were inaccurate.". Just say whether I | I shall therefore be obliged to you to let me have taken your expression correctly or have one ; and I am sure, if, upon recollec

Moira. tion, I shall think it necessary to add any

thing to what I have now said, you will (C.)-Holland House, May 31, 1812. allow me an opportunity of doing so. My dear Lord,-I cannot sufficiently

GREY. thank you your

kind anxiety to procure an accurate statement of the words spoken by me in the House of Lords. It is diffi

PUBLIC PAPERS. cult to remember precise expressions so

ENGLAND and FRANCE.- -Overtures for long after they were spoken; but I am sure I cannot be far wrong in stating the

Peace by the Emperor Napoleon. substance of what I said, as follows:-was speaking on the subject of the Irish Copy of a Letter addressed by the Minister Catholics, and particularly on the charge

of Foreign Affairs to Lord Castlereagh, of intemperate conduct which had been

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs made against them. I stated, that great

to His Britannic Majesty - Paris, April allowances were to be made for this, con

17, 1812. sidering their repeated disappointments; Sir,--His Majesty, constantly actuated and I cited, as instances of these, the re- by sentiments friendly to moderation and call of Lord Fitzwilliam, and the Union. peace, is pleased again to make a solemn I then said, that the most distinct and au- and sincere attempt to put an end to the thentic pledges had been given to them, of miseries of war. -The awful circumthe Prince's wish to relieve them from the stances in which the world is at present disabilities of which they complained; that placed, have induced a resolution in the I spoke in the hearing of persons who could mind of his Majesty, the result of which contradict me if what I said was unfound has been to authorize me to explain to you, ed, and who would, I was sure, support Sir, his views and intentions. Many its truth if questioned ; that now, when the changes have taken place in Europe for the fulfilment of these pledges was confidently last ten years, which have been the necesexpected, to see an Administration conti- sary consequence of the war between France nued in power, which stood on the express and England, and many more changes will principle of resisting their claims, was, be effected by the same cause. The parti perhaps, the bitterest disappointment they cular character which the war has assumed, had yet experienced ; and that it was not may add to the extent and duration of these surprising, if, under such circumstances, results. Exclusive and arbitrary princithey felt, and acted, in a way that all well ples cannot be combated but by an opposiwishers to the peace of the empire must re- tion without measure or end; and the sysgret.—This I give as the substance, and by tem of preservation and resistance should no means as a correct repetition of the par- have the same character of universality, ticular expressions used by me; and this perseverance, and vigour. The peace of statement I can neither retract, nor endea- Amiens, if it had been observed, would vour to explain away. If, in consequence have prevented much confusion. - I learof it, the Prince feels a strong personal ob- tily wish that the experience of the past jection to me, I can only repeat, what I may not be lost for the future.--His Ma. have already said to you, that I am per- jesty has often stopped when the most cerfectly ready to stand out of the way; that tain triumphs lay before him, and turned my friends shall have my full concurrence round to invoke peace. -In 1805, secure and approbation in taking office without as he was by the advantages of his situation, me, and my most cordial support the and in spite of the confidence which he might government of the country, if their mea- reasonably feel in anticipations which Forsures are directed, as I am sure they must tune was about to realize, he made propoalways be, by the principles on which we sals to his Britannic Majesty, which were have acted together.—I write this from rejected, on the ground that Russia should Lord Holland's, in a great hurry, and in be consulted. În 1808, new proposals the middle of dinner ; but I was unwilling were made, in concert with Russia. Eng. to defer, even for a minute, to answer an land alleged the necessity of an intervention, inquiry, which I feel to be prompted by so which could be no more than the result of friendly a solicitude for me. I have not the negociation itself. In 1810, his Mathe means of taking a copy of this letter. J jesty, having clearly discerned that the

