by the army of Rivera. Hence he would continue in a state of dependence
on General Rosas for many years, if indeed he ever became entirely
independent of him. Thus, it will be seen, that this is not a struggle
to decide whether Oribe or Rivera shall be chief of the Republic, but
whether the Republic shall remain independent or become subservient to
the will of its bitterest enemy.

If the will of General Rosas should thus be allowed to become the law of
Monte Video, the prosperity of that country is at an end. A very large
revenue would be required for the support of the Buenos Ayrean
mercenaries, and it is not at all unlikely that Rosas, who confiscated
the property of the whole of the Unitarian or Centralist Party to pay
the expense of a former civil war, would insist on the repayment of the
whole, or at least of a part of the expenses of the present war, in
carrying on which the finances of Buenos Ayres have been brought to the
verge of ruin. To raise the money required for these purposes, there are
only two ways; the first, the confiscation of the property of Oribe's
opponents; the second, a great increase of the taxes on foreign imports.
The first of these measures would destroy all the best connections of
the English merchants, and ruin all the most respectable men in the
Republic, whilst the second would quite as effectually destroy its
foreign commerce.

It is by no means certain, however, that even the name of independence
would long be left to Monte Video, if General Oribe should succeed.
General Rosas would, in all probability, soon grow tired of supplying
troops and money to support another man's authority, whilst General
Oribe's necessities would compel him to submit to anything which his
patron might propose, even if he went the length of proposing the
annexation of Monte Video to Buenos Ayres, in humble imitation of the
annexation of Texas to the United States. The last letters from Monte
Video state, that Oribe has been getting together, at the Buceo, all the
members of his former Legislative Assembly, who had followed him to
Buenos Ayres or joined him there, and with their aid he will soon form
an assembly quite capable of performing any act which it may suit his
convenience to have performed. With such materials we shall scarcely
fail to have a repetition of the annexation of Texas on the banks of the
River Plate, whenever it may suit the plans of General Rosas and the
necessities of General Oribe to effect it.

It is not, however, merely on grounds of policy and humanity that
England is called upon to interfere in this contest, but it is bound to
do so by the distinct pledges of assistance given by Mr. Mandeville, the
English Minister at Buenos Ayres, to the Government of Monte Video, in
the name of his own Government. In December, 1842, at the most critical
period of the war, that gentleman formally announced, both to the
Governments of Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, that England and France had
determined to put an end to the war, and demanded that they should both
cease from hostilities.[C] Not content with this, he addressed an
official letter to Senor Vidal, the Secretary of State to the Republic
of Uruguay, urging him and his Government not to relax, but rather to
redouble their efforts to resist the Buenos Ayreans, until the arrival
of the assistance which, he stated, might be expected daily from
Europe.[D] The letters of Mr. Mandeville will be found in the appendix
to this pamphlet, and it will be for the public to decide whether
promises so distinct and emphatic, accompanied by exhortations so
strong, do not justify the Government of Monte Video, and the merchants
trading with that country, in calling on the British Government to
fulfil the engagements of its representative. Indeed it is impossible
that the Government of England can allow Monte Video to be taken and
plundered, the leading men of the Republic to be murdered or driven into
exile, and the Republic itself to be annihilated, without destroying the
high reputation which England has so long possessed in all those
countries for honour and uprightness.

That these consequences will be justly chargeable either on the
Representative or the Government of this country, if Monte Video
should be taken, is evident from a consideration of the circumstances
under which Mr. Mandeville gave his promises and his urgent
recommendation quoted above. The letters containing them were written
in the period which intervened between the total defeat of the Monte
Videan army at Arroyo Grande, and the advance of General Oribe and the
Buenos Ayrean forces on that city. When they were given, the Monte
Videan Government was in a state of the utmost uncertainty as to
whether further resistance would not be a useless waste of human life,
and whether it could have any other effect than to render its own
position more desperate. The infantry of Rivera, the only force up to
that time available for the defence of the city was destroyed, and the
cavalry was broken, and discouraged, besides being totally useless for
the purpose of resisting a siege. Within the city were a considerable
number of Oribe's supporters, and many neutrals, including nine-tenths
of the foreign population. At this critical moment the letters of Mr.
Mandeville, given above, were written, and it is the opinion of those
who were at Monte Video at the time, that it was those letters which
induced the Government to forego all attempts at negotiation, and to
call upon the whole population to rise and resist to the last. With
this view, besides calling on those classes of the people which had
previously taken part in the struggle, to rally round the Government,
it declared all the negro slaves in the Republic free, and formed them
into regiments of infantry for the defence of the capital, and it also
gave every encouragement to the foreign population which had emigrated
for the purpose of following the pursuits of peaceful industry, to
take up arms. By these means, an army of some thousand men was formed
within the city, chiefly from classes not before compromised, whilst
in the open country, the landed proprietors and peasantry, were
encouraged to take arms again under the command of their favourite
chief Rivera. Thus the war was renewed, and the whole population of
the Republic was again engaged in a struggle which, from the great
disproportion of the forces, nothing but the promised intervention of
England and France can bring to a close which will not be fatal to

My object in referring to these facts is not to excite odium against
Mr. Mandeville, who could have had no object in making the promises
contained in his letters of the 28th December and 12th of January,
except that of preserving the independence of Monte Video, until the
forces which he expected from Europe had arrived. In a previous
letter, quoted in the Appendix, he positively refused to give any such
promises without the permission of his own Government; and in his
letter of the 12th of January he bases his promises of aid to the
Monte Videan Government on this assertion:--"THE INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE
THEIR FORCES TO PUT AN END TO THE WAR." I will not suppose, even for
the sake of argument, that an English Minister made such a statement
as the above without believing it to be true, still less that he made
it for the sake of exciting fallacious and unfounded hopes in the
minds of men struggling for existence. He must have believed his own
assertions, and he must have had some strong, if not conclusive
reasons for believing them.

