DURING THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA
FROM THE MANUSCRIPTS PRESERVED IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AT PARIS
WITH A PREFACE, OBSERVATIONS, AND NOTES By M. G. PALLAIN
NEW YORK HARPER BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE 1881 ( Stereotyped and Printed by S. W. Green's Son )
THE publication of the Memoirs left by Prince Talleyrand, who died in 1838, cannot be much longer delayed.
Without passing premature judgment upon the interest and piquancy of the revelations which may be looked for when those Memoirs shall see the light, we may fairly surmise that the great politician who diplomatized so much with his contemporaries, has not resisted the temptation to diplomatize a little with posterity. It would be surprising if, having always and in all things thoroughly understood and carefully studied the mise en scène, he had not most skilfully arranged the conditions of perspective under which he would choose to allow himself to be seen by the generations who should come after him. But although his own evidence upon himself and his times is not yet available to us, we are enabled to take him by surprise, at the present moment, by the aid of documents deposited in the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to examine the details of his relations with many rulers of kingdoms and chief ministers in his character of negotiator.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there is a manuscript comprising one hundred documents: sixty of these are letters written by Prince Talleyrand to King Louis XVIII. during the Congress of Vienna. This manuscript also contains letters of Louis XVIII. The minutes of the latter are in the same archives, and constitute an annexe; there are also two letters, written, by the King's command, on the 9th of November and the 4th of December, 1814, by Count de Blacas. The manuscript also contains some diplomatic documents which are fitly included in our publication, especially the famous report with which Prince Talleyrand furnished Louis XVIII. on his departure from Ghent for Paris. We have been allowed access to the whole of this manuscript, and are authorized to publish it.
M. Thiers, who knew Prince Talleyrand very well, frequently spoke of this correspondence, which he had consulted in the course of his historical studies of the period of the Consulate and the Empire. He regarded the letters as among the most curious and complete of the documents bearing upon the history of that period. They had been, by a special privilege, placed in his hands at an epoch when the exclusive traditions of M. d'Hauterive still prevailed at the Foreign Office -- traditions which have been so courteously set aside by the Commission of Diplomatic Archives, and by the learned and liberal Keeper of the Archives, M. Girard de Rialle.
The great diplomatic authority of Prince Talleyrand, and the numerous arguments to be drawn from his correspondence in favor of the Austro-English alliance, did not prevent M. Thiers from taking, in his history, the side of the Prusso-Russian alliance which, from 1814, General Pozzo di Borgo recommended. May we not therefore suppose that M. Thiers, who had eluded the influence of Prince Talleyrand, with respect to the history of that period, had suffered himself to be convinced by General Pozzo di Borgo, whose opinions and sayings he was fond of quoting even during the closing years of his life. General Pozzo di Borgo never relinquished his efforts to bring about that close political alliance between France and Russia, which was attempted at Tilsit and reconsidered at Vienna, where the representative of the Czar wished to set the seal to it by a marriage between the Due de Berry and the sister of the Emperor Alexander. That alliance was his principal object during the whole period of the Restoration. We now know that when the folly of the Polignac ministry brought about the Revolution of 1830, the ideas of General Pozzo di Borgo were on the point of realization. France had the promise of the banks of the Rhine; Russia, on her side, was free to push her way so far as Constantinople; and the expedition to Algeria, made at that very time, in spite of the displeasure of England, makes it plain that a part of this scheme of alliance and partition was that France should be permitted to take a portion of the Ottoman Empire. 1 The regret with which the Emperor Nicholas regarded the defeat of this plan had had, no doubt, something to do with his wellknown hostility to King Louis Philippe. This supposition is all the more reasonable since the Government of the Czars has never been very fond of legitimacy; and that in the correspondence which we publish, it will be seen that the Emperor Alexander was quite willing to pass over the elder branch of the Bourbons, and at once place on the throne of France, on the occasion of the second Restoration, the Prince who was afterwards Louis Philippe. No doubt there was something in these glimpses of exterior aggrandizement very seductive to the patriotic sentiments of M. Thiers, and his predilection, as an historian, for the Russian alliance is explicable. The essential point which it is proposed to elucidate in this introduction is: Was Prince Talleyrand right, eminently right, in pronouncing in favor of the Austro-English alliance, in 1814, at the risk of clashing with the national sentiment? We do not intend to enter into a disquisition upon the Congress of Vienna; and still less do we propose to draw, in this first publication, a complete picture of the long and eventful career of one whom foreigners, more equitable it may be than ourselves, rank high among our great statesmen. It will suffice for our purpose if we can place the principle of the whole of his conduct, and the results which he obtained in this memorable negotiation, in a clear light. That principle, or rather -- for it ought to be called by its true name -- that supreme expedient, of which he was about to make such great use, was legitimacy. Against the ambition of old Eu- rope, victorious, and in coalition, it was plain he could not invoke the principles of 1789, the rights of man and of citizens, the sovereignty of the people. As he did not possess material strength, he had to seek a new force wherewith to hold his victorious enemies at bay. All tha the could do was to protect, in the name of the legitimist principle, i.e. of historic right, the integrity of the territory which, within its necessary frontiers, would still leave the France of 1789 able to profit by the application of the political, civil, and economical conquests of the Revolution. Vanquished France then profited in her defeat, by the principle which it was the interest of the other European monarchies to respect in her person because those monarchies themselves had no other foundation. She was placed by Prince Talleyrand under the ægis of a principle which was sufficiently accepted by the Allied Powers, to restrict their victory. Thus she escaped that application of force pure and simple which, under the Empire, she had often inflicted upon them.
At a moment when the idea of the sovereignty of the people, perverted and ruined by the Empire which had disregarded it, had lost all practical value, Prince Talleyrand cleverly exhumed from the history of the past an idea whose moral qualities were to make the future of the France of 1789'safe. It is not necessary to believe that the scepticism of Prince Talleyrand himself was relinquished unreservedly in favor of the new doctrine which he sought to inculcate. He was the utilitarian advocate of it with crowned heads. At that epoch, the force of circumstances, with which he liked to contend, was imposing legitimacy upon the world. This was the moment when Napoleon, lamenting, with Caulaincourt, that he had received France so great and left her so small, was debating whether he should not himself send for the Bourbons. In the "Mémorial de Sainte Hélène?" (tom. vii. p. 288, edition of 1823) we find the following: "After the defeat of Brienne, the evacuation of Troyes, the forced retreat upon the Seine, and the humiliating conditions sent from Châtillon, which he bravely rejected, the Emperor, overcome at the prospect of the deluge of evils which was about to overwhelm France, remained for some time absorbed in sorrowful meditation; but at length he started up and exclaimed, 'It may be that I still possess a means of saving France! What if I myself were to recall the Bourbons! The Allies would be obliged to stop short before them, under pain of the shame of acknowledged duplicity -- under pain of proving that their action is directed against our territory more than against my person. I would sacrifice everything to the country; I would become the mediator between the French people and them; I would constrain them to accede to the national laws; I would make them swear to observe the existing compact; my glory and my name would serve as a guarantee to the French. As for me, I have reigned long enough: my career is replete with great deeds and the lustre of them; this last would not be the least among them; by means of it I should rather rise to a higher place than descend from my own.' Then, after a few moments of profound silence, he resumed, in a tone of sadness: 'But does a dynasty which has once been expelled ever pardon? . . . Could it return having forgotten anything? . . . Could any one trust them? . . . Was Fox right in his famous saying about Restorations?' " So early as 1810 he said to M. de Metternich, "Do you know why Louis XVIII. is not sitting here in front of you? It is only because I am sitting here. Nobody else would have been able to hold the place, and if ever a catastrophe occurs, and I disappear, it will be filled by a Bourbon."
Not only was the idea of legitimacy, according to Prince Talleyrand's intention, to serve as an ægis for France; it was also to be the palladium of a European balance of power of sufficient duration to enable France, exhausted by so many struggles, to secure long years of quiet and prosperity. Prince Talleyrand had always had a private leaning towards the English alliance; before the Revolution of 1789, he made one of that small group who, after the publication of Voltaire's "Lettres Anglaises," and the homage paid by Montesquieu to the great, free, and commercial nation, were asking whether it might not be possible to get rid of traditional jealousy and prejudice, and to form between reconciled France and England an alliance which was demanded not only by the interests of the two people, but by the cause of civilization itself. Mirabeau had similar tendencies: the following advice is taken from two unpublished letters forming part of a correspondence. between himself and his friend, the Abbé de Périgord, in 1786, during his secret mission to Berlin: "I have discussed the socalled chimerical idea of an alliance between France and England with the Duke of Brunswick; he regards it as the saviour of the world, and sees no difficulty in it except the prejudices of false science and the lukewarmness of pusillanimity. "I talked about it philosophically, at the English Legation, and I found Lord Dalrymple and even his very British Secretary of Legation infinitely more disposed to the idea than I could have ventured to hope. Lord Dalrymple told me that on hearing the news of the Germanic Confederation, he had at once said to the Marquis of Carmarthen and Mr. Pitt that there was no longer any policy but one for England -- that of a coalition with France, founded on unrestricted free trade. "The routine politicians may do their best; they may bestir themselves as much as they like in their petty ways; there is but one great plan, one luminous idea, one project wide enough to embrace, to reconcile, and to terminate everything. That plan is yours; by putting down not only the rivalries of commerce, but the absurd and sanguinary enmity to which they give rise, it would confide the peace and freedom of the two worlds to the vigilant and paternal care of France and England. "No doubt this idea appears romantic, but is it our fault that everything which is simple has become romantic? No doubt to the short-sighted it looks like a chapter from ' Gulliver's Travels,' but is it not the more or less remote distance from the possible which distinguishes men? "I only want to encourage you to show that it is possible, almost easy, to establish on the imperishable and immovable basis of common interest an alliance between two countries which can and ought to command the peace of the world, and which would prevent continual strife and bloodshed between the two nations." Prophetic words not forgotten by Mirabeau's friend, for, when he was sent on a mission to London in 1792, he attempted to bring about such an alliance; and no doubt often repeated to himself during the fatal contests of the Empire, whose fall recalled him to a sense of its necessity. The imperative obligation of securing repose for France and preserving the European balance of power induced him to decide upon making approaches to the English Legation. That the sole aim of Russia in uniting with France would be domination had been made manifest at Tilsit. The alliance between France and Russia had a distinct preponderance of advantage on the side of Russia, that empire proposing to itself unlimited aggrandizement in Asia and even in Europe. France, on the contrary, could not, even under the most favorable conditions, claim anything beyond the Rhine. Prince Talleyrand therefore acted like a statesman in declaring that the real strength of France, especially after her defeat, lay in her clearly expressed desire for the restoration and the maintenance of peace. Recurring to the ideas of Voltaire and his République Européenne, at that moment, he said (the words are reported by Baron de Gagern, who heard him utter them), "We must be good Europeans and moderate. France ought to demand, and does demand, nothing, absolutely nothing, beyond a just redivision among the Powers; that is to say, the balance of power." The balance of power was thus defined. A combination of the rights, the interests, and the relations of the Powers among themselves, by which Europe seeks to obtain --
"First. That the rights and possessions of a Power shall not be attacked by one or several other Powers.
"Secondly. That one or several other Powers shall never attain to domination over Europe.
"Thirdly. That the combination adopted shall render a rupture of the established order and of the tranquillity of Europe difficult or impossible."
In order to obtain that equilibrium, he signed the treaty of the 3rd of January, 1815. He saw in Europe, on the one side 2 Austria, an essentially diplomatic and conservative Power, of which he gave M. de Metternich the following definition: "Austria is the House of Lords of Europe; so long as she remains undissolved, she will keep down the Commons" -- and England, a parliamentary Power, who had preceded us in the path of liberty. On the other side, he saw Russia, a new and enigmatical Power, represented by a theatrical, mystical, and versatile personage, who changed his policy, his alliances, and his friendships according to the whims of his romantic imagination -- a sort of Slav Napoleon, who had risen upon the ruins of the Napoleonic Empire, and who, after having astonished the coalition by his liberalism, was in the following year to become the promoter of the Holy Alliance.
While Russia and England tended to encourage the ambition of Prussia 3 -- the only Power which had presented itself at the Congress of Vienna with a seriously elaborated plan, and labored for its fulfilment with the ardent tenacity inculcated by its constitution -- Prince Talleyrand applied himself to check that ambition. He had discerned in the constitution of Prussia a principle of absorption and conquest which must dispel any idea of an alliance with that Power.
The following references to this point occur in the instructions which he had received -- and which were probably drawn up by himself -- on the 25th of September, 1814, before he left Paris for Vienna: "In Italy, it is Austria that must be prevented from predominating; in Germany, it is Prussia. The constitution of the Prussian monarchy makes ambition a kind of necessity. Every pretext is good in its sight; no scruple arrests it. Convenance is the law. The Allies have, it is said, pledged themselves to replace Prussia in the same condition of power as she was before her fall, that is to say, with ten millions of subjects. If she be left alone, she will soon have twenty millions, and all Germany will be in subjection to her. It is, then, necessary to curb her ambition, in the first place by restricting as much as possible her status of possession in Germany, and in the second place by restricting her influence by federal organization." 4
An agreement between France and Prussia could not do otherwise than hasten the unity of Germany; it was easy to see that Protestant Prussia would thenceforth attract Germany, which was in majority Protestant, to herself. Now the unity of Germany, at this epoch, meant war, and Prince Talleyrand knew that France and Europe desired peace.
If Saxony had been given up to Prussia, in accordance with the persistent and unwearying demands of the Prussian plenipotentiary, would not Prussia have rapidly assimilated to herself that rich and industrious country, Protestant like herself, half Slav and half Germanic, like herself, and with tendencies similar to her own? Would not the preponderance of Prussia over Germany have been secured by the signature of the final act of that Congress whose great object was to insure peace by an equitable distribution of the forces of attack and defence among the nations? Would not the work of German unification, already singularly accelerated by the destruction of the former Germanic Empire, have been advanced by the space of half a century? The existence of an autonomous Saxony guaranteed the independence of a federal Germany, at the same time that from the strategic point of view it prevented an immediate extensive contact between Prussia and Austria. Such were the reasons which combined to decide Prince Talleyrand on signing the treaty of the 3rd of January, which gave France Austria 5 and England as allies.
This alliance meant peace, and, under favor of peace, the development of the new forces born of the Revolution that peace alone could secure.
By the treaty of the 3rd of January, Prince Talleyrand had obtained for France the maintenance of her frontiers of 1792. Measures were taken by which the France of 1792 was safeguarded had war broken out. Of the four Great Powers she had two with her. "She had cut Europe in two for her profit." If we would form an idea of the anger which was aroused in Prussia by the issue of this memorable negotiation, we should read the Berlin newspapers of the period. Prince Hardenberg, who had not been able to retain Saxony in the power of the Prussians, was the object of the most violent invective -- that same Prince Hardenberg who, at the first meeting of the plenipotentiaries in conference at Vienna, asked what public law had to do with their deliberations, and was answered by Prince Talleyrand, "This -that you are here." Is Prince Talleyrand to be reproached because he did not give up Saxony? Apart from questions of strategy and equilibrium, to give up Saxony would have been to abandon the principle of legitimacy itself, that principle in which Prince Talleyrand made the whole strength of the French negotiators to abide. Instead of Protestant Saxony, which she would have assimilated too readily, Prussia, received the Rhenish Provinces; that is to say, Catholic countries, divided from her by Hanover, Hesse, the duchies of Brunswick and Nassau, etc., accustomed to a French administration, and still more widely parted from her by their religious belief, habits, and legislation. It has taken Prussia half a century to assimilate countries so different from herself. There has been this strange phenomenon in her position, that in order to collect and amalgamate those incongruous elements, she, a Protestant Power, has had to constitute herself the protector of Catholic interests in Germany. Prussia, constituted as an absolute Government, has had to bend to the liberal ideas of the Rhenish Provinces; protectionist Prussia has had to put herself at the head of the Free Trade movement, and to enable her to rejoin her own provinces she has had to create, by dint of much persistence and many sacrifices, the great Customs Union of Central Europe (Zollverein).
But while at Vienna Prince Talleyrand was entirely occupied in the consolidation of peace, at Paris the scarcely established Government of the Restoration was working at its own destruction. The opinion of its clear-sighted friends 6 upon the policy of the new Government may be ascertained from notes taken from unpublished letters of Prince Talleyrand's Parisian correspondents. On the 9th of April, 1815, Jaucourt writes: Alas! why could you not have stayed with us? My letters will have revealed to you my alarm and despondency, and you will have easily judged, since everything is in so false and unfortunate a position, how much there was to fear from the return of the man. I did not deceive myself in the least as to the fatal course we are pursuing." On the 10th, Jaucourt writes again: "Good God! what road have we travelled on since that day! (the royal sitting). It must be said in one word; it led to the island of Elba." The Treaty of Fontainebleau had not been executed. Bonaparte was threatened with deportation to the Azores. Taking advantage of the general confusion, incapacity, and unpopularity of the Restoration, he quitted the island of Elba, the army flocked around him, and he evidently had on his side not only those whom M. de Jaucourt then called "the Jacobins," but also the constitutionalists and the parliamentarians. Under this too late reverting towards liberty, Carnot was Minister of the Interior; Sismondi joined him; Benjamin Constant himself undertook to draw up the Act to be added to the Constitutions of the Empire. The hatred felt for the old régime was stimulated by the errors of the Bour- bons it outweighed the former aversion of the Republicans and Liberals to Bonaparte, and also their dread of the coalition and of renewed war. On the 7th of June, Napoleon opened the session by that tardy homage which, in his distress, he rendered to liberty: "I come hither to commence constitutional monarchy. Men are too powerless to make the future secure; institutions only fix the destinies of nations."
Let us pause for a moment at this point, to remark upon the influence which the transient union between the Republicans, the Liberals, and Napoleon, during that painful period of the Hundred Days, exercised upon the destinies of France through the return of the Bonapartes in the middle of our century. The return of Napoleon led Prince Talleyrand to draw up a memorial addressed to the Powers assembled at Vienna. This document has unfortunately been lost; but, if we may judge of it by his correspondence at that period, it must have contained formulas of exorcism directed against the spectre (revenant) of the island of Elba, which smacked rather of the former bishop than of the discerning friend and undeceived associate of Napoleon. The declaration of the 13th of March and that of the 25th are known; the coalition was re-formed; and at that moment Talleyrand, on the ground of diplomacy, had a right to say that he defended the cause of France by obtaining the maintenance of the treaty of the 30th of May, which secured our frontiers to us, and by signing the final act of the Congress of Vienna. He re-entered Paris with Louis XVIII., and resumed his post as Prime Minister, but the memories of Ghent had made only a transient impression upon the King, and he who had promoted the return of Louis XVIII. was very soon forced to retreat before the triumphant reaction and the hostility of Alexander. That hostility Prince Talleyrand had nobly earned, by defending the principles of the law of nations against the Emperor of Russia at the Congress of Vienna. On the same day on which the Gazette Officielle announced the retirement of Talleyrand, the Holy Alliance was concluded at Paris, under the auspices of Alexander. We were far indeed from the treaty of the 3rd of January, 1815.Evidently, Prince Talleyrand had not sufficient strength of character to make his system of parliamentary and constitutional Monarchy, which would place the Charter above royalty itself, prevail against the personal preferences of Louis XVIII., and especially against the retrograde passions of those by whom the King was surrounded. But while he yielded to the force of circumstances with which he did not care to contend, his keen discernment and his consummate experience made it plain to him that, at a future period, more or less distant, the restored Monarchy would, like Napoleon I., have to pay dearly for the liberties it had taken with his counsels.When the Revolution of 1830 occurred, he was perfectly prepared for it; he was not in the least surprised by it; and, while he experienced the bitter satisfaction of seeing his fears realized, he doubtless hoped that he might at length behold the establishment, by the new Charter, of that régime which in reality he had always preferred. It was then that, recurring to the violence and the excesses which he had witnessed, and opposing the candidature of a Prince of the House of Austria in Belgium, he wrote on the 27th of November, 1830, to M. Molé, in a letter which was to be shown to King Louis Philippe: 7 "I have said to Lord Palmerston and Lord Grey, "A Prince of the House of Austria in Belgium would look too like a Restoration; and you ought to bear in mind a thing which I forgot, fifteen years ago -- that Mr. Fox said, and put it in print, that the worst of Revolutions is a Restoration.'"
NOTES TO THE PREFACE.
1. It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that Algeria was, with the whole eoast of Barbary, the vassal and tributary of the Sultan of Turkey. 2. "There are in Europe at the present day four Great Powers; for [do not place Prussia in that rank. She is held to be great because one of her monarchs did great things, and because we are accustomed to confound the State which he rendered illustrious with Frederick II. But with a parcelledout territory, open on all sides, a soil for the most part ungrateful, a popula- tion of ten millions only, little industry, and small capital, Prussia is in reality only the first of the second-rate Powers. "At the head of the four Great Powers stands France; stronger than each of the other three, capable even of resisting them all; the sole perfect Power, because she alone unites in correct proportions the two elements of greatness which are unequally distributed among the others, that is to say, men and wealth." -- Talleyrand's Memorial to the Emperor Napoleon, dated from Strasburg, 25 Vendémiaire, Year XIV. ( 1806).