British Orders in Council of 1807, render- | influenced simply by the considerations of
ed the conduct of the war incompatible the interests of humanity, and the peace
with the independence of Holland, caused of his people, and if this fourth attempt
indirect overtures to be made towards pro- should not be attended with success, like
curing the return of peace. They were those which have preceded it, France will
fruitless, and the consequence was, that at least have the consolation of thinking,
new Provinces were united to the Empire. that whatever blood may yet flow, will be

- In the present time are to be found justly imputable to England alone.--I
united all the circumstances of the various have the honour, &c.
periods at which his Majesty manifested

The DUKE OF BASSANO. the pacific sentiments which he now orders me again to declare that he is actuated by copy of the Answer of Lord Castlereagh,

- The calamities under which Spain, Secrelary of State for Foreign Affairs of and the vast regions of Spanish America His Brilannic Majesly, lo lhe Lelter of suffer, should naturally excite the interest the Minister for Foreign Relations, of of all nations, and inspire them with an the 17th of April, 1812.-London, Ojequal anxiety for their termination. I fice for Foreign Affairs, April 23, 1812. will express myself, Sir, in a manner Sir.--Your Excellency's Letter of the which your Excellency will find conform- 17th of this month has been received and able to the sincerity of the step which I laid before the Prince Regent.--His Royal am authorized to take; and nothing will Highness felt that he owed it to his honour, better evince the sincerity and sublimity of before he should authorize me to enter into it than the precise terms of the language any explanation upon the overture which which I have been directed to use. What

your Excellency has transmitted, to ascerviews and motives should induce me to en

tain the precise meaning attached by the velope myself in formalities suitable to Government of France to the following pasweakness, which alone can find its interest sage of your Excellency's Letter, the acin deceit?- The affairs of the Peninsula tual Dynasty shall be declared independent, and the Two Sicilies are the points of dif- and Spain governed by the national Constiference which appear least to admit of being tution of the Cortes.'- -If, as his Royal adjusted. I am authorized to propose to Highness fears, the meaning of this propoyou an arrangement of them on the follow.sition is, that the Royal authority of Spain, ing basis :

-The integrity of Spain shall and the Government established by the be guaranteed. France shall renounce all Cortes, shall be recognized as residing in idea of extending her dominions beyond the brother of the head of the French Gothe Pyrennees. The present dynasty shall vernment, and the Cortes formed under his be declared independent, and Spain shall be authority, and not in the legitimate Sovegoverned by a National Constitution of her reign, Ferdinand the Seventh, and his Cortes.- -The independence and integrity heirs, and the Extraordinary Assembly of of Portugal shall be also guaranteed, and the Cortes, now invested with the power the House of Braganza shall have the So- of the Government in that kingdom, in his vereign authority.-The kingdom of name, and by his authority - I am comNaples shall remain in possession of the manded frankly and explicitly to declare to present Monarch, and the kingdom of Si- your Excellency, that the obligations of cily shall be guaranteed to the present fa- good faith do not permit his Royal Highmily of Sicily:- -As a consequence of ness to receive a proposition for peace these stipulations, Spain, Portugal, and Si- founded on such a basis. But if the excily shall be evacuated by the French and pressions cited above, apply to the actual English land and naval forces

government of Spain, which exercises the spect to the other objects of discussion, Sovereign authority in the name of Ferdithey may be negociated upon this basis, nand the VIlth, upon an assurance of your that each power shall retain that of which Excellency to that effect, the Prince Regent the other could not deprive it by war. will feel himself disposed to enter into a full Such are, Sir, "the grounds of conciliation explanation upon the basis which has been offered by his Majesty to his Royal High- transmitted, in order to be taken into consiness the Prince Regent. His Majesty deration by his Royal Highness; and it the Emperor and King, in taking this step, being his most earnest wish to contribute, does not look either to the advantages or in concert with his Allies, to the repose of losses which this Empire may derive from Europe, and to bring about a peace, which the war, if it should be prolonged; he is may be at once honourable, not only for