It is just as little my wish to cast odium on the English Government
as on Mr. Mandeville. Its foreign policy in other parts of the world
has been wise, dignified, and honest, and all that is asked is that it
will act on the same principles in this transaction. No one can doubt
that it is sincerely desirous of restoring peace in the River Plate.
The reason which Sir Robert Peel gives for the non-fulfilment of Mr.
Mandeville's promises is that he had exceeded his orders in giving
them. That there was a mistake somewhere or other cannot be doubted,
though whether it arose from want of explicitness in the directions
given to Mr. Mandeville or from want of comprehension on his part no
one is in a position to decide, except those who have seen them. What,
however, is perfectly clear is this, that the promises given by him to
the Monte Videan Government and the assurances given by him to his own
countrymen have had a most important influence on their conduct, and
have so far compromised the British Government as to add greatly to
the other many and strong reasons for interposing. It is no longer a
question of whether an independent Government, formed under the
mediation of England shall be sacrificed, and along with it the peace
which it has so long been the means of preserving between two of the
most important states of South America, neither is it a mere question
of whether the commercial intercourse with the finest regions of that
great continent shall be carried on without impediment; it is not now
even a question of whether a friendly Government shall be destroyed
and all connected with it ruined; these considerations, great as they
are, yield to the consideration that the honour of this country has
been pledged by its authorized representative, and that promises have
been given which cannot be violated without deep disgrace to the
hitherto unsullied honour of the English name.

       *       *       *       *       *

POSTSCRIPT.--Since the above observations were written, explanations
have been given by the Prime Minister in Parliament which encourage us
to hope that her Majesty's Ministers have at last decided to fulfil
the promises made by their late representative Mr. Mandeville, by
taking effectual steps to terminate the war, and to secure the
independence of the Republic of Uruguay. They have only to speak the
word, and to make such a display of force as will show that they are
in earnest, and Monte Video is saved. Admiral Brown, or as Commodore
Purvis calls him, "Mr. Brown, the British subject, commanding the
Buenos Ayrean squadron before Monte Video," will never run the double
risk of being sunk by an English broadside, or of being hung as a
traitor by resisting the orders of his own Government, if he is
convinced that his Government means to be obeyed, and the moment that
he strikes his flag, Oribe will have nothing left but to make the best
terms for himself and his army. He draws all his provisions from the
fleet, and must retire when his supplies are cut off.

Within the last few days information has been received from Buenos
Ayres strongly confirmatory of some of the views stated above.
According to letters from that city of the 7th February, the
Governments of Brazil and Paraguay have formed a treaty offensive and
defensive, in which they stipulate for the freedom of the rivers
flowing through the territories of both. This is a movement of the
greatest commercial as well as political importance, and if the
independence of Monte Video is preserved, there can be no doubt that
it will join this league, and that the line of communication with the
interior of South America up the River Uruguay will be kept open, even
if General Rosas should persist in his illegal anti-social policy of
closing the Parana against foreign nations.


    [A] The Monte Videan Government has granted a patent for
    introducing steamers on all its rivers to an Englishman, Mr.
    Bugglen.--(_See Appendix._)

    [B] Plans for forming such a canal were under consideration by
    the Commissioners appointed under the treaty of San Ildefonso,
    in 1778, to fix the boundaries of the Spanish and Portuguese


                            _Buenos Ayres, December 16th, 1842._

    The Governments of England and France having determined to
    adopt such measures as they may consider necessary to put an
    end to the hostilities between the Republics of Buenos Ayres
    and Monte Video, the undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of
    her Britannic Majesty to the Argentine Confederation, has the
    honour, conformably to the instructions received from his
    Government, to inform H. E. M. Arana, Minister for Foreign
    Affairs of the Government of Buenos Ayres, that the sanguinary
    war at present carried on between the Government of Buenos
    Ayres and that of Monte Video, must cease, for the interests
    of humanity and of the British and French subjects, and other
    Foreigners who are residing in the country which is now the
    seat of war; and therefore requires of the Government of
    Buenos Ayres:--1. The immediate cessation of hostilities
    between the troops of the Argentine Confederation and those
    of the Republic of Uruguay. 2. That the troops of the
    Argentine Confederation (it being understood that those of the
    Republic of the Uruguay will adopt a similar course) remain
    within their respective territories, or return to them in case
    they should have passed their frontier.--The undersigned
    requests H. E. to reply as soon as he conveniently can,
    whether it is the intention of the Government of Buenos Ayres
    to accede to these demands, and has the honour to be, &c.

                                               J. H. MANDEVILLE.

      _To H. E. Don Felipe Arana._

    [D]                     _Buenos Ayres, December 28th, 1842._

    MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I received this morning your private
    letter of the 20th; after thanking you for it I have little to
    add, except that Count de Lurde and I have received an answer
    to our note demanding an armistice, stating that a demand of
    this nature, menacing as it does the Argentine Confederation,
    requires time for deliberation before a reply can be given. In
    the mean time, I trust that the step which I and the French
    Minister have taken will in no manner weaken, but, on the
    contrary, hasten and encourage the zealous efforts of your
    Government to resist invasion, because, where winds and waves
    are concerned, no man can say, when he leaves Europe, in what
    week or in what month he will arrive at Monte Video. I know
    nothing of the operations of the armies on either side of the
    Uruguay; I thank you for the information which you send me
    about them; I know nothing from any other source.

