A. LETTERS FROM CASTLEREAGH TO HIS WIFE, 1814.
B. LETTERS FROM LORD LIVERPOOL TO CASTLEREAGH, 1814.
C. LETTERS FROM CASTLEREAGH TO SIR CHARLES STUART, 1815.
D. REPORTS FROM COUNT MONSTER TO THE PRINCE REGENT, 1814-15.
LETTERS FROM CASTLEREAGH TO HIS WIFE, 1814 1
Münster, Tuesday, 5 p.m. [Jan. 1814].
MY DEAREST EM,
We arrived here this morning at 8 o'clock having travel'd without a halt since we parted. The roads for the last 40 miles have been dreadfully bad--worse than a plough'd field frozen. The servants' coach broke down, which has given us some hours in bed whilst they were coming up in a country waggon. The last 20 English miles took us 10° hours and I only marvel how our English carriages could bear it. We walked a great part of the road to save the tolls. The weather is cold but wholesome and we have no right to complain.
We are just setting off by Paderborn and Cassel to Frankfort: we were strongly advised against the road by Düsseldorf.
I hope to hear from you whenever the messenger comes. God bless you dearest love.
Ever your affecte.
Frankfort, Jan. 15, 1814.
MY DEAREST EMILY,
I send a few lines by R. Gordon to say we are so far quite well, our bones a little sore; it is lucky I did not bring the coach, it never could have borne the frozen masses over which we bump'd. German dirt is beyond the worst parts of Scotland, and nothing after you leave Holland to amuse in the costume of the people. I hope to be more pleased on the borders of Switzerland--I set out to-morrow for Basle--I shall then know better what our plans are likely to be but I see no probability, after all the time lost at sea and on land, of our Sejour being such anywhere as could reconcile me to your undertaking such a journey
1 From a typescript of the originals in possession of Lord Londonderry.
(600 miles) on such roads and at such a season. Robinson and I have hardly ever seen any other object than the 4 glasses of the carriage cover'd with frost which no sun could dissolve, so that we were in fact imprisoned in an Ice House for days and nights, from which we were occasionally remov'd into a dirty room with a black stove smelling of tobacco smoke or something worse.
God preserve you Dearest Em.,
Yours ever in haste,
Durlach, Monday morning, 2 a.m.
MY DEAREST EM,
I have stopp'd at two in the morning to read some dispatches on their way home and send you a line to say I am well about 70 miles in advance of Frankfurt on Monday morning. I hope to reach Basle, 260 miles, in the night, between Tuesday and Wednesday. We have a thaw and it is pleasanter travelling. I bought you some Frankfurt finery, which you will receive in a few days. Hope I shall not be like Blackwood and my lace prove English. Thank Emma for her kind recollection.
Basle, Jan. 22, 1914, 9 p.m.
MY DEAREST EM,
I am just getting into my carriage to go to Head Quarters at Langres which Clancarty will show you on the map. Everything goes on well and I hope we shall prosper in the end. I wish I could bring you to us, but you must feel it is quite impossible when our movements are so uncertain. The Emperor of Russia went to the army the day before I came. The King of Prussia and the Emperor of Austria both gone and I am carrying out the rear. In order to move with more freedom where we may find no post horses I have bought 10 here for £25 each: we can then move at our pleasure.
I send by the messenger a little box with some of the products of this town. The lady is very pretty and a little like your Ladyship, therefore you will keep this for me. The two gentlemen I send to comfort you, which is being more generous than you were to me in giving me your last instructions. If you are satisfied with one beau, keep the handsomest, and give Emma the old fellow with beard with my love to hang about her beautiful neck.
God bless you in haste,
Langres, Jan. 30, 1814.
MY DEAREST EMILY,
I suppose after Charles's long and humbugging epistle I shall be in your black books; but I am the honest man and he is the gay deceiver. You are now 3 weeks journey at least from this place. The ground is covered with snow, and I ought to be in England by the time you could get here. We begin our negociation on the 3rd at Châtillon, where Caulaincourt has been waiting for some days. I have appointed the 3 ministers here negociators and shall go myself to superintend their progress, so you see I am not so great a hero as you suppose. I have now made acquaintance with all the great wigs here. The Emperor Alexander would be your favourite. He has 30,000 Guards here that are the finest soldiers I ever beheld. When I can calculate at all movements or events, you shall have my plans. Till then don't stir, lest I should give you the slip and return by Paris.
I am quite well. Work is hard--and I never see a single princess. So God preserve you,
Langres, Feb. 1st, 1814.
MY DEAREST EMILY,
We move the day after to-morrow for Châtillon to pay Caulaincourt a visit who has sent me over some English newspapers. We are covered with snow--I see in Dublin they are buried in it. Charles went over yesterday to old Blücher to pay him a visit after his battle. He says the old boy invited them all to dine with him at the Palais Royal on the 20th of February with all the Mamselles. The army is in motion and a general action was yesterday calculated upon for to-day, but Charles thinks the French are drawing off and retiring towards Troyes. A Prussian officer said to a French vidette, yesterday, "Le Roi de Naples a déclaré pour les Alliés, et le Danemark est à nous." "Ce n'est pas vrai." "Vous combattez pour un tyran qui fait le malheur de l'univers." "Cela est vrai--nous le scavons."
I long for a messenger from the Hague.
God bless you,
I am quite well.
Châtillon, February 6.
MY DEAREST EM,
I take chance of a messenger going direct by Calais to London to send you a line to say I am quite well. This little village is quiet and clean compared with Head Quarters. There is no other society than the Diplomatic Corps. Yesterday we all dined with Caulaincourt. He is a well bred man of about 40, something like the Duke of Richmond, but better looking. I am lodged here in the house of an old lady, Madme de Marmont, mother of the Marshal: they are very civil and kind and my room is very clean. Bye the bye ought you not to send Alick back to his Porter. When I invited you to meet me at Paris, it was by the direct route, not the detour which is endless. I can find nothing pretty for you in this country, and I only touched Switzerland at Basle. If we meet at Paris, we may make amends. God bless you, dearest friend,
Langres, Feb. 8, 1814.
MY DEAREST EM,
The messenger carries the news of another victory: 60 pieces of cannon, and Blücher in march to the Mamselles. As I am a bad boy, I do not consider myself entitled, under your secret dispensation to Charles, to assist; so I shall go to the gentlemen at Châtillon, and leave both love and war to those to whom such pursuits appertain. Recollect that I have saved you from a 3 weeks journey in snow, and really a confusion here which you ought not to encounter. If the sky clears up I shall be too happy to embrace you in the capital of La belle France: you will prefer it to Blüchers' best, and we may go home by Dover--Clancarty can always judge how far this project can be safely executed. Quite, quite well.
God ever bless you,
Chaumont, February 28.
MY DEAREST EM,
You see we do not make much progress towards Paris, and as the negociation is also at a stand still, I have moved to Head Quarters, where I find ample employment. We have been retreating for some days which is flat work, especially in cold weather; but to-day we put the horses heads the other way, and I have just heard that Schwarzenberg has given Marshal Victor a good drubbing at Bar sur Aube, about 30 miles from hence. The negociators at Châtillon are spitting over the bridge, which Charles says is very bad fun. The French have, I believe, advanced upon Châtillon and driven the Austrians away--the last accounts left the Ministers with citizen soldiers as Guards of Honor at their gates--Burghersh is afraid they may carry off his wife as she is not accredited. Bradford I hear has been there, but I have not seen him--I have not heard from you for an age. God bless you dearest dr. Em. I am quite, quite well but hard worked.
Chaumont, March 4.
MY DEAREST DR. EM,
I see I am in disgrace, but I do not deserve it. Whatever nonsense you may get travellers to talk to you about following the army, believe me it is not what you ought to encounter, even when everything is going smooth: but when the troops are in retreat it is still less fit for a woman. I can assure Lady B's undertaking is so commented upon, and I can promise you she is herself heartily sick of it. When Robinson left us for England, the sort of hearty wish with which she said, "how much I would give to be of your party," proved that following an army is not quite so joyous a life as you suppose it.
We are again moving the army forward--they have retaken Troyes, which puts people in spirits. The troops have fought well and taken about 2,000 prisoners.
I cannot yet fix any precise time for my return. Liverpool says I am not absolutely wanted till after Easter that is the 20th of April, and lays all their commands upon me not to stir till I have brought matters to some point.
Robinson just come back.
God bless you dearest friend.
Your ever affect.
Chaumont, March 12.
MY DEAREST EM,
I am still in this dirty and dull town, which has nothing to reconcile one to it, but a sense of public duty. I have only one small room, in which I sleep and work and the whole Chancellerie dines, when we can get anything to eat--Charles who is always full of resource sent young Wood with his caravan and so to Dijon from Châtillon. He returned in triumph with 3 dozen fowls and 6 dozen of wine--the army have eat up everything and the dogs alone live well, having plenty of dead horses at convenient distances on all the roads to feed on.
I am impatiently watching the moment when I can say something to you about our future movements, and I hope by the next messenger to throw some light upon this. I see your letters with delight: so pray don't be so stingy with them.
The Arch-Duchess Catherine is, I believe, by this time at the Hague on her way to England. She is, I understand, a very charming personage. The Emperor desires you will be very kind to her, and give her all sort of information and advice about England. Let her know that I particularly desire you to offer H.R.H. all possible assistance.
God bless you, dearest friend. I am call'd away. C.
Chaumont, March 15.
MY DEAREST EM,
I am just setting off for Bar sur Aube, where we hardly hope to find a place to put our heads. It was very bad when I was last there, and as it has been twice since taken by assault, I fancy neither the houses nor their inhabitants are much the better of it.
Bradford is here, talking incessantly, but highly delighted with the lions. We were at the Emperor's Mass when the news of Marmont's defeat and the capture of Rheims arrived. H.I.M. order'd a Te Deum on the spot which was very well sung, and it was amusing enough to observe the French part of the audience kneeling down and returning thanks for their drubbing.
I wish you would go to Amsterdam, see the Inauguration and write me a long account of it. Tell Clancarty to find out what their new constitution is and to send me an account of it.
Love to Emma, dearest friend. God bless you. We shall soon meet, by hook or by crook.
Dijon, March 30.
MY DEAREST EM,
When I am tried for leaving my wife behind me I shall call Lady Burghersh as my first witness, who was obliged to fly from Chaumont and live in a bivouac with all the heavy baggage of the army, without the possibility of changing her chemise unperceived, except the ceremony was performed in the dark of the night. Another proof how pleasant the travelling is: Wessenberg was laid hold by the armed peasantry, plunder'd of everything, and produced for Bounaparte's inspection, I believe, without a fig leaf, there being none to be found. W. left [Napoleon] yesterday morning, at Doulevent on the Aube, in no very pleasant temper, having two days before lost 100 pieces of cannon, 8 Generals and 6000 prisoners. The Allies were near Paris, where perhaps we may yet meet on our way home.
This is a delightful town. It is the only one I have seen where the people looked clean and good humour'd. It was formerly fashionable. The Emperor of Austria and Austrian and Prussian Ministers return'd here from Bar sur Aube to avoid the enemy, we could not get to the Head Quarters--the French enter'd Bar, the enemy are left it.
I send you a washing gown made here which I hope you will like, also a cupid in the room of Tommy Tyrwhitt, who is now, I conclude, on his route to Switzerland.
Wellington has again made a great impression. Everything looks and I hope will end well.
God bless you dearest friend.
Charles is with the Army.
Dijon, April 4.
MY DEAREST EM,
The victories of the Allies--the occupation of Paris and the prospect of the nation adopting the white cockade, all lead me to hope that we may meet without further delay at Paris. If when you receive this Clancarty sees no objection, you have my full consent to proceed to Brussels, where you must advise with the learned as to your further movements in advance. I will meet you there with letters and take care that the Governor of the Pays Bas, General Vincent, shall be instructed to take you under his protection and forward you by the safest route to Paris. I will also send a messenger or two to assist your journey, with such instructions which I think may be of use. I flatter myself that the Declaration of Paris will tranquillize the peasants and make the roads safe, and I hope also to send you to Brussels either Bourbon passports or Talleyrand passports, in short some species of passports, which all good Frenchmen should respect in your Ladyship's fair hand.
I have laid in a stock of silks and old Sevres china for you here, but you must come for it, or else I will give it en depit to some belle at Paris.
God bless you dearest friend, I am a bad boy but you will forgive me when we meet which I trust will be in the fewest days possible.
I since thought it best to send Browne, the messenger, to be at your disposal and to arrange your journey for you to Brussels, etc.
LETTERS FROM LORD LIVERPOOL TO CASTLEREAGH, 1814 1
Fife House, December 29, 1813.
. . . Bathurst will send you the copy of a private letter of Wellington's, 2 which is in all respects most important, and which will deserve your serious attention, before you arrive at your destination. I saw Monsieur yesterday. He was very full of the information they had received from different parts of France, and stated it as the opinion of all their correspondents, that if a French Prince arrived, there would be a general rising throughout the country. The point he particularly pressed was one of them being allowed under present circumstances to go to Wellington's Army, with the avowed permission of the General that they should not be molested or impeded in going to one of the ports of France occupied by the British Troops and that they would take their own measures, and at their own risk, for ascertaining the sentiments of the country. I stated the objections to both these propositions. The fact is that they might go to Germany without any manifest assistance on our part; this is scarcely possible with respect to France; otherwise, if they could reach St. Jean de Luz by stealth and without any apparent connivance on our part, the experiment might be worth trying, and I should think Wellington, from the letter to which I have alluded, would have no objection (to say the least) to their coming. I am to see Monsieur again on Thursday the 6th. of January, and I should be glad to know what you feel on this subject.
Bathurst thinks that some advantage might arise from Monsieur having some authority to communicate to his friends that, if the Bourbons were proclaimed, an immediate armistice by sea and land might be agreed to. I gave Pichegru such an authority in
1 From the Londonderry Manuscripts.
2 Wellington to Bathurst, Dec. 22, 1813: Gurwood, xi. 390.
1803, and I can conceive circumstances in which much might depend upon such a declaration, but I doubt whether we could say anything positive on their head now, without the previous authority and consent of our Allies. . . .
I fear the fog still detains you at Harwich. I shall be most happy to find it clears away to-morrow, and that you will be able to sail. . . .
Fife House, December 30, 1813.
I sent you the enclosed papers which Bathurst secured from the Comte de Grammont 1 (who is as you know a Captain in the 10th Lt. Dragoons) this morning. It evidently appears by them, that although Wellington does not recommend that a French Prince should be sent to this Army he clearly wishes one of them to come; the papers themselves are sufficient to establish this fact, but even if this were doubtful upon the face of those secured this morning, there can be no doubt of it, when connected with the letter, of which a copy was transmitted to you yesterday. Grammont is gone down to Hartwell. I have seen Monsieur, and am to see him again next Tuesday. I explained to them as distinctly as I was able, that, connected as we were by ties of alliance and concord with the allied Powers, it would not be possible for us to countenance their going unless upon communication with our Allies, or such a general rising in France as would justify us (in consequence of the known opinion of our Allies) in taking the step upon our own responsibility. The matter however will not rest here, he will make two propositions:
First we should send him a frigate to St. Jean de Luz with money arms etc. etc. in order that he might confer with Lord Wellington as to the measures to be adopted. If this cannot be agreed to, secondly that we would not prevent his going in a packet boat at his own risk, and only allow a frigate to convey him to his destination, or till he is safe from all chance of capture.
The first must be refused, but can we in fairness refuse the second, after such a communication? At the same time I am aware of all the embarrassment in acceding to it and that his voyage will be represented as being made in concert with the Government, though not publicly acknowledged by them. I shall summon a Cabinet on Monday to talk this point over, and I intend in the mean time to see Count Lieven to show him the papers in confidence, and to endeavour to find out what he thinks it would be best to do under all the circumstances. I may likewise have an opportunity of knowing your opinion, before I see Monsieur on Tuesday. . . .
1 Wellington to the Comte de Grammont, Dec. 20, 1813: Gurwood, xi. 381.
Fife House, January 6, 1814.
I send you a copy of the papers which contain the whole of the correspondence between Monsieur and myself on the subject of the Comte de Grammont's Memorandum. 1 You will see by them, that your opinion has been adopted. I am however still of opinion that they will make an attempt to get to France before any answer can be received from the Head Quarters of the Allies. If they are determined to effect this at all risks, they will probably succeed. We should not be justified in imposing Personal Restraint upon them; some of them may apply for a common passport to go to Holland, I do not see how it could be refused, and they might then embark in a Dutch ship for St. Jean de Luz, which is a seaport; some may smuggle themselves out from this country under fictitious names. In short if they are determined to go, many means may be devised by which the end may be attained. All we can do is to refuse permission, to give no facilities, and to say that they cannot be received at Lord Wellington's Head Quarters, if they arrive there without our authority; our Declaration on this subject is now on record; the rest must be left to chance; we are not responsible for it.
I think it very desirable, however, that you should take an early opportunity of having a full communication with our Allies on this subject; there is certainly a growing opinion in France, in favour of the Bourbons. By the last account from Gen. Don, who (you know) is not a bright man, but on the other hand is safe and may be depended upon, it appears that he thinks for the first time that our opinion is gaining ground in Normandy and Britanny in favour of the ancient dynasty. Count Lieven has seen a person very lately arrived from France who relates a number of facts, which can hardly be invented and which confirm this opinion. I am persuaded Wellington does not overstate his own impressions and yet on the 22nd of November he says that if the French Princes were to come forward, and were supported by Great Britain, he is satisfied they would succeed. 2 I think more favourably of the state of opinion in the part of France occupied by our Army, than you appear to do. I have heard from experienced officers that there was one infallible criterion of the disposition of a country occupied, not the people being peaceable nor their bringing supplies as both may be occasioned by fear or money, but their giving you intelligence of the movements and proceedings of the enemy; this is an advantage which always belongs to the army which is favoured by the country.
1 W.S.D. viii. 485-90.
2 Wellington to Bathurst, Nov. 22, 1813: Gurwood, xi. 306.
It is what no money can adequately obtain, and in the American War the disposition of the different States was very justly estimated by our officers by the intelligence they secured from the people there. Now I believe it to be certain that Lord Wellington has been as well supplied with intelligence in France as he ever was in any part in Spain.
I have not entered so much into this subject for the purpose of intimating my opinion that we ought not to make peace with Bonaparte, if we can make it upon our own terms; I am satisfied we must adhere to the policy we have already adopted upon this point, but I do not think we should disqualify ourselves from playing another game, if we can not obtain peace on our own terms, by suffering the negociation to be indefinitely protracted.
It is very satisfactory to learn that the Allies have entered Switzerland and France. This will probably bring the contest to a short issue. They have no fortresses in their line of march to besiege. If they can not be successfully resisted in the field nothing can prevent their arriving in a short time in the interior of France, and even at Paris; this operation, if successful, must shortly end either in the destruction of Bonaparte's Govt. or in his accepting peace on the terms of the Allies. If on the other hand the Allies should be obliged to retreat they would probably prefer peace upon the frontier, and, though the terms would be far less favourable, yet peace must be so necessary to Bonaparte in his present situation, that it would not be possible for him to throw any very serious obstacles in the way of it. It is impossible under these circumstances not to feel the utmost anxiety that the contest in Holland and the Low Countries (particularly as far as respects Antwerp) should be brought to a successful issue, before any crisis of this nature arrives, that the question as far as respects these objects should have been decided by the war and not be left to be decided by the peace. This is at present our weakest point, but we rely with the fullest confidence on your successful exertions to bring about a large force in this direction as soon as possible. In the mean time every exertion shall be made here to enable Wellington to advance and to occupy as large a part of the south of France as he may find practicable. I send this letter by Jackson who will I hope overtake you before you get to the Head Quarters of the Emperor of Russia, which will probably be in some town in France by the time you are able to meet them.
