Page images

tion of France, should not impute to their own hatred and injustice, this very grandeur and ambition of which they accuse her. The power of France has only been increased by the reiterated efforts to oppress her. Nevertheless, whatever inferences for the future may be drawn from the examples of the past, his majesty will be ready, should the negotiations with England be broken off, to renew them in the midst of any events. He will be ready to replace them on the basis laid in concert with the illustrious minister whom England has lost, who, having nothing to add to his glory, except the reconcilia. tion of the two nations, had conceived the hope of accomplishing it, but was snatched from the world in the midst of his work.

The undersigned has the honour to inform his excellency the earl of Lauderdale, that M. de Champagny has been authorised to deliver to him the passports which he has demanded.

The undersigned is desirous of renewing to his excellency the earl of Lauderdale, the assurance of his high consideration. (Signed)

Ch. Mau. Talleyrand,
Prince of Benevento.

Third Inclosure (C.) Copy of a note from the earl of Lauderdale to M. de Champagny, dated October 6, 1806. A formal demand of pass. ports.

Fourth Inclosure (D.) Copy of a Note from the Earl of Landerdale to M. Talleyrand, dated October 6, 1806.


Paris, 6th October, 1806. The undersigned minister plenipotentiary of his Britannic majesty

received late last night the note which his excellency the minister for foreign affairs, did him the honour to address to him on the first of this month.

The undersigned, learning that his excellency M. de Champagny is authorised to grant him the pass. ports which he has demanded, and which he is on the point of receiving, cannot refrain from ebserving to his excellency the minister for foreign affairs, in answer to his note, that he has some difficulty in ima gining from what circumstances his excellency has been able to infer, "that the British government have resolved to forego the prospect of peace."

The undersigned was sent to France to negotiate a peace, at a time when the illustrious minister, to whom his excellency has paid so just a tribute of praise, presided over the department for foreign affairs. This great man then acted under the full conviction, that he had received from France an offer of peace on the basis of uti possidetis, with the sole exception of Hanover and of its dependencies; in favour of his Britannic majesty: And, not. withstanding the success of the arms of his Britannic majesty, as well in Italy as on the contineut of South America; and the refusal of his majesty the emperor of all the Russias to ratify that treaty, which in the eyes of the French government, was equivalent to the most splendid victory; not one new pro. position has been advanced on the part of his majesty, incompatible with the principle which was at first proposed by the French government, through the channel of the earl of Yarmouth, as the basis of the negotiation. It is not, surely,


from such conduct that the inference can be drawn," that the British government have resolved to forego the prospect of a peace."

Are the conditions which the undersigned was ordered to propose as the basis of a peace between his majesty the emperor of all the Russias and the French government more of a nature to have given rise to this suspicion? Quite the reverse. If a solid and durable peace was the object of the two powers, these were such conditions as justice and expediency demanded. Justice; because certainly nothing could be more equitable than to grant to his Sicilian majesty and to the king of Sardinia a compensation for their immense losses on the continent. Expediency; because in order to insure the duration of peace, such an arrangement of boundaries as may prevent disputes must always be preferable to that which furnishes to one of the parties the means and advantages of attack. It was on this principle that the proposed evacuation of Dalmatia and Albania by the French troops, naturally suggested itself.

If, therefore, the undersigned has received orders to demand his passports, and to depart from France, it is certainly not because his sovereign wishes to renounce peace, but because his majesty finds himself obliged to do so; the French government not having consented to all the conditions which were comprised in the proposals originally made by them to his Britannic majesty, and having moreover rejected, as the basis for the treaty with Russia, the just and reasonable conditions which the undersigned was authorised to propose.

The undersigned has received with real satisfaction the general

assurances of the disposition of the French government to renew the negotiation at a future period, as expressed in the official note of his excellency the minister for foreign affairs. He has seen with no less pleasure, that the tone and the moderation observed in this communication correspond with the sentiments which accompany them. On this subject his excellency may rest assured, that the French government, could not in any way express a stronger desire to see an end put to the calamities of war, than that which his Britannic majesty will invariably feel, whenever peace can be concluded on conditions compatible with the honour of his crown and the interests of his subjects.


