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are here to remove every difficulty that might retard the discussion in question. With the resources that we possess, it is most assuredly not on our own account that we need fear a continuance of the war. Of all the nations of Europe, England, perhaps, is that which suffers the least by its prolongation; but we do not the less commisserate the misfortunes of others.
Let us, then, do all in our power to terminate them, and let us endeavour, if it be possible, to reconcile the respective interests and the glory of the two countries, with the tranquillity of Europe, and the happiness of the human race. I am, &c.
C. J. Fox.
Letter from M. Talleyrand to Mr. Secretary Fox, dated Paris, April 1st, 1806-Received April 7. (Translation.)
Paris, April 1, 1806.
The very instant I received your letter of the 26th March, I waited upon his majesty, and I am happy to inform you, that he has authorized me to send you, without delay, the following answer:The emperor covets nothing that England possesses. Peace with France is possible, and may be perpetual, provided there is no interference in her internal affairs, and that no attempt is made to restrain her in the regulation of her custom duties; to cramp her commercial rights; or to offer any insult to her flag.
It is not you, sir, who have displayed in many public discussions,
an exact knowledge of the generalaffairs of Europe and of France, who require to be convinced that France has nothing to desire except repose, and a situation such as may enable her, without obstruction, to give herself up entirely to the labours of her industry.
The emperor does not imagine, that any particular article of the treaty of Amiens produced the war. He is convinced, that the true cause was the refusal to make a treaty of commerce, which would necessarily have been prejudicial to the manufactures and the industry of his subjects. Your predecessors accused us of wishing universal conquest. In France, England has likewise her accusers. Very well! We only ask equality. We shall never require an account of what you do at home, provided that, on your side, you never require an account of what we do at home. This principle is reciprocally just, reasonable, and mutually advanta. geous.
You express a desire that the ncgotiation may not terminate in a short-lived peace. France is more interested than any other power that it should be permanent. It is not her interest to make a truce; since a truce would only pave the way for fresh losses. You know very well that nations, similar in this respect to individuals, accustom themselves to a state of war, as well as to a state of peace. All the losses that France could sustain, she has sustained. This will ever be the case, in the first six months of war. At present, our commerce and our industry* have taken the channel dictated by the circumstances of our
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majesty, and promised him, more. over, all the assistance for which he might have occasion. It was scarcely to be expected that Prussia would avail herself of this advantage, and of that which the promise of the subsidy she had asked of Great Britain gave her, to obtain from France terms contrary to the interests which these resources were intended to protect. This, notwithstanding, has actually happened. The secret treaty, the effects of which are beginning to appear, was signed by count Haugwitz and the French general Duroc, the 15th of December, 1805, the period fixed as the term when Prussia was to declare against France, in case that power should have rejected the propositions which count Haugwitz was to make to her in consequence of the convention of Potzdam.
Seven days after, Dec. 22, the cabinet of Berlin proposed to the British ambassador, the arrangements to be taken in common with the Prussian generals, for the positions of the allied armies in Lower Saxony; and dispatched, in consequence, lieutenant-colonel baron de Krusemark, with a letter to the Hanoverian government, to induce it to furnish provisions for the French garrison at Hameln.
It was necessary to concur in this arrangement, (which was only provisionally terminated the 4th of January) because it was to prevent the French troops from undertaking any thing against Hanover during the negociation.
Was the court of Berlin then ignorant in what manner count Haugwitz had concluded this negociation? Did it not know, before the signature of the treaty, what would be the end of it? or, did that minis
ter dispose as he pleased of the good faith of his master?
It was on the 27th of Jan. that the cabinet of Berlin announced to the Hanoverian government, "That, in consequence of a treaty signed and ratified by the two parties, my German possessions would no longer be occupied by the French troops; that they would be entirely evacuated by those who were still there, and delivered up, until a future peace between England and France should have decided their condition, to the protection of the troops of his Prussian majesty, and to his exclusive administration." The Hanoverian government was re. quired, but to no purpose, to intimate to all the public officers, that they were, for the future, to consider themselves as finally responsible to the Prussian commission of administration, excluding all foreign reference.