With re

Great Britain and France, but also for those away from under the protection of its flag, States which are in relations of amity with by one of the Belligerent Powers, the proeach of these Powers.----Having made perty which the other has placed there; known without reserve the sentiments of that all Powers consequently have the right the Prince Regent, with respect to a point of exacting, that nations, pretending to on which it is necessary to have a full un- neutrality, should cause their flag to be derstanding, previous to any ulterior dis- respected in the same manner as they encussion, I shall adhere to the instructions of force respect to their territory; that so long his Royal Highness, by avoiding all super-as England, persisting in its system of war, fluous comment and recrimination on the should disavow the independence of any. accessary objects of your letter. I might Aag upon the seas, no Power, which is advantageously for the justification of the possessed of coast, can be neuter with reconduct observed by Great Britain at the spect to England. With that penetradifferent periods alluded to by your Excel- tion and elevation of sentiment by which lency, refer to the correspondence which he is distinguished, the Emperor Alexthen took place, and to the judgment which ander also perceived that there could not the world has long since formed of it.— be any prosperity for the Continental States, As to the particular character the war has but in the establishment of their rights by. unhappily assumed, and the arbitrary prin-a maritime peace. This great interest was ciples which your Excellency conceives to predominant in the Treaty of Tilsit, and have marked its progress, denying, as I do, every thing else was the immediate result that these evils are attributable to the Bri- of it.- -The Emperor Alexander offered tish Government, I at the same time can his mediation to the English Government, assure your Excellency, that it sincerely and engaged, if this Government would deplores their existence, as uselessly aggra- not consent to conclude peace upon the vating the calamities of war, and that ils principle of acknowledging that the flags of most anxious desire, whether at peace or all Powers should enjoy an equal and perwar with France, is to have the relations fect independence upon the seas, to make of the two countries restored to the liberal common cause with France, to summon, principles usually acted upon in former in concert with her, the three Courts of times.- I take this opportunity of assur-Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Lisbon, to ing your Excellency of my respect. close their ports against the English, to de

CASTLEREAGH. clare war against England, and to insist

upon the adoption of the same measure by FRANCE AND RUSSIA. -Correspondence

the various Powers.- - The Emperor Narelative to the Dispule of 1812.

poleon accepted of the mediation of Russia,

but the answer of England was a violation Copy of a Nole addressed by the Minister of of the rights of nations, till then unexam

Foreign Relations to Count Romanzow, pled in history. She, in the midst of Chancellor of Russia. Paris, April 25, peace, and without any preliminary decla1812.

ration of war, attacked Denmark, surCount -- His Majesty the Emperor of prised her capital, burned her arsenals, Russia had acknowledged at Tilsit the prin- and took possession of her feet, which was ciple, that the present generation should dismantled and lying secure in her ports. not have looked to the enjoyment of happi. Russia, in conformity to the stipulations ness, but on the ground that the nations in and principles of the Treaty of Tilsit, dethe full enjoyment of their rights might clared war against England; proclaimed give themselves

up freely to the exercise of anew the principles of the armed neutratheir industry; that the independence of lity; and engaged never to swerve from their flag should be inviolable; that the this system. Here the British Cabinet independence of their flag was a right be threw off the mask, by issuing, in the longing to each of them, and its protection month of November, 1807, those Orders a reciprocal duty of the one towards the in council, by virtue of which England other; that they were not less bound to levied a toll of from four to five millions protect the inviolability of their flag, than upon the continent; and she compelled the that of their territory; that if a Power Aag of every Power to submit to the regucannot, without ceasing to be neuter, allations which were the result of her prinlow its territory to be taken away by one ciples of legislation. Thus, on the one of the Belligerent Powers, so neither can it side, she made war upon all Europe ; and, remain neuter, in permitting to be taken on the other, she secured to herself the means of perpetuating the duration of that maritime peace, and then as much diswar, by founding her financial system upon posed as at Tilsit to defend those principles the tributes which she arrogated to herself for the defence of which they had entered -a right of imposing upon all people. into an alliance, resolved to make a soAlready in 1806, and while France was at lemn application to England. You, Count, war with Prussia and Russia, she had pro came, in consequence, to Paris, and a claimed a blockade which had placed under correspondence ensued between you and the an interdict the entire coast of an empire. British Government. But the Cabinet of When His Majesty entered Berlin, he an- London, which had perceived that war swered this monstrous presunuption by a

