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a separate peace with France and her allies. This was declined here, not from any unwillingness to enter into discussions for peace on just and honourable terms, an object which his majesty has uniformly expressed himself desirous of accomplishing, but because the king was bound by engagements to Russia, which precluded him from treating otherwise than in concert with that power. Subsequently to this, a proposal was conveyed through your lordship for the conclusion of peace on the basis so often referred to; and the intermediate communications received from Russia, enabled his majesty, consistently with good faith, to entertain those proposals and to express his disposition to accede to them, provided that, in the mode of treating and concluding, the most intimate concert should still be maintained with Russia.

The extraordinary step taken by M. d'Oubril has now removed all necessity of further reserve on this point.

His majesty, in this state of things, thinks it proper to combine toge ther the two proposals which he has at different periods received from France; and, as the difficulty which before prevented the sending from this country a public minister, openly accredited, to treat for peace, now no longer subsists, and as an acceptable basis of negotiation has been proposed to him by the enemy, his majesty directs, that your lordship should apply to M. Talleyrand for passports for a public minister so authorized and accredited, to whom, it is his majesty's gracious intention to join your lordship, in the full powers to be granted by his majesty.

The great advantages which the king's service will derive from the employment of a person fully instructed as to the sentiments of his majesty's government on all the various points of discussion that may arise, cannot fail to strike your lordship in the same light in which they are seen here; and the king's servants entertain no doubt of your lordship's zealous and hearty co-operation in the execution of the joint instructions which such a person will bring with him. I have only, therefore, to add, that your lordship may assure M. Talleyrand, that as soon as the necessary passports are received, there shall not be an hour's delay in his setting out; and that his majesty's government continues ardently to wish for the conclusion of peace, provided it can be accomplished on the same grounds of national honour, which have never been lost sight of here.

XXVII.

Extract from a Dispatch from Mr. Secretary Fox, to the Earl of Yarmouth, dated Downing-street, July 28, 1806..

Downing-street, July 28, 1806.
MY LORD,

Your lordship's dispatch of the 24th instant was received here this morning, and, as it is probable that, in the course of this day, or tomorrow at farthest, your lordship will receive mine of the 26th instant, I do not think it necessary to do more at present, than to request that your lordship will assure M. Talleyrand, that, immediately on the receipt of the passports which you have been instructed to demand, the carl of Lauderdale, who has been humbly recommended to his majesty for this important trust,

will be prepared to set out; and that he will therefore of course be with your lordship in a very few days from this date. I need hardly observe to your lordship, that it is of the utmost importance, that in the interim, your lordship should avoid taking any step, or even holding any language, whieh may tend in the smallest degree to commit the opinion of his majesty's government on any part of the matters now depending.

answered that I had no knowledge of this circumstance. M. Talleyrand said it was certain, because he had sent two entirely in blank, and that one only had been used, namely, that with which I returned.

It is unnecessary for me to add any thing to what I have already said in my former dispatches, relative to the signature of the Russian treaty; any inaccuracy in the statement of its contents, such as I was enabled to transmit them, may easily be accounted for by the circumstance of my not having seen the treaty itself, and by the unwillingness M. d'Oubril naturally felt to open himself to me on that subject; he informed me, at the time, that he should send a copy to M. de StrogoParis July, 30, 1806. noff, who would communicate it to his majesty's ministers.

No. XXVIII.

Copy of a Dispatch from the Earl of Yarmouth to Mr. Secretary Fox, dated Paris, July 30, 1806.-Received August 1.