The dispatch addressed the 25th of January to the Prussian minister and intended to justify his proceedings, was signed with the king of Prussia's own hand. It ended with these words: "I think it unnecessary to observe how much the territories in question ought to be satisfied with this change of scene; and my wishes would be fulfilled if, in consequence of the disinterested views by which I am impelled, the administration I have taken upon me should turn out to the happiness of the country and its inhabitants; and by that means satisfactory to his Britannic majesty, to whom I desire nothing more than to give in this instance, as in all others, all the proofs of consideration, of deference, and of friendship, which cir cumstances may put in my power." The experience of the past, and a well.
a well-founded apprehension of the future, did not allow me to hesitate about the part necessary to be taken; and my electoral government was instructed not to enter into any negociation, the object of which might have been to avoid a new French invasion, by allowing the Prussians to occupy Hanover.
The protest made upon this occasion by my electoral minister of state, was ineffectual. The king of Prussia caused the greatest part of the country to be occupied at the moment that my troops re-embarked ; and his measures were executed without the least regard.
It was too easy to foresee that count Haugwitz would find means at Paris to bring back the arrange. ment between Prussia and France, announced here as ratified by the contracting parties, to its original intention.
This was what took place; and the French troops took possession of Anspach, one of the objects of compensation according to the treaty of December 15, the very day that the marquis de Lucchesini could reach Berlin with intelligence that France required the execution of the articles agreed upon at Vienna.
The answer returned by the British cabinet to the communication of January 25, did not arrive at Berlin until after the minister of state, Baron Hardenberg, had announced to the British envoy the hostile measures which have compelled me to suspend my relations with a court which could so far forget itself.
The Prussian note of April 4, can furnish no good arguments, to establish an unjustifiable measure.
It begins by vannting the pacicific dispositions of Prussia. This disposition is no further sincere
than as it has for its foundation the principles of a just neutrality. The note delivered by the cabinet of Berlin to the French minister on the 14th of October, at the very instant that Prussia appeared to feel the affront which she received by the violation of the territory of Anspach, acknowledges that the conduct which she had followed to that time had proved of advantage to France.
Her actions had much less pre tensions to the character of impartiality. After having permitted the French troops, who seized on the electorate of Hanover, a passage through the Prussian territory; she declared herself ready to oppose, sword in hand, that which the emperor of Russia had demanded for his armies.
France herself forced the passage: she pretended to offer excuses for that step, but it was in a manner equally offensive.
She had seen too clearly where the resentment of Prussia would terminate, which in fact appeared to be stilled when his imperial majesty of Russia engaged in a personal communication with the king.
Prussia then demanded subsidies of Great Britain, which were promised to her, and she signed the convention of Potzdam, the conditions of which she would doubtless have been more disposed to fulfil, if I could have so far forgotten my duty, as to consent to the proposition of ceding the electorate of Hanover for some Prussian province.
Prussia affirms, that from the events of the war, she has not had the choice of means to secure the safety of its monarchy, and of the states of the north. She wishes to make it appear, that she has been compelled to aggrandize herself, and
to become the instrument rather than the object of the vengeance of my enemies.
Such an avowal does not become a great power. All Europe knows All Europe knows that it depended on Prussia, before the battle of Austerlitz, to give repose to Europe, if she had taken the part which her real interests, and the outraged honour of her monarchy dictated to her. She can no longer be excused, after having missed such an opportunity; and even since the event of the 2nd of December, did she not command an army of 250,000 men, who still remember the victories it obtained under the great Frederick, which was in the best dispositions, and supported by the whole Russian army, two corps of which were actually under the command of the King of Prussia?
She would, without doubt, have been subject to certain risks; but she found herself in a situation, when every danger must be encountered, to save the honour of the state. The prince who hesitates in making a choice, destroys the principle which serves as the basis of a military monarchy; and Prussia ought already to begin to feel the sacrifice she has made of her independence.
The note of April 4 affirms, "that France had considered the electorate as its conquest, and that its troops had been on the point of re-entering it, to make a definitive disposal of it."