was about to be rekindled on the ContiDecree of blockade against the British Isles. nent, rejected all overtures towards negoBut to meet the Orders in Council of 1807, ciation. Sweden had resused to shut her more direct and specific measures were ne ports against England ; and Russia, in cessary; and His Majesty, by the Decree conformity to the stipulations of Tilsit, had of Milan, of the 17tli of December of the declared war against her. The result to same year, declared all those flags dena- her was, the loss of Finland, which was tionalized which should permit their neu- united to the Russian empire; and at the trality to be violated by submitting to those same time the Russian armies occupied the Orders. The attempt on Copenhagen fortresses on the Danube, and made war had been sudden and public. England with effect upon the Turks.- Neverthehad prepared in Spain new attempts, hatch- less, the system of England was triumed with reflection and in the dark. phant. Her Orders in Council threatened Not having been able to shake the deter- to produce the most important results; and mination of Charles IV., she formed a the tribute, which was to furnish the means party against that Prince, who would not of supporting the perpetual war which she sacrifice to her the interests of his kingdom. had declared, was perceptible upon the She used the name of the Prince of the seas. Holland and the Hanseatic Towns Asturias, and the father was driven from continuing to trade with her, their comhis throne by the name of the son. The merce frustrated the salutary and decisive enemies of France and the partisans of regulations of the Decrees of Berlin and England took possession of the Sovereign Milan, which alone were calculated to efauthority.His Majesty, called upon fectually resist the principles of the British by Charles the Fourth, sent troops into Orders in Council." The execution of these Spain, and war was commenced in the Decrees could not be assured, but by the Peninsula.-By one of the stipulations daily exercise of a firm and vigilant Admiof Tilsit, Russia' was to evacuate Walla- nistration. Unexposed to the influence of chia and Moldavia. This evacuation was the enemy, Holland, and the Hanseatic deferred new revolutions, which had Towns, it was necessary, should be united. taken place at Constantinople, had several But while the sentiments dearest to the times bathed in blood the walls of the heart of His Majesty yielded to the interest Seraglio. —Thus scarcely a year had of his people and that of the Continent, elapsed from the peace of Tilsit—the af- great changes were taking place. Russia fairs of Copenhagen, of Constantinople, abandoned the principle to which she had and the Orders in Council, published in pledged herself at Tilsit, viz. to make 1807, in England, had placed Europe in common cause with France, which she had so unlooked-for a situation, that the two proclaimed in her Declaration of War Sovereigns thought proper to come to an against England, and which had dictated understanding, and the interview at Er- the Decrees of Berlin and Milan.---- They furth took place. With the same de- were evaded by the Ukase which opened signs, and inspired by the same spirit which the ports of Russia to all English ships had directed their proceedings at Tilsit, laden with colonial produce, English prothey agreed as to what exacted from them perty, provided that they were under a such considerable changes. The Emperor foreign flag. This unexpected blow anconsented to withdraw his troops from nulled the Treaty of Tilsit, and those imRussia, and at the same time consented portant transactions which had put an end that Russia should not only evacuate Wal- to the struggle between the two greatest lachia and Moldavia, but that she should Empires of the World, and which had unite these provinces to her empire.--- afforded to Europe a probability of obtainThe two Sovereigns, inspired with one ing a maritime peace. Approaching coinand the same desire of re-establishing a motions and bloody wars were of course to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

