HL Deb 19 July 1861 vol 164 cc1143-5

presented a Petition from inhabitants of Stockport, praying for the publication of Correspondence with regard to the partition of Poland, which had passed between England, France, and other countries in 1831, 1832, and subsequent years. The petition most justly describes the partition of 1772 as the great- est of public crimes, and destructive of all public law and national rights. The crime was completed twenty years later, and the conduct held towards Poland after the treaties of 1814 and 1815, and in flagrant breach of the engagements then entered into, had increased the claims of that country to the sympathy, and, as far as possible, the support of other nations. It was impossible to utter the name of Poland without reflecting on the irreparable loss which that country had sustained since the noble Earl (the Earl of Harrowby) gave notice of the Motion standing in his name upon the paper for that evening, or without expressing the sorrow which men of all parties, even of that most adverse to Poland, must feel at the death of that great and good man Prince Czartoryski. Having known him for half a century, and been ever on the most intimate terms with him, he would venture to assert that a man of more pure character or of greater virtue, public and private, never breathed. Born to an immense fortune, he had been content of late years to live on the very moderate income which he accidentally possessed independent of the confiscation by the three Powers. In early life he occupied the highest place in the Government of Russia, and was the prime favourite at Court, but never for an hour forgot his duty or abated his affection for his native country. Afterwards he threw himself into the contest which unhappily had no good results for Poland; but he (Lord Brougham) could not help remembering that Mr. Burke pronounced a panegyric on the constitution of Poland which was established after the elective monarchy—the worst form of government in Europe—had been put an end to, and declared that it was the best and most workable of the free constitutions which had ever been established in Europe. Prince Czartoryski, when he lived in Paris, not alone upheld the spirit of Poland, but was the friend and adviser of all who bore relationship or interest to that country. In no particular was the loss of this eminent, accomplished, and virtuous man more to be lamented than on account of the sound and moderate advice which he had constantly given to Polish emigrants, counselling them always to take the course which would most benefit Poland without giving offence to the country in which they had taken refuge. The only consolation remaining to his friends was that, although at an unusually advanced age, he retained to the last his faculties unimpaired, his feelings as warm as ever, the love of his country and hopes for her restoration as strong. This closing scene affords the only consolation of his countrymen and his friends.


said, he had been requested to present two petitions on the same subject with regard to which his noble Friend had expressed himself with so much eloquence.