    Believe me ever, my dear M. de Vidal, ever your sincere

                                               J. H. MANDEVILLE.

      _To his Excellency M. de Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

                             _Buenos Ayres, January 12th, 1843._

    MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--When I received M. Gelly's official
    letter upon the entry of Oribe's troops into the Banda
    Oriental, I was myself too unwell to thank you for your letter
    of the 28th ult. on the subject of your resignation, and too
    sad and discouraged by it at the idea of your retirement from
    office at the present moment. But now when I see, by the
    _Nacional_ of the 3d, that you have nobly decided upon still
    retaining the foreign and home departments, I am as anxious to
    congratulate you and your country upon this resolution, as I
    was averse, on the day I wrote to M. Gelly, to take up my pen
    for any body or any thing, but for this letter of yours above
    mentioned. The two official communications, which I send you
    with this opportunity, would have gone with my letter to M.
    Gelly, luckily, it's of little consequence whether you receive
    them now or this day month. What has prevented the British and
    French naval forces from coming long before this to the River
    Plate, I can have no conception. The interview between the
    British Ambassador and Guizot took place on the 9th September,
    when he agreed to all that Lord Cowley proposed, of uniting
    their forces to put an end to the war. Before the end of
    December I would have sworn that they would have been here. I
    cannot conclude my letter without expressing to you my truest
    thanks for the expression of your friendship towards me, and
    my confidence that, happen what may, you will always duly
    appreciate my public and private conduct to you. Believe me,
    my dear M. de Vidal, that my sentiments and my utmost efforts
    will always be in unison to draw closer the ties of
    friendship, which have been so happily established, through
    you in great part, between the two countries where we first
    drew our breath, and my labour will be unceasing to preserve
    them unchanged.

                                               J. H. MANDEVILLE.

      _To his Excellency Don Jose Antonino Vidal._


          _British Minister to the Argentine Confederation_,


                             SENHOR VIDAL,
           _Secretary of State of the Republic of Uruguay_.

                                     _Buenos Ayres, May 26th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I have received your official letter of the 20th
May, with the enclosure which you have had the goodness and frankness
to communicate to me,--and also the two private letters of the same
date, which you have done me the honour to write to me.

I beg you to believe that I share with you all the disagreeableness
of the suspense which the silence of the British Government to my
despatches of the 4th December last causes to us both. To me it is
only a matter of a little personal inconvenience that I ought not,
nor do I, regard; to you it is very different--and all that I can say
to you on the subject is, that the moment that I hear from England
respecting it, I will not lose a moment in communicating it to you--of
this be assured, as of the sincere esteem and consideration with which
I remain,

          My dear M. de Vidal, always truly yours,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      (PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.)

                                      _Buenos Ayres, June 8th,1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--Although I have not received any official answer
to the proposals which I transmitted by your Excellency's desire to
her Majesty's Government, on the 6th of December last, as a basis for
the conclusion of a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the Republic of
the Uruguay, I am led to believe and know that they will not be
accepted, for the reasons which I stated to your Excellency at the
time these proposals were made to me--namely, that the acceptance of
this offer would be at variance with the policy and practice of her
Majesty's Government, whose wish, in matters of commerce, is to stand
on the same footing as other nations, and to enjoy no advantages but
such as would, upon similar terms, be conceded to any other friendly
power, and that accordingly her Majesty's Government have no intention
of availing themselves of this proposal.

I therefore again most pressingly renew, to your Excellency, the
proposals I made when I first had the honour to see your Excellency,
to negociate with me a Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, upon
the basis which was presented to the Monte Videan Government by Mr.
Hamilton, in the year 1835, and brought forward by me at a later

I am enabled to assure your Excellency that Her Majesty's Government
is not indifferent to the welfare and prosperity of the Republic of
the Uruguay, as your Excellency will shortly see by the measures which
will be taken for its preservation, and to which I am sure you will be
a willing party, and I beg your Excellency to believe that nothing
will strengthen these good intentions on the part of Her Majesty's
Government so much as a frank and cordial acceptance of the terms of
the above mentioned Treaty.

I have the honour to be with the highest consideration, Sir,

          Your Excellency's obedient humble servant,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency, Don Jose Antonino Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

                         (MOST CONFIDENTIAL.)

                                    _Buenos Ayres, June 10th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--My Government has seen with regret that the
results of my visits to Monte Video, in December and January last,
was not concession of a Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation
between Great Britain and the Republic of Uruguay upon the footing
proposed by my predecessor Mr. Hamilton, and subsequently by me, and I
have been represented as not having been sufficiently urgent with your
Excellency to conclude this treaty with me, and I have been blamed in

I therefore appeal to your Excellency if I did not do my utmost to
induce you to negociate it with me, observing, that once concluded, it
would not prejudice the acceptance of any other additional proposal on
your part which might be added to it afterwards and form additional
articles--and that I only desisted from urging it upon you, when I saw
that my solicitations were of no avail, and you were resolved to await
the answer to the proposition which I transmitted to London by your
Excellency's desire.

I am anxious that this circumstance should be put in its true light,
and that I may be exonerated from an undeserved censure--and still
more that your Excellency should commence the negociations of the
treaty with me, which would be the best answer to the reports of the
lukewarmness of my wishes in this business.

Believe me to be, my dear M. de Vidal, with great truth and regard,
most sincerely and faithfully yours,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency Don Antonino Vidal._

       *       *       *       *       *

                       (SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL)

                                    _Buenos Ayres, June 18th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--The measures which I alluded to in my private
letter to your Excellency of the 10th instant--that her Majesty's
Government will take for the effectual protection of the Republic of
Uruguay are a joint mediation of Great Britain and France, which I am
formally to tender to the Buenos Ayrean Government, upon the arrival
of the French Minister here, Baron de Lurde, to adjust the difference
between Monte Video and Buenos Ayres.