P.S.--I forgot to state that Lieven was for allowing Monsieur to go to France.
Fife House, January 12, 1814.
The Count Löwenheilm arrived here last week and I saw him on Friday. I found the principal object of his mission was to represent to the Prince Regent and to His Government the difficulties under which the Prince Royal of Sweden had been placed and the circumstances which had induced him to undertake the operations in Holstein instead of moving directly towards Holland. I did not fail to represent to him the bad effects which this determination had produced in this country--that these effects were rendered still more unfavourable from our having been led to suppose that General Winzingerode had received orders to march with a part of his army upon Holland, which orders had been subsequently countermanded. To this he replied (as we had heard from other quarters) that General Winzingerode was in possession of these orders, and that they were only altered upon his own representation that Davoust with his Corps would be able to escape to France if he had obeyed them. I stated to him that we had very different accounts of General Winzingerode's feeling on this subject, and that by the measures which had been adopted an opportunity had been lost of recovering easily what was most important to the policy and most interesting to the feelings of this country, and which would now require, I feared, a considerable sacrifice both of blood and treasure to obtain.
The only other point upon which he touched was the supposed intention of excluding Sweden from any discussions relating to peace, which might take place amongst the Great Powers previous to a Congress. I declined entering on this subject, and informed him that, as the object of sending you to the Continent was to give unity to our negociations, all discussions upon subjects of this nature must take place there, and that you were fully instructed with the sentiments of the Prince Regent's government upon them. To this he appeared entirely to assent.
The Prince Regent comes to Town to-night and will probably see him in the course of two days. I shall not fail to intimate to His Royal Highness the sort of language which it would be desirable that he should hold to him.
I received today your letter from the Hague of the 8th. and I trust you will now have a prosperous journey.
[News] . . . The disposition in this country for any peace with Bounaparte becomes more unfavourable every day. I hear it from all quarters and from all classes of people. I well know, however, how fleeting these sentiments are, and that we can only act right by acting steadily upon our own system.
The invasion of France will put to the test the moral disposition of the French people towards their present Government. If they are desirous of resisting it, they would hardly lose the opportunity. If on the other hand they submit to it, and support it, it will be a proof that from some cause or other they are determined to adhere to it, and in that case all foreign interference to overthrow it must in such a country be vain.
I think, however, that the feelings of the public here on the subject of the peace with Bounaparte and the circumstances of a negociation taking place whilst the Allied armies are on the French territory ought materially to influence the conditions of peace. Can it be too much to expect that under such circumstances France should be confined to her ancient limits? But, if the Allies should be so embarrassed by their Declaration as to render an arrangement on this principle impracticable, I trust that they will at least feel the importance of insisting upon the independence of the whole of the Netherlands including the fortress of Luxembourg.
Colonel Bunbury will go to Lord Wellington's Head Quarters to-morrow with full explanations on all points as to reinforcements and supplies. We are making an arrangement respecting specie, which will I trust be effected and enable Lord Wellington to put in motion the Spanish armies.
We are all here strongly impressed with the opinion that the fate of the war must be determined in the course of the next three or four months, and that every effort should therefore be made to bring it to a prosperous issue during that time.
Fife House, January 20, 1814.
I send you the despatch which was received last night from Sir Henry Wellesley containing the extraordinary intelligence of the signature of a treaty at Valençay between Buonaparte and Ferdinand 7th. The Spanish Government appear to have acted very properly on this occasion and I have not the least doubt that the Cortes will refuse to ratify the treaty.
This transaction is however an additional proof, if any were wanting of the baseness of Buonaparte; especially when all the circumstances are considered under which it has taken place. Wellington justly observes in a private letter to Bathurst 1 that Buonaparte is so false and fraudulent that he even outwits himself. For what would he have lost by escorting Ferdinand to the frontier of Spain, and negociating with him there. In which case there probably would have been a large party in Spain in favour of the peace.
1 Wellington to Bathurst, Jan. 10, 1814: Gurwood, xi, 433.
I think this communication, when you have made it to the Allies, will strike them as a virtual breach of faith as to what was passing at the same time through St. Aignan and Caulaincourt, and that they will see how impossible it is to trust Buonaparte even for a day. I have the less difficulty in giving a strong opinion on this subject because I am perfectly prepared to advise peace in conjunction with the Allies, if they are of opinion that under all the present circumstances peace is desirable, and if they can make it upon the conditions to which you are authorised to assent. Our policy should be to keep the Alliance together and not to separate ourselves from it either in peace or war. But we ought at the same time not to conceal from ourselves or our Allies that any peace with Buonaparte will be only a state of preparation for renewed hostilities.
Fife House, January 20, 1814.
I think it right to inform you that since I wrote to you last Monsieur desired to see me and told me that it was his intention to go to Switzerland under a nom de voyage and that he should apply therefore for a passport to sail from this country for Holland. I, of course, said that this would not be refused him, but that I recommended him not to go to the Head Quarters of the Allies without having first obtained their permission. I found afterwards that he had spoken on the subject both to Count Lieven and Fagel, and that they were not desirous, even if it had been practicable, to throw any obstacle in the way of his journey.
I have since learnt from a private source of information that the Duc d'Angoulême is going under feigned name to Passage. Monsieur abstained from saying anything to me on this point-and he goes of course at his own risk.
The Government did not feel that they would be justified in taking any strong measures for preventing the French Princes at such a crisis, from playing their own game. We have warned them of their danger, and refused them all facilities by which we ourselves could be committed. But we cannot conceal from ourselves that if we were in their situation we should act as they are acting--particularly after the representations, which, whether true or false, they are receiving from so many quarters, of the disposition of the people of France to rise in their favour, provided a French Prince made his personal appearance among them.
Before Monsieur reaches Switzerland the contest will probably be brought to some issue. If Buonaparte does not gain any considerable advantage over the allied armies, he will probably be compelled to sign the terms which are proposed to him. It remains only to be seen whether the advance of the Allies into the interior of France will of itself lead to the overthrow of his power, or to such a public manifestation of opinion in favour of the Bourbons as to induce the Allies to pause before they become parties to an act, which would not only re-establish but consolidate the authority of Buonaparte.
Fife House, January 20, 1814.
Since you left this country I have received representations from persons interested, in almost all the foreign colonies against the restitution of them to the enemy in case of a general peace.
You are so fully aware of my sentiments upon the whole of this subject that I think it unnecessary to trouble you upon any of them except upon the memorial of the planters and merchants in Tobago, as the case of this colony does not appear to me to have been sufficiently considered before you left England. The island of Tobago is exclusively possessed by British proprietors. This is nearly the case with Demerara, Essequibo, etc. but there is a striking difference in the justice of the claims of the respective inhabitants of these colonies. A considerable part of the property vested in Demerara was vested there while they were Dutch colonies--the remainder whilst they were in the situation of conquered colonies and had no right to suppose that they might not be restored at a peace. The inhabitants of Demerara, etc. have no claim therefore on the justice of the country, whatever they may have on its policy--but the property of Tobago was vested in that island at the time it was a British colony. You are aware that it became so at the Peace of 1763--and remained in that condition till it was captured by France together with Dominica, St. Vincents and Grenada in the American War. There was certainly not an idea that it would have been left in the possession of France at the peace negociated by Lord Lansdowne, but the French made a great point in the negociation of keeping Dominique as possessing the only good harbour in the islands which they had conquered. And Lord Lansdowne at the close of the negociation for the purpose of recovering Dominica on account of its harbour agreed to cede Tobago. He had however this excuse that the island had been conquered and was actually in the possession of the French. We had no such good excuse at Amiens, and should be equally without it now, if we consented to restore the island to France.
In addition to all these considerations it is material that you should be informed of what I was not aware of till my attention was directed to it, that it appears by the Printed Papers before Parliament that during Lord Lauderdale's negociation in 1806 the French offered to restore Tobago to this country.
I have thought it right to trouble you with this detail in order that you may be fully apprized of the circumstances of this case which differ very materially from those of every other colony which can become the subject of negociation--and I have no doubt you will give them all the weight to which you may consider them as entitled.
Fife House, January 21, 1814.
. . . I ought likewise to mention to you that in the last conversation I had with Monsieur he informed me that when he arrived in Switzerland he should endeavour if possible to put himself in communication with the allied sovereigns; and that he was authorized by the King of France to declare to them that in the event of his re-establishment he would be contented with ancient France and should not seek to retain anything beyond the frontier as it existed in 1789. I think it material to mention this circumstance as it differs very much from the language held by the emigrants some years ago.
Fife House, January 26, 1814.
I wish you joy of the peace with Denmark. It has taken at this moment a great weight from off our shoulders, as it sets free a large army and relieves us and our Allies from all the embarrassment of having to discuss the question respecting Norway in any negociation with France.
The ten thousand Danes for which stipulation is made in the 6th. Article, are certainly not worth the £400,000 which we are to pay for them. This calculation has been made I suppose upon the ground of the Swedish treaty, without adverting to the different circumstances of the two cases--however, as an option is left to us to retain the troops or not, there is no mischief in the stipulation. Our disposition is certainly to dispense with their services, but until we know more from you of our actual situation, it has been thought better not to come to any final determination on this head. It is conceived that no further inconvenience can arise from the delay than perhaps the necessity of paying them for a month more than would have been otherwise expected.
. . . If you cannot bring all matters to the point in which you would wish to leave them by such time as would enable you to return before the 1st of March, do not let this embarrass you. We can adjourn Parliament by authority for a fortnight, if it should be necessary, or we might go on with common business with understanding that no motion of political importance should be made till after your return. I do not believe there would be any difficulty in such an understanding for a reasonable time.
Fife House, February 4, 1814.
You will receive by this Messenger the answer of the American Government to our overture of the 4th of November, which they have published in all their papers. We must of course be prepared with a negociation to meet theirs at Gottenburgh. Upon talking it over with some of our colleagues, we are of opinion that a lawyer and especially a civilian, if a good one could be found, would be more proper for this business than a diplomat.
I have desired Sir William Scott would turn this in his mind, and suggest any name that may occur to him for consideration.
I think it possible you may have an application from Thornton to be engaged in this business, but I am sure it would never do. What is wanted is a man of legal mind and of a very accurate understanding. If Bragge Bathurst was not a Cabinet Minister he would be exactly the man for such a business--but there is some objection to employing a Cabinet Minister in such a negociation.
We return the Danish treaty today ratified with the exception of the 4th. Article. Thornton has committed a great mistake in adopting the conditions and principle of restitution in the convention of 1801. We were not then at war with Denmark. The colonies and prizes were taken only as hostages. Nothing was condemned, and the treaty for restitution took place three or four months after hostilities had commenced. We have now been in possession of the colonies five years. We have considered them and treated them as conquered colonies--and it could never reasonably be expected that we should make compensation for the revenues which we had enjoyed during the whole of that period.
The merchants interested in St. Croix are besides particularly clamorous on the point. In lieu of the 4th. article we have proposed the insertion of the Articles for restoring the French, Spanish and Dutch colonies in the Treaty of Amiens, which are conformable to antecedent treaties, appear perfectly equitable in themselves, and can give rise to no litigation.
We do not wish to restore the Danish colonies on less favourable conditions than other colonies have been restored, but we do not think that they are entitled in this respect to better terms.
Mr. Addington who carries over the ratification thinks the Danish Government will make no serious difficulty in acceding to this alteration.
Fife House, February 8, 1814.
We have received your dispatches and the private and confidential letters which accompanied them of the 22nd January from Basle.
We are very well satisfied upon the whole with what passed at your first interview, and have little doubt you will be able to surmount the only serious difficulty that presented itself at that time.
We shall expect to hear by the next messenger of the result of your first interview with the Emperor of Russia, and I conclude, when this has taken place, you will be enabled to settle with the different ministers your plan of operation--God grant that another battle of Leipsic may occur at Châlons--this would strike at the root of the evil, and render all prospective arrangements comparatively easy. The military reports of your brother and Lord Burghersh are very encouraging. I own I wish, however, that the line of operations of the Allies was not so extended.
I am happy to find by your confidential letter that your ideas respecting the basis of a negociation, if we are to negociate in our present situation, so very much correspond with what I stated for your consideration in my letter of the 12th of last month. And if preliminaries are to be concluded with France upon this basis, I hope at least that the only condition of an armistice will be either that the Allies shall remain in possession of the provinces of France which they occupy, or if they agree to evacuate those provinces, that the fortresses out of the old limits of France, viz: Luxembourgh, Mayence, Wesel, and Huningen; and Turin, Mantua, Tortosa, Alexandria in Italy shall be put in the possession of the Allies.
You will recollect that a similar arrangement was insisted by Bonaparte in the armistice which took place in 1800 after the battle of Marengo.
I have desired Hamilton to send you copies of the dispatches from Sir Henry Wellesley, which are very satisfactory, as to the steadiness and good disposition of the Spanish Government. It is too ridiculous, however, their attempting to revive under present circumstances the question of Louisiana, and, as I understand from Fernan Nuñez, that of the former Spanish part of St. Domingo.
I trust the expedition with which you made your journey will have done no injury to your health and that you will find the means of returning home, when all your business is concluded, by a shorter and easier route.
Fife House, February 12, 1814.
I received last night your despatch and letters of the 6th of February by Sylvester, through France--and this morning I have received your dispatches and letters by the messenger Williams.
The dispatches through Holland throw an entire light upon those which came to us through France, and enable us to form a good judgement upon the present state of affairs.
The proceeding you have adopted, as to the course and form of the negociation is most highly approved. So is the new basis which you suggested according to your dispatch No 4, and which has been so satisfactorily adopted by the Allies. 1
I do not augur much from the first conference of the negociators on the 5th instant. If Buonaparte feels his situation to be such as to render him sincerely anxious for peace, it is not his business to make little difficulties.
The maritime question was originally introduced as a pomme de discorde between us and our Allies. As soon as he saw that we were agreed on that point, it was not to be expected that he would make any serious difficulty upon it, especially as we do not call upon him to make the sacrifice of any principle which he has advanced, but only to agree that the whole subject shall be écarté from the negociation.
The report of the next conference will probably throw material light on our situation--Caulaincourt will then be apprized of our basis, and of the nature of our propositions for peace, and we shall be able to judge how far they are likely to be entertained.
You can scarcely have an idea how insane people in this country are on the subject of any peace with Buonaparte, and I should really not be surprised at any public manifestation of indignation upon the first intelligence of a peace with him being received.
This ought not to make any substantial difference in the course of our policy--but it renders it necessary that we should not lower our terms. Every Article in the peace you may be assured will be criticised with great severity; and arrangements, which under other circumstances might even escape observation, will be looked to at the present moment with the greatest jealousy and apprehension. Indeed I should not doubt that, if the Opposition could take up the Bourbon cause against Buonaparte, they would, upon a peace with the latter, overturn the Government. This is however impossible--not from their forbearance--but from the impossibility of avowing that they would act upon such a principle, if they came into office.
In the midst of all these difficulties our course is clear. Let us adhere in principle to the policy which was adopted before you left this country, but let us, at the same time, be impressed with the conviction that the events and successes which have since occurred, and the public feeling which those events and successes have excited, render it necessary to improve the arrangement, even upon the principle on which it was formed; and particularly with the view of its becoming acceptable to the country, which can alone insure its continuance.
1 See above, pp. 206-208.
I have thought it most prudent by this conveyance, not to enter into further particulars. I shall be obliged to you if you will acknowledge the receipt of my letters with their dates, as it enables me to know whether they have come to hand. I hope you received the one relative to the colony of Tobago. This object is of much importance to us, and can be none to France. The proprietors are all British. It is no point of strength, and it is just one of those objects which could not be conceded without strong marks of dissatisfaction in the present state of the public mind in this country.
With respect to the military movements of the Allies, God grant that they may continue to succeed, and that even if they should receive any check, they may not be discouraged from a perseverance in the contest. That such a check might materially affect the terms of peace I admit, but with perseverance and good countenance on their part, I am persuaded the enemy cannot ultimately foil them.
P.S.--I am afraid the Spaniards will be offended at not being included amongst the Great Powers in the first negociation. You know how proud they are. I have been endeavouring to manage Fernan Nuñez, and I think with some success. I recommend you strongly not to neglect Pizarro.
2nd P.S.--The only material point on which we differ with you is as to the overthrowing Buonaparte. We incline to the opinion that this event is desirable whatever might be the immediate result of it. No individual in France is capable of succeeding him, and if the ancient dynasty was not restored in the first instance, it would be the ultimate consequence.
No Government, be it what it may, could be so bad for Europe as Buonaparte; the very hatred which is borne to him by the people of other countries, and which he knows to exist, is for the same reason an obstacle to the continuance of peace, which would not be applicable to any other Government, however implacable in other respects. I admit, however, that if France continues to support Buonaparte, we must make peace with him, and that we ought not to look to his destruction by any means which, in progress, will tend to separate the Allies.
February 17, 1814.
We are anxious to hear what has been the result of the conferences which the Emperor of Russia was desirous should be renewed at Châtillon.
If a cause of delay was wanted which might not break in upon the principle of negociation, we are rather surprised that the treaty with Ferdinand the Seventh has not been made use of; requiring a preliminary explanation on that point would be fully justifiable in the eyes of all the world--and we might have a fair right particularly after the event of such a treaty to insist upon the liberation of Ferdinand as a preliminary of treating.
I state this as a good ground of delay, if delay is desirable on account of the progress of military operations. Upon this point those on the spot can be the only competent judges. Peace is as unpopular as ever.
It was reported and believed yesterday that there were divisions in the Cabinet and that I had resigned. There was as little foundation for the first of these reports as for the last. Be assured everyone is disposed to support you in what you do.
Pray secure Tobago if you can. The restitution of it would make a great clamour here, and cannot be pressed ultimately by France.
Discountenance likewise all idea of any compensation being made to France out of the colonies of Spain or Holland for the cessions she makes to us. This is a point which never should be conceded. Recollect that the Spanish part of St. Domingo is in possession of Spain. They will object to restore it and should be supported in this if possible.
Fife House, February 27, 1814.
I have received with the greatest grief and concern your private letter on the subject of the communication made by Count Lieven to the Emperor of Russia.
The nature of our constitution so entirely precludes the possibility of any communication on the part of our Government with foreign Powers, except through the accustomed official channels, that I should have trusted no misconception could have happened on such a matter. But it is most extraordinary that it should have occurred in your particular case, being entrusted as you were with this most important mission in consequence of your being Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a member of the Prince Regent's Government, and invested consequently with a discretion on all subjects on which you might have occasion to negociate, which it is wholly unused to entrust to any Ambassador or ordinary Minister.
From all I have seen of Count Lieven, I am bound to do the fullest justice to the correctness and propriety of his conduct, and I am persuaded therefore that it never was his intention to represent the personal sentiments of the Prince Regent, communicated in conversation as those of an individual in favor of the Bourbon family, for whom His Royal Highness has always professed the strongest interest, as the sentiments which were to influence the Prince Regent's accredited Minister in the conduct of a negocia- tion in which he was to act in conformity to instructions given him under the Sign Manual of His Royal Highness.
I can assure you that your conduct in every part of this business has met with the unqualified approbation of the Prince Regent and of his confidential servants; and that we sincerely regret that anything should have occurred to have given you so much uneasiness.