3. "An alliance between France and Prussia had been regarded as a means of preserving peace on the Continent. But an alliance with Prussia is now impossible. . . . Thus, it is not to be hoped that for half a century to come Prussia can associate herself with any noble enterprise." -- Memorial to the Emperor Napoleon, 25 Vendémiaire, Year XIV. ( 1806). 4. See D'Angeberg, "Le Congrès deVienne," p. 23. 5. On the day after the victory of Ulm, he advised Napoleon to form that alliance with Austria. He wrote as follows: "I assume that after winning a great battle, your Majesty would say to the House of Austria, 'I did everything to maintain peace; you would only have war. I predicted the consequences to you. I have conquered you reluctantly, but I am the conqueror. I desire that my victory should be for the common good. I want to extirpate even the very least germ of misunderstanding between us. Our dissensions can arise from a too close neighborhood only. Let you and the Princes of your house relinquish Lindau and the island of Monau, from whence you disturb Switzerland, and give us the State of Venice, Trieste, and the Tyrol. I, for my part, will separate the crowns of France and Italy, as I have promised. The kingdom of Italy shall never be enlarged.
" 'The republic of Venice, to which Trieste will be joined, shall be restored under the presidency of magistrate of its own selection. While I exact sacrifices from you, I do not intend that they shall remain without compensation; on the contrary, I desire that the compensation shall exceed them in value. " 'Extend yourself along the Danube. Occupy Wallachia, Moldavia, and Bessarabia. I will intervene to procure the surrender of those possessions to you by the Ottoman Porte, and if the Russians attack you I will be your ally.' . . . "I venture to think that after a victory such proposals will be joyfully accepted by the House of Austria, and then a fair peace will terminate a glorious war. . . . "In past times it was held necessary to fortify Austria, which was regarded as a bulwark against the Ottomans, then formidable to Christendom. Notwithstanding the ancient rivalry between the Houses of Austria and Bourbon, and the ancient alliance of France with the Ottoman Porte, Louis XIV. perceived the danger of Europe, and gave his rival aid. At the present time the Turks are no longer to be feared; they have everything to fear. "But they have been replaced by the Prussians; Austria is still the chief bulwark which Europe has to oppose to them, and it is against them that Austria must now be fortified. "So that sound policy requires. not that the sacrifices which Austria must make be recompensed, but that the compensation be such as to leave her no dissatisfaction. "Let her, in exchange for the State of Venice, the. Tyrol, and her posses- sions in Swabia and the neighboring States, which will remain extinct ever afterwards, be given Wallachia, Moldavia, Bessarabia, and the most northern portion of Bulgaria. She will then be mistress of two fertile provinces; she will acquire, through her former States, an outlet on the Danube, nearly the whole course of that river will be subject to her laws, and a portion of the shores of the Black Sea; and she will have no cause to regret losses so richly compensated." -- Memorial to the Emperor Napoleon, 25 Vendémiaire, Year XIV ( 1806). 6. We have been enabled to consult the manuscript of the letters of M. de Jaucourt, and a copy of a correspondence which is attributed in the Department to M. d'Hauterive. We give some extracts in the course of these volumes. 7. It was in the same letter that he said, " France ought not to think of making what are called alliances; she ought to stand well with all, and only better with a few Powers; that is to say, to keep up such relations of friendship with them as find expression when political events present themselves. This kind of relation is formed nowadays on a different principle from that of earlier times. The progress of civilization will henceforth form our ties of kindred. We ought, then, to endeavor to attract towards us those Governments in which civilization is most advanced. There we shall find our real family alliances."
Vienna, 25th September, 1814,
SIRE, I left Paris on the 16th, and arrived here on the evening of the 23rd. I only stopped on my journey at Strasburg and Munich. The Princess of Wales has just left Strasburg. She went while there to a ball given by Madame Franck, the banker's widow, and danced all night. She gave Talma a supper at the inn where I put up. Her proceedings at Strasburg entirely account for the Prince Regent's being better pleased that she should be in Italy than in England. At Munich, the King spoke to me of his attachment to your Majesty, and of the fears with which Prussian ambition inspired him. He said, with a very good grace: "I have served France twenty-one years; a thing not to be forgotten." A conversation of two hours' duration with M. de Montgelas proved to me conclusively that we have only to carry out the principles laid down by your Majesty as the basis of the political system of France to secure the adherence and win the confidence of the minor Powers. At Vienna, the language of the plenipotentiaries is not yet that of reason and moderation. One of the Russian ministers said to us yesterday: They wanted to make an Asiatic Power of us; Poland will make us European." Russia would not ask anything better than to exchange her old Polish provinces 1 for those which she covets in Germany and on the banks of the Rhine. These two Powers ought to be regarded as closely united on that point. The Russian ministers insist, without having admitted the slightest discussion up to the present time, upon an extension of territory which would carry that Power to the banks of the Vistula, and even add Old Prussia 2 to their empire. I hope the Emperor, 3 who, under different circumstances, allowed me to put frankly before him what I judged to be most conducive to his true interests and to his fame, will permit me to contest the policy of his ministers in his presence. La Harpe, the philanthropist, objects strongly to the former partition of Poland, and urges its subjection to Russia. He has been at Vienna these ten days. The right of the King of Saxony to have a minister at the Congress is disputed. M. de Schulenburg, 4 whom I have known for a long time, told me yesterday that the King had declared that he would make no act of cession, abdication, or exchange whatever which could destroy the existence of Saxony and do injury to the rights of his house. This honorable resistance on the part of the King may make some impression on those who still favor the idea of uniting Saxony to Prussia. Bavaria has offered the King of Saxony to support these claims with a considerable body of troops, if necessary. Prince do Wrede says that he is ordered to give as many as 40,000 men. The question of Naples is not decided. 5 Austria wants to place Naples and Saxony on the same footing, and Russia wants to make them subjects for compensation. The Queen of Naples is but little regretted. 6 Her death seems to have made things easier for M. de Metternich. Nothing has been settled with respect to the order and conduct of the business of the Congress. Even the English, whom I believed to be more methodical than the others, have made no preparatory plan. I am inclined to think that there will be a general assent to the idea of two Commissions: one composed of the six Great Powers, 7 to be occupied with the general affairs of Europe; the other composed of the six leading German Powers, 8 (I should have wished the number to be seven 9 ), to prepare the affairs of Germany. The idea of a Commission for Italy is highly displeasing to Austria. The line of conduct which your Majesty has laid down for your ministers is so noble that it must necessarily, if all reason have not vanished from the earth, give them some influence in the end. I am, Sire,
With the most profound respect,
Your Majesty's most humble and obedient servant and subject,
P.S. -- The Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia 10 have just arrived. Their entry was a fine sight. They were on horseback, the Emperor of Austria in the middle. Some slight disorder occasioned by the horses led to the King of Prussia's being for a considerable part of the way on the right of the Emperor Francis; 11 the proper order of things was not restored until shortly before they reached the palace. 12
NOTES TO LETTER I.
Prussia had shared in the three partitions of Poland ( 1773, 1793, 1795). At the last partition Warsaw had fallen to the share of that kingdom. By "Old Prussia," Prince Talleyrand means Royal, formerly called Ducal Prussia, whose capital is Köningsberg. The Emperor of Russia. The King of Saxony had sent M. de Gærz, his confidential adviser, to Vienna in September. In the declaration of the King of Saxony, dated from Friedriechsfeld, 4th November, 1814, the following passage occurs: "The preservation and the consolidation of the legitimate dynasties has been the great object of a war which has just been happily terminated: the Powers which entered into a coalition for that purpose have repeatedly proclaimed in the most solemn manner, that far from entertaining any project of conquest or aggrandizement, they have solely in view the re-establishment of law and liberty in Europe. In December, he entrusted all his powers to M. de Schulenburg, who had just published a pamphlet entitled, "Do the People of Saxony wish for a Change of Dynasty?"
Joachim Murat had remained in possession of the kingdom of Naples after the fall of Napoleon I., his brother-in-law ( April, 1814). Marie Caroline ( 1752-1814). See Appendix. Russia, Austria, Prussia, England, France, Spain. Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Wurtemburg, and Hanover; the sixth ought to have been Saxony, which was, in fact, excluded. No doubt by the addition of the grand-duchy of Baden. Frederick William III. See Appendix. Francis I. of Austria. See Appendix. In the Moniteur Universel of 9th October, an account is given of the entry of the sovereigns into Vienna, 26th September, 1814: "The procession lasted more than an hour: a salute of one thousand guns was fired from the ramparts." A caricature of the period represents the Emperor Alexander driving a huge travelling-carriage, the King of Prussia acting as chasseur; the Emperor Napoleon following the vehicle on foot, and crying out to the Emperor Francis, "Father-in-law, father-in-law, they have put me out." The Emperor of Austria, who occupies the interior of the carriage, looks out of the window and answers, "And me in!"
Vienna, 29th September, 1814.
At last we have almost finished our round of visits to the members of the numerous Royal family. It has been most pleasant to me to meet everywhere with evidence of the high consideration with which the person of your Majesty is regarded; the interest and the good wishes of all are expressed in language more or less complimentary indeed, but with sincerity that cannot be suspected. The Empress, 1 who had been obliged since our arrival to devote herself exclusively to the Empress of Russia, 2 had appointed an hour for receiving us to-day. She is unfortunately indisposed, and although she deputed the Archduchess her mother to receive several persons on her behalf, she received your Majesty's embassy in person. She questioned me respecting your Majesty's health with interest which was not dictated by mere politeness. "I remember," said she, "to have seen the King at Milan. I was very young then, and he was all kindness to me; I have never forgotten that under any circumstances." She spoke in similar terms of the Duchesse d'Angoulême, of her good qualities, of the affection with which she was regarded at Vienna, and the remembrance of her that is preserved there. She was also pleased to say very obliging things about your Majesty's minister. Twice she mentioned the name of the Archduchess Marie Louise; the second time she called her, with a sort of affectation, "my daughter Louise." Notwithstanding the cough by which she is frequently interrupted, and in spite of her thinness, the Empress has the gift of pleasing, and certain graces which I should call French were they not, to a critical eye, a little affected.
M.·de Metternich is very polite to me; M. de Stadion is more confidential with me. The latter, indeed, being displeased at what the former does, confines himself altogether to matters of finance, -their management has been given to him, and I greatly doubt his understanding them, -- and has abandoned Cabinet business; this, perhaps, makes him more communicative. I have to congratulate myself upon the frankness with which I am treated by Lord Castlereagh. 3 A few days ago he had a conversation with the Emperor Alexander, 4 which lasted for an hour and a half, and he came to me afterwards to tell me all about it. He states that in this con- versation the Emperor employed all the resources of a subtle mind, but that he (Lord Castlereagh) spoke in very positive terms, and indeed said things so hard that they would have been unbecoming had he not, in order to make them go down, mixed up with them ardent protestations of zeal for the Emperor's glory. Notwithstanding all this, however, I am afraid Lord Castlereagh has not the spirit of decision which it would be so necessary for us that he should have, and that the idea of the English Parliament of which he never shakes himself free makes him timid. I will do all that in me lies to inspire him with firmness. Count Nesselrode had told me that the Emperor Alexander wished to see me, and it had been arranged that I should write to him to ask for a private audience. I did this several days ago, but as yet I have no answer. Are our principles, of which we make no secret, known to the Emperor Alexander, and have they made him feel a kind of awkwardness with me? If he does me the honor to converse with me upon the affairs of Saxony and Poland -- and all that reaches me leads me to expect he will do so -- I shall be mild and conciliatory, but quite firm, speaking of principles only and never departing from them. I am convinced that Russia and Prussia are making so much noise and talking so big merely to find out what is thought, and that if they see that they stand alone they will think twice of it before they carry things to extremity. The Polish enthusiasm which the Emperor Alexander took up in Paris, cooled at St. Petersburg, was warmed up again at Pulawy, 5 and may decline once more, although we have M. de la Harpe here and we are expecting the Czartoryskis. I can scarcely believe that a simple but unanimous declaration by the Great Powers would not be sufficient to quell it. Unhappily the person who is at the head of affairs in Austria, and who lays claim to the regulation of those of Europe, regards as the infallible mark of superior genius that levity which he carries on the one side to absurdity, and on the other to a point at which, in the minister of a great State, and in circumstances like the present, it becomes a calamity. In this state of things, when so many passions are in a ferment and so many people are disturbed in various ways, it seems to me that two errors are equally to be avoided -- impetuosity and indolence; and I therefore endeavor to preserve that attitude of calm dignity which I regard as the only one befitting your Majesty's ministers, who, thanks to the wise instructions they have received from your Majesty, have to defend principles only, without having any scheme of personal interest to carry through. 6 Whatever may be the issue of the Congress, there are two points which must be established and preserved: the justice of your Majesty and the strength of your Majesty's Government; for they afford the best, or rather the only, pledges for consideration without and stability within. These two points once thoroughly established, as I hope they will be, whether the result of the Congress be or be not in accordance with our wishes and the good of Europe, we shall come out of it with honor.I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER II.
Maria Louise Beatrix of Austria. See Appendix.
Elizabeth Alexievna ( 1779-1826). See Appendix.
Giving an account of an audience of the King, Jaucourt writes, 18th October, 1814: "I had given expression to some reflections to the effect that it appeared to me Lord Castlereagh did not present a union of very frank and exact principles and views. The king defended his personal character as that of a gallant gentleman, but said he did not rate his political character so highly. On the 15th of October, M. de Jaucourt writes to Prince Talleyrand: "Lord Wellington came to see me; his visit was a friendly one. . . . We talked freely enough. He told me that Lord Castlereagh had found the Emperor Alexander, at his first visit, in such 'a state of violence' that all he could obtain from him was the following: 'I will think of what you have said to me by way of objection, and we will talk of it another time.' With this the Czar dismissed him." Pulawy, on the Vistula, a Polish town, forty-two kilomètres from Lublin. Prince Adam Czartoryski had a magnificent estate there. "The King's ministers strictly observe the line laid down for them by their instructions. They recur in all their conversations to the article of the treaty of 30th May, which assigns to the Congress the honorable mission of establishing a real and durable equilibrium. That impartial method leads them to enter into the principles of public law recognized by all Europe, and which imply, in an almost obligatory manner, the re-establishment of King Ferdinand II. on the throne of Naples, as well as the succession of the house of Savoy in the Carignano branch." -- Talleyrand's letter to the department, 27th September. 1814.
Vienna, 4th October, 1814.
On the 30th of September, between nine and ten o'clock in the morning, I received from M. de Metternich a letter consisting of five lines, and dated the previous evening, in which he proposed to me, in his own name only, to come and assist at a preliminary conference, for which I should find the Russian, English, and Prussian ministers met at his house. He added that he was making a similar request of the Spanish minister, M. de Labrador. The words "assist" and "met" were evidently employed with design. I replied that it would give me great pleasure to present myself at his house with the Russian, English, Spanish, and Prussian ministers. The invitation addressed to M. de Labrador was couched in the same terms as that which I had received, with this difference, that it was in the form of a note in the third person, and written in the name of M. de Metternichand his colleagues. M. de Labrador having come to communicate this note to me, and to consult me upon the answer to be sent, I showed him mine, and he wrote one exactly similar, in which France was named with and before the other Powers. Thus M. de Labrador and myself purposely combined what it seemed the others wanted to divide, and separated what it appeared to be their object to unite by a special link. I was at the house of M. de Metternich before two o'clock, and found that the ministers of the four Courts had already met and were sitting at a long table. At one end was Lord Castlereagh, who seemed to be presiding; at the other end was a man whom M. de Metternich presented to me as "holding the pen" in their conference. This was M. Gentz. A seat had been left vacant between Lord Castlereagh and M. de Metternich; this I took. I asked why I only of all your Majesty's embassy had been summoned, and my question led to the following dialogue:
"It was wished that none but the Secretaries of State should meet at the preliminary conferences." "M. de Labrador is not one, and yet he is summoned." "True, but the Spanish Secretary is not at Vienna." "But, beside Prince Hardenberg, I see M. de Humboldt, who is not a Secretary of State." "That is an excep- tion rendered necessary by the infirmity from which, as you know, Prince Hardenberg suffers." "If only infirmities were in question, each might have his own and an equal right to make use of them" 1 They then seemed inclined to admit that each Secretary of State might bring one of the plenipotentiaries his colleagues, and so I thought it useless to insist any further for the moment. Count Palmella, the Portuguese Ambassador, being informed by Lord Castlereagh that there were to be preliminary conferences at which M. de Labrador and I were to be present, but that he was not to be summoned, thought fit to protest against an exclusion which he regarded as unjust and humiliating to the crown of Portugal. He had therefore written to Lord Castlereagh a letter which the latter produced at the conference. His reasons were strong and well put. He demanded that the eight Powers who signed the treaty of the 30th of May, 2 and not six of those Powers, should form the Preparatory Commission by which the Congress for whose assembling they had stipulated was to be set going. M. de Labrador and myself supported this demand, and the rest seemed disposed to accede to it, but the decision was adjourned until the next sitting. Sweden is not yet represented here by a plenipotentiary, and is therefore not in a position to make any claim. "The object of to-day's conference," said Lord Castlereagh to me, is to make you acquainted with what the four Courts 3 have done since we have been here." Addressing M. de Metternich he said, "You have the protocol." M. de Metternich then handed me a paper signed by him, Count Nesselrode, Lord Castlereagh, and Prince Hardenberg. In this document the word "allies" occurred in every paragraph. I pointed out the word, and said that the use of it placed me under the necessity of asking where we were, whether we were still at Chaumont 4 or at Laon, 5 whether peace had not been made, whether there was any quarrel, and with whom. I was answered by all that they did not attribute a sense contrary to the state of our actual relations to the word "allies," and that they had only employed it for brevity's sake. On which I impressed upon them that, however valuable brevity might be, it ought not to be purchased at the expense of accuracy. The tenor of the protocol was a tissue of metaphysical arguments intended to enforce pretensions which were supported by treaties unknown to us. To discuss those reasonings and pretensions would have been to embark upon an ocean of disputes; I felt that it was necessary to repel the whole by one peremptory argument; so I read several paragraphs and said, "I do not understand." Then I read the same paragraphs through very carefully a second time, with the air of earnestly striving to penetrate the meaning of a thing, and said, "I do not understand any the more." I added: "I hold to two dates between which there is nothing: that of the 31st of May, on which the formation of the Congress Was stipulated, and that of the 1st of October, on which it ought to meet. All that has been done in the interval is foreign to me, and does not exist for me." The answer of the plenipotentiaries was that they cared so little for the paper in question that they asked nothing better than to withdraw it; upon which M. de Labrador observed that nevertheless they had signed it. They took it back, M. de Metternich laid it aside, and there was no more about it. After having abandoned this document they produced another. This was the draft of a declaration which M. de Labrador and I were to sign with them if we adopted it. After a long preamble on the necessity of simplifying and abridging the labors of the Congress, and after protestations that there was to be no infringement of the rights of anybody, the draft set forth that the subjects to be settled by the Congress were to be divided into two series; that a committee was to be formed for each, to which the States interested might address themselves; and that, these two committees having completed their task, the Congress should then be assembled for the first time and the whole submitted to its sanction.
