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proves the spirit of this measure is, that his majesty has concerted it with no person whatsoever, and that the intelligence respecting it arrived sooner at Paris than at Vienna, St. Petersburgh, and London. But the king, my master, has ordered to be made to the envoy of his majesty the emperor of the French and king of Italy, an amicable communication on the subject of these measures. That minister had not yet returned an answer upon this communication. The relation of the interesting conversations that his imperial majesty has deigned to entertain with the undersigned, and the marquis de Lucchesini, could not yet have arrived at Berlin. After this explanation, the undersigned can only testify to his excellency, his most ardent wish, that public acts may yet rest suspended, till the return of the courier dispatched to Berlin.
jesty the king of Prussia, ought only to be considered as the execution of an anterior order; and that the movements marked out for the Prussian troops would cease as soon as it was known at Berlin, what his majesty the emperor and king was pleased to say to M. M. Knobelsdorff and Lucchesini, in the private audiences which he granted them.
His majesty has ordered, in consequence, that the communications which were to have been made to the senate on Monday next, shall be deferred; and that no troops, beside those which are actually on their march towards the Rhine, shall be put in motion, until his majesty learns the determinations and the measures that the court of Berlin shall have taken, after the report that M. M. de Knobelsdorff and Lucchesini have made; and if these determinations are such that the French army in Germany shall be no longer menaced, and that all things shall be replaced between General Knobelsdorff. France and Prussia on the same footing as they were a month ago, his majesty will immediately order the retrograde march of the troops who were actually advancing to the Rhine.
The undersigned begs his excellency, &c.
Copy of the second Note to M. de Knobelsdorff, dated Sept. 13th. 1806.
The undersigned has laid before his majesty, the emperor and king, the note that his excellency M. de Knobelsdorff yesterday did him the honour to address to him.
His majesty has found therein, with pleasure, the assurance that Prussia had not entered into any concert hostile to France; that the armament she has made, had no other cause than a misunderstand. ing; that the departure of the garrison of Berlin, though it happened since the letter written by his ma
His majesty expects that this singular misunderstanding will be cleared up. He expects to be enabled, without any mixture of uncertainty or doubt, to restore himself to those sentiments of which he has given so many proofs to the court of Berlin, and which have always been those of a faithful ally.
The undersigned prays M. de Knobelsdorff to receive the assurances of his high consideration.
(Signed) C. M. Talleyrand, Prince of Benevento.
been at war with him. For the first of these injuries his majesty contented himself with accepting an inadequate satisfaction. Of the second he took no cognizance, being prevented by the apprehensions and representations on the part of the Hanse Towns. His majesty, on his part, did not scruple to make any sacrifice, as the preservation of peace was the dearest wish of his heart.
The patience and sufferance of every other court were exhausted sooner than that of his majesty.War again broke out on the continent the situation of the king, with respect to his duty, was more difficult than ever. In order to prevent France from augmenting her troops in Hanover, he had promised to suffer no attack to be made on that territory. The Russians and Swedes were preparing for an attack upon the French. From this period the whole burden of the contract between France and Prussia weighed upon the latter only, with out producing to her the least ad. vantage; and by a singular concatenation of circumstances, it seemed that Prussia, who only wished to remain impartial and neutral, could no longer pursue her former system, except to the prejudice of the allied powers. Every advantage which resulted from this situation of affairs was on the side of France, and the king was daily threatened with a collision, not less formidable to him, than decisively favourable to the plans of Napolcon.
Who could have thought that the very moment when the king had given to the French government the strongest proof of his determination, and a singular example of the faithful fulfilment of engagements into
which he had once entered, should be chosen by Napoleon to do the king the most sensible injury? Who does not remember the viola. tion of the territory of Auspach, which took place on the 3d of October, in the last year, notwithstanding the remonstrance of the provin. cial administration, and of his ma. jesty's minister?