With respect to the sentiments stated to have been delivered by me, I have never concealed my opinion from Count Lieven, or from any other person with whom it has been proper for me to converse on such subjects:--that it would be a great blessing that we should have to conclude peace with any other person at the head of the French Government other than Buonaparte, and that I entertained hopes (though never confident ones) that the advance of the allied armies into the interior of France might make such an impression on the sentiments of the French nation as to lead to the destruction of his power: but I never intimated an opinion that these considerations ought to have any effect upon the course and policy adopted for negociating with Buonaparte. The negociation, once begun, it must proceed in the accustomed way; and if any causes should arise for delaying it, the sovereigns or their Ministers on the spot, would be alone competent judges of them, and in such a consultation you only could speak the sentiments of the British Government.
Had any circumstance arisen which rendered it necessary to furnish you with instructions from the Prince Regent different from those which were agreed upon previous to your departure from England, such instructions would certainly have been transmitted to you through the usual channel, and in the regular official way, and not through the mediun of any Foreign Minister.
Fife House, March 11, 1814.
I send you a very curious correspondence in consequence of a letter from Comte François D'Escars on the subject of the reception of Monsieur in France.
The whole statement I have no doubt is greatly exaggerated and there are some facts in it (such as the offer of the towns to capitulate to Louis, etc.) which must be false. It will shew you, however, the temper of mind both of the emigrants and their friends in this country. Our master has got tolerably quiet and reasonable on this subject, but no effort has been spared to influence him upon it.
We have no letters from the south of France since the 22nd. Wellington had then begun his movements and I should hope the next account would inform us of his advance into the heart of the country. It is provoking that contrary winds should have prevented our receiving any intelligence from him for 17 days at a time when we know he was beginning to move, and when the usual passage from the port of departure is not more than six or seven days. As soon as we hear anything important from that quarter I will send a messenger to you through France.
[News] . . . Buonaparte appears to be playing again the same game as at Dresden, and God grant it may be with the same result. We shall begin to be anxious to receive some account of what passed on the 10th. If the military events now in progress shall induce him to agree to the projet in all its substantial points, I shall feel satisfied. It may not be considered as the best possible issue of the struggle in which we have been so long engaged; but I am persuaded that by a continuance of it we are more likely to fare worse than better. The great object to have in view in this case will be to prevent all disputes amongst the Allies respecting their separate interests after the great work of peace has been achieved. I should be sorry if you were obliged to leave Head Quarters without at least bringing them to an understanding upon the general allotment of the countries out of which compensations are to be made to the respective Powers.
We shall probably hear by your next dispatches the result of the deputation from the people of the Low Countries to the allied Powers. All our information represents them as unfavourable to a connexion with Holland. If this should prove to be the case, might it not be arranged, after giving such a district to Holland as might be necessary for its own security, that the remainder of the Low Countries together with the electorates of Trêves and of Mayence should be placed under an Archduke of the House of Austria. These countries combined might in time constitute a formidable state. The people of them agree in religion, and do not materially differ in character and habits, and there is reason to believe that they would prefer Austrian connexion to any other which could be proposed for them.
P.S.--Since closing the above we have received your despatches of the 4th and 5th and your private letter of the 5th. I am very much gratified by finding that my private letter by Robinson was so satisfactory to you. I trust it will have removed any difficulties which may have existed.
The success of Prince Schwarzenburg on the 3rd has given us great joy, as well as the general aspect of the military movements. I now hope the Allies will really have profited by their former errors, that they will recover the confidence in themselves which they appear for a short time to have lost, and that they will, at the same time, have learnt not to despise the enemy against whom they are contending.
Fife House, March 11, 1814.
I send you a most extraordinary communication from the Prince Castelcicala on the subject of a proceeding of Lord William Bentinck of which the Foreign Office has never received any information. 1
Although it appears by the papers inclosed that Prince Castelcicala had no orders from his Government to demand the recall of Lord William Bentinck, and that the communication in question was considered rather as a private letter than as a public despatch, yet it is most unaccountable that Lord William should have taken such a step without any authority from his Government, more particularly as the proposition, if known, would make a most unfavourable impression against us both with our Allies and with Europe.
I have thought it right to lose no time in transmitting to you these papers in order that you may explain the matter to the allied Courts, if it should be necessary--and likewise that you may take such steps as you may judge most proper for obtaining an explanation from Lord William Bentinck of his conduct on this occasion.
I believe the fact to be that he finds his new constitution and the Sicilian Court are never likely to work together, and that therefore he has no way out of the difficulties in which he has involved us but by a transfer of the island of Sicily to Great Britain. If there were no other objections to such a transaction, I believe it would be very difficult for us to manage the island through such an instrument as the new constitution, but you well know that the continental states are more jealous of our obtaining power in the Mediterranean than in any other quarter. Circumstances have induced them to make no difficulty about our retaining Malta, but the idea of our possessing Sicily by an act, which in its most favourable light must be considered as a douce violence, could not fail greatly to revolt them. It is to be observed likewise that this transaction is considered as depending upon the recovery of the kingdom of Naples for King Ferdinand, an event which after what has passed with Muratcan hardly be considered as within our power.
I do not intend to return any answer to Prince Castelcicala's note respecting Lord Wm. Bentinck's recall, but if the demand should be repeated, I shall then inform him that the correspondence has been transmitted to you and I beg in the mean time to ask him whether he has received any orders from his Court to make such a demand. To this question we know he can not give a satisfactory answer.
1 See above, pp. 255-56.
Fife House, March 17, 1814.
You will receive by Mr. A'Court the continuance of our correspondence with Prince Castelcicala, and I trust you will approve of our having refused to allow him to withdraw his notes. The truth is, he has acted not only with intemperance but with great cunning in the whole of this business. His first note in which he asks us whether we ever gave any authority to such a transaction was most insidious; and, when it was answered with a frankness which one always wishes to manifest in British correspondence, his violence and insinuation, when he found he could not carry his point, were unpardonable. He never cried mercy till he found we had got him into a difficulty by the questions we had put to him, and that out of that difficulty he could not extricate himself. Indeed his last note is not a fair interpretation of what we know to be the Prince of Sicily's letter. For that letter did not only not authorize him to demand the recall of Lord William Bentinck, but is not even written in a tone by which he could be justified in inferring that it was the wish of his Government that such a demand should be made.
The proceeding of Lord William Bentinck was certainly very objectionable and it may be very awkward for him to remain in Sicily for any length of time after such an event. It did not, however, profess to be official or anything but the private sentiments of the individual; and however it might have awakened suspicions in the minds of the King and Prince of Sicily as to the views and intentions of Lord William Bentinck, it was not a proceeding upon which an official demand of recall could be borne out.
I feel this transaction much more deeply as it regards the future situation of Sicily. I am persuaded Lord William Bentinck feels that his constitution will not work in Sicilian hands, though he does not own it, and that his suggestion to the Prince of Sicily was a device for getting out of the difficulties in which his Whig principles had involved both himself and us. I only hope it may be in our power to bring matters there to a settled state before a French Minister Resident at Palermo can commence his intrigues.
Fife House, March 19, 1814.
Whilst we have been most highly gratified by the Treaty of Alliance which you have brought with so much ability to a satisfactory conclusion, we have been a good deal annoyed at the pro- gress of the conferences at Châtillon. We were in hopes that within a day or two after the 10th, the question of war or peace would have been decided, but we received serious mortification from finding that this was not only not the case, but that the negociations had made a retrograde movement. By a private letter of your brother to Cooke he appears to have taken a very just view of the matter. 1 I should hope therefore that the errors of the last proceeding will have been corrected, and that the Ministers of the Allies, and their plenipotentiaries, will be convinced that if their object is, as it must be, old France, they will never obtain it, unless they are peremptory on the subject.
As long as Caulaincourt thinks he has the least hopes of obtaining better terms for his master, he will never yield. And he will justly consider his hopes in this respect as not desperate as long as the allied plenipotentiaries appear to hesitate. He has besides every advantage from delay. He never will believe that under any success of the Allies he may not obtain peace on those terms, and if the Allies should meet with any misfortune, he can always avail himself of it to improve the conditions on the part of France. He knows moreover that, whilst the negotiation is going on, we cannot play the Bourbon game, and, whatever may be the ultimate result of an attempt of this nature, it could not fail to be very embarrassing to Buonaparte. In Brittany, in Poitou and in the south, the disposition to the old dynasty appears to be much more favourable than in the provinces through which you have passed. The advance of Wellington's army will likewise produce a considerable effect. He is personally popular in the country, and his army does not live by requisition, as the other allied armies do, but pay for whatever they receive. The result is that the French people within the British lines are better off than any other people in Europe--for they pay no taxes to their own Government, and they are not subject to military requisition. It is provoking that we should have heard nothing from him since the 23rd of February. Report says he is at Bordeaux, and I confess I incline to give credit to it. We know he has succeeded in throwing 15,000 men across the Adour below Bayonne on the 24th or 25th and an account from Morlain says he was at Roquefort, which is considerably nearer Bordeaux than Bayonne.
Blücher's success has been most glorious, and in all respects most important, but the inactivity of Schwarzenberg during these operations has produced here a very unfavourable impression against the Austrians. Count Merveldt's 2 tone is peculiarly flat. He seems to have no anxiety but about peace--though he admitted to me the other day that, if the Allies could maintain their ground
1 "Stewart to Cooke, Feb. 28, 1814": C.C. ix. 553. See above, p. 219.
2 The Austrian Ambassador at London.
till Lord Wellington arrived between the Loire and the Seine, the fate of Buonaparte was decided.
Pray let us know what is the full extent of the truth of the reports circulated by the emigrants respecting the reception of Monsieur in France. It is of the utmost importance that we should be able to contradict them, if they are not true.
Believe me it requires every effort of which I am possessed to keep anything like steadiness in our councils. It is not only the public mind that is inflamed, but persons of weight, character, sense and respectability partake of the popular feeling against peace, and it is difficult even to make them hear reason. If we can stand however to our question of ancient limits I do not despair. Independent of the advantages of a peace on such terms, it is carrying a principle, which will be intelligible to all the world, and for which they will give us credit as soon as the popular frenzy has subsided. It is only by dinning this principle in their ear that I can keep certain persons right even now. Let us therefore be steady to this point and I trust all will do well.
Fife House, March 21, 1814.
We may be much embarrassed by the measure which the Prince Royal of Sweden has adopted of sending a plenipotentiary to Châtillon, as Spain will justly consider herself as having more right to participate in these negociations than Sweden. I do not like to advise Fernan Nuñez to set out, and indeed, if I did, he would probably arrive too late--but I hope you will be able to contrive, in case preliminaries shall be agreed upon, either that the Swedish minister shall not sign, or that Pizarro 1 shall somehow or other, be brought into the business. We must not forget that Spain was our first friend, and that pride is the chief characteristic of the nation. Besides, Spain has always been considered as a power du premier ordre, where this has not been the case with Sweden for more than a century.
Fife House, March 22, 1814.
Do not be alarmed at our despatch of this day. 2 Would to God the event at Bordeaux had happened six weeks ago! But after considering the matter in every possible light, I am satisfied it was not in our power to have done otherwise than we have done.
1 Spanish representative.
The same disposition which has broken out at Bordeaux has been manifested likewise at Pau, and the letters, as you will see, of Lord Wellington speak of it as general throughout the whole of that part of the country. We understand from General Don that in Brittany and La Vendée the sentiments are not less favourable to the ancient dynasty. I should have paid little attention to all this if the explosion had not at last taken place, if it had not occurred in one of the first cities in France, and if the rising had not been sanctioned by the civil authorities and upper orders of the people as well as the lower.
We never should be forgiven if we made peace with Buonaparte under these circumstances, unless forced to it by the Allies. Our object must be now, as Caulaincourt's has been for some time past, to gain time. We must use our utmost endeavours to persuade the Allies to make common cause with us. If they do, I feel confident that the flame will spread to other parts of France, and that the fate of Buonaparte will not long be doubtful. If the Allies are however determined, under all the circumstances, to conclude the peace, we shall give due attention to all their representations, and they cannot avoid seeing that the case is one in which we are justified in demurring until we know their opinion. Every day will bring fresh information which will assist us and them in a final judgement. With respect to the avowed cause for breaking off the negociation, that must depend upon the state of it. If Caulaincourt is still equivocating upon points of importance, there can be no difficulty, if there is will to put an end to it. If on the other hand, all material points are settled and you are on the eve of signing, your reservation of the 29th January, or the principles of it, must be made use of. The event which has arisen, tho' not probable was always foreseen as possible, and was one of those which you had provided for from the beginning. The only doubt which can arise, therefore, upon our own principles, is as to the quality and magnitude of the explosion, but all proceedings of this nature must begin, and a more promising one in the first instance could hardly have been expected. At all events I think you will see that it is sufficient, if not for a final and irrevocable determination, at least for a temporary suspension of our present proceedings.
Fife House, April 9, 1814.
I trust this letter will find you at Paris. I congratulate you most cordially and sincerely on all the happy and extraordinary events which have passed since I last wrote to you. The tremendous contest in which the greater part of Europe has been engaged for the last twenty years, is, I trust, now brought (as far as essentials are concerned) to as satisfactory a termination as any person could desire. It remains only to finish the work by a solid and equitable peace.
My principle object in writing to you to-night is to entreat you not to think it necessary to return to England by the 18th, if in your judgement your continuance at Paris will be likely to be productive of general advantage to the public cause. I own I am inclined strongly to the opinion, even from circumstances which have attended the late glorious events, that much benefit may result from your remaining with the Allies for a short time--perhaps till the new Government are actually in possession, and the preliminaries of peace have been finally settled.
With respect to the preliminaries of peace I know of no better text than the projet of the 17th of February. 1
I know not what the Emperor of Russia means by doing more for France than respecting the integrity of the ancient torritory, and one cannot help looking at such an expression with some jealousy. I am satisfied Monsieur did not expect to obtain anything out of the limits of ancient France when he left this country. And I should hope that the principle to which I have referred, would (as you have most properly stated on a former occasion) be substantially, if not literally, maintained. There are certainly some points in the projet of the 17th of February which may be properly omitted in any treaty now to be signed--such as the retention or occupation, even for a time, of any of the fortresses within old France. It may likewise be advisable to bring forth the king of Sardinia and some of our other ancient Allies more prominently than was judged expedient at Châtillon. But as to all the main questions I think the nearer you can adhere to your former projet the better. 2
I trust there will be no difficulty on the part of the new French Government, after all the exertions and sacrifices this country has made, in our keeping the islands of Mauritius and Bourbon. They may perhaps be in some measure reconciled to this by a remission on our part of any claim to the money due to us from France, for the maintenance of the French prisoners of war and for the other pecuniary charges, which might not be unfairly brought against that government. Money is that of which they will be most in want for some time, and if we deal generously by them in this respect, they ought not to grudge us a fair compensation. Tobago will, I am convinced, make no difficulty whatever, as it
1 See above, pp. 214-15.
2 A translation of a few sentences of the dispatch are given by M. Charles Dupuis in his Ministère du Talleyrand, i. 335, from a source not stated.
stands upon ground so peculiar in itself, and can never be a question of pride with the new Government.
It is very unlucky that the Emperor Alexander should have fixed on Elba for Buonaparte's retreat--not only from the value of that island in itself, it being considered by many persons as the best naval station in the Mediterranean, but likewise from the influence which it necessarily will give the person who holds it over the adjoining parts of Italy. I see by Cathcart's letter that he is fully aware of the objections which existed to this arrangement, and he thinks that as the other allied Powers were no direct parties to it, some less objectionable station may be substituted for it. At all events I wish you would turn your thoughts seriously to this point.
If you determine not to come over for the meeting of Parliament, could you not spare Robinson? It would certainly be desirable to have some person in the House of Commons who had been following the course of our foreign policy in detail, and who could assist Vansittart and Bathurst, if any discussion should arise unexpectedly respecting it.
Fife House, April 14, 1814.
I have considered with Vansittart as well as I could your private letter together with its inclosures on the subject of the Emperor of Russia's loan in Holland. We neither of us see how it could be practicable for the Government of this country to guarantee for the first time the debt of a foreign Power contracted many years past, and not in any war in which that Power was co-operating with Great Britain. Nay a part of it probably contracted on account of operations in which Russia was hostile to Great Britain.
Any project of guarantee of a foreign loan has since the experience of the Austrian loan always been the most unpopular finance measure that could be proposed--and I think on just ground. It is unnecessary to add that the circumstances to which I have referred would materially aggravate all the objections which exist to such a measure abstractedly considered.
In addition to these considerations it is to be observed that both the Austrian and Prussian Governments have likewise very considerable debts in Holland, which as far as I can learn amount to ( Prussia 30,000,000 Guilders and Austria 110,000,000) 140,000,000 Guilders, and it does not appear to us upon what principle this relief would be afforded to Russia and afterwards refused altogether to Austria and Prussia.
The resources of Prussia are small indeed compared to those of Russia, and the exertions she has made for the common cause in proportion to her means may justly be considered as more con- siderable than those of either of the other Powers. On the other hand Austria might rest her claim as far as Holland is concerned on her ancient rights in the Low Countries, and on the equitable pretensions she may have, on surrendering those rights, to some equivalent from the Dutch Government.
In what way then can any relief be afforded by Great Britain to the finances of Russia on grounds distinct from those which may be equally stated by the other Allies?
The only way which has occurred to us is by a continuance of the subsidy for a certain time after the return of the Russian armies to their own country--for instance by allowing twelve months instead of six after a definitive treaty for their return. Such an arrangement might not be objectionable in principle, as the Emperor of Russia has been induced for the general benefit of Europe to carry on the war at a far greater distance from his own dominions than any other Power, and as he, of course, had a less direct and immediate interest in the operations which have been carrying on since the French armies were obliged to retire beyond the Elbe. It is well known that the continuance of these operations, to the extent at least to which they have been carried, have been contrary to the opinion of many persons of great weight both military and civil in the Russian councils, and it appears therefore not unreasonable that some compensation should be made to the Emperor of Russia for the sacrifices which he has incurred for the common cause.
The proposition thus submitted for consideration would rest upon its own special grounds, would keep us clear of all the unpopular arguments arising out of the other idea, and would furnish no precedent of which we should have any reason to be very apprehensive in future.
You will judge of the propriety of entering upon this communication with the Emperor of Russia immediately, or of postponing it for a short time, till a favourable opportunity shall arise for bringing it forward.
Fife House, April 14, 1814.
I enclose a letter which I have received from Wilberforce on the subject of the Slave Trade. 1 The article in our projet of the 17th of February would I conceive, perfectly satisfy him and his friends, and I should hope the new French Government would have no difficulty in adopting it. We have a very fair right to stipulate such a condition under present circumstances; as our restitution
1 Wilberforce to Liverpool, April 12, 1814, stating that to return the colonies except on condition that the Slave Trade be abolished would be "absolutely irreligious and immoral." Lond. MSS.
of the French colonies is now gratuitous, and as we do not intend to impose any obligations upon them to which we shall not be reciprocally bound ourselves.
Fife House, April 14, 1814.
As there must unavoidably exist great awkwardness in the relations between this country and France, under present circumstances, it is very desirable that no unnecessary delay should occur in the signature of preliminaries of peace. You can, of course, have no difficulty in ascertaining whether in any or in what points the views of the Allies have altered since the rupture of the negociation at Châtillon, and when this has been ascertained, you will be able easily to learn whether the Comte d'Artois, Talleyrand and those they may be disposed to consult, are ready to agree to the peace upon the terms acceptable to us.
If every material difficulty should be removed under both these heads, it will then be of importance that matters of etiquette should stand as little in the way as possible of restoring the accustomed relations of peace between the two countries.
I do not know whether the Comte d'Artois's powers of Lieutenant General of the Kingdom would enable him to conclude peace in the name of the King as soon as the King had accepted the constitution and been proclaimed. But if there is any doubt on this head, might not the King give him a special authority for the purpose. In short, if the peace is substantially agreed upon, I should hope that it would not be difficult to devise means by which all ambiguity in our respective situations might be removed.