I did not acquaint you of this important intelligence in my last
letters, on account of the possibility of their falling into other
hands; and as I am not to make the formal offer of joint mediation of
Great Britain and France, until the arrival of the French Minister at
Buenos Ayres, I think, for many reasons, which I am sure you will
share with me, that it should not be made known; but I have taken the
first safe opportunity of communicating it to you, for your own
satisfaction and for that of your colleagues.

Believe me always, my dear M. de Vidal, with great regard and esteem,
most faithfully yours,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency M. de Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

                                      _Buenos Ayres, June 23d,1842._

SIR,--I have had the honour to receive your Excellency's dispatch,
marked confidential, of the 18th instant, in answer to mine of the
8th, which was delivered to me this morning, the contents of which
will cause great satisfaction to her Majesty's Government, as to me
they have procured the highest gratification. Her Majesty's Ministers
will see, in the determination of the Monte Videan Government to
conclude a Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, with Great
Britain, on the terms proposed by Mr. Hamilton and by me, the most
unequivocal proof of the loyalty of its intentions towards the British
Empire, and of its friendly sentiments towards her Majesty's

I shall, in consequence, avail myself of the friendly dispositions of
the Monte Videan Government for the adjustment and conclusion of the
treaty which your Excellency has done me the honour to communicate to
me, and I propose, in a few days, to embark for Monte Video, for the
termination of so honourable and desirable an event.

I have the honour to be, with the highest consideration, Sir,

          Your Excellency's obedient humble servant,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency D. Jose Antonino Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *


                                    _Buenos Ayres, June 24th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I have received your two most amiable and
friendly letters of the 18th and 20th instant; it is needless for me
to tell you the delight and gratification which they have procured to

I have little more to add to my acknowledgement of the receipt of
these letters, as I shall so very soon have, God willing, the
satisfaction of seeing you, except to renew to my heartfelt thanks for
their contents, which only serve to increase the sentiments of
friendship and esteem which your conduct to me has inspired me with,
since the first day of our personal acquaintance.

I reserve all communications upon any other subject until we meet,
which will be about the middle of next week, but rely upon it, and it
is with pride I tell you, _you and your Government will be satisfied_.

Believe me ever, my dear M. de Vidal, with the highest regard and

          Most faithfully yours,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                    _Buenos Ayres, June 25th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--Would you have any objections to have the treaty
copied immediately?

I have motives so strong not for coming back to Buenos Ayres, but for
being able to return at the moment when it becomes necessary, that I
should impart them to you, which I cannot well by this conveyance.

I will answer for your concurrence with me in this desire to be ready,
at a moment's notice, to come back here.

Another motive, which is a very secondary one, and that is, having no
steward at this moment, the one who was with me for six years having
left me to set up a coffee-house. I cannot bring my establishment with
me, even if I had a house to go to at Monte Video, and therefore I am
obliged to live at the Consul's, which is a great inconvenience to
him, and consequently very disagreeable to me; but, as I have said,
this is a trifling consideration, which may be got over very easily.
Again, Mr. Hood may come by the next packet--where shall I go then?

All these considerations, put together, make me very anxious, not so
much to get through the treaty, for the sake of concluding it, as to
be ready, when circumstances require my departure, to come back here.

    Ever, my dear M. de Vidal, your faithful and sincere friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                  _Buenos Ayres, August 18th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I had the greatest pleasure in receiving your
friendly letter, without date, which was accompanied by an official
note brought to me by M. le Comte de Lurde, to which you require an

If you will weigh the contents of this note, you will find that it is
impossible that I can answer it in any other way, than has done the
French Plenipotentiary by that of acknowledging the receipt of it.

In the first place, no formal tender of mediation has as yet been made
by the French Plenipotentiary and me, and therefore, until it has been
positively refused, it would be as unusual as it would be impolitic to
have recourse to threats to enforce the acceptance of it. But other
and more powerful reasons forbid this line of conduct; you who are
accustomed to give directions to your foreign Ministers and agents,
know that they must act by their instructions, and by their
instructions alone. I cannot take upon myself to say what means are at
the disposal of the Comte de Lurde, but I know I have no more the
power of constraining General Rosas to pay respect to the wishes of
the mediatory powers, as far as physical force goes than you have.

If I were to ask the British naval officer on this station to land his
men and garrison Monte Video, or prevent any power blockading the
port, (which in my opinion, you may rely upon it, will never be done
by General Rosas), he would laugh at me, unless I could show that I
had positive orders from my Government to require it of him.

To make a declaration to this effect to General Rosas, without having
the means of carrying it into execution, would be only exposing myself
to ridicule, and my future communications to this Government as
unworthy of belief.

And as it is unnecessary, unless you require it, that I should put
these reasons, for not acceding to what you demand, in an official
note, I have answered it word for word, as the Comte de Lurde has
informed me he has done, by simply acknowledging the receipt of it,
thus privately stating to you my reasons for so doing.

Believe me, my dear M. de Vidal, always and faithfully,

          Your sincere Friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                  _Buenos Ayres, August 25th, 1842._

MY M. DE VIDAL,--I have to thank you for your letter of the 15th
instant, and for the information you gave me in it with regard to
Ellauri's proceedings in London, and to the assurances made to him by
Lord Aberdeen of his determination to put an end to the war. His, M.
Ellauri's project of a treaty rather surprises me, considering that he
was unauthorized by you to propose it, but I suppose Republican
Ministers take upon themselves a little more in their negotiations
than we Ministers of Monarchs, at all events I hope that they will
send me an outline of it from the Foreign Office, as I am very anxious
to see what M. Ellauri would have liked to have had.

You may rely upon it, my dear M. de Vidal, that in spite of all your
opposers and enemies may say, your confidence in the mediation has not
been vain and groundless: Count de Lurde and I are determined to
uphold the respectability of the mediation, but we must wait until it
be rejected before other measures can be taken.