be immediately expected. The conduct Oldenburgh, by sacrificing the existence of of Russia at this time was constantly di. the Duchy of Warsaw; perhaps, also, rected towards these fatal results. The Russia, not being able to disguise from uniting of the Duchy of Oldenburgh, dove herself the fact of her having violated the tailed, as it were, into the countries re- Treaty of Tilsit, had recourse to force, for, cently brought under the same principles ro other purpose but to seek to justify of Government as France, was a necessary violations which could not be defended. consequence of the uniting of the Hanseatic -His Majesty nevertheless remained Towns. An indemnity was offered. This unmoved (impossible). He persevered in object was easy to regulate with reciprocal his desire of an arrangement : he was of advantage. But your Cabinet made an af- opinion, that at any period it would be fair of State of it; and, for the first time, time enough to resort to arms; he required was seen a Manifesto of an ally against an only that powers should be sent to Prince ally.---The reception of English vessels Kurakin, and that a negociation should be in Russian ports, and the regulations of the opened with respect to these differences, Ukase of 1810, had made it known that which might be thus easily terminated, and the treaties were dissolved. The Manifesto which were by no means of a nature to call showed that not only the bonds which had for the effusion of blood. They were reunited the iwo Governments were broken, ducible to the four following points : but that Russia had publicly thrown the 1st. The existence of the Duchy of Wargauntlet to France, for a difficulty which saw, which had been a condition of the was foreign to her, and which could not peace of Tilsit, and which, since the close be solved but by the method which His of 1809, gave Russia occasion to manifest Majesty had proposed. It was not to those instances of defiance to which His be concealed that the refusal of this offer Majesty answered with condescension, care disclosed the project of a rupture already ried as far as the most exacting friendship formed. Russia prepared for it at the very could desire, and honour could allow.time that she was dictating terms of peace 2d. The annexation of Oldenburgh, which to Turkey; she suddenly recalled five di- the war against England had rendered nevisions of the army of Moldavia : and, in cessary, and which was conformable to the the month of February 1811, it was known spirit of the Treaty of Tilsit.---3d. The at Paris that the army of the Duchy of Legislation respecting trade in English merWarsaw had been obliged to repass the chandises and denationalized vessels, which Vistula, in order to fall back upon the ought to be regulated according to the spiConfederation, because the Russian armies, rit and the terms of the Treaty of Tilsit, on the frontiers, were so numerous, and -4th. Lastly, the dispositions of the had assumed so menacing a posture. —- Ukase of 1810, which, by destroying all When Russia had resolved on measures the commercial relations of France with contrary to the interests of the active war Russia, and opening her ports to simulated which she had to support-when she had Aags freighted with English property, were imparted to her armies a developement contrary to the letter of the Treaty of Tilsit. burdensome to her finances, and without --Such would have been the objects of any object, in the situation in which all the negociation. As to what concerned the Powers of the Continent were then the Duchy of Warsaw, His Majesty would placed, all the French troops were within have been forward to adopt a Convention, ihe Rhine, except a corps of 40,000 men, by which he would pledge himself not to stationed at Hamburgh for the defence of the encourage any enterprise which might have coasts of the North Sea, and for the main a tendency, directly or indirectly, to lead tenance of tranquillity in the countries re- to the re-establishment of Poland.--As cently united; the reserved places in Prussia to Oldenburgh, he offered to accept the inwere occupied only by the Allied troops. tervention of Russia, which nevertheless A garrison of only four thousand men had had no right to interfere in what involved remained at Dantzic; and the troops of the a Prince of the Confederation of the Rhine, Duchy of Warsaw were on the peace esta- and he agreed to give that Prince an inblishment, a part of them even was in demnity. With regard to commerce in Spain. The preparations of Russia then English merchandises and to denationalized were without object, unless she entertained ships, His Majesty desired to come to some au expectation to impose upon France by a understanding, in order to reconcile the grand array of forces, and to oblige her to wants of Russia with the principles of the put an end to the discussions respecting Continental System, and the spirit of the

« ForrigeFortsett »