Fife House, April 14, 1814.
You will receive by the messenger who carries these letters a note from Prince Castelcicala on the subject of his master's rights to the kingdom of Naples, and it is certainly very desirable to prevent Murat retaining that kingdom if possible. Fernan Nuñez told me sometime ago that the Spanish Government had declared they would never be a party to the arrangement for Murat. Independent of the rights of their own connexion, they say justly, that the case is very different from that of Bernadotte--that the period at which the latter came forward in favour of the Allies gave him the strongest claim to consideration, whereas Murat held a most important command in the French Army, as late as the battle of Leipsic--that in addition to this consideration, Bernadotte had uniformly conducted himself well in all the countries in which he had been employed as a French general, whereas Murat was the instrument, if not the author, of the massacre at Madrid.
It is fortunate that we are under no positive engagements to Murat, except to give a certain notice before the armistice is denounced, and there can be no doubt that Russia and Prussia, who are likewise unshackled upon the subject, and more than all the King of France will be most anxious for the restoration of the legitimate sovereign. I am aware, however, that Austria must be managed but I should hope with temper and judgment that this might be accomplished.
It would appear by Sir Robert Wilson's last letters that Murat has not been cordially co-operating in the common cause. If his statement of what has passed between Murat and Lord William Bentinck is correct, Murat has given us perfectly good ground for quarrelling with him.
I wish I could suggest a good substitute for the island of Elba, but there is none to which great objections do not occur, and the whole idea of territorial possession and sovereignty for Buonaparte was unlucky, and as I cannot help believing, unnecessary. Our friend Pozzo di Borgo would not like his having Corsica. I should otherwise have thought that the least objectionable arrangement of the sort that could have been made for Buonaparte. I hope his pension, whatever it may be, will be so settled that he will only receive it quam diu se bene gesserit.
Fife House, April 18, 1814.
You will receive by this communication the draft of the Act of Accession, which has been prepared to the treaty signed at Paris in favor of Napoleon and his family. There are some things in that treaty difficult to swallow--especially the recognition of his title of Emperor. You have kept us as clear as you could, and I hope no practical mischief will result from it. The great object will, however, be to make Napoleon's pension, and, as far as practicable, those of his family, dependent upon their good behaviour, and reliable to be stopt if they conduct themselves improperly.
It is considered by the Prince Regent's Government of great importance that the Act of Accession to this treaty should not be given without some explanation in writing of the views of the British Government with respect to the future destination of the island of Elba. You know many persons in this country attach more importance to it than to any naval station in the Mediterranean, and as it is now French, it might revert to France after the death of Napoleon if some stipulation is not made to the contrary. We have no desire to have it ourselves, but we wish that you would deliver a note in writing, stating that upon the death of the person to whom it is now granted it shall revert as part of those sovereignties to which it belonged antecedent to the year 1792--that is to Naples and Tuscany. This proposal cannot be objected to by the Allies, as it is wholly disinterested on our part, and is conformable to the principle on which we have been acting viz. to bring things back to their former state before the French Revolution, as far as circumstances will permit of it.
Fife House, April 26, 1814.
I have received your letters of the 19th and 20th 1 by Jackson, and immediately upon my return to Town from Dover I communicated them to my colleagues.
The subject of the fleet at Antwerp is one of great delicacy-not so much with regard to the value of the fleet itself, under present circumstances (though its value is greater than you have supposed) but with reference to the impression with which its being withdrawn by the French Government may make in this country.
We cannot agree to the correctness of the principle upon which Talleyrand has advanced the claim. If a squadron from Brest or Rochfort had sought refuge in the Scheldt, or had come there for the purpose of operations, we admit that the case would be nearly parallel to that of the evacuation of the fortresses by the garrisons, but the fleet at Antwerp is a creation of that port--naturally connected with it--and has never in point of fact been out of the Scheldt. The principle, therefore, in our projet of the 17th of February, that it should follow the fate of the place, appears to be perfectly reasonable and correct.
The amount of the fleet actually in Antwerp is 21 sail of the Line complete and 11 building.
You will see that this is not a contemptible force, and many of these ships were in fact built at the expense of Holland or from articles belonging to countries which it is admitted now are not to remain a part of France.
To give, however, a proof of our liberality upon the present occasion we are ready to agree to the following arrangement. 1st. That all ships in the port of Antwerp building or not complete at the time of the signature of the suspension of hostilities shall follow the fate of the place. 2ndly. That of the ships which were then complete in the port of Antwerp the French Government shall be at liberty to withdraw two-thirds of them, the remaining
1 C.C. ix. 472, 482.
third to belong to the Dutch, in consideration of the share which they have had in the building and equipment of the whole. I am satisfied that we are thus proposing to give as much as the French Government can expect to receive, and I am sure you will see the importance of making the most of the liberality of this concession in the settlement of other points.
You will understand that this principle must not be applied to the ships at the Helder or at Flushing--nor do I think it ought to be extended to those which are at Venice.
With regard to the Saintes, we entertain a different opinion from that stated in your letter. It is of the utmost importance for us to retain them, and they are of no value whatever to France. We have no harbour in that part of the West Indies. The French have two excellent ones at Martinique and St. Lucie. The Saintes are of no value whatever except for their harbour, and are the least invidious possession we could propose to retain. If, however, the French Government set a great value upon their restoration as an appendage to Guadaloupe, let them in that case consent to our retaining St. Lucie in the place of them. All we ask is a harbour in that part of the West Indies, where they have several, and to that we think we are fairly entitled.
I certainly admit that it is desirable to make our separate conditions of peace somewhat more favourable with the Bourbons, than those we would have made with Buonaparte. The condition respecting the fleet is already a great concession to the new Government. We should have no objection to add to this the island of Bourbon, if the French set much value upon its restoration, but we think the Mauritius, Tobago, and the Saintes or St. Lucie ought to be sine qua non conditions of peace, and after the six or seven hundred millions we have spent in the course of a war which has led to the restoration of the Bourbon family, the demand can scarcely be considered as unreasonable.
Fife House, April 26, 1814.
The Prince Regent wrote from Dover to the Emperor of Austria and King of Prussia in the manner you proposed--I saw the letters and they were very proper.
I met at Dover, Pozzo di Borgo who thought it best to return to France with the King. I trust he will succeed in the object of his mission, but there are many prejudices to overcome, not so much in the King as in those who surround him. I gave Pozzo no encouragement of so favourable an arrangement respecting the fleet as is now proposed, and I must do him the justice to say I found him very reasonable upon the subject.
I hope you will be able to let us have the preliminaries soon. The point of the greatest difficulty--the arrangement respecting Naples--need not be settled till we come to the definitive treaty, but I am satisfied neither France nor Spain ever will or indeed can in honor consent under present circumstances to Murat remaining there. We must, however, manage Austria upon this question. The French are well disposed to do this, for strange as it may appear, they are in better humour with the Austrian Government, and more inclined to confide in them, than in any of the Allies, except ourselves.
The King of France, the Duchess d'Angoulême and those who attended them, left this country most fully gratified with the state of the public feeling respecting them. Indeed I never saw so much enthusiasm in my life on any occasion as was manifested from the period of their quitting Hartwell to that of their embarking at Dover.
Fife House, April 28, 1814.
We are entirely satisfied with your convention for the suspension of hostilities which is highly creditable to yourself and to all the sovereigns and ministers who have been parties to it.
I am very glad, likewise, to find that you intend at once to negociate and sign a definitive treaty of peace with France. The convention of the 23rd. inst. is, in fact, a preliminary treaty, and the course of proceeding which you have now determined to adopt will relieve us from many difficulties and give more weight to our opinions and interference in those continental points, which must be afterwards arranged and in which our own interests are less immediately concerned. I should hope now that the definitive treaty might be concluded in nearly as short a time as a preliminary treaty. You will by this time have ascertained the disposition of the French Government to the colonial points. I ought to have mentioned to you in my last letter, that I know from sources of information on which reliance can be placed, that Monsieur, when at Nancy, did not expect the restoration of Guadaloupe. This concession, therefore, may have a favourable effect in inducing him and those with whom he is connected, to give way on other points.
It will be proper, I conceive, in the definitive treaty to renew all the former treaties of peace between Great Britain and France antecedent to the Treaty of Amiens. To this the existing French Government can have no objection. It would be desirable, I am convinced, for the interests of both countries, to renew the commercial treaty of 1787, but it would require more time to look into this question than can well be spared under present circumstances, and I believe likewise, there exists a prejudice against that treaty in some parts of France, which might be an obstacle to its renewal at this time, and may render it expedient to defer any definitive stipulations on the subject of the commercial intercourse between the two countries, though some provisional arrangement in this respect will be necessary.
With regard to the Articles relative to sequestration--the period of restoration, etc.--it is always most safe to copy the Articles from former treaties.
The debt on account of French prisoners to this country is very considerable. I do not think it would be expedient, in the present state of the French finances, to press for the liquidation of it, but I think you should make the most of it as an article in your account, and endeavour to obtain some concession in return for the relinquishment of it.
We have not yet laid the subsidiary treaties and are desirous, if possible, to avoid laying anything before the House respecting our foreign relations, till we can form some judgement of the period of your return. You will perhaps be able to give me some intimation on this head, in the course of the ensuing week. You will understand that I do not wish you to return before the conclusion of the definitive treaty, if you think there is any prospect of concluding it within a reasonable time.
Fife House, April 29, 1814.
We begin to feel it of the utmost importance in the event of your absence being further prolonged (as will probably be the case for a fortnight longer) that you should send Robinson back to us. You will see by the public papers that the Opposition in the House of Commons are putting questions daily on the subject of our foreign relations, and particularly regarding the question of Norway, which is the most delicate point of all those likely to become the subject of discussion.
Neither Vansittart nor Bragge Bathurst have been in the habit of answering to questions of this nature, and neither of the Under Secretaries of State of the Foreign Office are in the House of Commons, nor any other person au fait of the correspondence of that department and qualified therefore to give explanation upon facts which are misstated. If you could let us have Robinson, I should feel perfectly at ease, and I should be under no apprehension of his presence provoking discussions, which are much more likely to take place when they think that they can embarrass Government by bringing them forward.
I conclude you will have sufficiently advanced in your business to be able to spare Robinson without any material inconvenience, and if any difficulty should arise, which I hope is not likely, there might be some advantage in a personal communication with him upon it.
Fife House, April 29, 1814.
It has occurred to Vansittart and myself that in the extreme penury of the French Government at the present moment with respect to its finances, some pecuniary assistance might be of essential importance to the Government.
You have probably been informed that a hundred thousand pounds was given to the king of France just before he left this country, partly for the payment of the debts which he had contracted here, and partly for the expenses of his journey. I have now only to add that if you should find that the advance of a further sum of one hundred thousand pounds would be of any use to His Majesty under present circumstances, you are at full liberty to authorize Herries who will be at Paris to make such advance. Perhaps even the offer of it in a delicate manner may be productive of some advantage, as it may keep alive the feeling with which the Royal Family of France quitted this country, which I am satisfied it is our interest to cultivate for the welfare of both countries as well as for that of Europe in general.
Fife House, May 3, 1814.
I have reason to believe from good authority that the Dutch Government will have no objection to our keeping the settlements of Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, if we allow them a free trade. Indeed, I am informed, that they would, in such case, rather that they were in our hands than in their own--for they are settlements that they could not hope to defend in time of war, and they would prefer therefore that the expense of maintaining them in time of peace should rest with Great Britain.
If this arrangement should be adopted, I entirely admit that we ought to take the compensation to Sweden for Guadaloupe to ourselves, and Trinidad would be a very fair object for this purpose. I do not see why the other continental Powers should be jealous of us on this account, for of all the conquests we are desirous of retaining, these, in fact, are alone of any value--Malta and the Mauritius, though important military positions, never can be expected to pay for their own defence--the same I believe to be the case with the Cape, and the Saintes are nothing but rocks. If, however, you continue to think that we ought not to propose to keep Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, but only one of them, (Demerara and Essequibo being now considered as one) I wish you would let me consult some persons conversant with the internal state of these settlements before our option is made. I conclude this point need not be settled in our definitive treaty with France. If anything is said upon the subject in this treaty, it may be enough to stipulate that a compensation shall be made to Sweden for the restoration of Guadaloupe to France by Holland, or in consequence of arrangements between Great Britain and Holland.
[ April 30, 1814.]
There have arisen most unpleasant difficulties respecting the marriage of Princess Charlotte with the Prince of Orange. I have no doubt they have originated in a political intrigue, and they have been so far attended with success, that she has been induced to insist upon conditions being inserted in the contract of marriage of which she never thought until recently, and which (to the extent to which she is desirous of pushing them) can not be admitted. We have the strongest reason to believe that the Tatischeffs are engaged in this intrigue, and the object is to break off the marriage with the Prince of Orange and to form a connection between the Princess and one of the Grand Dukes of Russia.
Independant of the disgrace which will attend the rupture of this marriage there would be considerable objections to the other connection, but, at all events, it is of the utmost importance to prevent the Grand Dukes, who are now at Paris, coming over to England under the present circumstances. The Prince Regent is very desirous that you should take the most effectual measures in your power, without giving offence, for preventing this visit at this time. I should think you might be able to manage this through Nesselrode but I am aware it may be a matter of considerable difficulty.
The Prince of Orange arrived here yesterday and his communication with the Princess will probably bring the questions between them shortly to a point. I am not sanguine about the result.
Fife House, May 3, 1814.
You will see that we are to have, in both Houses, early in next week, a discussion upon the subject of Norway. The question is an awkward one. The Norwegian resistance is popular here, but this I should not think of much importance, as matters stand, if we had not the civilians against us upon the general principle, though I trust not so upon the particular case attended by all its present circumstances.
I was certainly not aware, that it had been laid down in the books that, though a country had a right to cede a part of its dominions for the preservation of the remainder and that after such a cession, all its rights over the ceded territory for ever ceased, yet the ceded province, or island, had a right to refuse to receive the new master. You will find this doctrine in Vattel--Book 1st. Chap. 21, Sec: 263 and 264.
The same opinion is given by Grotius, and though the general practice of Europe has been to consider cessions as binding on all the parties, yet it would be very difficult to contend against the principle laid down by such high authority, and the precedents to the contrary, it will be said, are derived from cases where no resistance was ever attempted.
We shall be obliged therefore to defend our proceedings upon the special circumstances of the case, and there can be no doubt that Prince Christian's conduct furnishes us with ample ground for saying, that the Norwegian resistance has been instigated by a Danish Prince, or Danish rebel, that it is supported by Danish officers, and that until they are withdrawn or expelled from the country and the Allies and Sweden have had a fair opportunity of communicating with the inhabitants, no one has any right to say that the opinion of the country can be fairly taken--till then it is a Danish, and not a Norwegian resistance.
I have no doubt that this view of the question will satisfy the public for the present, but we cannot conceal from ourselves, that the question may henceforth assume a shape which may make it very embarrassing and renders it highly important that every measure should be taken to conciliate the Norwegians to a connection with Sweden, and in the event of failure, I see no alternative, but Sweden being compensated by other sacrifices on the part of Denmark, which, upon the principle of the Treaty of Kiel, Denmark cannot in such case justly resist.
Augustus Foster is gone to Paris, and you had better despatch him from thence direct to Copenhagen. His credentials shall be forwarded to him there, and Thornton and young Addington, together with him, should be directed to concert their proceedings, so far as to effect the purpose of the union of Norway to Sweden upon the most liberal terms, and, if possible, without bloodshed.
In the meantime, if I can find a good man to send from hence on a temporary mission to Norway, I should be disposed to do it. Some parts of the country, and particularly Drontheim, are, I understand, favourable to the connection with Sweden. The dread of our blockade will I trust bring others to reason--I say reason, because the Prince Royal of Sweden offers them a free Government in the place of the arbitrary one to which they have been subjected for nearly two centuries.
Fife House, May 16, 1814.
We have heard nothing from you since the 5th. but I conclude you are too hard at work to have much time to write. As your treaty is to be definitive, there would be some advantage if it were possible that we could see it (to guard against minor errors) before it was actually agreed. My present anxiety is that there should be in it no recognition of Murat as King of Naples. He has done nothing to deserve a kingdom, is one of the very worst of all Bonaparte's Generals and actually did what Caulaincourt has been supposed to do with regard to the Duke d'Enghien. No arrangement in his favour such as King will ever be allowed to stand and therefore should better not be made. If this point can not be satisfactorily settled I hope at least that there will be nothing in the treaty respecting it and that it will be left over for future adjustment. We shall hope to see you here very soon.
Fife House, December 12, 1814.
Mr. Rothschild has put into my hands the enclosed letter 1 respecting the state of the Jews in Germany and has earnestly desired me to recommend their care to your particular attention.
P.S.--Mr. Rothschild has been a very useful friend. I do not know what we should have done without him last year.
LETTERS FROM CASTLEREAGH TO SIR CHARLES STUART, 1815 1
April 19, 1815.
I am afraid the councils of Louis the 18th are becoming more and more emigrant, which will not diminish their difficulties.
How can M. de Blacas suppose the Allies can adopt measures of personal vigour, even in menace, when the King in no instance maintained his just authority by making a single example? If the principles of those about the King were less strained, and their conduct more decisive, they would maintain His Majesty's cause better.
They betray an equal ignorance of this nation when they seem to regret that we do not hurry them into the war, before the Powers of the Continent can be considered by Great Britain as having taken their decision, upon the real case, on which they are to act. Such precipitation is no proof either of energy or true courage.
It is essential to the interests of Europe that the public opinion of Gt. Britain should be kept together. Without a conviction of the necessity of the war in the sober judgment of the Continent, we should soon have a Peace Party here, as we had in the early years of the war before the last, which would soon disqualify us, augmented as the publick burthens are, from giving our Allies an effectual support.
The King and his friends ought to know our wishes--we shall not be the first to fail them, but to render them service, we must keep ourselves on the strong and tenable ground with our own parliament, and ye people. We shall be capable of rendering service in proportion as we keep down disunion, and avoid extravagant and disputable pledges, which always weaken the hands of a government in a system constituted like ours.
1 From the Londonderry Manuscripts.
I hope you will be able to make M. de Blacas and those about the king understand, that John Bull fights best, when he is not tied, and that, altho' as a line of policy we can with good management connect the support of the Bourbons with the avowed object of the war, we never could sustain as a principle, that we were committed irrevocably to His Majesty to make this a sine qua non under every possible circumstance. Such an engagement would defeat its own purpose by rendering that questionable, which if done voluntarily, would command a general concurrence.
I suspect Pozzo di Borgo has stated rather his own principles, than his master's to the French Court. I have no doubt of H.R.H.'s decision in the war, so far as it is waged against Buonaparte, but I doubt his maintaining the Family against a national sentiment for any length of time.
P.S.--The steadiness of this country in the war will depend upon our making it clear that the Continent has voluntarily decided to seek its safety in arming.
I do not think in the present state of things that the Jacobins will venture to let Vitrolles be put to death. I feel the greatest personal interest in his fate. He is a most excellent man.
April 24, 1815.
I think it right confidentially to mention to you the reports that circulate here of Blacas' venality at Paris, selling officers honors, etc. I know how much favourities are traduced, and am not myself disposed to credit anything to the prejudice of his honor, but it is right that you should know that such an impression very generally prevails, which, added to his known hatred of every thing connected with the Revolution, is calculated essentially at this moment to prejudice the King's cause. I have no hope of His Majesty making any impression unless he can present himself to the nation under other advisers, and in this point of view I should hear with great satisfaction that the King had given his confidence to some individual whom he might on entering France publicly present to his subjects as his avowed Minister, with full authority to submit to His Majesty an arrangement for an effective and responsible Ministry, as early as circumstances might afford proper materials for filling up the situations. Upon the whole I know no person more competent than Talleyrand. It never could do to go on as they have done.