Yesterday the mediation was formally proposed by M. de Lurde, and by
me to Don Felipe de Arana on the part of our respective Sovereigns,
and supported by arguments which seemed to make an impression on the
Minister. He, of course, could give neither answer nor opinion upon
the proposal, and I do not think it very likely that we shall obtain
one before the departure of the packet which is fixed for the day
after to-morrow.

The picture you give me of the state of your armies in Entre Rios,
leaves you little to apprehend.--A private letter from a friend of
mine in the Foreign Office says, "By the accounts from Monte Video, we
expect to receive by the next packet a demand from the Buenos Ayrean
Government to defend it from the troops of General Rivera."

Be assured, my dear M. de Vidal, that I will leave no opportunity
neglected to write to you whenever I have any thing to communicate
worth your knowing, and that I am always,

          Your sincere and faithful Friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency M. de Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 26th._--I received late last night your letter of the 24th.
I really have not time to do more than thank you for it by this

                                                            J. H. M.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                 _Buenos Ayres, October 19th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I received by the last packet a letter from Mr.
Hood, a part of which I will communicate to you, as I think it right
that you should be literally and truly informed of what is going at
the Foreign Office, in London, between Lord Aberdeen and M. Ellauri,
on the subject of negociation, with respect to a treaty of commerce.

Mr. Hood says "I am employed modifying the treaty and talking Ellauri
into acquiescence to our views. Yesterday, (August 2nd), we had an
interview with Lord Canning, and during it I heard that he said he
would not hesitate to sign the treaty as now prepared. If it should
come to a bargain, I think it may be very likely that the Foreign
Office may wish me to take it out to get ratified."

Now, my dear friend, tell me, if you can, how is it possible for M.
Ellauri to sign and conclude a treaty, or even to say that he will,
unless he has full powers to do so? I am confident that he has neither
one nor the other, because you told me he has not, but still it is so
very extraordinary his whole conduct that I should like if possible to
have it explained.

I had a discourse the other day with a gentleman on the right of the
Government of the Republic of Uruguay and this country, to expel any
foreigner from their territory, at their pleasure. I know that it is
never done but under very grave circumstances; but what I contended
for was, the power and the right they possess to do so.

I suppose you have not written to me lately because I did not answer
your letter of the 20th ult., but if you have no other, it does not
resemble you. Always, my dear M. de Vidal,

          Sincerely yours,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      (PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.)

                                 _Buenos Ayres, October 20th, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I have not before acknowledged the receipt of
your letter of the 20th of last month, for until now I have had
nothing to communicate to you that was worth the trouble of taking
your time to read.

I am greatly pained by the sad termination of Count de Lurde's and my
most strenuous efforts, as far as argument and persuasion could go, to
induce the Buenos Ayrean Government to listen to the dictates of sound
policy as well as of humanity and accept the mediation of Great
Britain and France to put an end to the war. It will grievously
disappoint the great expectations of her Majesty's Government, but for
which disappointment from my previous dispatches they will be, in a
great measure, prepared.

I have set Messrs. Ball and Diehl to work to copy the answer, that no
time may be lost in communicating it to you, and I shall send down the
Cockatrice with it the moment it is done.

Believe me, my dear M. de Vidal,

          Always your sincere faithful Friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency D. Antonino de Vidal, &c. &c._

    P.S.--Although I transmit this document to you officially,
    as I feel it my duty to do, I would rather that it be not
    published until we have the resolution of the Sala. In Europe,
    these papers are never published until some time after they
    have been delivered, which we consider as by far the best mode
    of conduct.

                                                        J. H. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  _Buenos Ayres, October 26th, 1842_

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--Neither you nor I were, nor could be surprised
at the wretchedness of our negociation, or rather of M. de Lurde's and
my attempt to make this Government accept the mediation of Great
Britain and France, to put an end to the war, and I am happy to think
that when I was last at Monte Video, I prepared her Majesty's
Government for this result.

I feel the greatest pleasure to find that my unceasing efforts to
obtain the acceptance by the Buenos Ayrean Government of our joint
mediation have satisfied you. I can conscientiously say that I have
done every thing in my power to make it succeed.

Of course I never meant but that the note should be immediately
communicated to the Government, all I requested, and in which I was
sure your own discernment and good feelings would make you concur in,
was, that it should not be published until it has come out here.

I observe, in all your letters, you write _mediation_ for mediators,
as applicable to my expressions.

"My words in one of my preceding letters were, that your reliance on
the mediators should not be vain or unfounded." This you have seen and
can rely upon. I never hoped or gave you reason to hope that the
mediation would be successful, but the results, according to my
opinion and belief, (I am no prophet to predict), will not be vain nor
illusory. The feelings of the British Government (and as you tell me
Lord Aberdeen has himself said) towards the Banda Oriental will be
very different since the conclusion of a treaty between it and great
Britain to what they were before.

Believe me, my dear M. de Vidal,

          Always your sincere and faithful Friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency M. de Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

                                _Buenos Ayres, November 28th, 1842._

SIR,--I have the honour to transmit to your Excellency a copy of the
note from the Buenos Ayrean Minister for Foreign Affairs, transmitting
to me the resolution of the Chamber upon the correspondence between me
and the French Minister on one part, and M. Arana on the other, upon
the subject of the mediation which was transmitted to the Chamber for
its consideration, and a decree which it has issued.

Thus, notwithstanding all my efforts, the Buenos Ayrean Government
still continues to refuse her Majesty's mediation, and _persist in a
war not justified by any national object_.

I have the honour to be with the highest consideration, Sir,

          Your Excellency's most obedient humble Servant,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency Don Jose Antonino Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

                      (PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.)