The visible aim of this plan was to make the four Powers who called themselves allied absolute masters of all the operations of the Congress; for on the hypothesis that the six principal Powers were to constitute themselves judges of the questions relating to the composition of the Congress, to the matters which it was to regulate, to the methods to be adopted in the settlement of them, and the order in which they were to be taken; and that they should have the uncontrolled nomination of the committees which were to prepare everything, France and Spain would never be otherwise than two against four, even supposing them to be always agreed upon every question. I said at once that a first reading was not sufficient for the formation of an opinion upon a project of this nature, which needed to be thought over; that we must especially, and in the first place, ascertain whether it was compatible with rights which we intended to respect; that we had all come here to secure the rights of each, and that it would be most unfortunate if we were to set out by violating them; that the idea of arranging everything before convening the Congress was a novel one to me; that they proposed to finish where I had thought it would be necessary to begin; that probably the power which it was proposed to confer upon the six Powers could not be given to them except by the Congress; that there were measures which ministers without responsibility might easily adopt, but that Lord Castlereagh and I were in quite a different case. Here Lord Castlereagh said that the reflections which I was making had occurred to his mind also, that he felt all their force, but, he added, what other expedient is there by which we can avoid being led into proceedings of interminable length? I asked why the Congress could not be assembled at once -- what were the difficulties in the way? Then each brought forward one of his own, and a general conversation ensued. The name of the King of Naples 6 being mentioned by somebody, M. de Labrador expressed himself unreservedly about him. I contented myself with saying, "What King of Naples is referred to? We do not know the man in question." Upon which M. de Humboldt remarked that the Powers had recognized him and guaranteed his States to him. I replied in a cold, firm tone: "Those who guaranteed them ought not to have done so, and consequently could not;" and then, in order not to prolong the effect which this speech had veritably and visibly produced, I added, "But this is not just now the question." Then, returning to that of the Congress, I said that the apprehended difficulties would perhaps be less than was supposed, and that a means of obviating them surely might be found. Prince Hardenberg stated that he did not give the preference to any one expedient over any other, but that one would be needed according to which the Princes of Layen and Lichtenstein 7 should not interfere in the general arrangements of Europe. Thereupon we adjourned until two days later, after it had been promised that copies of the draft of the proposed declaration and of Count Palmella's letter should be sent to me and to M. de Labrador. (The papers mentioned in the letter which I have the honor to write to your Majesty are appended to my official letter of to-day to the department.) After having received and reflected upon these, I thought that it would not do to wait for the next conference to make known my opinion. At first I drew up an answer in the form of a verbal note, but then, having reflected that the four Courts had had conferences between them, at which they had pro- posed protocols which they signed, I considered it was not fitting that between them and your Majesty's minister there should be only conversations of which no trace remained, and that an official note would be the most correct method of setting'; negotiation going. Accordingly, on the 1st of October I addressed to the five other Powers a signed note, to the effect that the eight Powers who had signed the treaty of May seemed to me, by that circumstance alone, and in the absence of a mediator, fully qualified to form a commission to prepare those questions which it would have to decide for the decision of the Congress, and to propose to it the formation of the committees expedient to be established, and the names of those who should be considered most suitable to form them, but that its competence ought not to extend any farther: that not being the Congress, but only a portion of the Congress, to attribute to themselves a power which could only belong to the entire Congress, would be a usurpation which I should find it very difficult, in case of my co-operating with it, to reconcile with my responsibility; that the difficulty which attended the meeting of the Congress was not of a nature to diminish with time, and that since it must be overcome once for all, there was nothing to gain by delaying; that no doubt the small States ought not to meddle with the general arrangements of Europe, but that they would not even wish to do so, and consequently could not give trouble; and that I was naturally led by all these considerations to desire that the eight Powers should address themselves without delay to the preliminary questions to be decided by the Congress, so that it might be promptly called together and those questions submitted to it.
After I had despatched this note, I set out for my private audience of the Emperor Alexander. M. de Nesselrode had come on his behalf to tell me that he wished to see me alone, and he had himself reminded me of this on the preceding evening, at a Court ball, where I had the honor of seeing him. On addressing me he took my hand, but his manner was not so affable as it usually is. He spoke in short sentences; his demeanor was grave, and even solemn. I saw plainly that he was playing a part. "First of all," said he, "what is the situation in your country?" "As good as your Majesty could desire, and better than could have been hoped." "And the spirit of the public?" "It improves every day." Liberal ideas?" "They prevail nowhere more than in France. "But the liberty of the Press?" "It has been re-established, with a few restrictions demanded by circumstances. 8 In two years those re- strictions will be removed, and in the mean time they will not hinder the publication of anything that is good and useful." "And the army?" 9 "It is all for the King. One hundred and thirty thousand men are ready to take the field, and at the first summons three hundred thousand could join them." "The Marshals?" "Which of them, Sire?" "Oudinot." "He is devoted to the King." "Soult?" "He was rather sulky at first; but he has been given the government of La Vendée, and gets on admirably there. He has made himself both liked and respected." "And Ney?" "He frets about his endowments a good deal. Your Majesty might diminish his regrets." "The two Chambers? It seems to me there is opposition." 10 "As is always the case where there are deliberative assemblies; opinions may differ, but affections are unanimous; and in the difference of opinions that of the Government always has a large majority." "But there is no agreement." "Who can have told your Majesty such things? After twenty-five years of revolution, in a few months the King is as firmly established on his throne as if he had never left France; what more certain proof can be given that everything tends to the same end?" "Your own personal position?" "The confidence and the kindness of the King surpass my hopes." 11 "Now let us talk of our affairs: we must finish them here." "That depends on your Majesty. They will be promptly and happily terminated if your Majesty brings to bear on them the same nobility and greatness of soul as in the affairs of France." "But each must find what suits it here." "And what is right." "I shall keep what I hold." "Your Majesty would only wish to keep that which is legitimately yours." "I am in accord with the Great Powers." "I do not know whether your Majesty reckons France among those Powers." "Yes, certainly; but if you will not have each have its convenances, what do you propose?" "I place right first, and les eonvenances after." "The convenances of Europe are the right." 12 "This language, Sire, is not yours; it is foreign to you, and your heart disowns it." "No, I repeat it; les eonvenances of Europe are the right," 13 I turned towards the wall near which I was standing, leaned my head against the panelling, and exclaimed, "Europe, unhappy Europe !" Then turning once more to the Emperor, "Shall it be said, I asked him, "that you have destroyed it?" He answered me, "Rather war than that I should renounce what I hold." I let my arms drop in the attitude of one grieved indeed but resolute, and with the air of saying to him, "The fault is none of ours," I kept silence, which for some moments the Emperor did not break. Presently he said, "Yes, rather war." I remained in the selfsame attitude. Then, lifting up his arms, waving his hands as I had never seen him do previously, and in a manner which reminded me of the passage at the end of the "Éloge de Marc-Aurèle," he cried rather than said, "It is time for the play; I must go. I promised the Emperor; they are waiting for me. "He then withdrew, but returned from the open door, put his two hands on my sides, gave me a squeeze, and said, in a voice quite unlike his own, "Adieu, adieu; we shall meet one another again." In all this conversation, of which I can only convey the most striking part to your Majesty, Poland and Saxony were never once named; they were only indicated in roundabout ways. Thus, when the Emperor said, meaning Saxony, "Those who have betrayed the cause of Europe," I was in a position to answer, "Sire, that is a question of date;" 14 and after a pause, I added, "And the effect of difficulties into which one may have been thrown by circumstances." Once the Emperor spoke of "the allies," but I took up the phrase, just as I had done at the conference, and he set it down to habit. Yesterday, which was to have been the day of the second conference, M. de Mercy was deputed by M. de Metternich to inform me that it would not take place. A friend of M. de Gentz called on him in the afternoon, and found him busy with some work which he said was urgent. I thought it was an answer to my note. That evening, at Prince Trautmansdorff's, the plenipotentiaries reproached me with having addressed that note to them, and especially with having given it an official character by signing it. I replied that as they wrote and signed amongst themselves, I thought that I too must write and sign. I concluded from this that my note had-embarrassed them not a little. To-day Count Metternich wrote to me that there would be a conference at eight o'olock, and then sent me word that it could not take place because he had been summoned to attend the Emperor.
Such, Sire, is the present situation of affairs. Your Majesty sees that our position here is difficult; it may become more so every day. The Emperor Alexander gives full play to his ambition, which is fostered by M. de la Harpe and Prince Czartoryski; Prussia hopes for large increase; pusillanimous Austria has only a shamefaced ambition, but she is complaisant that she may get help; and these are not the only difficulties. There are others, springing from engagements which the hitherto allied Courts have entered into at a time when they did not expect to defeat him whose overthrow they have witnessed and when it was their purpose to make such a peace with him as would permit them to imitate him.Now that your Majesty, being replaced upon the throne, has seated justice there once more, the Powers for whose advantage those engagements were made do not wish to renounce them, and those who probably regret having made them do not know how to get out of them. Your Majesty's ministers may have to encounter such obstacles that they shall have to abandon all hope except that of saving honor. But we have not come to that yet.I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER III.
Prince Hardenberg was deaf, and M. de Talleyrand was lame.
The treaty by which France re-entered in 1814 her frontiers of 1790.
England, Russia, Austria, Prussia.
Chaumont, the principal town of Haute Marne, on the Marne. At Chaumont the treaty of the 1st of March, between Austria, Russia, Great Britain, and Prussia, was concluded. Laon, chief place of the department of the Aisne, 150 kilomètres to the north-east of Paris. Napoleon was defeated under its walls, 9th and 10th March, 1814. The declaration of the Allied Powers after the rupture of the negotiations of Châtillon, bearing a solemn confirmation of the preceding treaties which intervened, was made from Vitry and Laon, and bore date 25th March, 1814. During the "campaign of France" diplomatic conferences took place in these two towns.
Murat. See Appendix.
The principality of Layen (its chief place is Ahrenfel-on-the-Rhine) is one of the smallest in Germany. It was incorporated with the grand-duchy of Baden in 1815. The principality of Lichtenstein, situated between. the Tyrol and Switzerland (its chief place is Vadaz), contains at the present time only eight thousand inhabitants. The charter had promised freedom of the Press.
The Minister of War wrote to M. de Talleyrand (8th October): The army is in a state of perfect submission, in every part of the kingdom; and most satisfactory and praiseworthy manifestations have been made by all the corps on the occasion of the journey of the princes." At the same date, M. de Jaucourt wrote to M. de Talleyrand: "Yesterday I gave a great dinner to several generals -- the Duke of Placentia, General Maison and his staff, etc., etc., and I am well enough pleased with them. To say that they have no regrets, and are in a completely good humor, would be too much, but they like the King, and they are all agreed that it is to the military condition of 1792, and not to that of Bonaparte, that we must return.
The military nobility of recent date is certainly jealous of the hereditary nobility."
"It is difficult to form an idea of the slovenliness and makeshift character of the administration. Every day affords some fresh proof of this." -D'Hauterive to M. de Talleyrand, 18th October, 1814.
"The King pronounced an eulogium on you, Prince, the day before yesterday. He praised your talent and your conduct at the Congress, and seemed to me to bring all the justice and eminent sagacity of his mind to bear on this subject." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand.
Later, he writes: "He (the King) seems convinced that if you do not succeed in all that he wishes, you will succeed in all that is necessary, just, and useful for France."
"It is to be hoped that in Europe force will no longer be transformed into law, and that equity, not expediency, will be made the rule." -- Circular to the Ambassadors by M. de Talleyrand, 3rd October, 1814. For the expression used here, "les convenances," there is no entirely exact equivalent in English. -- TRANSLATOR. Talleyrand thus discreetly reminded the Emperor Alexander I. that he also had betrayed the cause of the Kings in 1807 (Treaty of Tilsit).
LETTER IV. Vienna, 9th October, 1814.
The ministers of the four Courts, embarrassed by my note of the 1st of October, and finding no argument with which to contest it, have taken the line of being offended. That note, said M. de Humboldt, is a firebrand flung into our midst; the object of it, said M. de Nesselrode, is to disunite us; it shall not be successful. While they openly avowed what it was easy to perceive, that they had formed a league to make themselves masters of everything, and constitute themselves supreme arbiters of Europe, Lord Castlereagh, speaking with more moderation and in a milder tone, told me it had been intended that the conference to which M. de Labrador and myself had been summoned should be entirely confidential, but that I had deprived it of that character by my note, and especially as it was a signed note. I replied that the fault was theirs, not mine; they had asked my opinion, and I was bound to give it, and if I had thought proper to give it in writing and signed, it was because I had observed that in their conferences between themselves they wrote and signed, and therefore I considered that I too ought to write and sign. Meantime, the contents of my note having transpired, these gen- tlemen, in order to lessen its effect, have had recourse to the habitual ways of the Cabinet of Berlin; they have spread it abroad that the principles which I set forth are merely a decoy, that we are demanding the left bank of the Rhine, that we have designs upon Belgium, and that we want war. This has reached me from all sides, but I have given orders to all connected with the Legation to explain themselves to everybody with such frankness and simplicity, and in so positive a manner, that the authors of those absurd rumors will reap nothing from them except the shame of having disseminated them. On the 3rd of October, in the evening, M. de Metternich, whom I met at the house of the Duchesse de Sagan, 1 handed to me a new draft of declaration drawn up by Lord Castlereagh. This second scheme did not differ from the first, except as it tended to represent the proposal of the four Courts as nothing more than a consequence of the first of the secret articles of the 30th of May. But neither was the principle from which it took its departure just (for Lord Castlereagh evidently lent to one of the provisions of the article a sense which it has not, and which we could not admit), nor, if it had been just, would the consequence which is drawn from it have been legitimate; the attempt was therefore doubly unfortunate. I wrote to Lord Castlereagh. I gave my letter a confidential form; I strove to bring together all the reasons that militate against the proposed plan. (The copy of my letter is appended to the despatch which I forward to-day to the department). Your Majesty will see that I have taken particular care to make it evident, in the politest manner possible, that the motive for proposing the plan has not escaped me. I thought it right to declare that it was impossible for me to coalesce in anything which would be contrary to principles, because it was only by remaining steadily attached to them that we could resume the rank and consideration in the eyes of the nations of Europe, which, since the return of your Majesty, are ours of right, because to depart from them would be only to revive the Revolution, which had been one long oblivion of them. I ascertained that Lord Castlereagh, when he received my letter, handed it to the Portuguese minister, who was with him, and that he acknowledged we were right in point of fact; but that it remained to be seen whether what we proposed was practicable. This was, in other words, asking whether the four Courts could dispense with arrogating to themselves a power over Europe which Europe had not given them. That day we had a conference, at which only two or three of us were present at first, the other ministers arriving at intervals of a quarter of an hour. Lord Castlereagh had brought my letter, on purpose to communicate it to the conference; it was passed from hand to hand. M.M. de Metternich and Nesselrode merely glanced at it with the air of men who require only to look at a paper to lay hold of all its contents. I had been forewarned that I should be requested to withdraw my note; and in fact M. de Metternich did ask me to do so. I replied that I could not. M. de Labrador said it was too late, and would serve no purpose, because he had sent a copy of it to his Court. "Then we must answer you," said M. de Metternich to me. "If you will kindly do so," I replied. "I should," he resumed, "be of opinion that we ought to settle our affairs by ourselves, meaning by us the four Courts." I answered unhesitatingly, "If you take the question in that way, I am altogether your man; I am quite ready, and ask nothing better." "What do you mean?" said he. "This; it is very simple," I replied: "I shall take no more part in your conferences; I shall be nothing here but a member of the Congress, and I shall wait until it is opened." Instead of renewing his proposition, M. de Metternich reverted, by degrees and in circuitous ways, to general statements concerning the inconvenience which would attend the actual opening of the Congress. M. de Nesselrode said, without much reflection, that the Emperor Alexander wanted to leave Vienna on the 25th; to which I replied, in a tone of indifference, that I was sorry to hear it, as he would not see the end of the business. How can the Congress be assembled," said M. de Metternich, when nothing is ready to lay before it?" "Well, then," I replied, to show that I did not want to make difficulties, and was prepared to agree to anything that did not clash with the principles from which I could not depart, "since nothing is ready as yet for the opening of the Congress, and since you wish to adjourn, let it be put off for a fortnight or three weeks. I consent to that, but on two conditions: one is that you summon it for a fixed day; the other is that in the note of convocation you lay down the rule for admission to it." I wrote out that rule on a sheet of paper, almost exactly as it is drawn up in the instructions given to us by your Majesty. The paper was passed from hand to hand, some questions were asked, a few objections were made, but no resolution was adopted, and, the ministers who had come in one after the other going away in like manner, the conference, so to speak, evaporated rather than ended. Lord Castlereagh, who remained to the last, and with whom I walked downstairs, endeavored to bring me over to their way of thinking by giving me to understand that certain matters which were of special interest to my Court might be arranged to my satisfaction. I told him that the present question was not one of such and such particular objects, but of the law by which they were all to be regulated. "If," I said, "the thread be once broken, how shall we reunite it? We have to respond to the desire and demand of all Europe. What shall we have done for Europe if we have not re-established the rule of the maxims whose breach has wrought so much evil? The present epoch is one of those which hardly occur once in the course of several centuries. A fairer opportunity can never be offered to us. Why should we not place ourselves in a position to profit by it?" "Ah," he said, with some embarrassment, "there are difficulties of which you are not aware." "No, I am not aware of them," I answered, in a tone implying that I had no curiosity to learn them. We parted then, and I dined with Prince Windischgratz. M. de Gentz was there. We talked for a long time over the points that had been discussed in the conference at which he had been present. He seemed to regret that I had not arrived earlier at Vienna; and was pleased to think that things with which he professed to be discontented might have assumed a different complexion. Lastly, he acknowledged that in reality they all felt I was right, but that their amour-propre was concerned, and even the best intentioned among them felt it difficult to retreat from the position they had taken up. Two days elapsed without a conference: a fête on one of them, and a hunting party on the other, were the Causes of this. 2 In the interim I was presented to the Duchess of Oldenburg. I expressed my regret that she had not accompanied her brother to Paris, and she answered that she hoped the journey thither was only delayed. Then she began at once to put questions to me, such as the Emperor had not put, about your Majesty, about public opinion, the finances, the army -- questions which would have surprised me much, coming from a woman of twenty-two years old, even if they had not contrasted still more strongly with her bearing, her expression, and the tone of her voice. I replied to all in a sense conformable with the things which we have to do here, and the interests which we have to defend. She questioned me further about the King of Spain, 3 his brother, 4 and his uncle, 5 speaking of them in somewhat unbecoming terms, and I answered in a tone which I thought would give weight to my opinion of the personal merits of those princes. M. de Gentz, who called on me just as I returned from my visit to the Duchess of Oldenburg, told me that he had been charged to draw up a plan for the convocation of the Congress. On the preceding day I had made one in conformity with that which I had proposed in the conference of the day before, and I had sent it to M. de Metternich, with a request that he would communicate it to the other ministers. M. de Gentz assured me that he had no knowledge of it; he told me that in his plan there was no question of the rule of admission which I had proposed, because M. de Metternich feared that by publishing it we should drive him who reigns at Naples to some extremity, his plenipotentiary being excluded by it. 6 M. de Gentz and I discussed this point; and he declared his conviction that what M. de Metternich feared would not happen. I expected there would be a conference on the morrow, but threefourths of the day having passed over without my hearing anything of it, I no longer reckoned on it, when I received a note from M. de Metternich, announcing that a conference would take place at eight o'clock, and that if I would come to him a little earlier, he would find means of conversing with me on very important subjects. (These are the exact terms of his note.) I was at his residence at seven o'clock, and was admitted at once. He spoke to me at first about a draft of a declaration which he had had drawn up, and which differed slightly, he said, from mine, but still approached very near to it, and with which he hoped I should be satisfied. I asked him for this draft, but he had it not. "Probably," said I, "it is in circulation amongst the allies." "Do not talk of allies," he answered; "there are no longer any." "There are people here who ought to be allies in the sense of being of the same way of thinking, and desiring the same things without any concert between them. How can you possibly contemplate placing Russia like a girdle all round your principal and most important possessions, Hungary and Bohemia? How can you endure that the patrimony of an old and good neighbor, into whose family an archduchess has married, 7 should be handed over to your natural enemy? It is strange that it should be we who want to oppose this, and not you who do not wish it to be." He said then that I had no confidence in him. I replied that he had not given me much reason for having any, and reminded him of some circumstances in which he had not kept his word. " Besides," I added, "how am I to be inspired with confidence in a man who is all mystery towards those who are most disposed to make his affairs their own? As for me, I make no mysteries; I do not need them; that is the advantage of those who deal with principles only. Here," I continued, "are pen, ink, and paper; will you write that France asks nothing, and even that she will accept nothing? I am ready to sign." "But," said he, "there is the affair of Naples, that is properly yours." "Not mine," I answered, "more than everybody else's. For me it is only a matter of principle. I ask that he who has a right to be at Naples should be at Naples; that is all. Now, that is just what every one, as well as myself, ought to wish. Let principles be acted upon, and I shall be found easy to deal with in everything. I am going to tell you frankly to what I can consent, and to what I never will consent. I feel that in the present situation the King of Saxony may be obliged to make sacrifices. I suppose that, as he is a wise man, he will be disposed to make them; but if it be proposed to despoil him of all his States, and give the kingdom of Saxony to Prussia, I will never consent to that. Moreover, I will never consent that Luxembourg and Mayence shall be given to Prussia. Nor will I consent that Russia shall pass the Vistula, and have forty-four millions of subjects in Europe, and her frontiers on the Oder. But, if Luxembourg be given to Holland and Mayence to Bavaria, if the King and the kingdom of Saxony be maintained, and if Russia does not pass the Vistula, I shall have no objection to make about that part of Europe." M. de Metternich then took my hand, saying, "We are much less divided than you think; I promise you that Prussia shall have neither Luxembourg nor Mayence; we are no more anxious that Russia should be unreasonably aggrandized than you are, and as for Saxony, we will do all that in us lies to preserve at least a portion of it." It was only in order to find out how he was disposed on these various points that I had spoken thus. Then, returning to the convocation of the Congress, he dwelt on the necessity of not publishing at this moment the rule of admission that I had proposed; "because," he said, "it startles everybody, and embarrasses myself just now, seeing that Murat, finding his plenipotentiary excluded, will think his affair decided, and no one can tell what headstrong course he may take; he is prepared in Italy and we are not." We were informed that the ministers were assembled, and we repaired to the conference. M. de Metternich opened the proceedings by announcing that he was going to read aloud two plans, one drafted by me, the other by himself. He then read them, mine first, his own afterwards. The Prussians declared themselves for that of M. de Metternich, on the ground that it prejudged nothing, and that mine prejudged a great deal. Count Nesselrode was of the same opinion. M. de Löwenhielm, the Swedish minister, who had not been present at the previous conference, said that nothing must be prejudged. This was also the opinion of Lord Castlereagh, and I knew it was that of M. de Metternich. His plan limited itself to adjourning the opening of the Congress to the 1st of November, and contained nothing more, which drew from the Portuguese minister the remark that a second declaration to convene the Congress would be necessary, and this was admitted. All that was done was, therefore, to adjourn the difficulty without solving it; but as the former pretences were abandoned, as it was no longer a question of having everything settled by the eight Powers, and leaving the Congress nothing but the privilege of approving; as nothing was now talked of except preparing the questions upon which the Congress would have to pronounce, by free and confidential communications with the ministers of the other Powers, I thought that an act of complaisance which would not impinge upon principles, might facilitate the progress of affairs; and I stated that I consented to the adoption of the scheme, but on the condition that at the place where it was said that the formal opening of the Congress was to be adjourned to the 1st of November, there should be added: "And shall then be conducted in conformity with the principles of public law." At these words, a tumult of which it is difficult to form an idea arose. Prince Hardenberg, standing up, with his clenched hands on the table in an almost threatening attitude, and shouting, as those who are afflicted with deafness so often do, said, in stuttering agitation, "No, sir, 'public law' is a useless phrase. Why say that we shall act according to public law? That is a matter of course." I replied, "If it be a matter of course, it can do no harm to specify it." 8 M. Humboldt exclaimed, "What has public law to do here?" "This," I answered: "that it sends you here." Lord Castlereagh, taking me aside, asked me whether, if this point should be settled according to my wishes, I would afterwards be more accommodating. I asked him in my turn what, if I were accommodating, I might hope he would do in the affair of Naples. He promised to second me with all his influence. "I will speak of it," said he, "to Metternich; I have a right to have an opinion upon this matter." "You give me your word of honor to that?" said I. He answered, "I do. "And I give you mine that I shall not be difficult, except where the principles which I could not abandon are concerned." 9 Meanwhile, M. de Gentz, having drawn near to M. de Metternich, represented to him that it was impossible to avoid the mention of public law in a document of the nature of the one in question. Count Metternich had previously proposed to put the matter to the vote, thus betraying the use which they would have made of the power that they had wanted to secure to themselves if their first plan had been accepted. They ended by consenting to the admission which I demanded; but there was an equally animated discussion concerning where it should be placed. At length it was agreed that it should come in a sentence earlier than that at which I proposed to insert it. 10 M. de Gentz could not refrain from saying at the conference, "This evening, Gentlemen, belongs to the history of the Congress. It is not I who shall narrate it, because my duty prohibits me from doing so, but it will certainly be told." He has said to me since that he had never seen anything like it. For this reason, I regard it as fortunate that I have been able, without departing from principles, to do something that may be considered as a step towards the meeting of the Congress. M. de Löwenhielm is the Swedish minister in Russia, and very Russian. It is most probably for that reason that he has been sent here, for the Crown Prince of Sweden 11 wishes everything that the Russians wish.The princes who formerly belonged to the Confederation of the Rhine are beginning to unite in pressing for the opening of the Congress; 12 they are already forming plans among themselves for the organization of Germany.I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER IV.