SIR,

I had the honour to receive your dispatch of the 26th instant late at night on the 28th, and next morning lost no time in asking for blank passports for a person fully instructed with the sentiments of his majesty's government, whom it was their intention to join with me in the important commission of treating for peace. M. Talleyrand told me he must take the emperor's orders. I accordingly returned this day, when that minister informed me, that the emperor could consider this demand in no other light but that of unnecessary delay, because his majesty's secretary of state was actually in possession of a blank pass. port, which would enable any per. son or persons to come to Paris without the loss of time occasioned by this demand, but that " *pour surcroit de facilités" there could be no difficulty about giving more. I

It is with pain, sir, proportioned to my zeal for his majesty's service, and to the fair and honest conviction of my having done nothing which the peculiar and trying circumstances of the moment did not require from me, that I have learnt by the same dispatch the expression of a wish that I had delayed the production of my full powers till I could know the impression which this event of the Russian treaty might produce in his majesty's councils,'and the apprehension that, by the producing them, so soon after the signature of the Russian treaty, an impression might be created unfavourable to the further progress of the negotiation.

If the question regarded only my own personal feelings, I should not think myself at liberty to allot to it so large a portion of a public dispatch; but it may not, I conceive, 3 B 2

* For still greater facility.

be

be unuseful, with a view to the conduct of the negotiation, that you should be apprized of some details which I have hitherto omitted dwelling upon, partly from the urgency of more important subjects, and partly from my desire not to trespass upon your attention to so great an extent. I trust, sir, that his majesty will see in these details wherewithal to justify my conduct in the difficult situation in which I was placed.

The fate of Holland and Naples were settled before I was honoured with his majesty's confidence. My conversation here with M. Talleyrand soon convinced me that these were only preludes to still greater changes in the system of Europe. I saw at the same time a great desire of negotiation, before the final execution of some of the emperor's schemes should have removed any hope of its being attended with success. This opinion, not preconceived or lightly taken up, but gradually formed from a variety of circumstances, was confirmed by the nature of the offers held out, unofficially indeed, but in such clear and unequivocal terms, that it was impossible to entertain any doubt of the inten. tion of this government to adhere to them.

The point which of all others was the most essential, and that on which satisfaction was due to the national honour, and to that of his majesty, Hanover, would, I was assured, be given up without restriction; for I did not then know we should be asked to allow the king of Prussia to obtain the sovereignty of some of the lesser principalities.

I received similar assurances about Malta, and the Cape of Good Hope; nor have I any reason to doubt but that, before Russia had made her peace separately, these terms might have been obtained, and the treaty have had solely for its basis the uti possidetis, with the sole exception in our favour of Hanover restored, and latterly, indeed, of some arrangements tolerable to all parties in exchange for Sicily.

M. Talleyrand held the same language to me with respect to Russia, which he had before held with regard to the affairs of Germany. "You have now been here a month; we have been willing to converse with you, to give you an insight into our views, and to communicate them to the British government. We told you, that if you had the pow. ers, and would enter into negotiation, we would not sign the arrangement of Germany. A reasonable time was left for you to consult your government: we had no an

The arrangement was signed,

*et nous n'en reviendrons jamais. We now ask you whether you will treat before Russia has signed, which will not pass two days."

It cannot be necessary to state my answer to such a proposition. I will only add, that the treaty with Russia was signed within the time mentioned, and then commenced the difficulty of my situation.

Switzerland, I was told by the same authority, is on the eve of undergoing a great change. This cannot be averted but by a peace with England; but still less can we alter for any other consideration our in

* And we will never recede frour it.

tention

tention of invading Portugal. The army destined for that purpose is already assembling at Bayonne. This is for the determination of Great Britain."

But I confess the point of all others the most decisive in inducing me to produce my full powers, was the language held respecting Prussia.

"Prussia demands from us a declaration respecting Hanover; we cannot consent wantonly to lose the only ally France has had since the Revolution; the declaration once made Nous n'en pouvons nous retracter. Would you have us break entirely with Prussia when we cannot even say that Great Britain will negotiate with us? Are you here only with orders to delay our measures till the season of the year makes excrtion impossible, or can you treat? If so, is not the assurance we give you that Hanover, Malta, and the Cape, shall not be contested, sufficient to induce you to do so? Must we lay before the British government our exact terms, before they will even avow negoti. ation with so great a power as that of France? or shall we execute our other projects, as we did those in Holland and Naples ?"