                                _Buenos Ayres, September 2nd, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I had not time, before the departure of the
packet, to answer your private letter of the 24th ult., and now keep
my promise made to you in my letter of the 25th ult., of replying to

I must first begin by telling you that, some days before the packet
sailed, Count de Lurde and I made the formal tender of the mediation
in the manner presented to me by my instructions with which I made you
acquainted when I was last at Monte Video.

I told M. de Arana that he was doubtless acquainted with the object of
our visit, to which he assented, of which he had been informed by
previous conversations which he had with me, and which was no longer a
secret, for it had formed articles in the Monte Video newspapers, and
the topic of conversation in the streets of that Town for weeks. But
public or private the object is the same, one of the greatest
importance to this country and of serious consideration to Great
Britain and to France,--that of urging General Rosas to accept the
mediation of France and Great Britain, of which the Count de Lurde and
I then made the formal offer to the Buenos Ayrean Government in order
to put an end to the deplorable conflict in which Buenos Ayres and
Monte Video have for such a length of time been engaged. _That Monte
Video to my knowledge is anxious and willing to make peace_ with
Buenos Ayres upon fair and reasonable terms, and I could produce
authority for what I advanced, if required, that the proposal which
General Rosas had formerly made, of accepting the mediation of Great
Britain upon the condition that General Oribe should be returned to
power, was inadmissible, and that it was obviously impossible that
either the British or French Governments could sanction, by their
mediation, the desire of General Rosas to place in the Presidency of
Monte Video _a particular individual_, who, however meritorious in
other respects, may not be acceptable to the majority of the
inhabitants of the Oriental State, and that those Governments can only
agree to offer to either of the belligerent powers such conditions as
one independent State can, consistently with its honour, accept from

I then acquainted his excellency that it was the confident expectation
of her Majesty's Government that the Argentine Government will accept
the offer of Great Britain and France to mediate between Buenos Ayres
and Monte Video, upon just and reasonable conditions, and that the
Buenos Ayrean Government will authorize us, the Count de Lurde and me,
to propose moderate and honourable terms of peace to the Government of
the Republic of the Uruguay. I stated to M. de Arana that this offer
is dictated by the feelings of humanity and of warm interest in the
prosperity of the two neighbouring Republics, and her Majesty's
Government earnestly hope, as M. de Lurde said does that of France,
that the Government of Buenos Ayres will maturely reflect before they
reject the friendly intervention which is now offered to them by two
such powerful states, and I concluded by conjuring his Excellency to
use his whole influence with General Rosas, as his friend and adviser,
to accept the offer of mediation in the manner just proposed to him.

M. de Arana replied, that of course we could not expect from him any
other answer than that he would hasten to lay the object of the
communication we had just made to him before General Rosas, which he
would do on that evening, and addressing himself to M. de Lurde, he
said, you know the answer which was addressed to the British Minister
last year, a copy of it having been given to M. de Becourt. Neither
the French Minister nor myself were anxious to recur to that answer
nor to discuss it, but he joined with me in soliciting the good
offices of M. de Arana to obtain a happy issue to our joint offer.
M. de Lurde said, and with reason, that it would be of the greatest
importance to obtain the acquiescence of General Rosas to the
mediation as soon as possible, in which I joined him in pressing
terms. M. de Arana immediately replied that he would render an account
to the Governor of the earnest desire of the two Ministers with all
the interest that demands an affair as delicate as it is important.

With this last observation of M. de Arana the conference ended, and we
took leave full in hope that General Rosas, with the soundness of his
judgment and the generosity of his disposition, aided by his
Excellency's influence and good offices will not hesitate to accept
the offer of Great Britain and France to terminate a war which, for
the sake of humanity and the prosperity of the two Republics, is so
earnestly desired by all Europe, as well as by the people and
Government of Monte Video, who ask only for peace, and the power the
most legitimate in the world, that of choosing its own rulers, and its
form of government themselves.

Two days after the packet sailed we, the Count de Lurde and I, called
upon M. de Arana; he told us that in a question of such great
importance, as is the joint offer of mediation of Great Britain and
France, it should, he thought be communicated in writing, and he asked
us if we had any objection to make it in that manner, I said by no
means, and the French Minister and I sent in a note on the following
day, 30th August, beginning with "In consequence of your Excellency's
desire to have the communication we verbally made to you on the 24th
instant, committed to writing, we have the honour, &c., &c., and I
repeated in writing word for word what I had said to him verbally, and
the French Minister did the same. You have now, dear M. de Vidal, a
faithful and exact account of every thing that has taken place in this
important business.

Now as to what you ask of me with respect to answering the official
note you sent to me by the French Minister, I agree with you
perfectly, that Her Majesty's Government would not make a second offer
of its mediation, without being resolved to support it, more
especially since you say that Lord Aberdeen has declared to M.
Ellauri, that he will put a stop to the war.

But this assurance on the part of Lord Aberdeen does not give me the
power either to take measures for carrying this declaration into
effect, or to make such a declaration to General Rosas. I _must wait_
for instructions from my Government _before_ I inform the Buenos
Ayrean Government what they will direct shall be done, as it is not
for me to say in what manner the war shall be put a stop to.

M. de Lurde, when I spoke to him about the purport of the official
note to me from you, of which he was the bearer, told me that he had
simply acknowledged the receipt of it, because he could give no other
answer, and I feel that I am in exactly a similar position.

You are now, as you have always been, in possession of my public and
private sentiments upon this most important question, the mediation,
and you may be most confident that my conduct upon it, whilst it is
pending, will be as satisfactory to your Government as to yourself.