Sagan is a Silesian principality. The Emperor Ferdinand II. sold it in 1627 to the famous Wallenstein. In 1646 Prince Lubkowitz became the purchaser of it, and from his descendants Peter Biren, Duke of Courland, bought it. At his death ( 1800) it passed to his eldest daughter, the Princess Catherine Wilhelmina, whose third husband was Count Charles Rodolph von Schulenburg. When she died, in 1839, the duchy passed into the hands of her sister, Pauline, Princess of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, who sold it to the third daughter of Peter Biren, Dorothea, Duchesse de Talleyrand. The Duchess died on the 19th of September, 1862, leaving her principality to her son, Prince Napo. leon Louis de Talleyrand, Duc de Sagan and Valençay, born 12th March, 1812. The chief place of the principality is Sagan, on the Bober (9940 inhabitants). The chateau is large and handsome; it was built by Wallenstein, Lubkowitz, and Peter Biren. A commission of persons belonging to the court had been appointed to render the stay of the foreign sovereigns at Vienna as pleasant as possible. See Appendix.
His name was Campo-Chiaro; he was a former servant of Ferdinand I., and had joined Joseph Bonaparte first, and Murat afterwards. Murat had a chargg d'affaires at Paris, who was not recognized, and had no official relation with the King's Government. See note concerning Prince Antoine. This is an idiomatic passage, of which the above is the sense, but it is more neatly put in the original: "'Cela va sans dire.' 'Je lni répondais que si cela allait bien sans le dire, cela irait encore mieux en le disant.' " -- TRANSLATOR. See Appendix. On the 12th of October Prince Talleyrand writes to the department: We are held to have achieved a victory because we have had the expression 'public law' introduced. This will make you understand the spirit that animates the Congress." Bernadotte. See Appendix. The Confederation of the Rhine, created in 1806, and of which Napoleon I. had been the protector.
FROM LOUIS XVIII. TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
October 13, 1814.
I have received your despatch of the 25th September, and in the interest both of your eyes and my own hand, I borrow a hand which is not mine, but that of a person who is far from being a stranger to my affairs The Kings of Naples and of Saxony are my kinsmen in the same degree; justice makes equal demands in favor of both; but my in- terests in those demands cannot possibly be equal in each case. The kingdom of Naples, in the possession of a descendant of Louis XIV., 1 adds to the power of France; but, remaining to an individual of the family of the Corsican, flagitio addit damnum. 2 I am no less shocked at the idea of that kingdom and Saxony being used as compeilsation. I need not set down here my reflections upon such a breach of all public morality, but what I must hasten to tell you is, that if I cannot prevent this iniquity, at least I will not sanction it, but that I shall, on the contrary, reserve to myself or to my successors liberty to redress it, if opportunity should arise.I say this indeed only to push the hypothesis to the utmost; for I am far from despairing of the success of the cause, if England holds firmly by the principles which Lord Castlereagh professed when here, and if Austria abides by the same resolutions as Bavaria.What M. de Schulenburg has told you of the determination of the King of Saxony is perfectly correct; that unfortunate prince has informed me of this himself. 3 You may readily judge with what impatience I am expecting news of the Congress; its operations ought to have begun by this time. Upon which, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER V.
Sinee the Treaty of Vienna of 1735, to 1738.
Here the King uses the obsolete phrase "demeurant à."
For the King of Saxony's letter of the 19th of September, 1814, to Louis XVIIL, see Appendix.
Vienna, 18th October, 1814.
I have forwarded the declaration, as published this morning, in my despatch to the department. It adjourns the opening of the Congress to the 1st of November; some changes have been made in it, but they are only changes of phrase, upon which the ministers agreed without meeting, and through the medium of M. de Gentz. We have had no conference since the 8th, and consequently nono of those discussions with which I am afraid I must have wearied your Majesty in my two last letters. The Prussian minister at London, old Jacobi-Kloest, 1 is here; he has been summoned to the aid of M. de Humboldt; he is one of the lions of Prussian diplomacy, and an old acquaintance of mine. He came to see me, and our conversation promptly took a direction which led me to speak of the great difficulties that were presenting themselves, and the greatest of which, according to him, was created by the Emperor Alexander, who wants to have the duchy of Warsaw. I said that if the Emperor Alexander wanted to have the duchy, he would probably present himself with a formal deed of surrender from the King of Saxony, and then we should see. "Why from the King of Saxony?" asked he in astonishment. "Because," I answered, "the duchy of Warsaw belongs to him in virtue of the cessions which you and Austria have made to him, and of treaties which you, Austria, and Russia have signed." Then he said, with the air of a man who has just made a discovery, to whom one has revealed something totally unexpected: "It is true, the duchy does belong to him !" M. de Jacobi, at all events, is not one of those who holds that sovereignty is lost and acquired by the fact of conquest alone. I have reason to believe that we shall obtain Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla for the King of Etruria; 2 but in that case we must not think any more about. Tuscany, although he might have rights to it; the Emperor of Austria has already given the Archduchess Marie Louise to understand that he had but slight hopes of keeping Parma for him. It is frequently asked by people about me whether the treaty of the 11th of April is being carried out, and Lord Castlereagh has spoken to me directly about it. 3 The silence of the budget on this head has been remarked by the Emperor of Russia. Count Metternich says that Austria cannot be held bound to discharge the assignments on the Mont de Milan, 4 if France does not execute the clauses of the treaty that are binding on her; in short, this affair is constantly turning up under different forms, and almost always in a disagreeable manner. However unpleasant it may be to give one's mind to this kind of business, I cannot refrain from saying to your Majesty that it is desirable it should be attended to. A letter from M. de Jaucourt, 5 apprising me, by order of your Majesty, that something had been done, would certainly produce a good effect. A very decided intention of removing Bonaparte from the island of Elba 6 is manifesting itself. As yet no one has any settled idea of a place in which to put him. I have proposed one of the Azores; it is five hundred leagues from any coast. Lord Castlereagh seems inclined to think that the Portuguese might be induced to agree to such an arrangement; but when it comes to be discussed, the question of money will turn up again. Bonaparte's son 7 is no longer treated as he was for a short time after his arrival at Vienna. There is less state and more simplicity. They have taken the grand cordon of the Legion of Honor from him, and substituted that of Saint Stephen. 8 The Emperor Alexander talks, according to his custom, of nothing but liberal ideas. I do not know whether it is those ideas that have induced him to regard an expedition to Wagram, to contemplate the scene of their defeat, as a delicate manner of making himself agreeable to his hosts. It is a fact that he sent, by M. de Czernicheff, for certain officers, who, having been present at the battle, could inform him as to the positions and movements of the two armies, which he wished to study on the ground. 9 The day before yesterday, the Archduke John asked where the Emperor was, and was answered, "At Wagram, your Highness." It seems that he is to go from hence to Pesth in a few days; he has asked for a ball there on the 9th, and means to appear at it in Hungarian costume. Either before or after the ball he will make a visit to his sister's tomb. 10 A crowd of Greeks who have been informed beforehand, and will be eager to behold the only monarch who belongs to their rite, 11 are to be present at the ceremony. I do not know to what extent all this is pleasing to the Court here, but I should think it is not very agreeable. Lord Stewart, brother of Lord Castlereagh, and Ambassador to the Court of Vienna, arrived here a few days ago. He was presented to the Emperor Alexander, who said to him what follows -he related it to me himself: "We are going to do a fine thing, a grand thing. We are going to raise up Poland again by giving it one of my brothers as its king, 12 or else the husband of my sister (the Duchess of Oldenburg)." Lord Stewart said, frankly, "I do not see independence for Poland in that, and I do not think that England, although less interested than the other Powers, can agree to such an arrangement." Either I deceive myself greatly, or the union between the four Courts is more apparent than real, 13 and depends solely on the fact that some of them do not choose to believe that we have the means to act, while the others do not believe that we have the will.Those who know us to be against their pretensions think that we have nothing but reasoning to oppose to them. A few days ago the Emperor Alexander said, " Talleyrandacts the minister of Louis XIV. here;" and Humboldt, endeavoring to coax and at the same time to intimidate the Saxon minister, said, "The minister of France presents himself here with words which do not lack nobility, but either they conceal mental reservation, or there is nothing behind to sustain them; woe be to those who put faith in them." It would silence all this foolish talk and put an end to the present state of irresolution if your Majesty would, in a manifesto addressed to your people, after having made known to them the principles which your Majesty has commanded us to adhere to, and your firm resolution never to depart from them, allow it to be seen that the just cause would not be left without support. Such a declaration, as I conceive it, and as I shall presently submit a draft of it to your majesty, would not lead to war, for which nobody wishes, but it would bring those who have pretensions to moderate them, while it would give courage to others to defend their own interests and those of Europe. But as such a manifesto would be premature at this moment, I ask your Majesty's permission to recur to it hereafter if ulterior circumstances appear to me to demand it. Our language begins to make an impression. I greatly regret that an accident 14 which has happened to Count Munster has hitherto prevented his being with Lord Castlereagh, who has great need of support. From what we are told we may hope that he will be here in two days, and able to take part in affairs. I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER VI.
Jacobi-Kloest, designated by the Moniteur Universel under the title of Minister of State, came to Vienna during the Congress. He was Ambassador to London, and occupied that post until 1817, when he was replaced by Baron Humboldt. Louis II. ( Charles Louis de Bourbon-Parma), son of Louis I. and Marie Louise de Bourbon of Spain, King of Etruria, succeeded his father on the 27th of May, 1805, and reigned until the 10th of December, 1807.
The Treaty of Fontainebleau.
Arnail-François, Marquis de Jaucourt, born at Paris in 1757, died in 1852,
deputy to the Legislative Assembly in 1791, President of the Tribunate in 1802, senator in 1803, member of the Provisional Government on the fall of the Emperor Napoleon I. in 1814. He directed the department of Foreign Affairs during Prince Talleyrand's stay at Vienna, accompanied Louis XVIII. to Ghent, and was for a time Minister of Marine after the Hundred Days. He was a zealous Protestant. Hardly had he been installed in temporary command of the department than he wrote to Prince Talleyrand: "It is not, my dear friend, without some pain and timidity that I take my seat before that little table at which I have so often seen you seated, and at which that business which in your absence will be done in groping and uncertainty, was conducted with such superiority."
On the 8th of October, 1814, the Minister of War wrote to Prince Talleyrand: "The inhabitant of the island of Elba receives frequent posts from Naples and elsewhere. He rises several times at night, writes despatches, and seems very busy, although he talks ostentatiously of his tranquillity and his forgetfulness of affairs. It is really important that he should be placed at a distance from Italy, by consent of the Powers. No doubt there will be no war, but if it did recur, it is indisputable that Napoleon could collect Italian and even French deserters and disturb certain points of the Continent.
The King of Rome.
Saint Stephen, the first Christian and Catholic King of Hungary, Apostle of Hungary (997-1038). Pope Sylvester II. sent him a crown, which is still used at the coronation of the Kings of Hungary (Emperors of Austria). The Order of Saint Stephen was instituted by the Empress Marie Theresa.
It was not to Wagram, but to Aspern (Essling) that Alexander went. The Maniteur of the 23rd of October inserts the following among "faits divers" from Vienna of the date of the 11th: "The Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia visited yesterday morning the environs of Aspern, where his Imperial Highness the Archduke Charles had the honor of showing the Emperor the field of the battle which was fought there on May 21st and 22nd, 1809."
The Grand-Duchess Paulowna.
"He (the Emperor Alexander) returned yesterday evening from his trip into Hungary with the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia. This journey, which was his own doing, was also made an occasion for scheming. He wanted to cajole the Hungarian nation, and to surround himself with the heads of the Greek clergy, which is very numerous in Hungary. We have it from Lord Castlereagh himself that the Greeks are already stirring up war with Turkey. The Servians have just taken up arms again." -- Letter from Talleyrand to the department, 31st October, 1814. The Grand-Duke Constantine, or the Grand-Duke Nicholas. The former died in 1831, after having been Viceroy of Poland; the other became Emperor of Russia in 1825. Here Talleyrand must be mistaken. Prince Peter Frederick George, married to the sister of the Emperor Alexander, died on the 27th of December, 1812; but he left a son, Constant Frederick Peter, born on the 26th of August, 1812, and who still survives: he received the title of "Highness" in Russia. "It cannot escape us that the real difficulty of the Allied Powers at the Congress arises from the delusion which they cherished, in believing that they could settle the affairs of Europe upon bases which they commend to us as fixed, and which are not so." -- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 23rd November, 1814. "The carriage of Count Munster, the Hanoverian Minister, was over.
turned on his way hither. Two of the Count's ribs are broken. This accident prevents the minister from taking part in the proceedings of the Congress. Moniteur Universel,s 24th October, 1814.
FROM THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
14th October, 1814.
I have received your despatches of the 29th September and the 4th October. (It will be well, in future, to number them, as I do this one. Consequently, those whose receipt I acknowledge hereby ought to bear the numbers 2 and 3.)
I begin by telling you, with real satisfaction, that I am perfectly content with the attitude which you have taken up, and the language which you have held, both towards the plenipotentiaries, and in your trying conference with the Emperor of Russia. You know, of course, that he has summoned General Pozzo di Borgo. 1 God grant that his wise mind may bring his sovereign to more sensible views! But it is upon the contrary hypothesis that we must reason.
The object at which we ought to aim is to prevent the success of the ambitious projects of Russia and Prussia. Pozzo di Borgo might perhaps have been able to succeed unassisted, but he had means which will never be mine, therefore I need help. The petty States could not offer me any that would be sufficient -- of themselves only, I mean; I must, then, have that of at least one Great Power. We should have Austria and England if they understood their own interests aright; but I fear that they are already bound. I am especially afraid of a policy which is advocated by many of the English, and with which the Duke of Wellington himself seems to be imbued; that of entirely separating the interests of Great Britain from those of Hanover. I cannot, then, employ force to make the right triumphant, but I can always refuse to be answerable for iniquity; we shall see whether they will venture to attack me for that.
What I am now saying refers to Poland and Saxony only, for as regards Naples I shall always stand by the complete answer which you have made to M. de Humboldt. I put things at the worst, because I think that is the true way in which to reason; but I hope much from your skill and firmness. On which, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER VII. The Minister of War wrote to M. de Talleyrand on the 8th of October: I am charmed that General Pozzo Hi Borgo has been summoned to Vienna: he knows us well, and does not wish us ill."
LETTER VIII. No. 6. Vienna, 17th October, 1814.
I have received the letter with which your Majesty has deigned to honor me. I am happy to find that the line of conduct which I have followed is in accord with the indications that your Majesty has been pleased to convey to me. I shall take every care never to depart from it. I have to give an account to your Majesty of the position of things since my last letter. Lord Castlereagh, being anxious to make a fresh attempt to induce the Emperor Alexander to abandon his ideas on Poland, which disarrange everything and tend to upset everything, asked for an audience. The Emperor wanted to make a sort of mystery of it, and did him the honor of going to his house; then, knowing well on what subject Lord Castlereagh had to speak to him, he opened the matter himself, by complaining of the opposition with which his views were met. He did not understand, he never should understand, how France and England could be adverse to the restoration of the kingdom of Poland. Its re-establishment, he said, would be a reparation made to public morality, which the partition had outraged -- a sort of expiation. In reality the point was not to restore Poland in its entirety, although there was nothing to prevent that being done some day, if Europe desired it; at present the thing would be premature, and the country itself needed to be prepared for it. There could be no better means of doing this than the e ection of one part of Poland into a kingdom, to which should be given institutions calculated to implant and cultivate all the principles of civilization, which, when it should be thought right to unite the whole in one, would afterwards spread themselves over the entire country. The execution of his plan would entail no sacrifices on any but himself, since the new kingdom would be formed of only those portions of Poland over which conquest gave him indisputable rights, and to which he would also add those that he had acquired before the last war and since the last partition. Nobody had therefore any right to complain of his choosing to make those sacrifices; he would make them with pleasure, on principle, for conscience' sake, for the consolation of an unhappy nation, for the advance of civilization; to do this he held essential to his honor and his glory. Lord Castlereagh, who had his arguments prepared, brought them all forward in a very long conversation, but he neither persuaded nor convinced the Emperor Alexander, who withdrew, leaving Lord Castlereagh very ill at ease respecting his intentions; but, as he did not consider himself beaten, he put his reasons in writing and presented them to the Emperor that same evening, under the title of a Memorandum.
After having given me the preceding details in a very long conversation, Lord Castlereagh asked me to read the document. I may here observe that M. de Metternich, when he knew this, betrayed surprise which he would not have shown, had it not been agreed between the ministers of the four Courts that what was done amongst them should not be communicated to others. The Memorandum begins by quoting the articles of the treaties concluded by the Allies in 1813, which set forth that " Poland shall remain divided between the three Towers in proportions which shall be agreed upon by their common consent, and without the interference of France,"(Lord Castlereagh hastened to tell me that the France here alluded to was that of 1813, and not the France of to-day.) It then textually reports speeches made, promises and assurances given, by the Emperor Alexander at different times, in various places, and especially at Paris, and which are in opposition to the plan which he is now pursuing. This is followed by a statement of the services rendered by England to the Emperor Alexander. In order to secure to him the tranquil possession of Finland, England began by making Norway pass under the yoke of Sweden; in this she sacrificed her own inclination, and perhaps even her interests. She then obtained for him, by her mediation, certain cessions and other advantages from the Ottoman Porte, and from Persia the surrender of a considerable territory. She therefore holds herself entitled to speak to the Emperor Alexander more plainly than the other Powers, who have not been in a position to render him similar services.