The undersigned ought here to conclude the official answer which he has thought necessary to make to the note of his excellency the minister for foreign affairs. he cannot pass over in silence one part of this note, where his excellency wishes to convey the idea that the British government seems no longer disposed to act on the same principles which directed the conduct of the great man whom England has lately lost. The undersigned, without being authorised to mention this subject, nor even to introduce it in an official paper, trusts in the known goodness and indulgence of his sovereign, when he allows himself to make the following observations on this subject.

During twenty-six years of intimate and uninterrupted connection with Mr. Fox, the undersigned as much as any one, has had an opportnnity of confidentially learning the sentiments of that celebrated man. From his knowledge of them, he is impressed with the strongest conviction, that no minister could give to 3 E 3


pect more favourable conditions than France has lately been inclined to accede to. The uti possidetis thus described, must however now of necessity include the kingdom of Sicily.

Every endeavour was made in the onset of the negotiation to obtain the restitution of Naples to his Sicilian majesty; and the grounds on which it was thought fit finally to desist from that claim on the part of his majesty are detailed in the correspondence of this office with lord Yarmouth and your lordship.

But the case of Sicily was always deemed to be widely different from that of Naples. Our actual occupation of that island brings it fully within the benefit of the uti possidetis. And recent events have shewn how very distant are the hopes of conquest in that quarter, which were so much relied upon in one of the notes presented to your lordship by the French plenipotentiaries.

Lord Yarmouth had been uniformly instructed to insist on this demand as a sine quà non condition of all arrangements for peace. On the refusal of France to accede to this claim, his lordship had actually, in pursuance of those instructions, demanded his passports, and it was not in the smallest degree departed from or relaxed until a desire was expressed to him by M. d'Oubril, that this government would listen to proposals for an equivalent to be given for Sicily. In compliance with the supposed wishes of his ally, and on that ground alone, his majesty consented to entertain the consideration of such an equivalent, but none has ever been suggested that appeared at all likely to meet the just expectations which his Sicilian majesty would have been en

titled to form on that head. And his majesty has now the satisfaction of learning, that the sentiments of his ally have in fact never been different from his own on this point; and that the preservation of Sicily is considered in Russia, as well as in England, as a just condition of any peace with France. On both these grounds, therefore, both on the principle adopted for his own nego. tiation, and on the ground of his determination not to separate himself from Russia, his majesty thinks it absolutely necessary to maintain this point with the same firmness which he had originally manifested respecting it.

This includes all that it is necessary to say on any point respecting the immediate interests of this country, or of any possession hitherto known to be occupied by his ma jesty's arms.


Copy of a Dispatch from the Earl of
Lauderdale to Earl Spencer, dated
Paris, September 18th, 1806.-
Received September 22d.

My Lord,

Paris, Sept. 18, 1806.

I had the honour of receiving the dispatch, signed by Mr. secretary Windham, dated September 10, late in the evening of Friday last.

Unfortunately I had had a slight degree of fever for four days preceding, and I never was more unfit than on Saturday morning to attend to business of such a magnitude.

On considering the instructions contained in the dispatch with all the attention I could, they appeared to me to relate to two distinct subjects: first, to the form and manner in which his majesty thought proper that I should conduct the negotia




tion secondly, to the terms which, under the present circumstances of the two countries, it is proper to ask.

To this distinction I conceived it to be the more necessary for me to attend, because I thought it regular and proper to address what I had to say on the first point to the minister of foreign affairs, whereas the plenipotentiaries of France, should the government authorize them to proceed, seemed the proper channel of communication on the second.

In pursuance of this idea, I immediately wrote a note, a copy of which (marked A.) 1 inclose, addressed to M. Talleyrand, which I sent by Mr. Goddard in the evening, as I was myself confined to bed.

On Monday, about five o'clock, M. Talleyrand called, and though I was very ill at the time, I resolved to admit him. He sat upwards of half an hour. The outline of his conversation consisted in his expressing a desire to have a full communication with me, in his assuring me that if the difficulties, in respect of form, could be got over, he did not think the objections to the terms would be material, and that, where peace was seriously in view, as it was with them, it figured as an object of such importance as to give a disposition to accommodate about conditions: In a word, that he had little doubt that he and I would arrange the business.