Believe me, my dear M. de Vidal, always your faithful and sincere

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

 _To his Excellency Don Jose Antonino Vidal, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *


                                _Buenos Ayres, December 23rd, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I received this morning your private letter
of the 20th,--after thanking you for it, I have little to add,
except that Count de Lurde and I have received an answer to our note,
demanding an armistice, stating that a demand of this nature, menacing
as it does the Argentine Confederation, requires time for
consideration before a reply can be given.

In the meantime, I trust that the step which I and the French Minister
have taken will in no manner weaken, but, on the contrary, hasten and
encourage the zealous efforts of your Government to resist invasion,
because, where winds and waves are concerned, no man can say, when he
leaves Europe, in what week or in what month he will arrive at Monte

I know nothing of the operations of the armies on either side of the
Uruguay; I thank you for the information which you send me about
them--I know nothing from any other source.

Believe me ever, my dear M. de Vidal,

          Your faithful and sincere friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency M. de Vidal, &c., &c., &c._

       *       *       *       *       *


                                _Buenos Ayres, 24th December, 1842._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--I took the liberty, when I sent you a copy of
our note to this Government, demanding a cessation of hostilities, to
beg the favour of you not to make it public. Communications of this
nature are not intended at the time to be made public.

If I had intended that Mr. Dale should have a copy of it, I would have
sent one to him; but copies have been given--for the commander of the
Fantome has written a letter to me of complaint, that I had not
communicated the circumstance to him, when some one had shown him a
copy which he had read.

People sometimes think that by giving publicity to a document they
bind down more the persons who have signed it to their engagement;
this is a mistake. The only result which comes out of it is, that it
makes them much more cautious and reserved in future in communicating

Believe me ever, my dear M. de Vidal,

          Your sincere friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      (PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.)

                                 _Buenos Ayres, January 12th, 1843._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--My thanks for your letter of the 28th ult. in
answer to mine of the complaints of the captain of the Fantome. It was
perfectly satisfactory.

I have received a despatch from Lord Aberdeen, acquainting me that the
Vidal and Ellauri treaties are under the consideration of her
Majesty's Government, and that he will not fail by next packet to
communicate to me the result of their deliberations.

The under Secretary of State writes me that the latter is in some
measure preferred, and, therefore, it is right for me to mention this
circumstance to you, in order that you may not be unprepared, should
it be adopted.

Believe me, my dear M. de Vidal, ever your sincere Friend,

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                 _Buenos Ayres, January 12th, 1843._

MY DEAR M. DE VIDAL,--When I received M. Gelly's official letter, upon
the entry of Oribe's troops into the Banda Oriental, I was myself too
unwell to thank you for your letter of the 28th ult. on the subject of
your resignation, and too sad and discouraged by it at the idea of
your retirement from office at the present moment. But now I see by
the _Nacional_ of the 3rd that you have nobly decided upon still
retaining the Foreign and Home Departments, I am as anxious to
congratulate you and your country upon this resolution, as I was
averse on the day I wrote to M. Gelly to take up my pen for any body
or any thing, but for this letter of yours above mentioned. The two
official communications which I send you by this opportunity, would
have gone with my letter to M. Gelly, luckily, its of little
consequence whether you receive them now or this day month.

What has prevented the British and French naval forces from coming
long before this to the River Plate, I can have no conception. The
interview between the British Ambassador and Guizot took place on the
9th September, when he agreed to all that Lord Cowley proposed of
uniting their forces to put an end to the war. Before the end of
December, I would have sworn that they would have been here. I cannot
conclude my letter without expressing to you my truest thanks for the
expression of your friendship towards me,--and my confidence that,
happen what may, you will always duly appreciate my public and private
conduct to you.

Believe me, my dear M. de Vidal, that my sentiments and my utmost
efforts will always be in unison to draw closer the ties of friendship
which have been so happily established, through you in great part,
between the two countries where we first drew our breath, and my
labour will be unceasing to preserve them unchanged.

                                                   J. H. MANDEVILLE.

  _To his Excellency Don Jose Antonino Vidal._

       *       *       *       *       *


                                     _Ytapua, September 26th, 1842._

Having arrived safely at this town on the 20th instant, I forwarded,
on the same evening, a despatch to the Government of this Republic
with my passports soliciting the necessary license for myself and my
companions to continue our journey to Assumption. By the same
opportunity I forwarded to the Consuls of the Republic the despatch
with which I was charged by your Excellency.

The answer from the Consuls reached me yesterday afternoon, and with
it I have received, for my own person, my two companions and servant,
permission to proceed to the capital, with the assurance that every
assistance and protection will be afforded me. I regret having to add
that this license is not extended to the Oriental escort, under whose
protection and with whose assistance I have been able so fortunately
to complete my journey to the Paraguay territory--for the reason (in
the words of the Consuls note) of the said escort _being no longer

On this account the Government of this Republic has granted a
passport, which Don Blas Acevedo takes with him, ordering the Paraguay
authorities to render to this officer and to the men under his command
every necessary assistance on his return to the camp of your
Excellency, and has also forwarded the despatch which I have now the
honour to transmit in answer to that of your Excellency, with which I
accompanied my above-mentioned letters to the Consuls of Paraguay.

It only remains for me to express to your Excellency my perfect
satisfaction in regard to the conduct of the escort, generally and
individually, during the whole time that we have journeyed together. I
am perfectly well aware, Excellent Sir, that such a declaration is
unnecessary on my part, being confident that soldiers chosen by your
Excellency for any service, would necessarily act as these have done,
but I should neither satisfy my grateful feeling nor my duty, did I
not state that in fulfilling their commission, both the escort and the
officer that accompanied me from Monte Video, have, in every occasion
and in all circumstances, been constantly active, obedient and ready
to exert themselves to the utmost, and that in no instance have they
given cause of complaint, either to myself or to the parties at whose
houses we have stayed, or through whose lands we have passed.