Passing on to an examination of the Emperor's present plan, Lord Castlereagh declares that the re-establishment of the whole of Poland as a completely independent State would a obtain a general assent, but that to make a kingdom out of the fourth part of Poland would be to create discontent in the three other parts, and just apprehensions in those who possess any portion of it whatsoever, and who, from the moment there existed a kingdom of Poland, could no longer rely upon the fidelity of their subjects for an instant. Thus, instead of a focus of civilization, a focus of insurrection and disturbance would have been established, just when repose is the universal desire, as it is the universal need. While acknowledging that conquest has given rights to the Emperor, it maintains that the boundary of his rights is that point which cannot be passed without injury to the security of the Emperor's neighbors. It conjures him by all that he holds dear, by his humanity and his glory, not to desire to go beyond that point, and it concludes by indicating that he is all the more earnestly entreated to weigh the reflections submitted to him, because, in the case of his persisting in his views, England would be under the painful necessity of refusing her consent. The Emperor Alexander has not yet replied. In proportion as Lord Castlereagh is sound on the subject of Poland, he is unsound on that of Saxony. 1 He talks only of treason, of the necessity for an example; principles do not appear to be his strong point. Count Munster, whose health is better, has endeavored to convince him that the balance, perhaps even the existence, of Germany depends on the preservation of Saxony; but he has at most only succeeded in inspiring him with doubts. Nevertheless he has promised me, not indeed to take the same line as ours on this question (he seems to have given some pledge to the Prussians which binds him in that respect), but to make friendly representations in our sense. The step he has taken with regard to the Emperor Alexander was made not only with the knowledge, but also at the request of M. de Metternich. I cannot doubt, although neither one nor the other has told me so, that Austria is alive to the consequences of the Russian projects; 2 but not venturing to take the initiative herself, she has contrived to make England take it. If the Emperor Alexander persists, Austria, too much interested in not yielding, will not, I think, yield, but her timidity will lead her to let things drag on slowly. There are, however, dangers in such a course which daily become greater, and might become extreme. I am the more bound to call the attention of your Majesty to them, that their cause may be prolonged far beyond the present time, and in a manner to excite your solicitude during the whole of your Majesty's reign. The revolutionary ferment has spread all over Germany; Jacobinism is reigning there, not as it did five and twenty years ago in France, in the middle and lower classes, but among the highest and wealthiest nobility -- the result of this difference is that if a revolution should break out there, its progress could not be calculated on the scale of the progress of ours. Those whom the dissolution of the Germanic Empire and the charter of the Confederation of the Rhine 3 have brought down from the rank of petty rulers to the condition of subjects, bear impatiently a state of things which turns personages whose equals they were, or believed themselves, into their masters, and they aspire to the reversal of conditions which hurt their pride, and to the replacement of all the governments of this country by one only. The men of the universities, and young men imbued with their theories, conspire with these malcontents, as do all those who attribute the calamities inflicted upon Germany by the many wars of which she is continually the theatre, to her division into petty States. The unity of the German land is their cry, their dogma; it is a religion carried to the height of fanaticism, and this fanaticism has infected even the reigning princes. 4 Now, that unity, from which France might have nothing to fear if she possessed the left bank of the Rhine and Belgium, would be of grave import to her at present; besides, who can foresee the consequences of the disturbance of a vast bulk like that of Germany, when its divided elements should come to be agitated and mixed? Who can say where the impulse, once given, might stop? The situation of Germany, which is that a great part of the country does not know who is going to be its master, military occupations, with the hardships which are their ordinary accompaniment; fresh sacrifices demanded after so many previous sacrifices, present suffering, future uncertainty -- all is favorable to subversive projects. It is too evident that if the Congress adjourns, if it delays, if it decides nothing, it will aggravate this state of things, and it is much to be feared that such an aggravation would bring about an explosion. The most pressing interest of the time being is that the labors of the Congress should be accelerated, and that it should come to an end, but how is it to finish? By yielding to what the Russians and the Prussians want? Neither the safety of Europe, nor honor, would permit that. By opposing force to force? To do that, it would be necessary that Austria, who I believe has the desire to do it, should have the firmness of will. She has immense forces on a war footing, but she is afraid of risings in Italy and dares not commit herself backed only by Russia and Prussia. Bavaria 5 may be counted on; she has pronounced very decidedly, and has offered Austria fifty thousand men to defend Saxony. Würtemberg would furnish her with ten thousand; other German States would join her. But this is not sufficient security; she would like to be able to count upon our co-operation, and does not believe that she can count upon it.
The Prussians have spread a report that your Majesty's ministers have received double instructions, one set prescribing the language which they are to hold, and the other directing them to promise nothing. M. de Metternich had Marshal Wrede informed that he believed this to be the case. A person intimately in his confidence said, a few days ago, to M. de Dalberg: 6 "Your Legation talks very cleverly, but you do not want to act, and as for us, we do not want to act alone." Your Majesty will readily believe that I do not like war, or wish for it any more than your Majesty does, but in my opinion it would suffice to hint at it, and we should not require to make it; in my opinion also the fear of war ought not to prevail over the fear of a greater evil which may be preventable only by war. I do not think that Russia and Prussia would like to run the chances of a war with Austria, France, Sardinia, Bavaria, and a good part of Germany, or if they would run that risk, so much the less would they be likely to retreat before Austria only, supposing that she were to enter upon the contest single-handed, which is inconceivable. Thus Austria, deprived of our support, would have no other resource except to prolong the Congress indefinitely, or to dissolve it, thereby opening the door to revolution; or to yield, and consent to things which your Majesty is resolved never to sanction. In the latter case it would remain only for your Majesty's ministers to retire from the Congress, relinquishing the effort to obtain any portion of that which your Majesty most desires. Nevertheless, the state of things that would be established in Europe might, in a very few years, render inevitable the war which it was sought to avoid, and we might then find ourselves in a more disadvantageous position for making war. I believe it not only possible, but probable, that if the answer of the Emperor of Russia destroys all hope of his yielding to persuasion, Prince Metternich will ask me whether, and to what extent, Austria may count upon our co-opera. tion. The instructions which have been given us by your Majesty point out that the domination of Russia over the whole of Poland would threaten Europe with so great a danger, that if it were to be avoided by force of arms only, there must not be a moment's hesitation in taking them up. This would seem to authorize me to make a general promise of the assistance of your Majesty in such a case, but to reply in a positive manner to a precise demand, and to promise defined support, require an authorization and special instructions. I venture to entreat your Majesty to be pleased to give me these, and to be convinced that I will not make use of them except in the event of an evident and extreme necessity; but I still believe that the case for which I am preparing will not arise. However, that I may be ready for everything, I would wish that your Majesty should deign to honor me with your commands as promptly as possible. The ministers of the eight Powers have not met since the declaration which I have had the honor of sending to your Majesty. A committee composed of the Austrian minister, the Prussian minister, and the ministers of Bavaria, Würtemberg, and Hanover are occupied with the federal constitution of Germany. They have already held a conference, but it is doubtful whether, considering the interests of those whom they represent, and their own individual characters, they will succeed in coming to an agreement.I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER VIII.
1. The policy of the Powers arises from the fright in which they still are. . . . The English policy comes out very clearly here. . . . Still, alarmed by the effect which the Continental policy has produced upon England, the English ministers want to place Powers sufficiently strong in the North, and on the Baltic, to prevent France from interfering at any time with English trade with the interior of the Continent. For this reason they lend themselves to all that Prussia demands." -- Letter from the French plenipotentiary to the department, 30th October, 1814. On the 3rd of January, 1815, M. de Talleyrand wrote to Jaucourt: "The English embassy at the Congress, which in the beginning had adopted a policy by no means acceptable to us, has changed entirely, and is now proceeding in harmony with our views."
2. " PrinceMetternich, although in general guided by a timid and uncertain policy, is, however, sufficiently alive to the opinion of his country and the interest of his monarchy, to feel that the Austrian States, hemmed in by Russia, Prussia, and a Poland entirely in the hands of the former, would be
constantly menaced, and that France only can aid them in this difficulty." -Letter to the department, 16th October, 1814.
Count Alexis de Noailles reported the following words as spoken by the King of Bavaria in an audience granted to him on the 9th of the following November: "I have learned that the proceedings of the French envoys in every respect have been closely watched here; everything that they have done has been observed, and it has been discovered with much surprise that they avoid all secret manœuvres, have not expended any money at all, and that their conduct is stainless and free from intrigue. I have made a protest respecting the affairs of Saxony. I am with you. I will not separate myself from your policy" M. de Noallles adds, "Do you wish to know what is privately said? It is that his loyalty and his principles may be counted on, but it is thought that he (the King of Bavaria) will not be master of the army, and that after the negotiations he will be forced into war by the clamor of generals greedy for conquest." "And this has been confirmed by a man attached to Prince Metternich, who, in explaining himself to the Duke of Dalberg, said to him, 'You appear to us to be dogs, who bark very loud, but you do not bite and we do not want to bite unassisted.' " -- Letter from the French plenipotentiary to the department, 16th October, 1815.
Vienna, 19th October, 1814.
M. de Labrador has been reproached, by the ministers of the four Courts, for having been of the same opinion as myself in the conference to which we were both summoned, and also perhaps because he has come pretty often to my house, where Lord Castlereagh found him on one occasion. He has been called a turn-coat, a man who separates himself from those to whom Spain owed its deliverance, and it is worthy of remark that M. de Metternich has taken up this point most warmly. M. de Labrador has not changed his opinion for all that, but he has thought it necessary to visit me less frequently. We may judge by this how far ministers who are, from position or personal character, less independent, are, or believe themselves, free to have constant relations with your Majesty's Legation. 1 The five ministers who met to prepare a draft of a federal constitution, have been required to give their word of honor that they will not communicate to any one the proposals which may be made to them. This precaution, quite a useless one, is especially directed against the French Legation. The plan is now to isolate it, as it has been found impossible to make it accept the róle proposed to it in the negotiations. One ray of light has, however, pierced the darkness in which it was sought to shroud the Legation, and which, as time advances, they would fain deepen. It may be that we have got hold of the clue which will enable us to penetrate into the labyrinth of intrigue in which it was hoped we should lose our way. The following facts I have learned from a man whose position affords him an opportunity of acquiring accurate information.
The four Courts have never ceased to be allied in this sense, that the feelings with which they made war have survived that war, and that they carry into the arrangements of Europe the spirit with which they fought. Their intention was to make those arrange ments themselves entirely; but they felt that to ensure their being regarded as legitimate, it was necessary to invest them with an apparent sanction. That is why the Congress was convened. They would have wished to exclude France from it, but they could not do so after the happy change which had taken place in France, and for that reason this change has vexed them. Nevertheless, they flattered themselves that France, having been for so long fully occupied by her internal difficulties, would only formally intervene at the Congress. Seeing that she presented herself there with principles which they could not contest, and did not want to follow, they have adopted the course of setting her aside practically, without excluding her, and keeping everything in their own hands, so that they may proceed to carry out their plan unopposed. This plan is, at bottom, no other than that of England. 2 It is she who is the soul of it all. Her indifference to principles ought not to surprise us; her principles are her interests. Her object is simple; she wants to preserve her naval supremacy, and, with that supremacy, the commerce of the world. To do this it is necessary for her that the French navy should never become formidable, either in itself or in combination with others. She has already taken care to isolate France from the other naval Powers, by the engagements into which she has induced them to enter. The restoration of the House of Bourbon having led her to apprehend a renewal of the family compact, she hastened to conclude with Spain the treaty of the 5th of July, which provides that the compact shall never be renewed. She has now to place France, as a continental power, in a position which will permit her to devote only a small portion of her forces to the naval service, and with this in view, she wants to unite Prussia and Austria closely, by rendering the latter so strong that it would be possible to place them both in opposition to France. It was in pursuance of this design that Lord Stewart was sent to Vienna. He is entirely Prussian; hence the selection of him as ambassador. They will endeavor to place a man allied to Austria by inclination at Berlin, and the purpose of strengthening Prussia could not be better served than by giving Saxony to her. England, therefore, would have Saxony sacrificed and given to Prussia. Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Cook are so determined on this question that they venture to assert that the sacrifice of Saxony without any abdication, without any cession on the part of the King, does not violate any principle. Naturally, Austria ought to reject such a doctrine: justice, propriety, even safety, require her to do so. How has her resistance been overcome? The explanation is very simple; she has been placed face to face with two difficulties, and assisted to surmount the one on condition that she yields to the other. The Emperor of Russia comes in, in the very nick of time, with his desire to have the whole of the duchy of Warsaw, and to erect a phantom kingdom of Poland. Lord Castlereagh opposes this. 3 He is drawing up a Memorandum which he will present to Parliament, to make believe that he has had so much trouble in arranging the affairs of Poland that no blame can be imputed to him for not having saved Saxony; and, as the reward of his efforts, he is pressing Austria to consent to the disappearance of that kingdom. Who can say whether the desire to form a phantom Poland has not been suggested to the Emperor Alexander by the very persons who are opposing it, or if that desire is sincere? Who knows but that the Emperor, in order to please the Poles, has made them promises which he would be very sorry to keep? In that case, the resistance with which he meets is precisely what he most desires, while a consent to what he appears to wish would place him in the greatest difficulty. Meanwhile M. de Metternich, who piques himself on being the motive power of the whole thing, is himself set in motion without knowing it, and, being the mere tool of the intrigues of which he believes himself the leader, allows himself to be deceived like a child. 4 Without affirming that all this information is perfectly exact, I may say that it appears to me extremely probable. A few days ago, a certain number of persons whom M. de Metternich is in the habit of consulting, met at his house; they were all of opinion that Saxony ought not to be abandoned. Nothing was settled, and the day before yesterday I learnt, in the evening, from a trustworthy source, that M. de Metternich personally relinquished Saxony, but that the Emperor of Austria still held out. A member of the Commission for the drawing up of the Federal Constitution says that the proposals which were made to them implied that Saxony was no longer to exist.
The whole of yesterday was devoted to two fêtes: one was military, and commemorative of the battle of Leipsic; the other was given by Prince Metternich in honor of the peace. At the former your Majesty's Legation could not be present, but at the latter I hoped to find an opportunity of saying a word to the Emperor of Austria. I was not so fortunate as to succeed in this. I had been more so at the preceding ball, where I laid before him certain reflections upon the circumstances calculated to produce some effect upon his mind. He then appeared to understand me very well. Lord Castlereagh talked to him for nearly twenty minutes, and I learned that Saxony was the subject of the conversation. An arrangement by which Saxony should be given to Prussia would be regarded in Austria, even by the members of the Cabinet, as a misfortune for the Austrian monarchy, and by Germany at large as a calamity. 5 It would be held there to be a certain indication that Germany itself is destined to be partitioned, sooner or later, as Poland has been. Yesterday the King of Bavaria commanded his minister to make fresh efforts for Saxony, and he said, "This project is grossly unjust, and it deprives me of all repose." If Austria wants to maintain Saxony it is probable that she will, at all events, wish to make sure of our co-operation, and it is that I may be ready to answer any demand of that nature that I have entreated your Majesty to honor me with your commands. Still, as I have had the honor to tell your Majesty, I hold it for certain that Russia and Prussia will not enter into the contest. If Austria yields without having asked our co-operation, it will be because she has decided that she will not save Saxony. In that case she would indeed deprive your Majesty of all hope of preserving that kingdom, but she could not deprive you of the glory of defending principles on which rests the security of every throne. After all, so long as Austria shall not have finally yielded, I will not despair, and I believe I have even found means, if not of preventing the sacrifice of Saxony, at least of embarrassing those who would sacrifice her. It is to make it known to the Emperor of Russia that we do not oppose his possession of, under whatever denomination, that portion of Poland which shall be awarded to him, provided that he does not extend his frontiers so as to disturb his neighbors, and provided also that Saxony be maintained.
If the Emperor does not really wish to make a Kingdom of Poland, and if he be only seeking for an excuse to offer to the Poles, this declaration will embarrass him. He cannot tell the Poles, and they cannot think, that it is France who opposes the accomplishment of their dearest wish. Lord Castlereagh will on his side find it difficult to explain to the English Parliament how, when France was not against it, he came to oppose a thing which many persons in England desired. 6 If the Emperor Alexander really abides by the idea of this kingdom of Poland, the consent of France will be a reason for his persisting in it. Austria, thus thrown back into the difficulty from which she thought to extricate herself by the abandonment of Saxony, will be obliged to rescind that abandonment, and will be brought back to us. In no case can such a declaration do us harm. What concerns us is that Russia should have as little of Poland as possible, and that Saxony should be saved. It concerns us less, or does not concern us at all, that in one way or another Russia should possess that which ought to be hers; that is the affair of Austria. Now when she sacrifices needlessly what she knows is of interest to us, and which ought to be of greater interest to herself, why should we hesitate to replace her in the position from which she wanted to extricate herself, especially when it depends upon her to put an end to her own embarrassment and also to ours, and in order to do so she has only to join us? I am informed that the Emperor Alexander has, within the last few days, repeatedly expressed an intention of summoning me; if he does so I shall have recourse to the expedient which I have had the honor to explain to your Majesty. General Pozzo, who has been here for some days, speaks of France in a most becoming manner. The Elector of Hanover, being no longer able to preserve that title, since there is to be neither a Germanic Empire nor an elective Emperor, and not choosing to be of inferior rank to the sovereign of Würtemberg, having onee been a much greater personage, has taken the title of King. Count Munster, who is almost recovered from his fall, has notified the fact to me. I await the authorization which your Majesty will no doubt think proper to give me, to reply to him and recognize the new titles which his Master has as sumed.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER IX.
1. "The King of Bavaria had asked M. de Labrador whether he sometimes saw Prince Talleyrand, and the Spanish ambassador had replied in the affirmative. 'I should like to see him also,' said the King, 'but I dare not.' " -Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 28th October, 1814.
2. "I found Lord Castlereagh but indifferently informed respecting the continental situation, very upright, totally free from all bias and every kind of prejudice, as just as he was kindly. I was speedily convinced that his ideas upon the subject of the reconstitution of France in a sense conformable with the general interests of Europe did not differ from my own in any point." -"Méinoires
du Prince de Metternich, tom. 1. p. 181."
3. In his letter on Poland Lord Castlereagh reminded the Emperor of Russia of the assistance which he had received from England, and said to him, "I do not hesitate to impart to your Majesty my private conviction that it will exclusively depend upon the spirit in which your Majesty shall treat the question directly connected with your own Empire, whether the present Congress is to insure the welfare of the world, or merely to present a scene of disorder and intrigue, an ignoble contest for power at the expense of principles. The place which your Majesty occupies in Europe gives you the means of doing everything for the general good, if your Majesty's intervention is founded upon principles of justice to which Europe may do homage, but if your Majesty ceased to set store by public opinion . . . I should despair of the possibility of a just and stable order of things in Europe. And I should have the mortification of seeing your Majesty for the first time regarded by those whom you have delivered, as the object of their dread, after having been that of their hope and confidence."
The Emperor Alexander answers Lord Castlereagh on the 30th October, 1814:
". . . I go on to the clause in which you remind me of events the memory of which I shall never lose, that is to say, of the frank and cordial assistance that I received from England when I was contending against the whole Continent, led by Napoleon. It is always a mistake to remind an obliged person of services rendered. If I had thought that your remarks had such an intention, or were meant to convey the unjust suspicion that I did not sufficiently appreciate the lofty character of the English nation, and the friendly and enlightened policy of the British Cabinet during the course of the war, I should not have replied to them."
4. " M. de Metternich's blindness in continuing to second the designs of the three Powers is singular: he is making it easy for Russia to lay hold of the duchy of Warsaw, for Prussia to occupy Saxony, and for England to exercise the most absolute power over what was called, and may still be called, the coalition. This state of things produces a strange effect; the Austrian monarchy draws near to us in all that concerns it, while the ministry, in all that concerns them, keep aloof." -- Talleyrand to the department, 20th October, 1814. 5. The reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg Saalfeld wrote to Lord Castlereagh: "You have told me that in point of right the affair of the King of Saxony is settled, and that there is nothing to be hoped for, except clemency. I con- fess to your Excellency that I am at a loss to understand how as a matter of right the matter could be decided against the King of Saxony. How, in fact, can he have lost his States? By conquest? By surrender? By sentence? By conquest? You do not think so, my lord. England has never believed that the King had lost the sovereignty of Hanover because Bonaparte conquered that country. Bonaparte himself, who desired to transform conquest into sovereignty, was ready to protect such an abuse when, as an act of reprisal, you ceded Guadaloupe to Sweden. By surrender? The King has not ceded and never will cede his rights. By sentence? Is the King to be judged without being heard? And who shall judge him? His oppressors? Those who want to enrich themselves with his spoils? Shall it be the nation? The nation claims him. Shall it be Germany? All the States of which Germany is composed, with one single exception, look upon Germany as lost if Saxony be destroyed. "Are the interests of Germany to be consulted? Doubtless it will not be supposed that all the States which compose it are so blind to their own interest as to mistake between what may save and what may ruin Germany, and I have alredy told you, my lord, they all regard the loss of Saxony as the sentence of their own ruin."