On my part, I stated, that I was afraid he proceeded on the suppo. sition that I might give way in some of the points in question, which I thought it fair to assure him at once was impossible. I stated to him generally the demands I was to make

on the part of England, which would no way vary from the terms we had originally understood to have been proposed; and that he must expect I would be as positive in relation to the conditions for Russia, with which he was acquainted, as I should be with respect to any point more peculiarly of British interest. I then thought it right to introduce the subject of my having no powers from Russia, observing that, at though there might be some irregularity in this mode of proceeding, yet that, under all the circumstances of the present case, it seemed unavoidable, because the principle and feelings of his majesty would never permit him to think of treating, but in such a manner as might insure to the court of Petersburgh an honourable peace, at the moment that peace should be concluded between England and France; and that unless I could be allowed to state the objects of Russia, this could be hardly effected.

He assured me that they would wave all objections with regard to form, and that they would be perfectly ready to hear me on the subject of a treaty of peace with Russia; his objection to my proposal being founded, not on the circumstance of my wanting powers from Russia, but on the very unusual proposal of concluding a treaty, which, when signed, was only to take place in a certain event. I mentioned to him that the same thing had been done at Paris in 1782, when Mr. Oswald concluded a treaty of peace with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adam.

During the whole of this conversation, I had gone even out of my way to repeat to him the necessity of his laying his account with my adhering rigidly to the terms 1 had

detailed ;

jesty the emperor of the French, king of Italy, to declare to the Sub. lime Porte, that not only the principles of friendship, but those of the strictest neutrality, require that the Bosphorus should be shut against all Russian ships of war, as well as against every other vessel of that nation, bringing troops, ammuni. tion, or provisions; and that the same passage cannot be opened to them, without committing an act of hostility against France, and with. out giving his majesty Napoleon the great, a right of passage over the territories of the Ottoman empire, in order to combat with the Russian army on the banks of the Dniester. Any renewal or continuation of alliance with the enemies of France, such as England and Russia, would be not only a manifest violation of the neutrality, but an accession on the part of the Sublime Porte to the war which those powers wage against France, and his majesty would see himself compelled to take measures conformable to his interests and his dignity.

The Sublime Porte cannot maintain her relations with two missions from Naples, and his majesty the emperor of the French cannot suffer his august brother, Napoleon Joseph, king of Naples and the Two Sicilies, to meet with difficulties here which he does not experience from any power in amity with France.

His majesty the emperor has a large army in Dalmatia: this army is collected for the defence of the Ottoman empire, unless an equivocal conduct on the part of the Porte, and a condescension towards Russia and England, which might again throw her into their power, should compel his majesty the em

peror of the French, to bring for. ward his formidable forces for a purpose totally opposite to that which he had in view.

Ilis majesty has ordered the undersigned to state to the Sublime Porte, in the most friendly though energetic manner, these demands, for the purpose of obtaining an an swer in writing, and it is expected that this answer shall be positive and categorical.

No further delay can be allowed; and his majesty has no doubt that the Sublime Porte will give him the assurances he desires, and which are so much in unison with the interesis of the Ottoman empire.

The undersigned has no wish to make a vain display of the formida. ble forces of the great Napoleon; his friends know how to estimate their importance; his enemies have felt their power.

The genius of his august master is well known; his determinations are wise and prompt, his personal attachment to his highness is sin. cere. He only seeks the inde pendence, the integrity, and the glory of Turkey. He desires nothing. He asks nothing. What inducements to an union with him! At the same time what reason to apprehend the loss of his good will, by adopting a timid, uncertain, or ini mical line of conduct! Under these circumstances the answer of the Sublime Porte will regulate the con. duct of my august master. Let not the threats of the enemies of France impose on the Sublime Porte; they have been vanquished, and they will ever be so. The great Napoleon will employ all his resources for the glory of his highness Selim II. his friend; and as his resources are immense, his genius is still greater.

« EelmineJätka »