The electorate of Hanover, as an integral part of the Germanic empire, is not concerned in the war between Great Britain and France; nevertheless, it has been unjustly invaded by that power, which has, notwithstanding, frequently indicated the object for which she was disposed to restore it.
France was at length compelled to abandon the country, and forty thousand of my troops, and those of my allies, were established there, when the Count de Haugwitz signed the treaty which disposes of my states. It is true that the Russian corps was then at the disposal of his Prussian Majesty; but its chief, with the genuine spirit of an honourable man, was not the less determined to fight, if the allies of his master were attacked: we shall not speak of the French garrison which remained at Hameln, insufficient in point of number, deprived of the means of defence, and on the point of being besieged, when the promises of Prussia caused the plan to be abandoned.
The intention of France to dispose definitively of the electorate, would have been contrary to the assertions she has so often made. It would, moreover, have been contrary to the usage of war, since even a conquest is not definitively disposed of before a peace; and particularly at a moment when a wish might exist to manifest a pacific disposition.
Prussia had no right to judge if Great Britain had the means of opposing the return of my enemies to the electorate. Her power furnishes her with the means of bringing the war to an honourable end, for the interests she defends; but it is difficult to conceive in what light Prussia pretends that her measures removed troops that are strangers to the electorate, and ensure the repose of the north. Her troops, in consequence of the treacherous conduct of her cabinet, will remain as much strangers to the electorate as the French troops.
Prussia should not speak of her sacrifices at the moment when her only aim is to aggrandişe herself, un.
less she feels the loss of her independence to be such, and how much she has departed from her duty, in abandoning one of the oldest possessions of her house, and of subjects who implored, in vain, her assistance.Besides, her sacrifices have no connexion with my system of policy, and confer no right on her to usurp the government of my German subjects, whose fidelity nothing has hitherto shaken, and which they will retain towards my person, and a family of princes who for many ages have only sought their happiness.
sition for the preservation of my states.
Lastly, I protest, in the most solemn manner, for myself and my heirs, against every encroachment on my rights in the electorate of Brunswick-Lunenburgh, and its dependencies; and I repeat, in quality of elector, the declaration made by the minister of my crown at the court of Berlin, that no advantage, arising from political arrangements, much less any offer whatever of an indemnity, or equivalent, shall ever engage me to forget what I owe to my dignity, the attachment and exemplary fidelity of my Hanoverian subjects, so as to yield my consent to the alienation of my electorate.
It is evident that the conduct of the eourt of Berlin is not the free expres. sion of the will of its sovereign, but the consequence of the influence exercised by my enemies in the cabinet of that prince. All the courts, and all the states, however, who can judge of circumstances, and all that they owe to the system adopted by E. Count de Munster. the court of Berlin, will agree that the act committed against a sovereign united to his Prussian majesty by the ties of blood, and until now by those of friendship, places the safety of Europe in greater danger than any act of hostility on the part of a power with which one might be at open
Given at the Palace of Windsor, the 20th day of April, 1806, in the 46th year of my reign. (L. S.)
Convinced of the justice of my cause, I make my appeal to all the powers of Europe, who are interested in resisting the consolidation of a system, which, by threatening the political existence of an integral part of the German empire, brings into question the security of the whole. I demand, most earnestly, the constitutional aid which is due to me as elector, from the empire, its august head, as well as Russia and Sweden, the powers who have guaranteed its constitution, and who have already manifested, and still continue to manifest, the most honourable dispo
The Grand Pensionary of the Bata-
High and mighty lords,
state of my health for a long time past, and particularly the unfortunate diminution of my sight, would have afforded more than sufficient grounds for withdrawing myself from the fatigues of public business, I have hitherto continued in office from a sense of duty to my country, and with a view of doing it some essential service; being further influenced by the persuasion, that the renewal of the late war, and the consequences arising from the approach of the enemies' bands towards our frontiers, rendered such a step, on my part, the least doubtful. At present, high and mighty lords, these imperious motives exist ne more: and my con.