2. See Lord Donoughmore's motion in the House of Lords, 1st December, 1814, and the same proposal in the House of Commons during the sitting of that day.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
Paris, 21st October, 1814.
I have received your Nos. 4 and 5. The most certain proof that your note of the 1st of October was good is, that it has displeased the plenipotentiaries of the formerly allied Courts, and that at the same time it has forced them to retrace their steps. But we must not let ourselves sleep on this success. 1 The existence of the league, of which you tell me in No. 4, is made clear to me, and especially the design of revenging upon France ut sic the humiliations which the Directory, and still more Bonaparte, have inflicted upon Europe. 2 I shall never allow myself to be reduced to submitting to this; therefore I strongly adopt the idea of the declaration, and desire that you send me the draft at once. But this is not all. We must prove that there is something behind, and for that it seems to me necessary to make preparations for placing the army, at need, upon a more considerable footing than the present. 3 I shall get M. de Jaucourt to write the letter which you desire at once, but, between ourselves, I shall go beyond the stipulations of the 11th of April if the excellent idea of one of the Azores be carried out. I shall be very glad if Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla are restored to the young prince; they are his patrimony. Tuscany was a possession not very justly acquired. The unfortunate Gustavus IV. announces to me his intention of coming here very shortly. If this be spoken of at Vienna, you may boldly affirm that the journey conceals no political speculation, but that my door shall never be shut to him who opened his to me. I cannot conclude this letter without renewing the expression of my satisfaction with your conduct.Upon which, etc. A.
NOTES TO LETTER X.
1. In the manuscript, the following passage, struck out by a line, may still be read: "Of the four Cabinets, I find three bent on aggrandizing, or at least on maintaining themselves at the expense of their neighbors; but what I observe in all is a design of enmity and vengeance."
2. On the 12th of June, 1799, Sandoz Rollin, the Prussian ambassador to Paris, wrote to his Court: "Talleyrand appears content and settled in his place since the arrival of Siéyès; at least, so I judge from his countenance and his conversation. 'You shall be satisfied,' he said to me the day before yesterday; 'in the space of six weeks we shall have a system of foreign policy which will, I hope, procure us allies. It will no longer be a question of hitting Europe blows that afterwards recoil upon France.' "
3. "Count Dupont laid before the Council yesterday a scheme for placing the whole effective strength of the army on a peace footing, and passed in review the men who are discharged, but liable to be recalled under arms." -Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 29th October, 1814.
It was proposed to remove Napoleon I. from Elba to the Azores. On the 27th of September, 1814, Jaucourt replied to anxious inquiries from Talley rand: Stories of all sorts are told about the interview between Napoleon and a lady and a young child at the island of Elba. The fact is that Madame Walewska has been there, and remained a few hours. The Minister of War persists in believing that there is a garrison of from three to four thousand men in the island. I have details here, and they all agree that from six to eight hundred men, and about as many more Corsicans and others, picked up here and there, form the guard. Count Dupont is informed of this by an officer who has just come from that country." Chateaubriand, writing to Talleyrand at Vienna, gave him the same information and similar advice. On the 12th of October, 1814, Talleyrand wrote to Jaucourt: "M. Mariotti (consul at Leghorn) has done well to refuse passports to the merchants who asked him for them for the island of Elba; he always ought to be exceedingly circumspect about this kind of passport."
Vienna, 25th October, 1814.
I was very happy to receive the letter with which your Majesty deigned to honor me, bearing date the 11th of October. It has sustained and consoled me. Your Majesty may judge how much need I have of support and consolation by the account which I am about to give your Majesty of an interview which I had with the Emperor Alexander, two hours before the arrival of the post. As I have had the honor to write to your Majesty, I had been informed that the Emperor had repeatedly expressed his intention of seeing me. This information having been given me by three persons who have constant access to him, I believed that it was conveyed by his orders, while I understood that he wished me to request an audience. He had not answered Lord Castlereagh, but had instead caused it to be notified to Austria that he was about to withdraw his troops from Saxony, and to hand over the administration of that country to Prussia. The rumor was current that Austria had consented to this, although with regret; the report of this consent was accredited by the Prussians; and, lastly, the Emperor Alexander was on the point of starting for Hungary. All these reasons made me decide upon asking for an audience, and I was informed that the Emperor would receive me at six the day before yesterday. Four days ago Prince Adam Czartoryski, to whom Poland constitutes the whole world, having come to visit me, and excusing himself for not having come before, acknowledged that he had been especially prevented from doing so by hearing that I was very ill disposed on the Polish question. "I am better disposed than anybody else," said I; "we wish Poland to be complete and independent." "That would be a fine thing," he replied, "but it is a chimera; the Powers will never consent to it." "Then," said I, "Poland is no longer our principal affair in the north. The preservation of Saxony concerns us much more. We are in the first rank on this question; 1 we are only in the second on that of Poland. When it becomes a question of boundaries, it is for Austria and Prussia to secure their frontiers. We aesire that they should be satisfied on that point, but only let us be easy about your neighborhood, and we shall place no obstacle to the Emperor of Russia giving any form of government he pleases to the country which shall be ceded to him: for which readiness on our part I demand the maintenance of the Kingdom of Saxcny." This communication was so pleasing to Prince Adam, that he went straight from my house to the Emperor, with whom he had a conversation of three hours' length; and the result was that Count Nesselrode, whom I had never seen at my own house since just after my arrival, called upon me the next day in the evening, to obtain an explanation, which I gave him, without however making any advance on what I had said to Prince Adam. I restricted myself to impressing upon him that the preservation of the kingdom of Saxony was a point from which it was impossible your Majesty could ever depart.
The Emperor thus knowing beforehand to what extent he might and might not hope that I would bend to his views, I was placed at the advantage of being enabled to discern his disposition by his manner of accosting me, and to judge whether his object in the interview which he granted me was to propose means of conciliation or to notify his own will. He accosted me with some embarrassment. I expressed my regret at having seen him only once. "He had been pleased, "I said to him, "not to accustom me to a deprivation of that nature when I formerly had the happiness of finding myself in the same places with him." His answer was that he should always be pleased to see me, and that it was my own fault if I had not seen him; why did I not come? He added this singular sentence, "I am a public man; I am always to be seen." It is to be remarked that his own ministers and those of his servants whom he likes the best are often unable for several days to approach him. Then said he, "Let us speak of affairs." I will not fatigue your Majesty with idle details of a conversation which lasted an hour and a half. I am the less afraid to limit myself to the essential, as whatever pains I may take to abridge what I have to report as proceeding from the mouth of the Emperor of Russia, your Majesty will probably still hold it to be beyond all belief.
"At Paris," said he, "you had a mind to a kingdom of Poland, how is it that you have changed?" "My mind, Sire, is still the same. At Paris the question was of the restoration of the whole of Poland; we wished then, as we wish now, for its independence. But the present is quite another matter; the question is subordinate to a settling of boundaries which places Austria and Prussia in safety." "They need not be alarmed. Besides, I have two hundred thousand men in the duchy of Warsaw; let them put me out of that. I have given Saxony to Prussia; Austria consents." "I do not know," I replied, "whether Austria does consent; I should find it difficult to believe that she does -- it would be so much against her interest. But can the consent of Austria render Prussia the proprietor of that which belongs to the King of Saxony?" "If the King of Saxony does not abdicate he shall be taken to Russia. He will die there; another has already died there." 2 "Your Majesty will permit me not to believe that; the Congress has not been called together to witness such an outrage." "How, an outrage? Why did Stanislas go to Russia? why should the King of Saxony not go to Russia? The case of the one is the case of the other; I see no difference." I had only too much to say in answer; but I confess to your Majesty that I did not know how to control my indignation. The Emperor spoke rapidly; one of his sentences was the following: "I thought that France owed me something. You are always talking of principles. Your public law is nothing to me; I do not know what it is. What do you suppose I care for all your parchments and all your treaties?" (I had reminded him of the treaty by which the Allies agreed that the grand-duchy of Warsaw should be divided between the three Courts.) "There is one thing which is important above all to me; that is my word. I have given my word and I will keep it. I promised Saxony to the King of Prussia at the moment when we met again." "Your Majesty promised the King of Prussia from nine to ten millions of souls; your Majesty can give them to him without destroying Saxony." (I had a table of the districts which might be given to Prussia, and which, without ruining Saxony, would form the number of subjects stipulated by the treaties. The Emperor took and has kept it.) "The King of Saxony is a traitor." "Sire, the qualification of traitor can never be given to a king, and it is of importance that it never should be given to one." I may have laid some emphasis on the latter portion of my sentence. After a brief silence, "The King of Prussia," said he, "shall be King of Prussia and of Saxony, as I shall be Emperor of Russia and King of Poland. The compliance of France with me on these two points shall be the measure of mine on all that may interest her." During the course of this conversation, the Emperor did not give way to restlessness and gesticulation, as he had done at my first interview with him; he was imperious, and his manner plainly showed irritation. After having said that he would see me again, he went away to a private ball at the Court. I followed him, having had the honor to be invited.
I found Lord Castlereagh there, and I was beginning to talk to him, when the Emperor Alexander, observing us in the embrasure of a window, called him, and then took him into another room and spoke with him for twenty minutes. Lord Castlereagh came back to me afterwards, and told me that he was very ill satisfied with what had been said to him.
I cannot doubt that Lord Castlereagh has either prescribed to himself, or received an order from his Court, to pursue the plan of which I had the honor to inform your Majesty in my letter of the 19th of this month. That plan consists of isolating France, reducing her to her own unaided strength, by depriving her of alliances and preventing her from having a powerful navy. Thus, while your Majesty brings to the Congress no purposes but those of justice and good will, England is actuated by a spirit of jealousy and interested selfishness; but Lord Castlereagh finds unforeseen difficulties cropping up in the way of his plan. As he would like to escape the reproach of having left Europe a prey to Russia, he wants to detach from her those Powers which he desires to place in opposition to France; and his main object is that Prussia shall become, like Holland, an entirely English Power, which England may, by subsidizing, manage according to her pleasure. As it suits this view that Prussia should be strong, he desires to aggrandize her, and to have all the merit of it in her eyes. But the zeal of the Emperor Alexander in the interests of the King of Prussia will not allow of this. The object for which Lord Castlereagh is striving is, if possible, to unite Prussia and Austria, and the kind of aggrandizement which he wants to procure for Prussia is precisely an obstacle to that union. He wants to break the ties which exist between the King of Prussia and the Emperor Alexander, and he endeavors to form others, which are rejected by habit, by remembrances, by a rivalry which is suspended but not extinct, and which a number of interests will inevitably revive. Besides, before Prussia and Austria can be united, the interests of the latter monarchy must be secured, and its safety provided for; and Lord Castlereagh finds the claims of Russia an obstacle to the accomplishment of those ends. Thus the problem which he has proposed to himself, and which I hope he will not succeed in solving in a sense injurious to France, at least to the extent which he probably desires, presents such difficulties as might check a greater political genius than he. So far as he is himself concerned, he sees none but those which proceed from the Emperor Alexander, because he does not hesitate to sacri- fice Saxony. I told Lord Castlereagh that the trouble he was in was created by his own conduct and that of M. de Metternich; that it was they who had made the Emperor of Russia what he is, and that if, from the beginning, instead of rejecting a proposal to convene the Congress, they had supported it, what is now going on would not have happened; that they wanted to take up a position of their own towards Russia and Prussia, and that they found themselves too weak; but that if the Emperor of Russia had been confronted by the Congress, and consequently by the common desire of all Europe, he would never have ventured to hold the language that he is holding to-day. Lord Castlereagh assented to this, 3 regretted that the Congress had not met sooner, hoped it would meet shortly, and proposed to me to arrange in concert with him a form of convocation which could not leave room for any objection, and would reserve the difficulties which might crop up until the time for the verification of the Powers had come.
M. de Zeugwitz, a Saxon officer, just come from London, and who before his departure had seen the Prince Regent, states that the prince spoke to him of the King of Saxony in terms of the strongest interest, and told him that he had given his ministers orders to defend conservative principles at the Congress, and not to depart from them. The Prince Regent had spoken in the same sense to Duke Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, 4 who told me this two days ago. I cannot but believe, therefore, that the line which the English mission is taking is opposed to the Prince Regent's views and personal wishes.
Austria has not yet consented, though the Emperor of Russia told me she had, to Saxony's being given to Prussia. She has said, on the contrary, that the question of Saxony is essentially subordinate to that of Poland, and that she could not reply on the first until after the latter had been settled; but although in her note she spoke of the design of sacrificing Saxony as odious and infinitely painful to her, she has allowed her disposition to yield on this point, if she can obtain satisfaction on the other, to become too plainly evident. It is even affirmed that the Emperor of Russia told his brother-in-law, Prince Antoine, 5 that the cause of Saxony was lost.
What is certain is that Austria consents to the occupation of Saxony by Prussian troops, and its administration on behalf of the King of Prussia. Meantime public opinion becomes day by day more favorable to the cause of the King of Saxony; it is certainly to this that I am to attribute the flattering reception with which the Archdukes and the Empress of Austria were pleased to honor me, at a ball given by Count Zichy three days ago, and at a Court ball on the day before yesterday.Yesterday morning the Emperor of Austria set out for Ofen, preceding the Emperor of Russia, who started in the evening. He is going to visit the tomb of the Grand-Duchess his sister, who married the Archduke Palatine, after which the ball and the fêtes which have been prepared for him will occupy him entirely. He will return to Vienna on the 29th. As he has gone away without leaving either powers or directions with anybody, nothing can be discussed, and of course nothing of importance can take place during his absence. I saw M. de Metternich this evening; he is plucking up a little courage. I spoke to him as strongly as it was possible to speak. The Austrian generals, of whom I have seen a great number, declare for the maintenance of Saxony; they advance military arguments on this subject which are beginning to make an impression.I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XI.
1. The instructions given to Prince Talleyrand on the 10th of September, 1814, classed the questions in which France was interested at the Congress of Vienna in the following order of importance:
a. To prevent its ever being possible for Austria to get possession of the dominions of the King of Sardinia.
b. To secure the restitution of Naples.
c. To prevent Russia from getting possession of the whole of Poland.
d. To prevent Prussia from getting possession either of Saxony, at least in its entirety, or of Mayence.
2. Stanislas Poniatowski.
3. " Lord Castlereagh himself now admits that he thought he was stronger with regard to the Emperor of Russia; and that he has to regret that he did not confront him with the whole of Europe assembled in Congress, as it had been proposed to him at Paris." -- Letter from the French plenipotentiaries to the department, 24th October, 1814.
4. Afterwards King of the Belgians as Leopold I.
5. Prince Antoine, afterwards King of Saxony, 1827-1836, was brother of King Frederic Augustus III., and married the eldest sister of the Emperor Francis II.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND
Paris, 27th October, 1814.
I have received your No. 6. I was very much hurried when I sent you by Wednesday's post the supplement to your instructions for which you asked me, and I hope that the proceedings you will have taken in consequence may suffice; but, as I said to you in No. 3, we must make it evident that there is something behind, and I am about to give orders that the army be placed in a state to take the field. God is my witness that, far from wishing for war, my desire would be to have some years of quietude, that I might heal the wounds of the State at leisure; but I desire before all things to preserve the honor of France intact, and to hinder principles and an order of things which are as contrary to all morality as they are prejudicial to repose from being established. It is no less necessary, and it is also my desire, to cause my own personal character to be respected, and not to allow it to be said, as it was in the matter of the Spanish chargé d'afaires, 1 that I am strong only with the weak. My life, my crown, are nothing to me in comparison with interests so much greater.
It would, however, be very painful to me to be forced to ally myself for this with Austria, and with Austria only! 2 I cannot conceive how Lord Castlereagh, who has spoken so well on the subject of Poland, can be of a different opinion respecting Saxony. I would count much upon Count Munster's efforts to persuade him, if the language of the Duke of Wellington on the same subject did not lead me to fear that this policy is not that of the minister, but of the ministry. Arguments with which to meet it will be readily forthcoming, but examples often produce more effect and I know one striking example, that of Charles XII. The punishment of Patkul is a sufficient proof of how vindictive Charles XII. was, and how unscrupulous about the rights of nations; and yet, though he may be said to have been master of all the dominions of King Augustus, he was content with taking Poland from him, and did not consider it allowable to touch Saxony. It seems to the that, on comparing the two circumstances, the analogy of the duchy of Warsaw with the kingdom of Poland, and that of Saxony with herself, is evident. On which, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XII.
1. The Spanish chargé d'affaires, Count Casaflores, had given orders directly to a commissary of French police to arrest the celebrated Spanish general Mina. The commissary was guilty of the grave fault of acting on the instructions of the representative of Spain, without a previous reference to the Prefect of Police. The King's Government, offended at this, dismissed the Spanish chargé d'affalres. In consequence of that occurrence, the Duke de Laval-Montmprency, ambassador of France at the Court of Spain, was on the point of asking for his passports and leaving Madrid, when the landing of Napoleon took place.
"I have seen General Mina; at first sight he strikes one as being merely an active quartermaster of a hussar regiment." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 29th October, 1814.
2. "He (the King) feels strongly the situation of Italy, and the position in which your proceeding has placed us; for the burden of a war, if it takes place, will fall almost entirely upon us. The Austrian armies will take care of the fate of Italy, and the Bavarians and ourselves must bear the brunt of the efforts of the Prussians and the Emperor Alexander. "The Duke of Wellington said to me here just what the English minister said to you at Vienna; principles are settled, therefore, and not sentiments only. The King of Saxony has ceased to interest: it is said that Prussia powerful is useful as a rival to Austria, and a future barrier against Russia; that the independence of Poland is necessary, and self-evident, if she is united as one corporate nation; that the war movements, however they are accomplished, will probably bring about a revolution in Germany, and set Europe on fire. On the spot, as you are, and with your experience, you will smile. dear prince, at our Parisian notions. I shall, therefore, only add that the union of our troops with the Austrian troops would be entirely opposed to the national feelings and to public opinion, and especially distasteful to our soldiers." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 25th October, 1814.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND
No. 5. * .
I have received your No. 8. I have read it with great interest, but also with great indignation. The tone and the prin-
____________________ No date is given in the original
ciples with which Bonaparte was so justly reproached were no others than those of the Emperor of Russia. I hope that the opinion of the army and that of the Imperial family will recall Prince Metternich to more wholesome views, that Lord Castlereagh will enter more than he has yet done into those of the Prince Regent, and that then you will be able to use the weapons which I have given you with advantage. But, however that may be, continue to merit the just eulogium which I have great pleasure in reiterating on the present occasion, by remaining firm in the course that you are pursuing, and rest assured that my name shall never be affixed to an act which would sanction the most disgraceful immorality.
On which, etc.
Vienna, 31st October, 1814.
The state of things is still the same in appearance, but there are certain symptoms of a change, and these may be increased by the demeanor and language of the Emperor Alexander. On the morning of the day of his departure for Hungary he had an interview with M. de Metternich, in which it appears quite certain that he addressed that minister with such haughtiness and violence of language such as might have appeared extraordinary even if applied to one of his own servants. M. de Metternich having said, on the subject of Poland, that if it were a question of making a Poland they also could do that, he not only stigmatized the observation as unbecoming and indecent, but went so far as to say that M. de Metternich was the only man in Austria who could thus take a tone of revolt. It is said that things reached such a point that M. de Metternich informed the Emperor he would at once beg his master to nominate another minister in his place for the Congress. M. de Metternich came away from this interview in a state in which the persons who know him intimately say they never before saw him. He who a few days previously had said to Count Schulenburg that he entrenched himself behind time and made a weapon of patience, would be likely to discard that weapon if it were often put to a similar trial.