May 8, 1815.
I am glad to find that the sentiments which prevail both in Vienna and in London on the necessity of a change in H.M.C. Majesty's councils are likely to be listened to.
I have given the subject every consideration in my power, and am irresistibly led to the conclusion, that in the present state of parties, or rather factions, civil and military, in France, there are only two practicable modes of Government, either to subdue or restrain all by the power of a military despotism, or to make the parties govern each other, and so contend for authority as not to implicate the Crown in the overthrow of their opponents--any middle course of forming a government, of which the personal influence of the King is to be a support, cannot last, and the fall of the administration will always involve necessarily the existence of the royal authority.
If I am right in this, it is in vain for the King to suppose he can maintain himself on his throne, unless he will submit himself to the necessities of his situation. He cannot establish a military despotism. He has no army to support him in the attempt, and if he had, his character and principles do not qualify him for such a task--he has no other resource then than to abstract himself as much as possible from all personal or party preferences, to give up every principle of individual exclusion and to declare his fixed determination to govern by responsible advisers. On his restoration last year, His Majesty perhaps was bound in character to exclude the regicides. He was supposed to have the means of exercising a personal authority; now he owes it to France, and to his own family to make every sacrifice of personal feeling to preserve the dynasty of which he is the head.
I am aware how painful this view of the subject must at first be to His Majesty. His virtues will lead him to repugn the idea, but reflection will reconcile him to it. When a sovereign condescends to exclude certain persons from his councils, he confers upon them at once an infinitely augmented capacity of doing mischief. They become immediately objects of unlimited confidence to all wicked and discontented men, and if they have no ostensible sphere of exertion, they become conspirators, instead of oppositionists.
Louis the 18th cannot be more averse to seeing Fouché in his councils, than our King was to receive Mr. Fox. When we retired in 1806, I then concurred in giving His Majesty the same advice I now should give to the King of France, viz., not to suffer a personal question to expose the public safety to hazard. It is not necessary that His Majesty should entrust his immediate confidence to any individual, who may be personally obnoxious to him, but if the Minister, who conducts the affairs of France should state to the King that the assistance of a certain individual or individuals is essential to enable him to conduct the public business, then my opinion is, as sovereign, the King ought not to oppose to that recommendation a principle of exclusion.
Fouché and men of his stamp are nowhere so little to be dreaded as in office, mixed up with other materials. Tyrants may poison or murder an obnoxious character, but the surest and only means a constitutional sovereign has to restrain such a character is to employ him. Office soon strips him of his most dangerous adherents --he becomes unpopular, can be laid aside at pleasure, and sinks to his true lead. So far from making himself visibly responsible for everything, the King ought to throw upon his Ministers the odium and risk of conducting his service. His Majesty ought to turn the political control towards the Minister for the time being and not entertain it himself beyond affording him the due support which his services may deserve. This is the true strength of a constitutional king. All paper constitutions are of comparatively small importance; the essence of a free state is so to manage the party warfare, as to reconcile it with the safety of the sovereign-to do this, the King must give the contending parties facilities against each other, and not embark himself too deeply with any.
I had a very sensible letter from Pozzo a few days since, in which however he bears, or rather relies, too much on the principle of exclusion. He talks of getting rid of perhaps 50 of the worst characters, as a means of regeneration. If they were to cease to exist, they could well be spared, but that the King could put them to death with character is very improbable. Should they remain and stay in France, or retire to Switzerland or some other neighbouring state, as a species of banishment, their means of conspiring and their power of mischief will be unempaird.
From the above reasoning you will see, that I do not think Blacas's suggestions satisfactory--they do not go to the root of the evil. His own effectual retirement, I am confident, is an indispensable preliminary, but beyond that, the King must suffer the person whom he employs, to lay before him for his approbation a plan of arrangement and not thus previously create, limit and proscribe. If he does, the system will not work by its own strength, and the political contest will be again against the Crown, and not against the administration.
The surest way effectually to control a party is to employ them. Our King has often sustained his own authority by this expedient. The King of France may do the same, and if he wishes to serve the emigrants, his best means of doing so, is not to assemble them around the throne, as a feeble, odious and exclusive party, but to leave them through the parties of the country to struggle for and partake of their share of power.
The subject will present itself in many other points of view to your own observation, accustomed as you are to remark what constitutes the real power of the Crown in this country. You will be enabled to convince H.M. that, as he cannot rely upon the idle clamour of Vive le Roi nor upon the army. He must maintain his authority by useing the active political characters that have sprung up during the Revolution. It appears to me that theoretical principles form no longer the point at issue between the contending factions. It is a struggle for power, and, if the King will make himself the umpire and exclude no man for past conduct, who can be made useful, H.M. may preserve his crown and bring the system gradually to its true bearings, but to do so, he must cover himself with the protection of a responsible Minister and retire in appearance himself from the conflict. Such is my deliberate opinion and I give it from a sincere wish to contribute to his restoration.
P.S.--I hope you will be enabled to convince the King that councils held in the presence of the sovereign, except for the mere purpose of formally carrying into effect matters previously decided on, are wholly inconsistent with the march of a free Govt. Ministers will never speak their mind freely in presence of their monarch and the Princes of the blood. The secrecy and separation of the Cabinet is of the essence of our constitution. All the sovereign can, or for his own interest ought to desire is, that his pleasure should be taken by the Ministers of the respective departments before the decisions of Cabinet are carried into actual execution.
May 8, 1815.
Since I closed my private letter of this day's date, yours of the 5th from Ghent has been received. I am not convinced of the policy of the King's imposing any restrictions in the formation of his Government upon the person he entrusts with his confidence. As far as the exigencies of the public service will admit of it, the Minister of the Crown can have no motive for bringing unacceptable individuals in contact with his sovereign, but the principle of exclusion is full of danger and weakness, and the King can have the less hesitation in proclaiming a political amnesty at such a crisis, after proposing to Fouché before he left Paris to become his Minister of Police. Much of his success and future stability may depend not only upon separating the Jacobin party from Buonaparte, but upon dividing them amongst themselves by a moderate admixture of some of their body into his Government. I do not believe that the leaders will now quarrel about principles, if they are suffered to take their share in the administration of public affairs.
(v) May 20, 1815.
I transmit to you a letter from the Prince of Castelcicala to M. de Blacas. The object of this letter is to call upon him to make such a report, in refutation of The Moniteur, relative to the Murat papers transmitted by him officially to me, as may be laid by me in his justification, before Parliament. I beg you will urge H.Exc. that this may be done with the least practicable delay, and as circumstantially as he can.
I send you also a confidential paper received from one of the French Mission at Vienna, by my brother. You will see the sentiments that are entertained there, and that reach them from Ghent. I can also venture to inform you that Monsieur's views are anything but consonant to the notion of the King's adopting a system of governing by responsible Ministers.
Is it true that the Marshals Victor and Marmont have retired in disgust from Ghent to Aix-la-Chapelle?
The British Government have sufficiently evinced their disposition to assist the King with the means of aiding the first efforts of those troops or subjects who choose to fight under his banners, but how can they countenance an effort which is to be led by Monsieur, who may be a high bred Prince, but is no soldier. The King of France ought to perceive that the Princes of the blood are not at the head of the other armies of Europe. War is now too serious a question for etiquette, and altho' it is very fit his family should expose themselves, it is not right they should expose his armies, when he has any, or the cause for which they contend, by taking upon themselves a charge for which they are wholly incompetent.
I am anxious to hear what may be the result of the invitation to Talleyrand; until there is a better system at Ghent, it is in vain to suppose that the Duke of O[rleans] or any of those who have remonstrated against what is going on, will embark with the King.
I differ with the Duke of O[rleans] in his opinion that the King ought to be inactive, till the Allies have got to Paris, and have prepared his throne for him, but unless His Majesty embarks with an ostensible and acceptable system to the nation, he had better do nothing, and altho' the Duke of Wellington can only decide what military aid can be afforded, yet I must see a great deal more than I yet do before I can politically recommend any concert in such a plan as you have transmitted for consideration.
Until P. Talleyrand's arrival, perhaps it might be premature to continue your representations officially with the Ministers of the other Powers, but under the uncertainty and intrigue which appears to prevail at Ghent, we must all know without delay on what we have to depend.
May 20, 1815.
Your private letter of the 16th arrived after I had closed the letter to you which accompanies this. Altho' the King seems prepared to go considerable lengths, yet I must still fear, giving him credit for the best intentions, that there is an indecision, if not an insincerity, in the course he is to pursue, which is calculated to expose all his prospects. Did you represent to him his own proposition to Fouché thro' Monsr. d'Embray to have him Minister of Police before he left Paris? After this how can H.M. put a false point of honour in contrast with public expediency. Whether Fouché can really render service, I know not, but, if he can, to discourage him by silence, which means exclusion, appears to me wholly unwarranted, when the extent of interests at issue are considered.
The King having made up his mind to suffer his Cabinet to deliberate as ours does, not in the presence of the sovereign, there is no difficulty in rendering, at least at the outset, the personal intercourse merely formal; but why should the Govt. of Bonaparte be consolidated by these new scruples?
I beg you will consider these letters altho' conveying the sentiments of the Govt. as in their form merely for your own eye. The freedom with which they are written will apprize you that they are not intended for communication. The sentiments they contain I have no desire to conceal, but I beg you will not allow them to be copied or place them amongst the official correspondence. I observe an emissary of the name of Chaptre is to be sent to Sweden, I think you cannot be too attentive to arrest any person sent by the existing French Government to the Prince Regent, and especially from the Jacobin part of it.
I must again repeat that except thro' the medium of the Conventionalists, I think the King can do nothing, and that even with their aid, he will find it necessary to break in upon the Jacobin strength by conciliating some of their leaders.
(vii) June 16, 1815.
I beg you will understand that when I have argued the point of Fouché, it has not been as to the period of his being admitted to office; this is altogether a question of expediency. What I have deprecated is such a reception of his advances (or of those of other leading persons) as precluded him from saving France without sacrificing himself. I wish only to have the principle of exclusion generally got rid of, in feeling, as well as in name: that this unmatured marriage between Bonaparte and the Jacobins may not be indissolubly cemented against the Bourbons, because whatever may be the success of our arms, with a view to the future, I do not see how the emigrants, and the constitutionalists are ever to secure the King against the Jacobins and the army. . . . [The rest of the letter is printed in Mrs. Edward Stuart Wortley Highcliffe and the Stuarts, 229.]
REPORTS FROM COUNT MONSTER TO THE PRINCE REGENT 1
Vienna, November 27, 1814.
Le simple récit de la marche des négociations, contenu dans ma dépêche 2 d'aujourd'hui doit faire neître la crainte que le congrès de Vienne pouvait bien se dissoudre sans avoir consolidé le repos de l'Europe. Les principaux cabinets sont encore tellement éloignés d'un accord sur les principales questions qui les agitent, qu'il paraft meme douteux s'ils se sépareront par une rupture ouverte, ou bien, si en refusant de sanctionner les usurpations que médite la Russie, (et dont ceux qui ne croyent pouvoir consentir a l'anéeantissement de la Saxe Royale accuseront de même la Prusse), ils laisseront subsister, pour le moment, le status-quo, comme un état simplement de fair, et non de droit?
La situation de l'Europe qui serait la suite de cette dernière attitude ne manquerait pas de rallumer la guerre ou bout d'un interval plus ou moins considerable. Mais il me semble que l'alternative, bien que déjà fort déplorable en elle-même (celle, si nous retomberons sans délà dans une nouvelle lutte, ou si on nous laissera au moins le temps de respirer et une chance quelconque d'une perspective moins funeste), me parait être d'un intérêt si immense, à l'égard des mesures à prendre, que je ne voudrais pas négliger d'informer Votre Altesse Royale sur les donnves que j'ai recueillies a cet égard.
J'ai eu depuis quelque tems des notions positives que le Cabinet Autrichien riuni est beaucoup moins coulant sur l'affaire de la Pologne et de la Saxe que, n'a du moins paru l'être, le Prince Metternich. Dans une séance qui a eu lieu il y a trois semaines, les personnes qui passent ordinairement pour les plus pacifiques des alentours de l' Empereur François, entre autres le Général
1 The first report is from the Staats Archiv at Hanover, the rest from the Windsor Archives. 2 Munster, 187.
Ducas, et le Comte de Zichy, ont opiné pour la guerre dans le cas que la Russie et la Prusse inisteraient sur la possession des points que les militaires Autrichiens regardent comme menaçants pour eux.
L' Empereur d'Autriche, à ce qu'on m'assure, doit être d'opinion que si la guerre deviendrait probable, qu'il vaudrait mieux la faire sans délai. Le Roi de Bavière ne parle que dans le même sens et je n'ai pas de doute qu'il ne soit d'accord avec l'Autriche sur la co-opération. Un mémoire que Mr. de Gentz a composé, il y a quelque tems, pour prouver la necessité d'une alliance entre l'Autriche, la France et la Bavière, la manière dont ce savant, qui jouit d'une certaine influence sur le prince Metternich, est fêté par Talleyrand, rendent la supposition probable que la France vise à ce but. La mission de Louis XVIII. au Congrès croit peut-être que les dangers qu'une guerre pourrait avoir pour la Famille Royale seraient plus que contrebalancés par le moyen qu'elle lui fournirait de contenter et d'employer beaucoup de militaires mécontents et peut-être même de satisfaire la nation, qui difficulement se consolera sur la perte de la rive gauche du Rhin. Or les complications du moment prêsent offriront la chance de reconquêrir ce territoire comme une Province Prussienne. Le moment actuel serait à plus propice à pareille entreprise, puisque plus tard la rive gauche du Rhin se trouverait sous la protection de la Ligue Germanique, qui aujourd'hui n'est pas conclue encore! Ce sont là, indépendamment de l'intàret rial et raisonnable que la France doit naturellement prendre à la conservation de l'équilibre politique de l' Europe et surtout de l'Allemagne, quelques raisons accessoires qui font probablement désirer la guerre à la France. Sa haine contre la Prusse, la crainte de l'avoir pour voisine contribue au meme but. Il faut avouer que les négociateurs Prussiens n'ont pas mis assez de prudence à éviter ce qui pourrait blesser l'amour-propre des Français. Ce sont eux qui ont souvent tenté d'écarter la mission du Roi de France de la participation aux affaires du congrès qu'aucune Puissance du premier ordre ne saurait se laisser ravir. Le ton taquin de Mr. de Humboldt a surtout paru mettre de l'aigreur dans ces sortes de discussions.
Je viens d'avoir avant hier un entretien confidentiel avec une personne, ui se trouve à la tête d'un des départements de la Chancellerie d'Etat d'Autriche, 1 qui m'a fait craindre, plus que route autre chose, que nous en viendrons à une rupture ouverte. M'étant trouvé en rapport intime avec cette personne, pendant ma mission en Russie, elle me parla à cœur ouvert. Elle blâma hautement la conduite de sa Cour de ce qu'elle ne déclarait pas de suite la guerre à la Russie et me témoigna même ses regrets de ce que probablement les mesures énergiques que l'Autriche pouvait prendre,
1 Hudelist, the most important of Metternich's permanent officials.
amèneraient probablement, plus que toutes lea négociations, un accommodement avec cette Puissance. Elle ajouta que tout accommodement, tel qu'on pourrait le faire aujourd'hui, serait plus défavorable à l'Autriche que ne saurait l'être la guerre, vu que l'Autriche resterait, tout comme pour le présent, dans la nécessité de tenir son armée sur le pied de guerre, chose que sea finances ne pouvaient supporter. Elle m'assura qu'on n'avait encore risquée de vendre aucum cheval du train de l'armée et qu'on payait dans ce moment cinq cent mille soldats. Indépendamment du danger auquel la monarchie resterait exposée par le mauvais état de ses frontières, en les traçant même d'après les lignes sur lesquelles on insistait encore, la même personne m'assura que les vexations du gouvernement Russe étaient telles que l'Autriche ne pouvait plus les tolérer et qu'elle avait en vain épuisé les moyens de conciliation. Elle me cita comme exemple ce qui eat arrivé en Moldavie. Les habitants de la Transylvanie vivent principalement de leurs troupeaux et, leurs montagnes ne leur fournissant pas de pâturage durant l'hiver, les conventions existantes avec la Porte Ottomane permettaient aux Transylvains de conduire leurs troupeaux durant l'hiver dans lea vastes plaines de la Moldavie, centre une petite redevance. Depuis que les Russes ont conquis cette province, loin de confirmer ce privilège ils en ont non seulement interdit la jouissance mais ont même retenu quelques centaines de millier de chevaux, de bêtes à cornes et de brebis, avec les heroines qui en avaient eu la garde.
Un second fait qui fut cité c'est qu'au lieu d'admettre d'après lea traités les sujets mixtes en Pologne, ceux du territoire autrichien ont été arrêtés aux frontières par lea Russes et l'entrée ne leur a été accordée qu'en signant l'engagement de rester pour toujours en Russie. ]e tâchai de convaincre Mr. de H[udelist] que la guerre dans le moment présent serait le plus grand des malheurs, qu'il fallait surtout songer aux flammes rtvolutionnaires qui encore couvent sous les cendres. Je lui représentai l'état de l'Italie tant par rapport au sentiment général de ce pays, qui désire l'indépendance et qui est contraire à la domination Autrichienne, que surtout par rapport à Murat et des relations qu'il conserve probablement (malgré l'apparence du contraire affectée par Napoléon), avec le ci-devant Empereur des Français. J'ajoutai que les habitants de la rive gauche du Rhin et ceux même du sud de l'Allemagne étaient prêts a la révolte parce qu'au lieu d'avoir recueilli le fruit de la victoire et de la paix ils étaient ou plus opprimés que par le passé, au point que plusieurs des provinces provisoirement occupies par les différentes trouppes se plaignaient d'avoir quatre lois payé durant l'année les taxes énormes imposées auparavant par les Français! Je suis fermement convaincu, d'un côté que l'Europe ne saurait rester en paix si l'Empereur de Russie veut, l'épée à la main, décider de ses intérêts sans écouter les autres Puissances qui lui opposent la sainteté des traités. Cet état de choses deviendrait encore plus intolerable encore, si la Prusse, soit par le penchant personnel de son Roi, soit parce que la Russie favorise ses vues, que toutes les autres Cours désapprouvent, devenait un instrument dent cette dernière Puissance pourrait se servir à volonté. Mais lors même qu'on regarderait la guerre comme inévitable, je suis convaincu qu'il serait d'un intérêt immense d'en différer l'explosion. Je dirai plus: lors même que nous dussions nous considérer dès ce moment même comme en état de guerre, je suis convaincu que la manière la plus avantageuse de la faire, ce sera de gagner du terns et d'endormir la Russie. Dans le moment présent elle est préparée à la faire. Ses troupes sent rassemblées et ses chefs ont appris à faire la guerre sans argent.