Undoubtedly, sir, conversations of this sort, confirmed even as they were by the events passing under my eyes, could never have induced me to commit his majesty's confidential servants upon any point upon which I had not received their instructions, and which left no time to receive them; but I did not think myself at liberty to shift from myself the responsibility thus thrown

upon me, at the risk of sceing Portugal and Switzerland share the same fate which Germany has just experienced, and Hanover confirmed to Prussia, until such time as his majesty's arms should recover the possession of it.

The mode of proceeding of this government left me no alternative. Either to avow negotiation, or shut up every opening to it was my only option,

I felt that I pledged his majesty to nothing except the fact of negoti ation, already privately known to every court in Europe.

I carefully forbore giving any written paper, or admitting even the possibility of any other basis than that of uti possidetis.

I have ascertained the real extent of the pretensions of France; and I did consider myself to have prevented a great evil at a small expence, by having given time to yourself and his majesty's other confidential servants, to provide, by the further instructions you might judge proper, for the interests of the powers-thus, for the moment at least, saved from the grasp of France.

I persuade myself that the motives here detailed, upon which I acted at the moment, will place in a stronger light the difficulties of my position, and will, on further consideration, obtain his majesty's gracious approbation of the conduct which I thought myself obliged to hold in consequence.

His majesty's ministers would have relieved me from much painful. responsibility if they had commanded me to proceed no further, and 3 B 3

* We cannot retract.

wait

wait the arrival of the person alluded to, and for whom I have the honour to enclose the necessary passport which I have this moment received.

Mr. Goddard, whom a long resi. dence in France, independent of his abilities and correct information on what has passed here, renders entire ly able to give his majesty's ministers every explanation they may wish for, is so good as to take this dispatch with him to England, where he is returning at the end of his long capti. vity in this country.

I have the honour to be, sir, &c.
Yarmouth.

No. XXIX. Copy of a Dispatch from Mr. Secretary Fox to the Earl of Yarmouth, dated Downing-street, August 2d.

1806.

Downing-street, August 2, 1806.
MY LORD,

Mr. Goddard arrived here yesterday evening with your lordship's dispatch of the 30th July.

His majesty's servants always did justice to the motives which induced your lordship to produce your full powers, though the step is one of which it is not possible for them to express approbation, thinking it, as they do, likely to have given so much more countenance than was desirable to the new and increasing demands of France.

The full powers which lord Lauderdale carries with him, are drawn jointly in his name and your lordship's. In the present disposition of the French government, there is, I fear, little probability, that peace can be concluded on such terms as are alone admissible. The trial should, however, be made with frankness and good faith; and it is

with this view, that his majesty has been pleased to direct that the earl of Lauderdale should proceed to Paris, notwithstanding the present unfavourable aspect of the negotia. tion. His instructions your lordship will consider as equally addressed to yourself, and as the role of your conduct in any conferences which, in conjunction with him, you may have with monsieur Talleyrand, or general Clarke; and, in any point of doubt that may occur, it is his majesty's pleasure that your lordship should be guided by lord Lauderdale's opinion, formed, as it will be, ou the fullest knowledge of the sentiments and views of his majesty's government.

I am, &c. (Signed)

No. XXX.

C. J. Fox.

Copy of a Dispatch from Mr. Secretary Fox to the Earl of Yarmouth, dated Downing-street, Aug. 3,

1806.

Downing street, August 3, 1806.
MY LORD,

I was unwilling to detain lerd Lauderdale for the purpose of reply. ing particularly to the unfounded allegations of M. Talieyrand, which you have recapitulated in your dis patch of the 30th ult. But some points are there mentioned, which cannot be left without an answer, such, indeed, as I trust your lordship has already given to them.

It is true, as stated by that minis. ter, that when the demand was made for lord Lauderdale's passport, there still remained here a blank passport, one of the two sent here some time before your lordship's arrival, when it had been proposed to us to treat separately from Russia. That proposal having fallen to the ground,

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