I cannot conclude without calling the attention of your Excellency to
the case of the soldier José Arillu and to that of the coachman
Antonio, both of whom have been seriously hurt in the service just
completed: at present I can do no more than to recommend them to the
consideration of your Excellency, but I purpose communicating the
affair to my Government.

Repeating my sincere thanks, and saluting your Excellency with the
expression of my highest esteem and most distinguished consideration,
I have the honour to subscribe myself,

          Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant,

                                                    G. J. R. GORDON.

  _To His Excellency Don Fructuoso Rivera, President of the
  Oriental Republic of the Uruguay, General in Chief of the
  army, &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

                         REPUBLIC OF PARAGUAY.

                                  _Assumption, September 23d, 1842._

The undersigned supreme Government has received the estimable note of
his Excellency the President of the Oriental Republic of the Uruguay,
dated the 1st of August last, informing this Government of the visit
of George J. R. Gordon, Esq., and his companion recommended by his
Excellency to this Government, who therefore assure his Excellency
that nothing is more gratifying to them than to accept the
recommendation his Excellency has been pleased to direct, for the
purpose indicated; and will correspond, in acting upon it, to the
sentiments of friendship by which it is animated towards the
Government of the Oriental Republic.

The Government has disposed that the escort given by his Excellency to
Mr. Gordon, shall be provided with the proper passport for his return,
as it is a duty incumbent on this Government to give due fulfilment to
the necessary attentions on Mr. Gordon's leaving the country.

The request of his Excellency being satisfied in all respects this
Government repeats its expression of true friendship and esteem and
affectionately salutes his Excellency.

                                               CARLOS ANTONIO LOPEZ.
                                               MARIANO ROQUE ALONSO.

  _To his Excellency the President of the Oriental
  Republic of the Uruguay, Don Fructuoso Rivera._

       *       *       *       *       *



    _The Senate and Chamber of Representatives of the Oriental
    Republic of the Uruguay, united in General Assembly, have
    resolved on the following_


Art. 1.--It is granted to Mr. John Halton Buggeln to hold the
exclusive privilege of navigating with ships propelled by steam or
other mechanical power, in the ports and on the rivers of the
Republic, during the period of twelve years from the time of the
arrival of those ships at the port of Monte Video, under the
conditions and restrictions to be expressed in the following articles;
reckoning the arrival of the first steam-vessel at twenty months after
the sanction of this project, save in case of unforeseen impediment,
and the contractor obliging himself to prove his inculpableness by
publishing the privilege in England and soliciting the advance of the
requisite capital; if in thirty months from the date mentioned in the
sanction of the project, he shall not have verified that
justification before the Executive, Mr. Halton Buggeln shall incur the
penalty of a fine of 10,000 dollars to the public treasury, the same
to be guaranteed by his person and goods.

Art. 2.--Vessels of the said description of less than fifty tons
burthen, are not comprehended in the exclusion of this privilege.

Art. 3.--The undertaking shall be commenced by two vessels of three
hundred or more tons, and one hundred horse power. The latest
discoveries that shall have been made both for the acceleration of
speed and for the prevention of accidents of explosion or others, are
to be applied to their construction and machinery.

Art. 4.--The vessels of this undertaking shall convey, free of all
charge, the mails of the Republic to and from all the ports of their
transit; the captains or masters being responsible for their safety,
unless the Government shall appoint a person for this object.

Art. 5.--Each vessel shall maintain on board two young Oriental
citizens as apprentices to instruct them as engineers and pilots.

Art. 6.--The vessels of this undertaking shall navigate free of all
tonnage dues, under the British flag, having liberty to deposit on
shore or on board of hulks, such coals, machinery or other matters
intended for use and consumption on board, not including provisions,
the Executive to determine the measures necessary to prevent the abuse
of this liberty, and it being understood that the said deposits shall
not be entitled to any other guarantee than such as belong to foreign
property on shore.

Art. 7--Whatever may be the state of the relations of this Republic
with Great Britain, this undertaking, its funds and property, and the
men employed in it, shall never under any pretext be an object of
sequestration, indemnification, nor guarantee of any kind of
reclamations or reprisals, which may occur between the two nations,
but rather during the whole term of the contract until its
dissolution, it shall be under the protection of the laws as if such
misunderstandings did not exist; but the navigation may be temporally
suspended and with it the term of the privilege, if the defence of the
Republic or other similar interests should so require.

Art. 8.--If there should be national contractors or shareholders the
undertaking shall admit them to the number of one third of the shares.

Act. 9--This privilege shall become of no effect by the voluntary
interruption of its exercise, by the contractor, during a period of
six months continuously.

Art. 10.--Let it be communicated, &c.

And in making this known to the Executive Power, the undersigned
President takes the opportunity of saluting the Executive with his
most distinguished consideration.

                                           Dr. PEDRO PABLO VIDAL,
                                           _Juan Manuel de la Sota_,

    Monte Video, February 7th, 1844.

  _To H. E. the Vice-President of the Republic, Don Joaquin Suarez._

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  _Monte Video, February 8th, 1844._

Be it fulfilled, the receipt thereof acknowledged, let be communicated
to whom it may concern, published and inserted in the National Register.

                                                 _Santiago Vazquez._

Printed at the Liverpool Times Office, Castle-street.

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Footnotes have been moved from the middle of the text to just before

3. The following misprints have been corrected:
    "the the" corrected to "the" (page 6)
    "it" corrected to "its" (page 13)
    "on" corrected to "of" (page 28)
    "notwithsanding" corrected to "notwithstanding" (page 32)

4. Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies in
spelling, punctuation, and ligature usage have been retained.

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