Il faut surtout songer que si la guerre éclate sous les circonstances présentes, que les Polonais se battront pour la liberté, les Russes pour la conquête, tous deux des objets faits pour les enflammer. Plus tard la haine la plus mortelle divisera ces deux nations, et l'Empereur de Russie en réunissant ses anciennes provinces Polonaises au duché de Varsovie, coupera son Empire, tôt ou tard, une partie vitale qui a fait de la Russie un pays Européen, et il s'attirera en Russie même des embarras qui le paralyseront pour longtems; les Russes eux-mêmes ne feront plus les sacrifices pour une cause qu'ils désapprouvent tous, qu'ils ont portée pour le salut de leur patrie. Ajoutons que les Prussiens se battront mieux aujourd'hui, si leur gouvernement leur fera croire, ce qui n'est pas le cas, qu'on veut leur ravir leur juste part aux fruits de la victoire, que lorsqu'ils verront qu'on ne refuse nullement à leur valeur ce qui a été stipule par les traités, mais qu'il s'agit de ne pas empiéter sur les droits d'autrui, ou de voir la Prusse s'abaisser à devenir une province Russe. Les dangers dent nous menace l'état de la France et Napoléon devraient surtout donner du poids aux arguments de ceux qui voudraient conserver la paix, du moins pour quelque terns.
-- Mr. de H[udelist] ne parut guère convaincu par ces arguments et m'assura que ce n'était que la poltronnerie de Mr. de Metternich qui différait la guerre; que l'Empereur aimerait mieux la faire aujourd'hui qu'au bout de six mois; que la plupart des Ministres pensaient de même; et que l'armée brulait du désir de punir l'arrogance des Russes. Quant à l'Italie, ce croit que l'Autriche n'aurait à craindre en y laissant 80 mille hommes des cent trente mille qu'elle y avait aujourd'hui.
Le tableau des forces, que le Prince Metternich s'est fair présenter porte l'armée Autrichienne avec les Bavarois à 630,000. Il se pourrait bien que l'Autriche se trompa elle-même sur l'état de sos armements, comme elle l'a si souvent fair, et qu'elle ne songea pas à l'immenso différence qu'on trouvera toujours entre les hombres de ses soldats sur ses listes et de ceux qu'elle peut conduire devant l'ennemi. -- L'Autriche doit avoir à hommes en Galicie. Les Bavarois avaient offert de marcher deux divisions vers Bayreuth. On dit que les Russes ont de beaucoup diminué leurs trouppes en Pologne.
Je n'ai encore pu approfondir quelle est la reponse que la Russie a donné au Prince de Hardenberg sur la Pologne. J'ai, je crois, réussi de convaincre Czartorysky de la nécessité de négocier sur les questions qui se lient à celle de la Pologne conjoinctement, et que sans un arrangement relativement à la Saxe rien ne serait terminé au Congrès. Je tâcherai de tirer la chose au clair, mais si je n'y réussis pas, je croirai ne pas oser retenir le courrier que Lord Castlereagh a mis a ma disposition pour avertir le Gouvernement Hannoverien sur l'état des affaires.
November 28, 1814.
Je viens de voir le Prince Czartorysky et Stein. La réponse de l'Empereur de Russie est telle que je l'avais prévue d'après men entretien avec le premier de ces ministres: l'Empereur veut faire de Thorn et de Cracovie des points neutres, des villes libres en leur dormant un Rayon et en cédant une ligne du côté de la Silésie. Je sais d'avance que l'Autriche n'acceptera pas cette condition. Metternich est dans ce moment avec le Chancelier de Prusse. J'ai dit à Stein et à Czartorysky que j'étais loin de discuter avec eux sur la justice de la question, que je n'étais en tout cela qu'un particulier assez heureux de posséder la confiance des gouvernements intéressés et pénétré des malheurs que la guerre amènerait sur l'Europe. Ils parurent l'un et l'autre surpris de la probabilité de la guerre et Czartorysky insistait surtout à dire que la Grande-Bretagne pourrait l'empêcher, en déclarant à l'Autriche qu'elle ne l'assisterait d'aucune façon. Je lui dis simplement qu'il serait difficile de se déclarer centre une puissance qui paraissait avoir les traités en sa faveur et qui, de l'opinion des autorités militaires, n'osait pas céder au-delà de ce qu'elle avait fait. Tous les deux se récrièrent sur la folie de l'Autriche qui perdrait la Galicie au premier coup de canon. J'ai simplement observé que la Saxe et la rive gauche du Rhin se perdraient de l'autre côté et que le sort de toute l'Europe serait en danger.
Les choses en sent venues à une crise assez omineuse pour que l'on songe sérieusement au parti qu'il faudra prendre si la guerre éclate. Pour juger de cette question il faut tâcher de prévoir jusqu'à où le feu de la guerre pourrait s'étendre?
L'Autriche et la Grande-Bretagne ont offert à la Prusse de lui assurer toute la Saxe au cas qu'elle voudrait se ranger de notre côté dans la question Polonaise. Malgré cette offre, malgré que l'intérêt le plus clair devrait lui dieter cette ligne pour sa conduite, je n'ai aueune raison de croire que la Prusse le suivra. Si la guerre aura lieu entre l'Autriche et la Russie, le Roi de Prusse ne se déclarera certainement pas contre l'Empereur Alexandre. Pourrat-il rester neutre? J'en doute, puisque la question de la Saxe est trop intimement liée avec celle de la Pologne et parce que la Prusse occupe la totalité de ce pays, que ni l'Autriche, ni la France, ni la Bavière ne veulent lui laisser. De l'autre côté, si la guerre éclate, ne nous trompous pas au point de eroire que le Roi de France, même s'il le voulait, pourrait éviter d'y prendre part. Il devra occuper la rive gauche du Rhin en autant que les Prussiens l'occupent. De là naîtra un danger trop grand pour les Pays-Bas et pour la Hollande, pour que l'Angleterre puisse rester neutre. Se ranger du côté de la Russie dans cette cause serait impossible: il faudrait done qu'elle se metre sans délai bien avec la France, c'est-à-dire sur un pied assez intime à pouvoir s'entendre cordialement avec elle sur la limite des Pays-Bas et de la Belgique. Cette intimité ne sera jamais bien établie tant que Murat reste sur le trône de Naples. Les Bourbons doivent l'y regarder comme un épouvantail qu'on conserve pour garde afin de se mênager une ressource contre eux. Le Prince Metternich a trop souvent defendu l'existence politique de Napoleon par l'argument qu'il était nécessaire contre la Russie. Il l'a laissé tomber à regret l'année passée et aujourd'hui encore il redoute moins Murat Naples et Napoléon à l'Ile d'Elbe que de voir les Bourbons en Italic!
Il me semble absolument essentiel d'en venir avee l'Autriche et la France à un accommodement sur ce point; ce n'est qu'après cette mesure qu'on pourra convenir de bonne foi sur un arrangement relativement à la Belgique et la rive gauche du Rhin.
J'en viens à la question: ce que nous aurons à faire relativement à l'Hannovre. Je n'ai pas pu tirer au clair si l'armée de Bennigsen a commencé sa marehe vers la Russie. Le 18 Novembre elle en avait l'ordre, mais l'execution en fur différée jusqu'au retour d'un courrier expédié en Suiède. A Hannovre on sera à même d'en avoir davantage.
Ce serait ce corps de trouppes Russes qui nous menacerait, surtout si la Russie et la Prusse nous regardaient comme ennemis. J'ignore si l'Angleterre et la Hollande pourront garder une attitude de neutralité; je le désirerais, mais quel que soit le parti que la Grande Bretagne adoptera, nous devrons pour l'Hannovre rester étroitement liés avec elle et la Hollande. Il sera important de ne pas trahir de l'inquiétude ou d'en répandre. Mais il est également important d'empêcher que les trouppes qui se trouvent dans le Hannovre ne soyent couples de celles qui sont dans la Belgique. Nous ne pouvons pas défendre notre pays seul; l'armée Anglo-
Hannoverienne sous le Prince d'Orange le pourra, et c'est à elle que nous devons réunir ce qui nous reste de trouppes en cas de danger. J'ose espérer que la Grande-Bretagne nous mettra au moins en continuant les subsides, de faire continuer nos trouppes qui se trouvent avec l'armée Anglaise dans leur position actuelle.
Après avoir conféré avec Lord Casthreagh, j'ai jugé nécéssaire de mettre S. A. Royale Monseigneur le Duc de Cambridge et notre Cabinet au fait, en leur communiquant, sous le sceau du secret, copie de cette depêche. Le Duc fera prendre les mesures nécéssaires, dent je ne saurais juger puisque j'ignore la position des Russes et celle des Prussiens à Minden et en Ost-Frise. La perte de la Saxe et du Rhin ferait bien vite revenir la Prusse sur les cessions qu'elle nous a fâites et auxquelles nous avions droit de nous attendre.
Je finis cette dépêche par le désir ardent que la paix puisse être conservée. Votre Altesse Royale daignera donner les ordres nécessaires à son Gouvernement Hannoverien. Il nous importe surtout que nous ne donnions pas l'alarme, pour qu'on ne tombe pas sur nous plus tit qu'il sera absolument necessaire de renoncer à une attitude pacifique.
J'ose encore ajouter deux données sur les souverains Jacobins qui nous restent en Europe. On m'assure ici que Charles-Jean a offert aux Turcs il y a six mois de faire cause commune avec eux en cas qu'ils auraient la guerre centre la Russie. On pourrait donc le voir en Finlande. Murat de son côté a offert ses services au Roi de France; Talleyrand a communiqué sa lettre au Prince Metternich.
(ii) Vienna, November 30, 1814.
Lord Castlereagh ayant eu la complaisance de me céder un de ses couriers pour le faire retourner à Londres par Hannovre, je l'ai expédié avant-hier afin de mettre notre gouvernement sur ses gardes pour le casque la guerre eût lieu entre l'Autriche et la Russie. Ces dépêhes ne pouvant manquer d'arriver à Londres peu de jours après Mr. Canning, qui deft se mettre aujourd'hui en route par Bruxelles, je me borne à mettre sous les yeux de Votre Altesse royale un extrait d'une lettre confidentielle que je lui ai adressé. Il m'est impossible de tracer la marche que je crois devoir Lui recommander pour l'Hannovre sans discuter la question: quels sent dans la crise actuelle les vrais rapports de la Grande Bretagne, vis-à-vis des autres Puissances continentales--et quelle devrait être sa marche politique? Si j'ai énoncé men opinion que la Grande Bretagne ne pourait pas rester spectatrice tranquille de la lutte qui va s'engager--cette opinion était fondée sur la circonstance qu'il est plus que probable que la Prusse se verra entraînée dans la guerre tant par l'occupation de la totalité de la Saxe Royale, dont elle ne veut pas démordre, que par le désir qu'elle a de se défaire de ses possessions Polonaises afin d'en obtenir une compensation dans des provinces moins exposées et plus son gré. Ce désir seul met la Prusse en opposition avec les principes que toutes les Puissances Européennes devraient soutenir centre la Russie. Il ne faut passe dissimuler que la disposition personelle du Roi de Prusse l'assujettit à la dictàe d'Alexandre. J'ai dû considérer comme une suite naturelle de ces données que la Prusse se rangerait du côté de la Russie. La France dans sa situation présente ne peut rester neutre désque deux ou trois des grandes Puissances se trouveront en guerre. Le cri de la nation est trop prononcé pour que Louis 18 puisse se dispenser de le calmer en revendiquant une pattie du territoire sur la rive gauche du Rhin. C'est ici que je dois développer d'avantage rues idées sur la mainère dent un pareil plan pourait s'exécuter. L'une et la plus naturelle serait de se rendre mâitresse du territoire occupé par la Prusse entre Meuse et Rhin.
Mais il ne faut passe dissimuler qu'il y aurait une autre voye pour la France de parvenir à son but. Ce serait par une alliance avec la Russie laquelle dans le cas supposé, on transigerait sur la Belgique--ou même sur le territoire destiné à la Prusse en promettant à celle-ci des compensations plus commodes--par exemple le Hannovre. Il ne faut passe dissimuler que l'alliance Russe serait beaucoup plus populaire en France qu'une union avec la Cour d'Autriche, qui est aujourd'hui un objet de haine à Paris, tandis que les générosités d'Aléxandre, bien que prodiguées au dépens d'autres, lui ont fait des partisans.
J'ai assés d'indices pour être persuadé que le Russie brigue l'alliance de la France. Un pareil malheur serait trop énorme pour ne pas justifier des precautions même un peu prématurées. J'ai parlé dans men très humble rapport de la nécessité de s'entendre avec la France sur le sort de Naples et sur celui de Napoléon. Je dois ajouter à ce que j'ai dit une notion que j'ai recueillie, et qui prouve le mauvais usage que les ennemis de l'Angleterre font de la condéscendence qu'elle a eu pour les appréhensions de l'Autriche, en ne pas brusquant Murat au point de rallumer la guerre en Italie. Voici comment on l'explique--on dit que l'Angleterre vise, comme l'Autriche, à conserver un moyen de troubler de nouveau le repos de la France et surtout qu'elle tâche se prévaloir de l'existence politique de Murat pour avoir la suprématie de la Méditerranée, la Sicile devant rester à son pouvoir tant que Naples se trouvera entre les mains des Jacobins couronnés. Je le répète, il est de la dernière nécessité de s'entendre avec la France, sans quoi elle s'alliera avec la Russie. Cette alliance lui assurerait deux grands intérêts, celui d'écarter l'Autriche de l'Italie en disposant de ce pays à son gré et de rendre à la France la Belgique et la rive gauche du Rhin. Ces deux objets seraient tellement populaires en France que le Roi Louis 18 assure-t-il son règne à toujours. Que fair-on de l'autre côté pour ménager ce Prince? On traite sa mission avec le même soupçon comme si Napoléon se trouvait à sa tête et souvent, on lui dispute mime la concurrence que nulle Puissance, du premier ordre, ne peut abandonner lorsqu'il est question de l'équilibre politique de l'Europe.
J'ai eu hier des entretiens avec le Comte Stadion et le Prince Metternich. J'ai été bien aise de les trouver tous los deux de men opinion sur le point qu'il faudrait éviter pour le moment l'éclat de la guerre, même dans le casque l'on devrait se regarder en effet comme sur un pied hostile vis-à-vis la Russie. Stadion partageait de même en tout men opinion sur Naples. Le Prince Metternich veut au contraire que le Congrès en se séparant ne se prononce pas sur ce point et que les Puissances qui ont reconnu Murat y persévèrent de mime que celles qui sent dans le cas contraire. Je ne déciderai pas si les ennemis de Metternich ne lui font pas tord en attribuant sa conduitte à sa partialité pour M. Murat. Le Ministre d'Autriche à Naples c'est le Comte de Mier--confident de cette aventure! Mais je n'ai aucun doute que la déchéance de Murat devrait être clairement prononcée au Congrès. Quant à Bonaparte, un article de la Gazette de Vienne de la date d'hier, est assés remarcable en ce qu'il prouve que Napoléon a ravi injustement cette possession au Prince Ludovisi. Je crois qu'on ne se fâcherait pas ici si la France ou l'Angleterre faisaient enlever Napoléon.
Quant aux affaires de l'Allemagne le Prince Metternich se déclare hautement centre ces cercles, puisqu'il ni voit qu'un moyen d'étendre l'influence de la Prusse dans le nord. Si telle devait être la suite d'une pareille mesure je me rangerai se son côté--surtout sous les circonstances présentes.
Vienna, December 7, 1814.
J'apprends ce moment, que Lord Castlereagh va expédier un courier qui est sur le point de partir. J'ai peu de chose à ajouter à mes très humbles raports de 29 Novembre et 1 Décembre. La réponse du Prince Hardenberg à Metternich sur la médiation, 1 dont il s'était chargé auprès de l'Empereur de Russie, porte que Sa Majesté Impériale en consentant à se désister de Thorn et Cracovie,
1 Note verbale of Hardenberg to Metternich, Dec. 2, 1814: d'Angeberg, Congrès de Vienne. 1941.
en les érigeant en villes indépendantes et neutres, insiste que les questions sur Mayence et sur la Saxe soyent décidé avec celle sur la Pologne, et que Mayence soit destiné à devenir une forteresse de la Ligue Germanique en général et que la totalité de la Saxe Royale reste à la Prusse. Il n'est pas question dans cette réponse ni de Zarnose ni de la frontière en Pologne. Elle a été communiquée au Prince Metternich Vendredi passé, mais aujourd'hui sa réponse n'etait pas rédigée encore. Je sais qu'elle sera négative, surtout sur le point de la Saxe. Malgré cette divergence darts les opinions des principaux cabinets plusieurs de leurs Ministres croyent remarquer des dispositions pacifiques. On assure même que l'Empereur Alexandre serait bien aise si le Roi de Prusse voulait le dégager de Sa promesse relativement à la Saxe.
J'ai vu ce matin sous le sceau du secret ches Metternich le plan du Chancelier de Prusse sur le partage de l'Allemagne et le contreprojèt de l'Autriche. Darts le premier la Prusse se donne toute la Saxe, et la majeure pattie de Hesse-Darmstadt. Celle-ci, elle compte la dédomager sur la rive gauche du Rhin en l'étendant jusqu'à Luxembourg et évitant par là la contiguité de la Prusse avec le territoire Français. L'Autriche prouve darts son contreprojet que la Prusse, même en ne comptant pas la lisière en Pologne, qui est encore en discussion, et en ne lui donnant du royaume de Saxe que les Lusaces, et quelques autres parcelles (renfermant une population de 432,000 âmes) aurait non seulement la population de près de 10 million, à quoi, d'après ses propres calculs, se montait l'état de sa Monarchic en 1805 -- mais qu'il lui reviendrait encore un accroisement de plus de 400,000 âmes. D'après ce calcul il serait clair que la Prusse ne saurait alléguer pour elle la nécessété de détruire la Saxe afin d'obtenir ce que les traités lui ont assuré. L'Autriche a d'autres objections très solides centre ce plan. 1me Elle ne resterait en contact avec l'Allemagne que par la Bavière et la Prusse; et cette dernière, (par le plan qu'elle médite relativement à la division de l'Allemagne en cercles) étendrait son influence sur toute la Hesse, sur les maisons ducales de Saxe et enfin sur tout le herd de l'Allemagne, à l'exception du cercle qui tomberait sous l'influence de l'Hannovre. Cette perspective serait trop menaçante pour tout le nord de l'Allemagne et surtout pour les intérêts de Votre Altesse Royale pour ne pas me décider à accéder l'opinion de Metternich, qui tâche de parer le coup en revenant entièrement sur les cercles et en ne voulant plus que des divisions militaires.
N'ayant vu le plan qu'un moment je ne puis en parler en détail. Le partage qui nous concerne ne parait point changé. On nous assigne encore l'Ostfrise en se reservant une lisière pour réunir le Ecchsfeld aux autres possessions prussiennes. . . . [Princess of Wales has taken a house at Naples for 6 months.]
Vienna, June 3, 1815.
. . . J'ai peu de choses à dire sur la politique en général. La terminaison glorieuse de la campagne d'Italie est une chose de la dernière importance pour le bien être général de l'Europe. Elle ne laissera pas d'allumer la jalousie des Puissances qui envient l'Autriche la suprématie en Italie. Mais le poids que l'extinction de ce foyer d'intrigues lui ajoute, ne saurait qu'?tre salutaire. Je me flatte que le système de la France, lots même que le Roi remonterait sur le trône, ne changera pas essentiellement par cette jalousie, car ce que l'Autriche gagne d'un côté en Italie la maison de Bourbon le gagne de l'autre, on voyant rendre le trône de Naples l'une de ses branches.
Je fais mention de cette circonstance puisque je connais les données sur lesquelles plusieurs personnes ont basé, depuis quelque tems, le soupçon que le Prince Talleyrand avait été gagné par l'Empereur de Russie.
J'ai tâché de m'éclairer sur ce fait qui est d'autant plus important que ce Ministre jouit d'une grande influance sur les affaires de France et qu'on n'ose douter de l'autre que l'Empereur Alexandre tient de nouveau à routes ses idées de Régence sous Marie Louise et peut-être même d'un protectorat sous Bernadette!