It is not likely that he will be inclined to any increase of com- plaisance towards the Emperor of Russia by all this, and the opinion of the Austrian officers whom I see, and that of the Archdukes, ought not to make him more ready to abandon Saxony. I have reason to think that the Emperor of Austria is now inclined to make some resistance. There is here a certain Count Sickingen, who enjoys much intimacy with the Emperor, and whom I know. After the departure for Hungary he went to the house of Marshal Wrde, and then came to mine, to request us, on the part of the Emperor, to let everything remain in abeyance until his return. It is said here that during the journey the Emperor Alexander complained of M. de Metternich, and the Emperor Francis replied that he thought it was better that affairs should be dealt with by the ministers; 1 that by this means they were handled with more freedom and greater result; that he never did his own business, but his ministers did nothing except by his orders. Afterwards, and in the course of conversation, he said, amongst other things, that when people who had never forsaken him, who had done everything for him and had given him all, were disturbed as they were at present, his duty was to do all in his power to tranquillize them. Upon that, the Emperor Alexander having asked whether his character and his loyalty ought not to prevent or remove every kind of alarm, the Emperor Francis replied that good frontiers were the best securities for peace. This conversation was repeated to me, and almost in the same terms, by M. de Sickingen and M. de Metternich. It seems that the Emperor, who is but little in the habit of putting out his strength, came back very well pleased with himself.
All the precautions that are taken to deprive me of the knowledge of what is being done at the Commission of the Political Organization of Germany have failed.
At the first sitting it was proposed by Prussia that all the princes the whole of whose States are included in the Confederation shall renounce the right to make war and peace, and also that of legation. Marshal Wréde having declined this proposal, M. de Humboldt explained that it was plain Bavaria still had at heart an alliance with France, and that the fact was a fresh reason for them to insist; but, at the second sitting, the marshal, who had taken the King's orders, peremptorily rejected the proposal, and it was withdrawn.
It was then proposed that one-half of the entire military force of the Confederation should be placed under the direction of Austria, and one-half under that of Prussia. Marshal Wréde demanded that the number of directors should be augmented, and that the direction should alternate between them. It was proposed, in addition, that a close league should be formed between all the confederate States for the defence of the possessive status of each, such as it should be defined by the arrangements about to be made The King of Bavaria, who was well aware that Russia especially intended by this league to secure to herself the possession of Saxony against the opposition of the Powers who wanted to preserve that kingdom, who felt that he should have everything to fear if Saxony were once sacrificed, and is ready to defend her if only he be not left to his own strength, has given orders to levy 20,000 recruits in his territory. This will bring his army up to 70,000 strong. Far from wishing to enter into the proposed league, his intention, at least at present, is that so soon as the Prussians shall have got hold of Saxony his minister shall retire from the Commission, declaring that he will not be an accomplice of such a usurpation, and still less its quarantor.
The Prussians do not know that this is the King's intention, but they are aware of the state of his armament, and they very probably suspect him of being inclined to join his forces with those of the Powers who would like to defend Saxony. They also feel that, without the consent of France, Saxony would not be a secure acquisition. It is said that the Cabinet, which does not share the blind attachment of the King to the Emperor Alexander, is not at all easy about Russia; that it will probably renounce Saxony, provided it can find elsewhere the means of making up the number of subjects which Prussia, according to the treaties, ought to have. Whatever may be their sentiments and their desires, the Prussian ministers are making approaches to us; they send us invitation after invitation. Lord Castlereagh, who has conceived the idea of fortifying Prussia below the Elbe, under the pretext of making that river serve as a barrier against Russia, has this project much at heart. In a conversation with me a few days ago he reproached me with making the question of Saxony one of the first order, whereas according to him it is nothing, and that of Poland is everything. I answered him that the question of Poland would have been for me the foremost of all if he had not reduced it to a simple matter of boundaries. If he wants to restore the whole of Pbland to complete independence, I should be with him in the first rank; but when it was merely a question of boundaries, it was for Austria and Prussia, who were the most interested, to put themselves forward. My part was then limited to supporting them. and I should do so. I put before him certain arguments on his project of uniting Austria and Prussia which he could not meet, and I quoted facts concerning the policy of Prussia for the last sixty years which he could not deny; but, while condemning the former acts of the Cabinet, he declared that his hopes of a better future were strong.
Nevertheless I know that various persons have made objections by which he has been impressed. He has been asked how he could consent to place one of the largest cities of Germany, Leipsic, 2 in which one of the greatest European fairs is held, under the supremacy of Prussia, with which country England cannot be certain to be always at peace, instead of leaving it in the hands of a prince with whom England cannot have any cause of quarrel. This took him by surprise, and evidently made him feel some alarm lest his project should compromise the mercantile interests of England. He had asked me to draw up a plan for the convocation of the Congress in concert with him. I sent him one and he was pleased with it. I also drew up some plans for the first meeting of the ministers, the verification of powers, and the Commission to be formed at the first sitting of the Congress. These documents are appended to my despatch to the department, which M. de Jaucourt will submit to your Majesty. As M. de Dalberg, as well as myself, owed a visit to Lord Castlereagh, we went together to call upon him yesterday evening. He had nothing to say, but he observed that the fear of us which the Prussians evidently entertained was a sure indication that they suspected some concealed design. The real or affected apprehensions of Prussia naturally led the conversation to the everlasting subject of Poland and Saxony. There were maps on the table, and I pointed out to him upon them how that, Saxony and Silesia being in the same hands, Bohemia might be taken in a few weeks, 3 and that if Bohemia were taken the heart of the Austrian monarchy would be laid bare and defenceless. He seemed astonished; he had talked to us as if he had allowed all his hopes to turn towards Prussia because he found it impossible to place any in Austria. 4 He was quite surprised when we told him that she only wanted money to muster her troops; that she had very large forces, and would at present require only one million sterling for that purpose. At this he became animated and seemed inclined to support the affair of Poland to the end. He knew that an answer to his memorandum was in course of preparation at the Russian Chancellery, and he did not seem to expect that it would be satisfactory. He had been apprised that the Servians 5 had again taken up arms, and informed us that a Russian corps, commanded by one of the most distinguished of the Russian generals, was advancing to the frontiers of the Ottoman Empire. It was plain, therefore, that nothing was more necessary and more urgent than to oppose a barrier to the ambition of Russia; but he wanted this to be done without war, or, if war could not be avoided, he wanted it to be done with the help of France. From his way of estimating our forces, it is easy to see that it is France he fears most.
"You have," said he, "twenty-five millions of men; we rate them as forty millions." And once he let the following sentence escape him: "Ah! if you only had relinquished your designs on the left bank of the Rhine I" It was easy for me to prove to him, by the situation of France and Europe, all in arms, that it was impossible to impute ambitious projects to France without supposing her to be mad! "That may be," he answered; "but a French army marching through Germany for any cause whatsoever would make too much impression and awaken too many memories." I represented to him that war would not be necessary, and that it would suffice if Russia were confronted by Europe united in one purpose; and this brought us back to the opening of the Congress. But he still went on talking of difficulties without stating what those difficulties were, and advised me to see M. de Metternich. I conclude from this that something has been agreed to between them, which they would not have kept secret from me if they had not reason to believe that I should object to it. Moreover, by accusing us of having retarded everything, they have foolishly acknowledged to us that only for us everything would now be settled, because they were agreed in principle. This avowal gives us the exact measure of the influence which, in their opinion, belongs to your Majesty in the affairs of Europe.
On the whole, Lord Castlereagh's inclinations, without being exactly good, seem to me to tend that way, and it may be that the Emperor Alexander's answer, for which he is waiting, will help to improve them. 6
Yesterday morning I received a note from M. de Metternich, inviting me to attend a conference at eight o'clock in the evening. I will not weary your Majesty with the details of this conference; it
abounded in words and was barren of facts. These details will be found in my letter to the department. The result was that a Commission of verification, composed of three members named by lot, was formed; that the powers are to be sent to them; and that after the verification the Congress is to meet. This evening another conference took place, at which the draft of declaration relative to the verification of powers was read and agreed to. This declaration will be published to-morrow, and I send a copy of it in a despatch to the department this evening. I thought your Majesty would prefer that all documents should be added to the letter which I address to M. de Jaucourt, so that the department may have and preserve them in their sequence. The situation of France has been such for eight months that no sooner has she reached one goal than another of equal importance is set before her, and it most frequently happens that she has no choice of means for its attainment. Hardly had the oppressor been overthrown, and those desires for the restoration of your Majesty to the bosom of your kingdom which had been long and universally entertained in secret found utterance, than it became necessary to provide for your Majesty's finding France disarmed at the moment of your arrival -- France, which then contained five hundred thousand foreigners. This could only be obtained by procuring the cessation of hostilities, by an armistice at any cost. And then, to rid the kingdom of the troops which were devouring its substance, we had to direct all our efforts to the conclusion of peace. Afterwards it seemed as though your Majesty had nothing more to do, and might enjoy the love of your people and the fruit of your wisdom; but a fresh demand was made upon your Majesty's firmness and energy; they had to be exerted to save Europe, if possible, from the perils with which it is menaced by the ambition and the passions of some Powers and the blindness and pusillanimity of others. All the difficulties of that enterprise have failed to make me regard its success as entirely impossible, and the letter with which your Majesty has been pleased to honor me, dated the 21st of October, raises my hopes, while the testimony it bears to the satisfaction with which your Majesty deigns to regard my zeal gives me fresh courage.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XIV.
1. "The sovereigns meet every day an hour before dinner, and discuss familiarly among themselves the principal subjects with which the ministers plenipotentiary are occupied.
"They show the documents to each other, talk of their interests like private individuals, and definitely note the points to which they agree." -Moniteur Universel, 21st November, 1814. 2. This city was subjected to a strong military occupation. On the 7th of November, 1814, the Prussian Major-General von Bismarck arrived at Leipsic to take command of the city.
3. In each of their wars with Austria the tactics of the Kings of Prussia have been to fall on Bohemia in the first instance ( 1741, 1759, 1778, 1866).
4. "Metternich lacks confidence in the resources of his monarchy; he is not of a decided character." This estimate of Metternich is frequently repeated in the letters transmitted to the department by the French plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Vienna.
5. George Czerny was justly entitled the Liberator of Servia. He was abandoned by the Russians at the treaty of Bucharest ( 1812), and emigrated to Bessarabia ( 1813); but at this time he was preparing to return to his native country.
6. On the 3d of January Prince Talleyrand wrote to the department: "The English embassy to the Congress, whose system we at first did not like, have entirely changed it and are now taking the same course as ourselves."
Vienna, 6th November, 1814.
The Count de Noailles, who arrived here on Wednesday morning, the 2nd of November, has brought me the supplementary instructions which your Majesty has been pleased to have addressed to me. 1 The resolutions of your Majesty are now known to the Austrian Cabinet, to the Emperor of Austria himself, and to Bavaria. I have thought it best not to speak of them to Lord Castlereagh, who is always ready to take alarm at an intervention on the part of France, and I have not spoken of them to Count Munster, who, hardly out of the hands of his doctors, is making preparations for his marriage with the Countess of Lippe, sister of the reigning Prince of Buckberg. On the day of his arrival, M. de Noailles was present at a conference which terminated without any result. The matter in hand was to examine whether, when the verification of powers was completed, commissions should be nominated to prepare the papers, and how and by whom they should be named. Prince Metternich argued at great length that the name of "commission" could not be applied, becauses it supposes a delegation of powers, which in its turn supposes a deliberating assembly, and that the Congress could not be. He proposed various denominations, instead of that one to which he objected, but he was not himself satisfied with any; at last he said that we must fix on one at the next conference. None has as yet taken place. These scruples about the term "commission" were no doubt strange, and certainly came rather late, as no difficulty had been made about giving that name to the three ministers who are charged with the verification of powers, and to the five who are preparing the political organization of Germany. But if I could have supposed M. de Metternich to have any other intention in this than a pretext to gain time, I should have been undeceived by himself. After the conference he requested me to accompany him into his cabinet, and he told me that he and Lord Castlereagh were resolved not to suffer Russia to pass the line of the Vistula; that they were working to induce Prussia to make common cause with them on that question, and that they hoped to succeed. He conjured me to give them time to do this, and not to hurry them. I wanted to know on what conditions they expected to obtain the co-operation of Prussia. He replied that they would promise Prussia a portion of Saxony, that is to say, four or five hundred thousand souls of that country, and particularly the fortress and circle of Wittenberg, which might be considered necessary to cover Berlin, so that the King of Saxony would still preserve from fifteen to sixteen hundred thousand souls, Turgau and Köningstein, and the course of the Elbe from the circle of Wittenberg to Bohemia. I learned that in a Council of State presided over by the Emperor himself, and composed of M. de Stadion, Prince Schwartzenberg, M. de Metternich, Count Zichy, and General Daka, it was laid down as a principle that the question of Saxony was of still greater interest for Austria than even that of Poland, and that the safety of the monarchy was concerned in not allowing the passes of Thuringia and Saal to fall into the hands of Russia. (I enter more fully into details on this subject in my letter of to-day addressed to the Department.)
This circumstance has made me place more confidence than I generally do in what M. de Metternich had said to me. If four-fifths or three-fourths of its actual population, and its principal strong places and military positions, can be preserved to the kingdom, we shall have done much for justice, much for utility, and much for your Majesty's glory.
The Emperor of Russia has replied to Lord Castlereagh's memorandum. I shall see his answer, and I shall have the honor of speaking of it to your Majesty in my next despatch, more positively than by on dit. I only know of a certainty, that the Emperor complains of the injustice which he asserts is done to him, by imputing to him an ambition that has no place in his heart; he represents himself as ridden over, so to speak, and then, with very slight transition, goes on to declare that he will not desist from any of his pretensions.
Lord Castlereagh, who took fire at this answer, has made a reply, which Lord Stewart was to deliver yesterday. His brother charged him with this commission because he had during the war, and still has, the entrée to the Emperor Alexander. M. de Gentz has translated the document for the Austrian Cabinet, to whom it has been communicated, and tells me that it is very strong and very good. 2 The affairs of Sweden are to be set going; I have made choice of M. de Dalberg to take part in the conferences at which they are to be discussed. I do not recapitulate to your Majesty in this letter all that has passed on that matter; my despatch to the Government gives an account of it.
I went yesterday at four o'clock to see M. de Metternich, who had requested me to do so; there I found M. de Nesselrode and Lord Castlereagh. M. de Metternich began with great protestations of his wish to be confidential with me, to have a good understanding with France, and to do nothing without her. What they desire is, he said, that all feelings of irritation should be laid aside, and that I should aid them to advance matters, and to get out of the difficulty in which he frankly acknowledged they find themselves. 3 I answered that their position with regard to me was quite different from mine with regard to them; that I neither wanted, did, nor knew anything with which they were not as well acquainted as myself; but that they, on the contrary, had done, and were daily doing, many things of which I either knew nothing, or came to hear of them through the town talk; that it was in this way I had been apprised of the existence of the Emperor Alexander's answer to Lord Castlereagh. I saw that I embarrassed him, and I perceived that he did not want to appear to Count Nesselrode to have committed any indiscretion in that respect; so I hastened to add that I did not know the bearing of that reply, nor, indeed, for certain, whether there was any such thing. Then I remarked that as for the difficulties of which he complained, I could only attribute them to one single origin -- that they had not convened the Congress. "It must meet one day or another," said I, "sooner or later, and the more delay there is, the more appearance of self-accusation, of purposes which will not bear daylight. So much procrastination will seem to indicate a bad conscience. Why," I continued, "should you make any difficulty about proclaiming, that, without waiting for the verification of powers, which may be tedious, all those who have delivered theirs at the State Chancellery are to meet at an appointed place? The Commission will be announced there; it will be made known that each may send in his demand, and then the meeting will break up. Afterwards the Commission will get to, their work, and business will go on with some sort of regularity." Lord Castlereagh approved of this course, which had the merit in his eyes of disposing of the difficulties respecting the contested powers; but he observed that the mere word "Congress" frightened the Prussians, and that Prince Hardenberg especially had a horror of it. M. de Metternich reproduced the greater part of the arguments which he had brought before us at the last conference. He considered it preferable that the Congress should not meet until we were agreed, at least upon all the great questions. "There is one," said he, "with which we are face to face." He meant Poland, though he did not choose to name that country, and he passed at once to the affairs of Germany proper, saying that everything was in the best train among the persons who are occupied with them. "The affairs of Sweden are also to be taken up," he added, "and they ought not to be regulated without France taking part in them." I told him that I never thought there could be any other intention, and that I had consequently chosen M. de Dalberg to assist at the conferences which were to be held on the matter. Passing from thence to the affairs of Italy, the word "complications" -- of which M. de Metternich is perpetually making use, so as to keep up the vagueness which his weak policy requires -- was employed throughout, from the affairs of Germany and Tuscany to those of Naples and Sicily; he wanted to arrive at proving that the tranquillity of Italy, and consequently that of Europe, depended on the Naples business not being settled at the Congress, but relegated to a more distant epoch. "The force of circumstances," said he, "will necessarily bring back the House of Bourbon to the throne of Naples.""The force of circumstances," said I, "appears to me to be now at its full height; it is at the Congress that this question must end. This question is the last of the Italian questions in the geographical order, and I consent that the geographical order should be observed; my compliance can go no farther." M. de Metternich then spoke of Murat's partisans in Italy. "Organize Italy," said I, "and he will no longer have any. Put an end to a provisional situation which is detestable; fix the possessive status in Upper and Central Italy; let there not be a foot of ground in military occupation from the Alps to the frontiers of Naples; let there be legitimate sovereigns everywhere, and a regular administration to fix the succession of Sardinia. 4 Send an Archduke into the Milanese province to govern it, recognize the rights of the Queen of Etruria, restore to the Pope the territory that belongs to him and which you occupy, and Murat will have no longer any hold upon the people; for he will be no more to Italy than a brigand." This geographical method of treating the affairs of Italy seemed to take, and it was decided that M. de Saint-Marsan should be summoned to the next conference, and the affairs of Italy regulated with him in conformity with this plan. M. de Brignolé, deputy from the city of Naples, is also to be heard on matters concerning the commercial interests of that city. Lord Castlereagh insists strongly that Genoa ought to be a free port, and he spoke with both approbation and bitterness of the enfranchisement of that of Marseilles.
It looks as if our position were bettering itself a little, but I dare not trust to appearances, having only too much reason not to rely upon the sincerity of M. de Metternich; and besides this, I do not know how to regard the unexpected departure of the Grand-Duke Constantine, who leaves Vienna the day after to-morrow, and goes direct to Warsaw. It is said that the Emperor Alexander is about to make a journey to Gratz, and that he proposes to go as far as Trieste. One of the Archdukes is to do the honors of that portion of the Austrian monarchy. The journey is to commence on the 20th.
The Court of Vienna continues to entertain its noble guests with hospitality, which, considering the state of its finances, must be very onerous to it. Everywhere are to be seen emperors, kings, empresses, queens, hereditary princes, reigning princes, etc., etc.; the Court pays everybody's expenses, and the expenditure of each day is estimated at two hundred and twenty thousand paper florins. Royalty certainly loses some of the grandeur which is proper to it, at these gatherings. To meet three or four kings and a still greater number of princes at balls and teas at the houses of private individuals, as one does at Vienna, seems to me to be unbecoming. It is in France alone that royalty preserves the éclat and the dignity that render it at once august and precious in the eyes of nations.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XV.
1. "The supplementary instructions of the King, brought by M. de Noailles, has rendered it possible for the plenipotentiaries to hint that ' France would take an active part to secure a real and durable equilibrium, and to prevent Russia from laying hold of the grand-duchy of Warsaw, and Prussia of Saxony.' " -- Letter from the plenipotentiaries to the Department.
2. See D'Angeberg, p. 394.
3. Talleyrand writes to the Department, 23rd November, 1814: "It cannot escape us in general that the real difficulty of the Allied Powers at the Congress arises from the delusion which they cherished by thinking they could settle the affairs of Europe upon bases which they had announced to us as decided, and which are not so."
4. The reigning King, Victor Emanuel I. ( 1802-1821), and his brother, Charles Felix ( 1821-1851), had no children. The matter in hand was the appointing of the branch of Savoy-Carignan to the eventual succession. This branch descended from Thomas, fifth son of Duke Charles Emanuel I. (a contemporary of Henry IV.), and has since given to Piedmont and Italy the kings Charles Albert ( 1831-1849), Victor Emanuel II. ( 1849-1878), and Humbert I.
Talleyrand, faithful to his instructions, as much with the object of maintaining the principle of dynastic rights, which he called the principle of legitimacy, as with that of giving check to the House of Austria and preventing it from acquiring at a future day the inheritance of the House of Savoy, was working for the accession of the Savoy-Carignan branch.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
Paris, 9th November, 1814.
I have received your No. 9. I observe with satisfaction that the opening of the Congress draws near, but I still foresee many difficulties. I charge Count de Blacas to inform you, firstly, of an interview which he has had with the Duke of Wellington: you will see that the latter speaks in terms much more explicit than those of Lord Castlereagh; which of the two speaks in accordance with the real intentions of his Court, I do not know, but the Duke of Wellington will be in any case a good weapon in your hands: secondly, of a document which that ambassador asserts is authentic. Nothing can astonish me on the part of Prince Metternich, but I should be surprised if on the 3rd of October you were not yet cogni zant of a step that had been taken. However that may have been, it is necessary that you should be informed of it.
You will be glad to know that my brother arrived on Sunday in good health. On which, etc.