This contest between that mode. ration which pardons every thing— that integrity which remains true to its engagements to the last, on the one part; and the abuse of power, the insolence inspired by deceitful fortune, and the habit of only reckoning on this fortune, on the other, continued several years. The king declared to the French government that he considered all his connec tions with it as dissolved. He placed his army on a footing suitable to circumstances. He was now fully convinced, that no pledge of security remained for the neighbours of France, but a peace established upon firm principles, and guaranteed by all the powers in common.
His majesty offered the allies to be the mediator in negotiations for such a peace, and to support them with all his force. It is sufficient to know the conditions then pro. posed, to be convinced of the mode. ration which, at all times, has governed the politics of his majesty in their whole extent. Prussia, at this moment, listened not to the voice of revenge: she passed over the events of the late war, however violent they might have been, since they had been sanctioned by existing treaties. She required nothing but the punctual fulfilment of those treatics; but this she required without limitation. Count Haugwitz repaired to Vienna, where the French em
ordinary and minister plenipotentiary of his majesty the king of Prussia, received yesterday the note addressed to him by his excellency the prince of Benevento, minister for foreign affairs. If, in this communication, the undersigned has found again, with extreme satisfaction, the assurance formerly given, in the note of the 13th of September, that his majesty the emperor and king would fulfil the engage. ment which he had made to wait the result of the explanations given to M. de Lucchesini and the general Knobelsdorff, before taking any measures respecting the constitutional notification, which would put all the forces of the French nation at the disposal of government, he has learned, with infinite pain, that his majesty should have had any regret at that engagement; and that in fulfilling it, he thinks it necesary to order all the measures and all the movements of troops, which can be taken without previous notification.
The undersigned hastens reiterate to his excellency M. the prince of Benevento, the assurance that his majesty the king of Prussia, far from ever having had an idea of renouncing his relations of amity with France, participates in that respect all the sentiments of his imperial and royal majesty, expressed in the communication to which this note is an answer; that, far from having entered into a concert with the enemies of France, his Prussian majesty has always sought to calm all resentments for facilitating the re-establishment of a general peace; in fine, that far from menacing the French armies in Germany by his armaments, these only took place in consequence of the advice received at Berlin, and which was so alarm
ing, that it was not possible to neglect measures of precaution, demanded by prudence for the welfare of the state.
The undersigned is pleased, in renewing to his excellency the prince of Benevento the assurance, that in taking these measures his majesty the king of Prussia has not renounced, for a single instant, the assurance of seeing the clouds dispersed that have been raised between him and France; and general Knobelsdorff is pursuaded, that such will be the result of the explanations that have taken place. In begging M. the prince of Benevento to make known to his majesty the emperor and king this answer to his communication, the undersigned has the honour to renew to his excellency the assurance of his high consideration.
When in the report that a few days back I had the honour to address your majesty, I established, that if Prussia had any personal reasons which led her to make war, it could only be from a desire to enslave Saxony, and the Hanseatic Towns, I was far from perceiving, that she would ever dare avow such a motive. It is, nevertheless, an avowal which she has not feared to make, and to express in a note that M. de Knobelsdorff has sent me from Metz, and which I have the
convinced of this by experience; this moment was the most painful of his reign.
It was the affair of France to reject the modifications under which the king had confirmed the treaty, if she did not approve them. But she avoided doing this, for the whole Prussian army was still under arms. She continued to be lavish of assurances of friendship: she fulfilled the treaty as far as it suited her; but when his majesty wished to reap the only advantage which he had proposed to himself from the late nego-` tiations, and which was nearest to his heart, she suddenly altered her language. The modifications, added to the treaty of Vienna, were now rejected at Paris. Endeavours were made to force Prussia into the most injurious measures; and when count Haugwitz, who was at Paris, remonstrated against this, the unconditional fulfilment of the treaty was haughtily insisted on, as were the immediate cession of the three provinces, and the recal of the patent by which the occupation of Hanover was declared provisional. Prussia was required to resign a part of the advantages stipulated, and to shut the ports against the British flag, in the same manner as if the French had returned into the electorate.