Je crois que l'idée de donner la couronne au duc d'Orléans n'est que subordonnée au premier plan et pour le casque celui-ci ne pût s'exécuter. De la manière dent j'ai ammené cette matière dans ma conversation avec le Prince Talleyrand et de la façon dent il l'a traitée, je ne crois pas qu'il ait caché sa véritable façon de penser. J'ai trouvé qu'il défend toujours sa thèse qu'il faudrait tâcher de transiger avec les Jacobins -- hérésie que j'ai combattue derechef par les argumens exposés dans le mémoire que j'ai eu l'honneur d'envoyer le 23 avril à Votre Altesse Royale. Mais cette thèse, il la soutient toujours comme le moyen de faire remonter le Roi sur le trône. Dans cette discussion il traitait les projets de l'Empereur Alexandre avec peu de ménagement et ne leur attribuait d'autre motif que celui de vouloir s'arroger de plus en plus la direction des affaires de l'Europe qui ne sauraient sortir d'un état d'agitation sous une régence. Quant au Duc d'Orléans Talleyrand lui est décidément contraire, et il prétend même que son parti est peu important en France. Il se servit même de l'expression que l'échaffaud, si bien mérité par son père, ne devait jamais servir de marche au ills pour reenter sur le trU+0F4ne.
Une seconde conversation que j'ai eue au sujet de l'article insété par le Ministre de Suede dans la Gazette de Hambourg du 28 May (article qui est directement contraire aux Bourbons) m'a confirmée dans l'opinion que Talleyrand ne favorisera point les projets de la Russie. Il me répéta à cette occasion que l'Empereur
Alexandre ne favorisait Bernadotte qu'afin d'entretenir en France un état d'agitation qui servirait toujours de motif à ce souverain, pour s'emmiscer dans les affaires de l'Europe et pour différer le retour de l'ordre qui ne convient plus à ses nouvelles habitudes.
Votre Altesse Royale saura sans doute de quelle manière Bernadotte s'agite pour prendre part aux affaires de France. On dit qu'il désapprouve beaucoup que le Ministre de Suède ait signé la nouvelle déclaration du Congrès. Je conjure Votre Altesse Royale de ne pas accorder à la Suède les moyens pour envoyer de nouveau des trouppes sur le continent -- au lieu d'être utiles elles ne serviraient qu'à épuiser nos resources et à fomenter des troubles.
(v) Mémoire confidentielle sur les affaires de France par rapport à la conduite politique que devraient tenir les Cours Alliées.
Paris, August 17, 1815.
Votre Altesse Royale m'a ordonné de Lui communiquer men opinion, sur les rapports actuellement existans, entre les Puissances Alliées et la France, ainsi que sur les conditions, qui devroient servir de base, à la paix future.
J'ai différé cette tâche jusqu'à la fin de men sejour à Paris, tent pour être à même de recueillir les notions nécessaires que pour m'instruire, sur les vues des différentes Cours.
L'union parfaite des Cabinets sur les moyens propres à detruire le pouvoir révolutionnaire, qui venoit de s'emparer de nouveau du trône de France, et l'énergie déployée dans l'application des moyens, one ammené des succès très glorieux. Maîtres de la Capitale et des plus belles provinces de France, avec huit cent mille hommes darts ce pays, dent l'armée est ou détruite ou licentiée, les Alliés seroient sans doute à même, d'y établir tel ordre de choses qu'ils jugeront le plus propre, pour assurer, sur des bases solides, le repos futur de l'Europe.
Mais l'union, qui a ammené le succès de la campagne, a cessé de guider les conseils des Cabinets allies. On n'est pas d'accord sur la question, si le but de la guerre est obtenue ou non; beaucoup moins encore, sur les moyens qu'il faudroit choisir, pour assurer la durée des avantages remportées.
Je bornerai l'analise des diverses opinions, manifestées sur ces questions, aux mémoires dennis par les Ministres et généraux des quatre grandes Puissances alliées. C'est une appellation, qui a commencé à s'introduire dans la diplomatie, depuis la paix de Paris; epoque à laquelle, on professoit, vouloir rendre hommage, aux droits des plus foibles et de faire cesser l'ascendant destructeur de la simple prépondérance.
L'origine, ou du moins l'une des causes de la différence des opinions, qui se manifeste aujourd'hui, doit se rechercher, dans la divergence des principes qui s'est trahie, dès le moment, que le trône de Louis XVIII. fut de nouveau ébranlé. Le principal danger de l'usurpation de Bonaparte, se trouvait dans l'atteinte qu'il portoit à la légitimité, et dans le retour des principes destructeurs des Jacobins. Mais il a paru à plusieurs Cours, qu'on ne devoit pas faire la guerre à la France, pour l'obliger à reconnoître Louis XVIII. L'Angleterre même a cru devoir en cette occasion, faire hommage au prétendu principe; qu'un peuple a toujours le droit de changer la forme de son gouvernement. De là la tentative de Napoléon après sa défaite, de céder la couronne à son fils, ainsi que les diverses propositions des députés françois, au quartier général des Alliés.
Les doutes qui existoient sur les projets, qu'on pourroit nourrir à l'égard du pouvoir suprême en France, ont fait accélérer le retour du Roi à Paris.
Les Alliés avoient déclaré la guerre à Napoléon et à ses adhérens. La France presqu'entière, s'étoit identifiée avec ce parti, en lui prêtant contre nous, des secours volontaires ou peut-être forcés, mais toujours généraux. Les Royalistes même étoient coupables par leur submission passive.
Le mémoire du Duc de Wellington dit: que le parti du Roi avoit beaucoup contribué au prompt succès de la campagne, il ajoute même: qu'il seroit ridicule de supposer, que les Alliés eussent pu avancer, en si peu de jours, qu'ils l'ont fait, sur Paris, si le peuple n'avoit pas été pour le Roi. C'est sans doute un témoignage auquel on ne sauroit refuser une foi plénière. Mais on osera répliquer, que la soumission passive des François bien disposés, a du moins autant accéléré les succès de Bonaparte, que les nôtres. Si le peuple avoit fait son devoir, auroit-il pu marcher, en vingt jours, de Cannes à Paris? lui n'avoit d'abord que quelques milliers d'hommes; notre armée victorieuse en comptoit 150,000.
La France n'étoit guère subjugée à l'entrée du Roi à Paris, et les Alliés se trouvoient dans la situation bizarre, d'être en paix, ou même en alliance, avec Lui, et en guerre avec son peuple.
De là les discussions sur l'administration des provinces, sur le droit de faire des réquisitions.
Dans cet état choses, comment les mêmes Cours, qui avoient déclaré, ne pas vouloir faire la guerre uniquement pour soutenir les droits de Louis XVIII., croyent-elles aujourd'hui ne pas être autorisés par des considérations purement personelles au Roi, à demander à la France, les conditions que la sûreté de l'Europe paroit exiger? On prétend: que le but de la guerre est atteint par la chute du pouvoir de Bonaparte, et que les déclarations des Cours alliées, et leur traité du 25 Mars, les obligent à se borner aux stipulations du traité de Paris, telles qu'elles ont été complettées, par le recès de Vienne. J'examinerai cette question, d'abord sous le point de vue du droit, et ensuite sous celui de la politique.
Quant au droit, je ne saurai que souscrire au raisonnement logique, contenu dans le mémoire du Baron de Humboldt. La déclaration du 13 Mars, fut dirigée contre Napoléon, lorsqu'il ne se trouvoit à la tête que de quelques milliers de complices; de là au traité d'Alliance, les Puissances n'ont fait que publier le rapport d'une Commission nommée pour examiner la question, s'il faudroit donner une déclaration ultérieure, par rapport aux événemens qui avoient replacé Napoléon sur le trône? La réponse a été négative.
Le traité du 25 Mars, a admis Louis XVIII. au nombre des Alliés. Mais il s'est trouvé, qu'il n'avoit nul secours à Ses ordres, Ses proclamations disent même, qu'il a défendu aux Princes de Sa maison, de combattre contre la France; la Grande Bretagne la première, a limité les droits que l'Article 8me du traité donnoit au Roi de France, et toutes les autres Cours y ont accedé. Le fait est: que toute la discussion devient oiseuse. Soyons de bonne foi. Il semble que toutes les Cours concourent à montrer au Roi de France les égards que les circonstances permettent: mais qu'aucune d'elles ne Le traite vraiment en souverain allié. Sa Capitale même, est sous le gouvernement militaire des étrangers, et on continue à assiéger les forteresses, malgré que le pavilion blanc soit déployé de leurs tours, tant qu'elles ne se rendront pas aux conditions, prescrittes par les Alliés, et sans le concours du Roi de France.
Cette anomalie provient, comme je l'ai dit, de ce que nous sommes en paix avec le Roi seul, mais non avec la France. Personne n'a plus que moi désiré, à l'époque du 25 Mars, de voir le principe clairement établi, qu'on feroit la guerre aux François rebelles, pour soutenir les droits sacrés de la légitimité.
On a craint d'offenser par là le grand parti, affecté de la manie du siècle, celle de faire de nouvelles constitutions. Toujours la guerre a été déclarée, à Napoléon et à ses adhérens. En effet, quel avantage aurions-nous remporté, en n'abattant Napoléon, que pour mettre le Jacobinisme victorieux à sa place? Le seul mérite que Bonaparte ait eu, ce fut d'avoir délivré le monde de Jacobins. Qu'est-il arrivé? Simultanément avec le rassemblement des armées, le Prince de Talleyrand a commencé à travailler sur un plan, qui avoit pour but de transiger avec les Jacobins. Il ne s'en est pas caché. Il a hautement déclaré qu'il falloit s'allier à un parti actif, et qu'il n'y avoit dans le parti du Roi que des gens ou incapables ou pacifiques. Ce parti actif, a-t-il donc facilité la conquête? Certainement non; à, moins qu'on donne du prix aux sourdes menées d'un Fouché. Son parti a continué à exercer des actes de trahison, lots même que Paris avoit été livré aux Alliés. Il doit constamment tenir la Cour dans l'allarme, afin de se rendre toujours nécessaire. Il n'y a pas huit jours, que le Journal, l'Indépendant, auquel Fouché avoit part, a osé dire, que Labédoyère n'avoit fait que choisir entre un souverain de 15 ans, et un souverain de 11 mois!
Plût au ciel que les Alliés se fussent strictement tenus à leur déclaration de vouloir faire la guerre à Napoléon et à ses adhérens. Mais ils n'ont abattu que lui, et quelque peu de traîtres. Le parti révolutionnaire est resté, dans le Gouvernement même. Maîtres de 800,00 hommes, en France, nous aurions dû détruire le Jacobinisme et les Jacobins jusque dans leurs demires ramifications; ils s'toient tous fait connotre. Le mal d'exiler, ou même de détruire quelques milliers de gens criminels, ou dangereux, est-il comparable à la destruction, causée par une bataille de Waterloo?
C'est ici que gît le fonds véritable de notre désunion. Le plus ou le moions de confiance, qu'on croit pouvoir accorder à la durée de l'ordre présent des choses, porte les uns à exiger plus, les autres à vouloir moins de gages de sûreté. Si on avoit terminé la révolution de la manière indiquée, L'Europe auroit pu se promettre la paix, et on auroit pu se passer de discuter, s'il falloit pour sa sûreté, arracher des provinces ou démolir des forteresses Françoises?
Depuis qu'on a permis au Roi de transiger avec les Jacobins, que la France se trouve sous un nouveau Major Domo, dans la personne de l'hideu Fouché, qu'on a donné, (pour plaire aux faiseurs de constitutions) plus d'extension à l'acte constitutionel dans des circonstances, qui auroient engagé tout gouvernement sage, à suspendre les formes constitutionelles, toute la question change de face.
Qu'on ne dise pas qu'on a été forcé à cette mesure; qu'il n'y a pas en France assez de gens intègres et actifs, pour conduire les affaires de l'état. Cette assertion ne peut être vraie, lorsqu'on parle d'un peuple éclairé, et qui n'est pas sans exemple de vertu publique, qui en a un modèle sur le trône même. Pour ajouter foi à une telle assertion, il faut en croire les factieux, qui représentent tous les amis du Roi, sous l'appellation burlesque "de voltigeurs de Louis XV.," comme des imbéciles décrépités. Mais ii n'est pus étonnant que des gens intègres, ne voudront pas s'associer à des régicides et à des gens déshonorés. 1
1 Note by Münster: Pour donner une preuve, qu'il est impossible de s'attendre à un changement sincère dans la disposition des révolutionnaires et combien il est par conséquent imprudent de composer avec eux, on n'a qu'à jetter un regard sur les acquéreurs des biens nationaux. Le Roi, pour les contenter, a donné les assurances les plus solemnelles, il a été jusqu'à mécontenter les victimes de leur loyauté, qui avoient sacrifiés leurs biens dans Sa cause. Cela a-t-il tranquillisé les acquéreurs? bien loin de là; -- ce sont eux qui intriguent contre le Roi, pour ammener un changement. Ne voudroit-il pas mieux frapper le coup, et les priver de leurs biens mal acquis ?
On n'ose plus se flatter aujourd'hui, qu'après six semaines de séjour à Paris les Alliés voudront revenir sur leurs pas, et terminer la Révolution Française, en détruisant le Jacobinisme? Il faudra donc considérer l'état de la France vis-à-vis de nous, tel qu'il est.
Peu de personnes en France, croyent à la stabilité de l'ordre actuel des choses. Ces gens à talent, dont on a cru devoir se servir pour rétablir l'ordre, soutiendront mal le trône des Bourbons. Mais lors même qu'ils le feroient, de pareils soutiens offriroient un foible gage pour la tranquillité future de l'Europe. Ecoutons l'auteur de l'Histoire de la Révolution du 20 Mars 1815. Il dit page 4me: "L'idée d'une Puissance légitime, n'est plus comprise en France, que dans le sens nouveau d'une puissance, voulue par le peuple, établie par le peuple etc. Le souverain légitime, est celui qui se trouve à la tête de ce contrat, bon ou mauvais, bien ou mal exécuté, et vouloir disputer sur ce subjet avec la jeunesse actuelle, autant voudroit-il faire reculer les Alpes."
Les quatre partis en France, dont parle cet auteur, les Jacobins, les Constitutionels, le pouvoir militaire, et les Royalistes, se disputeront de nouveau le pouvoir suprême, et ces derniers, auront à combattre de plus l'accusation, que le Roi a été imposé par les Puissances alliàes à la France, et que c'est pour atteindre ce but, qu'elle souffre sous une invasion ennemie.
Les Alliés ont traité la France, comme le Génàral des Samnites traita l'armée romaine réduite en son pouvoir. Il demanda conseil à son père. "Tués les tous," fut sa réponse. Cela lui parut trop cruel. "Mettés les donc tous en liberté" reprit le père. Cet extrême lui parut trop modéré. Il se décida à insulter l'armée romaine, en la faisant passer sous le joug. Les suites sont connues. Nous avons agi de même. Le séjour de nos armées en France irrite au dernier degré un peuple naturellement vain et orgueilleux d'une longue suite de victoires. Nous devons prévoir avec certitude une nouvelle attaque, ne fût-ce que pour venger l'affront; avec cette conviction, nous sommes trop délicats, sur les mesures de précaution, qui deviennent nécessaires. Le mémoire du Duc de Wellington admet que la France est trop puissante pour la sûreté de ses voisins, mais il déconseille de l'affoiblir par des cessions territoriales, en alléguant, que la séparation de la Belgique et de la rive gauche du Rhin et le peu de disposition montrée par le Roi pour les reconquérir, avoit été l'une des principales causes du succès de l'entreprise de Bonaparte. Ce motif ne continue-t-il pas d'exister, et n'amménera-t-il pas de nouvelles guerres? Tout le monde convient, qu'il n'y a pas un François, de quel parti qu'it soit, qui ne songe à reconquérir ces provinces. Ne pouvant raisonnablement les rendre à la France, et voyant par l'expérience, que la foi des traités ne suffit pas pour les assurer, il devient indispensable de songer à de nouvelles garanties. Le mémoire du
Prince de Metternich a rappellé avec raison, que la France monarchique a été conquérante, tout comme la France révolutionnaire. Toutes les Cours conviennent de la nécessité de se procurer des garanties. La plus part des opinions sent contraires à un démembrement, tellement considérable, qu'il pourroit changer l'état de possession établi par le Congrès de Vienne. Je suis du même avis, persuadé que l'union des Cabinets finiroit au renouvellement des discussions sur un nouveau partage de provinces. Mais un pareil revirement ne seroit nullement la suite nécessaire d'un nouvel arrangement de frontié8res, qui n'auroit pas pour objet l'agrandissement de tel ou tel état mais la sûreté de tous. C'est sur cette question surtout que se manifeste une suite fâcheuse, de ce que les grandes Puissances ne consultent pas avec leurs Alliés, sur une question qui les intéresse principalement. C'est l'Allemagne qui a été constamment la victime de l'esprit de conquête de la France. L'Allemagne comme telle, ne peut devenir dangereuse à la France, tandis que celle-ci appuye des dispositions hostiles par des positions militaires, des forteresses qui la mettent en état de porter à volonté le théâtre de la guerre sur la rive droite du Rhin. Des quatre grandes Cours, il n'y a que la Prusse qui soit limitrophe de la France. 1 Ses demandes pour cette raison, peuvent être moins modérées que celles de l'Autriche. Celle-ci se rappelle cependant, que la position de Strasbourg, conduit les armies Françoises sur lo Danube, sans que rien ne les arrête, la Forêt Noire étant facile à tourner par le Nord et par le Sud. L'Autriche insiste donc sur la démolition de Strasbourg. La Russie, qui ne risque rien ellemême, est la plus généreuse. L'Angleterre, s'intéresse surtout pour les Pays-Bas. Le Duc de Wellington propose l'occupation de 17 forteressess 2 (ou du moins de 13 3 de ce nombre) pour un tems limité, mais il n'en demande aucune, depuis Landau jusqu'a Huninguen, espace sur la quelle, l'Allemagne n'a que Mayence pour défense. Le mémoire de Lord Castlereagh finit par dire: que les Alliés, s'ils se verroient de nouveau provoqués, par l'ambition de la France, pourroient se réunir de nouveau, sous l'avantage des positions qu'ils occuperoient, et forts par cette puissance morale, qui seule peut réunir une pareille Alliance et assurer son succès. Mais osera-t-on jamais se promettre un concert aussi général, que celui qui a produit les heureux résultats de l'an 1814 et 1815. Que seroit-il devenu de l'Europe, si le Congrès de Vienne avoit terminé par une querelle, ou même si sa durée, et l'incertitude
1 Note by Münster:Et celle ci même ne l'est pas strictement parlé.
2 Note by Münster:Lille, Condé, Valenciennes, Le Quénoi, Maubeuge, Philippeville, Givêt, Mezières, Sedan, Montmedi, Longoy, Thionville, Sarrelouis, Sarguemines, Bitche, Landau, Huninguen.
3 Note by Münster:Condé, Valenciennes, Bouchain, Maubeuge, Landreci, Le Quénoi, Avesnes, Rocroi, Philippeville, Givêt, Bitche, Landau, Huninguen.
de son résultat, n'avoit engagé toutes les Puissances, à completter leurs armées et à les mettre sur le meilleur pied possible? Mais supposant même, que tous les moyens dont nous nous sommes servi, se trouvassent de nouveau à notre disposition, que de souffrance et de pertes de tout genre, sont inséparables du passage d'armées nombreuses par un pays! Veut-on de nouveau y assujettir l'Allemagne, après que l'expérience en modération de l'année passée a si mal réussie. On ose hardiment supposer, que si les Cours d'Autriche, de Russie et d'Angleterre pouvoient se trouver dans le cas d'avoir à discuter la question, dont il s'agit, comme ayant à redemander à la France des provinces limitrophes, qui leur auroient été arrachées, qu'elles ne balanceroient pas à les réclamer. Pourquoi l'Allemagne, considérée comme un corps politique, ne les revindiqueroit elle pas? Les Pyrennées, les Alpes et la mer, préscrivent des bornes à l'ambition de la France; pourquoi le Jura, les Vosges et les Ardennes ne rendroient-elles pas à l'Allemagne, les garanties dont jouissent sur un autre point l'Espagne et l'Italie? On a donnt! la Belgique à la maison d'Orange, sans que cette cession ait causé des discussions sur l'état des possessions des grandes Puissances. Qu'on dispose de la même manière des provinces, qu'on ne sauroit laisser avec sûreté à la France.
Mais si les grandes Puissances se refusent à rendre à l'Allemagne, ce qu'elle pouvoit réclamer avec justice et ce qui ne feroit nullement descendre la France du rang d'une des Puissances du premier ordre, qu'on lui ôte du moins les agrandissemens ajoutés à la paix de Paris à ses limites de 1792. L'expérience a prouvé, combien ces cessions ont ôté nuisibles à l'Allemagne, aux Pays Bas et à la Savoye. Dans les Pays Bas, les premières familles ont maintenant des possessions en France et s'attachent par là à son système. En Savoye, les habitans des montagnes, dépendent de ceux des plaines, cédées à la France.
D'après ce que j'ai dit, j'ai suffisament indiqué, que je ne suis pas d'avis, qu'on osera se borner à laisser seulement une armée d'observation alliée en France, et de n'occuper, que pour un tems limité, les places fortes indiquées. L'armée d'observation me paroîtroit nécessaire, ainsi que la cession permanente des points d'attaque.
Quoiqu'on fasse, je suis moralement persuadé qu'on ne portera pas le Roi de France, à consentir de bon gré, aux propositions les plus modérées, indiquées dans les différens mémoires. Celui de Lord Castlereagh observe même avec raison, qu'il faudroit imposer à Sa Majesté, les arrangemens dont on conviendroit, comme des conditions inévitables. Je ne répondrai pas, que ces conditions, bien que trop modérées, celon mon humble avis, n'ammèneront les suites, qu'on paroit craindre, en voulant demander des cessions permanentes.
Le Roi connoit le danger des concessions qu'il faudra nécessairement Lui demander. Il sait, que Sa résistance réuniroit tous tous les partis et Sa lettre au Prince Talleyrand contient même la menace, que, lorsqu' Il ne pouvoit rien faire pour Son peuple, Il Se retireroit en Espagne, espérant que les François sauroient organiser une guerre, semblable à celle, qui avoit soutenue l'indépendance de la Péninsule.
J'ai passé sous silence, les garanties morales dont parle le mémoire de Monsieur le Comte de Capo d'Istria, mais j'ai suffisament montré, que le ne saurai y attacher du prix dans les circonstances présentes. Elles ne me paroissent plus ou moins que cette garantie, vantée dans la lettre du Duc de Vicence à plusieurs Cabinets, lorsqu'il vouloit les rassurer sur le repos de l'Europe, par ce que Napoléon avoit imaginé, "de placer la paix sous le sauve garde de l'honneur François."
Le résumé de l'opinion énoncée dans ce mémoire est : qua les Alliés ont le pouvoir d'établir, relativement à la France, l'ordre des choses qu'ils jugeront nécessaire pour le repos de l'Europe.
Qu'ils ont, outre le pouvoir, le droit de le faire et que les traités existans, ne les en empêchent pas.
Qu'on n'ose se fier aux garanties morales, qui doivent assurer le repos de la France.
Qu'une guerre prochaine, paroit inévitable, à moins qu'on la prévienne, par des moyens plus efficaces, que ceux proposés par plusieurs Cours.
Que l'armée d'observation et la possession temporaire de certaines forteresses, ne suffiroient pas pour atteindre le but. Qu'il faudoit rendre à l'Allemagne ses limites naturelles, ou du moins, se défaire des points militaires d'agression, comme Strasbourg. Qu'en tout cas, il faudroit réduire la frontière de la France, à ce qu'elle étoit en 1792.
(vi) Paris, August 18, 1815.
J'ai l'honneur de Vous présenter ci-joint 1 le resultat de mes réflexions sur les affaires de France. Votre Altesse Royale trouvera que j'ai le malheur de différer de l'opinion de Ses Ministres pour la Grande Bretagne. Il me parait évident que les 4 Cours qui ont discuté entre elles la grande question l'ont chacune jugée d'après leur intérêt particulier mais que celui de l'Allemagne proprement dite a été négligé parce qu'elle n'a pas eu voix en chapitre. Plusieurs Ministres m'ont fait observation que les Pays Bas et le Hannovre n'étaient relativement à la Grande Alliance qu'une partie de l'Angleterre -- et que l'opinion de ces deux Cours serait perdue pour
1 Number (v) above.
le bien de l'Allemagne. Votre Altesse Royal daignera juger d'après tout quelles instructions Elle jugera convenable de donner au Comte de Hardenberg qui devra voter pour le Royaume de Hanovre après que j'aurai quitté Paris. Il serait imprudent de nous attirer la haine de la France sans pouvoir parvenir à convaincre les premieres Puissances qu'elles agissent sur un principe erroné.
J'ai la conviction morale que la grande modération de la Russie tient Ier: à la situation de ses provinces qui n'auront rien à craindre de la France 2 d: à la vanité de l'Empereur qui veut être proné comme libérateur de la France, 3.mement à Son désir de se rapprocher d'elle. Loin d'avoir ressenti l'Alliance du 3 Janvier, 15, Le Roi de France ne reçoit aujourd'hui de l'Empereur Alexandre que des marques d'amitié et d'intérêt.
Personne qui réfléchit sur l'état de l'Europe n'oubliera que la France dolt rester forte pour pouvoir résister à la prépondérance de la Russie. Mais que serait ce sices deux Puissances s'unissaient? J'observe ici que les cessions considérées nécessaires dans mon mémoire seraient loin d'affaiblir la France. Il faut en général abandonner l'idée qu'on pourait réduire la nation Française un état absolu de faiblesse. Elle ne se laissera pas partager, et son sol reproduit routes les années tous et plus qu'il ne lui faut pour être puissante. Les provinces coupées par la ligne de ses frontières vraiment naturelles sont resté allemandes malgré la longue durée de leur séparation. Leur mauvaise conduitte dans la guerre actuelle tient à des causes connues.
J'ai eu des entretiens confidentiels avec Mr. de Gagern et le Général Fagel. Le Roi des Pays Bas envisage la situation des affaires à peu près comme moi. Mais Il croit ne pas oser manifester publiquement Ses voeux [de] crainte d'être accusé de vouloir aggrandir Son territoire après avoir été doté avec une libéralité sans exemple.
Il me reste encore à rendre compte à Votre Altesse Royale de l'entretien particulier avec le Roi de France auquel j'ai été invité par le Prince de Talleyrand. La situation de ce Souverain est vraiment des plus affligeantes. Il daigna m'en tracer le tableau de la manière la plus touchante, puis après avoir montré l'importance du repos de la France, sous le règne de la maison de Bourbon, pour le reste de l'Europe, Sa Majesté parla des obligations personelles qu' Elle Vous devait, Mon Seigneur, et m'engagea à Vous représenter que toutes les cessions qu'on demandrait à la France, meme que ce ne serait que pour un tems limité, rendraient sa position plus difficile; que la nation lui imputerait chaque concession comme une perte encourrue à cause de Son retour au trône. J'aurai cru manquer au devoir d'un honet homme, honoré de la confiance d'un Roi, si je n'avais répondu avec franchise à ce discour--j'aurai même placé Votre Altesse Royale, qui Se trouve obligée par Ses devoirs à tenir une conduite à l'égard de la France différente de celle que le Roi Lui demande, dans une situation pénible vis-à-vis de ce souverain qui réclame Son amitié personelle, si je n'avais indiqué les ditticultés qui se présentent. J'ai donc observé au Roi que l'opinion publique et la voix de la Presse en Angleterre, si puissantes dans ce pays, demandaient hautement des garanties qu'on ne croyait pas trouver clans le choix de quelques personnes en place. Le Roi me reprit : "Vous voulés dire que men ministère, surtout que Fouché n'inspire pas de confiance?" "Oui Sire, lui dis-je cela ne saurait être -- mais je sais ce qui a engagé Votre Majesté à ce choix." Le Roi se plaignit alors que les journaux Anglais après l'avoir autrefois bien servi, le traitaient aujourd'hui avec dureté -- que Fouché lui avait été utile, mais qu'll le faisait observer de près et qu'Il l'avait sous Son pouvoir -- qu'Il avait besoin de rassembler les Chambres avant que de pouvoir agir librement et qu'Il se flattait d'obtenir de bonnes élections. Après avoir promis de faire un rapport fidèle mais secret à Votre Altesse Royale sur cette conversation, le Rei me congédia avec benté mais non sans un peu d'émotion.
P.S. -- Je ne suis pas plus avancé que je ne l'étais il y a huit jours pour notre traité des subsides. Le Duc de Wellington parait indisposé à ce projet. Après tout ce que j'ai vu ici je ne pourai plus proposer à l'avenir à Votre Altesse Royale de consentir que Ses trouppes Allemandes soyent confondues dans l'armée Anglaise. On les traite, quand même plusieurs généraux leur rendraient justice, comme des êtres inférieurs -- d'ailleurs la différence de la solde n'admet pas la même discipline. Je ne crois pas que le Duc de Wellington air jamais vu un seul de nos officiers excepté aux revues et sur le champ de bataille. Hier après un grand diner à l'honneur des nouveaux Chevaliers de l'ordre militaire du Bain le Duc a donné un grand bal auquel la ville et les fauxbourgs ont été invité. Je doute qu'il s'y soit trouvé un seul hanovérien -- ni Hardenberg ni Grote ni moi n'avons été invités -- ce sent là des bagatelles -- mais elles irritent l'esprit des trouppes -- et les suittes ne sent plus des bagatelles.
Jérôme Bonaparte se trouve iciches le Ministre de Wurtemberg. Son Beau-père le réclame pour le garder.
August 18, 1815
Le Général Blomfield ayant différé son depart à demain matin j'ajouterai quelques lignes à ma très humble dépêche. J'ai eu un long entretien avec le Ministre de Russie, Pozzo di Borgo, et avec le Baron Stein, qui a été appellé ici par le Prince Hardenberg pour servir de renfort à ce qu'on appelle la question allemande (c'est dire les sûretés demandées pour la garantie des frontières de co pays). Le Br. de Stein est venu me lire son mémoire qui est en partie tracé sur le mien, dont il m'avait demandé la lecture. En général il est modéré et pour ne pas demander ce que les Cours ne se réuniront pas d'exiger -- il se borne à représenter comme indispensable la cession permanente des places fortes représentées comme formant une base d'opérations agressives contre les voisins de la France.
Le Général Pozzo impute la nomination des Ministres Jacobins, qu'il blâme hautement, à l'Angleterre, mais il persiste à soutenir l'opinion que le Roi parviendra, à l'aide des deux chambres, qui d'après le succès des élections promettent beaucoup en sa faveur, à établir solidement Son pouvoir. Sur cette supposition il base l'espoir du retour de l'ordre en France. Insister sur les conditions proposées par la Prusse, ce serait celon lui, degrader le Roi et boulverser la France.
Le Prince Metternich tient toujours à son opinion -- mais il ajoute qu'il serait très dangereux de laisser à la Russie le mérite d'avoir seule réussi à sauver la France des conditions dures que les autres Cours auraient proposées de lui imposer. Il tient d'ailleurs, avec raison à l'union parfaitte des grandes Cours, et ce que finalement les termes de la paix paraissent être fixées d'un accord commun et entier. Il est à prévoir de là que l'Autriche cédera. La Russie se rangera du côté de l'opinion de la Grande Bretagne. J'ai voulu lire mon mémoire à Lord Castlereagh mais comme la conférence est fixte pour demain matin entre les Ministres des 4 Cours principales, mes observations pouraient bien être tardives. Le Chancelier Prince Hardenberg m'a cependant dit qu'il était résolu de résister et de demander que les principales Cours d'Allemagne soyent écoutées avant qu'on décide la question.
Cette situation des affaires exige que Votre Altesse Royale munisse le Comte Hardenberg de Ses ordres pour le Hannovre. Je conviens de la grande difficulté de la question. Elle jugera des argumens pour ou contre.
P.S.--On m'a encore renvoyé à demain pour l'expédition de nos affaires territoriales avec la Prusse. Le Chancelier n'a pas trouvé le Roi.
Je dois me corriger sur le bal du Duc de Wellington. On me dit qu'il y a eu quelques officiers hanovériens.
Abercorn, Duke of, 151, 178.
Aberdeen, Earl of, 47, 151, 152, 155 159, 163, 165 -178, 180, 183, 185, 188, 189, 200 -202, 208, 209, 211, 230, 253 -255, 257, 264 -265, 276 n, 294.
Abo, 98, 100.
A'Court, Sir William, 74, 314, 315, 397, 405 -407, 527.
Adair, Sir Robert, 86, 87.
Adam, William, 32.
Adam, John Quincy, 97, 99.
Aix-la-Chapelle, 434, 549.
Alexander I., Tsar of Russia: and Austria, 122, 139, 157, 281, 355, 363.
and Bernadotte, 93, 98, 142, 168, 201, 203, 236, 561, 562.
and Capo d'Istria, 334, 410, 459.
and Castlereagh, 53, 63, 125, 149, 162, 183 -185, 200, 203, 213, 214, 216, 218, 236, 241, 246, 248, 279, 282, 290, 293, 296, 329, 340 -342, 345 -349, 352, 354, 355, 363, 372, 373, 379, 382, 384, 385, 414, 422, 428, 429, 463, 464, 466, 468, 471, 476, 481 -484, 495, 505, 508.
and Cathcart, 98, 99, 102, 112, 122, 137, 139, 143, 156, 160, 167, 174, 177, 178, 200, 330, 348, 451.
and Clancarty, 408, 433, 451.
and Czartoryski, 54, 122, 225, 281, 334.
and Ferdinand of Sicily, 313.
and France, 202, 203, 266, 280, 459, 462, 466, 471, 570.
and Francis I., 362, 481.
and Frederick William III., 320, 342, 348, 349, 481, 556, 558, 560.
Alexander I., Tsar of Russia: and Hardenberg, 349, 354, 355, 357, 362, 363.
and Jomini, 154.
and Lady Castlereagh, 361, 508.
and La Harpe, 54, 188.
and Lebzeltern, 122, 144.
and Liverpool, 122, 299, 351, 359, 482, 522, 523, 531 -533.
and Madame de Krudener, 481.
and Malta, 61.
and Marie Louise, 408, 561.
and Metternich, 104, 112, 114, 173 -176, 178, 188, 200, 201. 203, 204, 213, 215, 248, 284, 293, 321, 340, 341, 345, 349, 360, 362, 363, 366.
and Moreau, 1150, 154, 155.
and Münster, 442, 451, 452, 553 556, 558, 560 -562, 570.
and Naples, 336.
and Napoleon I., 62, 63, 86, 88, 137, 203, 213, 248, 249, 438, 441, 532.
and Nesselrode, 115, 215, 319, 333, 433, 459.
and Norway, 93.
and Novosiltzov, 54, 55.
and Pitt, 53 -62.
and Poland, 122, 201, 204, 226, 281, 284, 291, 293, 319, 340, 342, 345 -347, 357, 363, 369, 384 -386, 493, 495, 554, 555. and Pozzo di Borgo, 134, 250, 252, 284, 334, 441, 448, 458, 462, 469.
and Prussia, 59, 103, 281, 344, 355, 357, 366, 369, 384.
and Razumovski, 215, 333.
and Rumantzov, 112, 115.
and Saxony, 294, 366, 369, 382, 560.
and Schwarzenberg, 155, 203, 218, 230, 240, 241.
Alexander I., Tsar of Russia: and Stackelberg, 333.
and Stein, 176, 284, 334.
and Stewart, 138, 280, 282, 344, 348, 349, 442.
and Sweden, 195, 337.
and Switzerland, 188.
and Talleyrand, 247, 248, 341, 356, 452, 561.
and Tatischev, 209.
and Vittoria, 143.
and Vorontzov, 54, 55.
and Wellington, 386, 441, 469.
and Wilberforce, 272, 414.
and the Alliance, 160, 162, 174, 175, 177, 178, 183, 195, 428, 483. and the Bourbons, 203, 213, 232, 236, 237, 245, 246, 248, 252, 442, 448, 451, 452.
and the Grand Duchess Catharine, 204, 290.
and the Holy Alliance, 434, 481 483.
and the Maritime Rights, 61, 162, 492.
and the Opposition, 290, 291.
and the Ottoman Empire, 87, 429, 430.
and the Prince Regent, 29, 204, 290, 291, 464, 482.
and the Slave Trade, 414, 422.
at the Hague, 301.
at Langres, 203.
at London, 290, 291, 293, 296, 318, 319, 414.
at Paris, 247, 251, 278, 280, 293, 456, 459, 472, 476.
at Troyes, 236.
at Vienna, 207.
Ali Pasha of Janina, 7, 90 n.
Alison, Sir Archibald, 7 n, 57 n.
Alsace, 201, 464.
Amiens, Peace of, 56, 234, 274, 517, 519, 538.
Amsterdam, 185, 215, 508.
Andreossi, General, 88.
Angoulême, Duc d', 236 -238, 244, 447, 474, 516.
Angoulême, Duchesse d', 51, 538. Anker, Carsten, 306. Ansbatt, 167. Anti-Gallicats, The, 42. Antwerp, 15, 56, 58, 59, 61, 180, 183 -185, 194, 198, 211, 215, 217, 220, 227, 245, 251, 269, 276 n, 295, 307, 322, 425, 513, 536. Apsley, Lord, 332, 383. Arbuthnot, Charles, 31, 37, 42, 458. Armagh, 5. Artois, Duc d', 235 -237, 241 -246, 249, 251, 263, 266, 449, 460, 510 -513, 516, 518, 524, 529, 531, 534, 538, 539.
Augereau, Marshal, 217.
Austerlitz, Battle of, 62, 428.
Bile, 199, 200, 203, 227, 281, 395, 503, 504, 506, 519.
Bantry Bay, 8.
Bar-sur-Aube, 237, 240, 241, 506, 508, 509.
Barbary States, 74.
Baring, Alexander, 37.
Bathurst, Benjamin, 46.
Bathurst, Bragge, 36, 519, 539.
Bathurst, Earl, 27, 35, 37, 75, 85, 144, 179, 181, 198, 221 -223, 235, 238, 239, 307, 315, 335, 336, 364, 365. 374, 375, 383, 411, 416, 456, 467, 477, 483, 510, 511, 515, 532.
Bautzen, Battle of, 131, 136, 137.
Bayreuth, 380, 555.
Beaubarnais, Eugene de, 254, 257, 258.
Beethoven, Ludwig van, 332.
Bellegarde, Comte de, 254, 259.
Belmonte, Prince, 76, 79, 82.
Bentham, Jeremy, 291.
Bentinck, Lord William, 48, 74 -86, 90 n, 152, 253 -260, 285 -287, 313 -315, 399, 401, 402, 404 406, 526, 527, 535.
Berbice, 195, 303, 389, 540, 541.
Beresford, Viscount, 73.
Berlin, 45, 48, 130, 167, 173 n, 382, 385.
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