The king, at length, was perfectly convinced of the true character of the friendship of the emperor of the French-a soporific draught for a power which still feels its own strength; an instrument of degrada. tion, and finally of subjection, to every power which no longer possesses strength.
In the mean time, Napoleon was in possession of every advantage. The Prussian army had returned, his own, after some movements of
no consequence, at which deceived Germany prematurely rejoiced, on some frivolous pretences, established itself on this side the Rhine. The first conflict might produce misfortunes. War which is not, under all circumstances, the greatest of evils, might become such under those then existing. The king determined to continue the part he had hitherto acted, for some time longer. Wishing to preserve his force, now more than ever necessary to Europe, and at least to secure the tranquillity of the north, he confirmed the new treaty. Confidence, however, was now utterly lost. Prussia was convinced that, on the first opportunity to weaken her without danger, she might expect an attack from her pretended ally; convinced there is a degree of ambition which nothing can satisfy-which proceeds, without intermission, from usurpation to usurpation, sometimes without a plan, but ever intent on destruc tion; careless of the choice of means, and employing alike arms, and the pen, violence, and oaths. But even with this conviction, so great is the unfortunate superiority obtained by such policy, over those who wish only to be just, the king fulfilled all the conditions of the treaty with the punctuality of a faithful ally. It is known what the consequences were with respect to the connections of his majesty with England. France gained nothing by this; but she triumphed in secret at the thought of having disunited two courts, the union of which might have been dangerous to her; and what, in the views of France, gave the principal value to her alliance with the king was, that this alliance isolated his majesty, since it produced an opinion, that Prassia was a participator
in the cause of so many misfor
But not content with this, we shall soon see in what manner the politics of France, assured that she had now no enemy to fear, believing that she had annihilated Austria, forming a judgment of Russia with equal ignorance and rashness, and blinded by the apparent tranquillity of Prussia, she at length threw off the mask; and despising forms which she had hitherto sometimes respected, openly trampled on all Three treaties and all rights. months after the signing of the treaty with Prussia, all its articles were violated.
The treaty had for its basis the status quo of the moment in which it was concluded, also the guarantee of the German empire and its states, according to the constitution then established. This truth arises not only from the nature of things; the treaty had also expressly prescribed to the two powers their duties. The relations in which the peace of Presburg had left his majesty the emperor of Austria, were guaranteed to him; consequently also the imperial crown of Germany, and the rights connected with it. The existence of Bavaria, and consequently the relations which had connected it for so many centuries to the empire, were likewise confirmed by the same common guarantee. Three months after, the confederation of the Rhine over threw the Germanic constitution, deprived the emperor of the antient ornament of his house, and placed Bavaria, and thirty other princes,' under the tutelage of France.
But is it necessary to appeal to treaties, to form a just judgment of this extraordinary event? Previous
to all treaties, nations have their rights; and had not France sported with the sanctity of an oath, this act of unexampled despotism would exasperate every mind. To deprive never offended princes who had France, and to render them the vassals of others, themselves the vassals of the French government; to abolish, with a stroke of the pen, a constitution of a thousand years duration-which long habit, the remembrance of so many illustrious periods, and so many various and mutual relations, had rendered dear to such a number of princeswhich had so often been guaranteed by all the European powers, and even by France herself to lay contributions on the cities and towns in the midst of profound peace, and leave the new possessions only an exhausted skeleton — to abolish this constitution without consulting the emperor of Germany, from whom a crown was wrested, or Russia, so lately become the guarantee of the German League, or Prussia, interested intimately in that league, thus arbitrarily dissolved-No: wars and continued victories have sometimes produced great and remarkable catastrophes ;, but such an example in time of peace was never before given to the world.
The king commiserated the unfortunate princes, who suffered by these transactions: but he pitied not less those who had suffered themselves to be hired by the hope of gain; and he would reproach himself, should he increase their unhappiness by judging them with too great severity. Deluded by the reward of their compliance; probably, forced to obey commands which admitted of no opposition; or, if surprised into consent, suffici