FROM COUNT DE BLACAS TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
Paris, 9th November, 1814.
In obedience to an order of the King, I hasten to transmit to you, prince, certain important information, and also instructions which his Majesty considers no less essential. Your recent interview with the Emperor of Russia, and still more your apprehensions of compliance on the part of Austria and England, have made the king most anxious to ascertain everything that can throw a light on the real intentions of the latter Power. The language that has been reported to you, as that held by the Prince Regent, and what his Majesty was already aware of in that quarter, made him think it necessary to sound the intentions of the British Cabinet. A conversation which I have just had with Lord Wellington has accomplished that object, or at least afforded the King an opportunity for invoking more strongly than ever the aid of England on the most intricate points of the negotiation.
Lord Wellington, after having assured me that he knew what instructions had been given to Lord Castlereagh, and that they were entirely opposed to the designs of the Emperor Alexander upon Poland, and consequently upon Saxony, since the fate of Saxony depends absolutely on the determination which shall be taken with regard to Poland, said to me that by applying ourselves solely to this great question, and laying aside all secondary interests, we might readily arrive at an understanding. According to him, Austria will not lend her hand to the scheme which France rejects, and Prussia herself, for whom Saxony is a pis aller, would be extremely well satisfied with being reinstated in the duchy of Warsaw. Finding him so explicit upon this point, I thought I should be carrying out the wishes of the King by making an overture which, while entirely devoid of an official character, might still more explicitly pledge him in such comniunications as the Court of St. James's may be willing to authorize. I pointed out to him that if the intentions of his Government were such as he represented them, and that the only difficulty in the way of a prompt and happy issue to the negotiations was that of reducing opposition of various kinds to a compact and uniform resistance, it seemed to me that a convention concluded between France, England, Spain, and Holland, for the sole purpose of setting forth the views which they conjointly hold upon this question, would speedily obtain the consent of the other Courts. This expedient, by exhibiting an imposing unanimity of purpose, would at once dispel the charm which is leading so many States in a direction that is contrary to their respective interests; and the King, whose only ambition is the restoration of the principles of public law, and of a just balance of power in Europe, might fairly hope that those who, sharing his sentiments, had been invited to ally themselves with his policy, would not be induced by any motive to swerve from it. Although Lord Wellington could not entirely refuse to recognize the advantages of this proposal, he rejected it as superfluous; but he thereupon protested all the more strongly that the purposes of his Government in the question of Poland and Saxony, and even in that of Naples, 1 are sound; and he repeated that, if exclusive attention were directed to those great interests, the plenipotentiaries would soon be brought to the goal from which the Court of St. Petersburg is wandering.
You see, prince, that England, whatever may be the reserve of its negotiator at the Congress, here acknowledges openly the nature of his instructions, and that those instructions, when the question of Poland is linked with that of Saxony (as it is by Lord Wellington), tender to the King most important support. Under these circumstances, his Majesty thinks that you may usefully avail yourself of the information which I have the honor to transmit to you.
You are now enabled, by appealing to Lord Castlereagh's instructions, to place him under the necessity of giving you an answer, which he can hardly make negative, as he will hereafter be bound to prove that he has acted in conformity with the views of his Government and the interests of his country. The independence of Poland would be very popular in England, if it were complete; but it will not be at all popular on the Russian plan. You, prince, will doubtless appreciate the importance of observing the distinction between these two hypotheses in your commu- nications with the English minister. The King is convinced that the more strongly you express yourself in favor of the real and complete independence of the Polish nation, in case that should be practicable, the more effectually you will deprive Lord Castlereagh of the means of justifying, in the eyes of the English nation, the abandonment of the grand-duchy of Warsaw to the Emperor Alexander. The King has informed you that his Majesty has ordered the Minister of War to raise the army to its full strength on a peace footing. I am in hopes that this resolution, which has been dictated by considerations of whose gravity you are fully aware, will shortly become superfluous.Receive, prince, the most sincere assurance of my unalterable attachment wad high consideration. NOTE TO LETTER XVII 1. "From the 14th December, 1814, Austria decided on supporting Saxony, and England changed her tone. The Russiua and Prussian intrigues were exposed. . . . Lord Castlereagh has communicated to Prince Talleyrand the whole correspondence in reference to the affair of Naples, and he appeared to wish in order rather to confirm what he had said than what he had written -- that our presses should be searched for every paper that might prove to the coalition that Murat, while going along with them, had been carrying on a double intrigue with Bonaparte. . . ." -- The French plenipotentiaries to the Department.
Vienna, 12th November, 1814.
M. de Metternich and Lord Castlereagh had persuaded the Prussian Cabinet to make common cause with them on the question of Poland. The hopes which they had built upon the co-operation of Prussia have, however, been of brief duration. The Emperor of Russia, having invited the King of Prussia to dinner a few days ago, had a conversation with him, some details of which I have learned from Prince Adam Czartoryski. The Emperor reminded the King of the amity subsisting between them, the value which he set upon it, and all that he had done to render it lasting; adding that, as they are about the same age, he had hoped to witness for a long time the happiness for which their respect- ive peoples would be indebted to their close friendship, and that he had always connected his own glory with the re-establishment of a kingdom of Poland. Now that he was on the eve of the accomplishment of his desires, was he to have the grief of counting his dearest friend, and the only person upon whose sentiments he had reckoned, among those who opposed them? The King made a thousand protestations, and swore that he would support him on the Polish question. "It is not enough," said the Emperor, "that you should be of this mind; your ministers also should be of the same;" and he urged the King to send for Prince Hardenbergr. The prince arrived, and the Emperor repeated in his presence what he had previously said, and the promise that the King had given him. Prince Hardenberg endeavored to object; but, being pressed by the Emperor Alexander, who asked him whether he would not obey the orders of the King, and those orders being absolute, there was nothing for him except to promise that he would punctually execute them. This is all that I have been able to learn respecting the scene; much must have occurred of which I know nothing, if it be true, as M. de Gentz has assured me, that Prince Hardenberg said he had never seen anything like it.
This change on the part of Prussia has greatly disconcerted M. de Metternich and Lord Castlereagh. They would have wished that Prince Hardenberg should have resigned -- and such a step would certainly have embarrassed the Emperor and the King -- but he does not seem to have even thought of doing so.
For my own part, suspecting as I did that M. de Metternich had obtained the co-operation of the Prussians by greater concessions than those which he acknowledged, I was inclined to regard the defection of Prussia as an advantage, and your Majesty will see that my surmises were but too well founded.
The Grand Duke Constantine, who left Vienna two days ago, is to organize the army of the duchy of Warsaw; he is also entrusted with the civil organization of the country, and the tone of his instructions indicates, according to the report of M. d'Anstetten, who drew them up, that the Emperor Alexander will not retire from any of his pretensions. The Emperor must likewise have induced the King of Prussia to give a civil and military organization to Saxony. It is reported that he said to him, "It is not far from civil organization to ownership," A letter which I have just received from M. de Caraman, tells me that the brother of the Prussian Minister of Finance, General de Bulow, and several generals have left Berlin for the purpose of effecting the organization of Saxony inl both the civil and military departments. M. de Caraman adds that the occupation of Saxony is nevertheless represented at Berlin not as definitive, but as provisional only. I am also told that the Emperor Alexander, speaking of the opposition of Austria to his views, said, after complaining bitterly of M. de Metternich, " Austria thinks herself certain of Italy, but there is a Napoleon there, and use may be made of him." I am not sure that this saying is authentic, but it is in circulation, and if it be true it gives the exact measure of the speaker.
Lord Castlereagh has not yet received a reply to his last Note. Some persons think that the Emperor will not deign even to answer it.
While the affairs of Poland and Saxony are in suspense, the views respecting the organization of Italy which I put forward, in the conference of which I have had the honor to give an account to your Majesty, have borne fruit. The day before yesterday I called on Lord Castlereagh and found him full of them; also M. de Metternich, who dined yesterday with M. Rasoumowski, as we all did. M. de Metternich brought Lord Castlereagh, M. de Nesselrode, and myself together to-day to talk about them. On my arrival, he informed me that no other subject was to be discussed; that tomorrow, the day after to-morrow, or perhaps even an hour hence, he might be in a condition to speak to me of Poland and Saxony, but that at present he could not do so. I did not insist. The conference was solely occupied with Genoa. It was proposed, not to incorporate that country with Piedmont, but to give it to the King of Sardinia by a treaty, by which special privileges and institutions should be secured to it. Lord Castlereagh had brought certain memoranda and plans which had been addressed to him on the subject, and these he read aloud. He strongly urged the establishment of a free port, an entrepôt, and transit through Piedmont with very moderate duties. It was agreed that we should meet to-morrow, and that M. de Brignolé and M. de Saint-Marsan should be summoned to the conference.
After the conference, I remained alone with M. de Metternich, and as I wanted to know how he stood with regard to Poland and Saxony, and what he proposed to do, instead of putting questions to him on those points, which he would have avoided, I spoke to him about himself only, assuming the tone of an old friend, and said that while attending to affairs, he ought also to consider himself; that it seemed to me that he did not do so sufficiently; that one might be compelled by necessity to do certain things, but that necessity ought to be made evident to everybody; that although one might act upon the purest motives, unless those motives were known to the public, one was none the less certain to be calumniated, because the public in that case could only judge by results; that he was exposed to reproaches of all sorts; that he was accused, for instance, of having sacrificed Saxony; that I earnestly hoped he had not done this, but why leave any pretext for such reports? Why not give his friends the means of defending and justifying him? The unrestraint with which I spoke led him to open his mind a little way. He read me his Note to the Prussians on the question of Saxony, and my warm thanks induced him to entrust it to me. I promised him that it should be kept secret. I subjoin a copy which I have had the honor to make for your Majesty, and beg that your Majesty will be pleased to keep it and permit me to ask for it on my return.
Your Majesty will see by this document 1 that M. de Metternich had promised the Prussians, not a portion of Saxony, as he had assured me, but the whole of it. This promise he had fortunately made subject to a condition, whose non-fulfilment renders it null and void. Your Majesty will also see that M. de Metternich gives up Luxemburg to the Prussians, 2 after having repeatedly assured me that it should not be given to them. This same Note also reveals the plan which was formed long ago, for placing Germany under what is called the influence, but would be really the exclusive and absolute dominion, of Austria and Prussia.
Now, M. de Metternich protests that he will not forsake Saxony. As for Poland, he has given me to understand that he will yield much; this signifies that he will yield all, if the Emperor Alexander persists in refusing to concede anything. I was still with him when the report of the state of the Austrian army was brought to him, and he allowed me to see it. The actual strength of that army consists of three hundred and seventy-four thousand men, of which fifty-two thousand are cavalry, and eight hundred pieces of cannon. With such forces as these, he believes that the Austrian monarchy can do no better than resign itself to everything, and put up with everything! Your Majesty will be pleased to remark that the number of the troops is the effective strength of the army. I will not close the letter which I have the honor to write to your Majesty until after my return from a conference to be held this morning.
The conference is over. M. de Nesselrode, M. de Metternich, and Lord Castlereagh were there. M. de Saint-Marsan, who came by appointment, was admitted. No question except that of the union of Genoa with Piedmont was discussed. 3 A kind of power given by the provisional Government of Genoa, fabricated a few months ago by Lord William Bentinck, has given rise to some difficulties, but they will be removed by its being granted that Genoa is vacant territory. It has been agreed that the eight Powers shall meet tomorrow to make a declaration to that effect, and to hand to M. de Brignolé, the deputy from Genoa, a copy of the protocol containing a declaration to that effect. Nothing will then remain to be decided, except the mode of meeting. I have availed myself of to-day's conference to speak of the Sardinian succession. M. de SaintMarsan, to whom I had previously given notice, had received instructions conformable to the rights of the House of Carignan from his Court. I proposed a form of words which recognizes them; M. de Saint-Marsan has adopted it; it has been drafted, and I have every reason to believe that it will be admitted. The conference on the affairs of Switzerland will now begin without delay.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XVIII.
1. See Appendix.
2. Luxemburg, the capital city of the grand-duchy of Luxemburg, was a federal fortress. Prussia furnished the garrison from 1815 to 1867.
3. By a secret provision of the Treaty of Paris the departments that previously composed the State of Genoa were to form an addition to Piedmont, and the port of Genoa to remain free.
LETTER XIX. THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
Paris, 15th November, 1814.
I have received your No. 10, and I await with impatience the important further details which you notify to me. I lay hold eagerly on the hope for Saxony which you extend to me, and I think that I may rest in it with some confidence, now that Prince Metternich speaks, not his own mind, but that of a council. I should certainly be much better pleased that Saxony should remain a whole, but I think its unfortunate King ought to esteem himself happy if twothirds or three-fourths of it be saved for him.As for the proposed exchange, I do not in general like to cede what is mine; it is still more repugnant to me to despoil others; and, after all, the rights of the Prince-Bishop of Basle, 1 though no doubt less important to the repose of Europe, are no less sacred than those of the King of Saxony. If, however, the spoliation of the PrinceBishop be inevitable, I will consent to the exchange, moved thereto by the double consideration of preserving a portion of his States to the King of Sardinia, and rendering a great service to the canton of Berne. I send you an authorization ad hoc, 2 of which you will make use on the five following conditions, the first of which is only a rule of conduct for yourself : --
1. The impossibility of saving the Prince-Bishop of Basle.
2. The securing to the King of Sardinia that part of Savoy 3 which remains to him.
3. The restoration of its portion of Aargau to the canton of Berne.
4. The free exercise of the Catholic religion in the portion of the, territory of Gex ceded to the canton of Geneva. 4
Free navigation for France on the Lake of Geneva.On these terms you may sign the exchange.
On which, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XIX
1. The bishopric of Basle, an ecclesiastical principality of the Germanic Empire until 1801, had been incorporated with France. It was about to be partitioned between the cantons of Basle and Berne.
2. The treaty of the 30th of May, 1814, had left Chambéry and Annécy to France (she lost them by the treaty of the 20th of November, 1815); besides, the canton of Geneva was about to receive several communes of Savoy to the south and east of the town. The largest of those communes is Carouge.
3. Four free states -- Aaran, Brugg, Leinburg, Zofingen -- under the sovereignty of Berne. Aargau was constituted a canton.
4. The part of the country of Gex bounded by Lake Leman, the chief town of which is Versoix.
Vienna, 17th September, 1814.
Before the Emperor Alexander brought Prussia round to his views, he was advised by persons in his confidence to turn to the side of France, to come to an understanding with her, and to see me. He answered that he would willingly see me, and that in future, when I wanted to make application for an audience, I must apply, not to Count Nesselrode, but to Prince Wollonsky, his first aide-decamp. I said to the person by whom I was told this, that if I were to have the Emperor asked for an audience, the Austrians and the English would certainly be aware of the fact; that they would take umbrage at it, and build all sorts of conjectures upon it; and that to make the request through the unusual medium of an aide-de-camp would give an appearance of intrigue to my relations with the Emperor, which would be unbecoming to both one and the other. A few days afterwards, as he asked why he had not seen me, my motives were explained to him, and he approved of them, adding, "Then I will attack him first." At the great assemblies where I have frequently occasion to meet him, I make it a rule to put myself in his way as little as possible, to avoid him as much as I can without a breach of propriety, and I acted on this rule at Count Zichy's, where he was, on Saturday. I had remained almost all the evening in the card-room, and was about to avail myself of the announcement of supper to retire -- I had indeed reached the door of the ante-chamber -- when a hand was placed upon my shoulder. I turned and saw that it was that of the Emperor Alexander. He asked me why I did not go to see him, when he should see me, and what I was going to do on Monday; then he told me to go and see him on that day at eleven o'clock, and to come in plain clothes, to resume my plain clothes ways with him; and, saying this, he took my arm and gave it a friendly squeeze.
I took care to inform M. de Metternich and Lord Castlereagh of what had passed, so as to remove any idea of concealment, and prevent all suspicion on their part.
I waited on the Emperor at the appointed hour. He said, "I am very glad to see you; and you too -- you did wish to see me: is it not so?" I made answer that I never concealed my regret at seeing him so seldom while in the same place with him. After this the conversation was set going.
"How do affairs stand, and what is now your position?""Sire, it is always the same. If your Majesty wishes to restore Poland as a completely independent State, we are ready to support you.""At Paris, I desired the restoration of Poland, and you approved of it; as a man, ever faithful to liberal ideas which I never will relinquish, I desire it still. But, in my position, the man's wishes cannot be the rule of the sovereign's conduct. Perhaps the day may come when Poland can be restored, but as for the present time, it is not to be thought of.""If the partition of the duchy of Warsaw only be in question, that is much more the affair of Prussia and Austria than it is ours. Those two Powers once satisfied on that point, we shall be satisfied also; but so long as they are not, we are instructed to support them, and our duty is to do so, since Austria has allowed so many difficulties to arise, which it would have been easy for her to prevent.""In what way?""By claiming, at the time of her alliance with us, the right to occupy by her troops that portion of the duchy of Warsaw which had belonged to her; you would certainly not have refused this, and if she had occupied that country you would not have thought of taking it from her."" Austria and I are of one accord.""That is not what the public believe.""We are agreed upon the principal points; the only dispute is about a few villages."" France is in the second rank on that question; but on the question of Saxony she is in the first rank.""True; the question of Saxony is a family matter 1 for the House of Bourbon.""Not at all, Sire. In the matter of Saxony there is no question of the interests of an individual or of a family; the interests of all kings are concerned in it; in the first place, those of your Majesty, because the foremost of your interests is the care of that personal glory which you have acquired, and whose lustre is reflected upon your Empire. Your Majesty must guard that glory, not for your own sake only, but also for the sake of your people, whose patrimony it is; and you will set the seal upon it by protecting those principles which are the foundation of public order and security, and by making them respected. I speak to you, Sire, not as the Minister of France, but as a man who is sincerely attached to you.""You talk of principles, but that one ought to keep one's word is one of them, and I have given mine.""Pledges have different degrees of gravity, and that which your Majesty gave to Europe when you passed the Niemen ought to carry more weight than any other. Allow me, Sire, to add, that the intervention of Russia in the affairs of Europe is regarded with general jealousy and uneasiness, and that it has been suffered to take place solely on account of your Majesty's personal character. That character must therefore necessarily be preserved intact.""That is a matter which concerns nobody but myself, and I am the sole judge of it.""Pardon me, Sire, when one is a man of history all mankind is one's judge.""The King of Saxony is a man little worthy of interest; he has violated his engagements." "He had not entered into any with your Majesty, but only with Austria; 2 therefore she alone would have a right to be resentful towards him; and so far is she from being so, that I know the designs that are formed upon Saxony cause the greatest pain to the Emperor of Austria. Your Majesty must most certainly be unaware of this; for otherwise, living, as your Majesty and your family have been living, with him and as his guests for two months past, your Majesty never could have made up your mind to inflict such pain upon him. These same designs also afflict and alarm the people of Vienna; of that every day brings me proofs.""But Austria has abandoned Saxony."" M. de Metternich, whom I saw yesterday, manifested a very different disposition from that of which your Majesty does me the honor to tell me.""And yourself? It is said that you consent to abandon a portion.""We shall only do so with extreme regret. But if it be necessary to give Prussia from three to four hundred thousand Saxons, so that she may have a population equal to that which she had in 1806, and which did not exceed nine million, two hundred thousand souls, we will make the sacrifice for the sake of the blessing of peace.""And that is just what the Saxons are most afraid of; they do not ask anything better than to belong to the King of Prussia; all they desire is that they shall not be divided.""We have the means of knowing all that is taking place in Saxony, and we know that the Saxons are in despair at the idea of becoming Prussians.""No; the only thing they fear is being divided; and indeed there is nothing more unfortunate for a people.""Sire, if that argument were applied to Poland?""The partition of Poland is none of my doing; it is no business of mine to repair that evil. I have already said to you that it may perhaps be undone some day.""The cession of a portion of the two Lusatias would not be a dismemberment, properly speaking, of Saxony. They were not incorporated with her; they were until recent times a flef of the crown of Bohemia; they had nothing in common with Saxony, except the fact that they belonged to the same sovereign."
"Tell me, is it true that you are raising troops in France?" (As he put this question, the Emperor approached me so closely that his face almost touched mine.) "Yes, Sire.""What troops has the King?" 3 "One hundred and thirty thousand men under the colors, and three hundred thousand who have been sent back to their homes, but who can be recalled at any moment.""How many are being recalled at present?""The number necessary to make up the peace footing. We felt at one and the same time that we must get rid of an army, and that we must have an army; that we must get rid of the army that was Bonaparte's, and have one which should be the King's. To do this we had to dissolve and to recompose, first to disarm and then to rearm, and we are just now completing those operations. Such is the motive of our present armament; it is not a threat to any one; but when all Europe is armed, it seemed necessary that France should be armed also, in fitting proportion." "That is well. I hope that these affairs here will lead to a good understanding between France and Russia. What are the King's inclinations in that respect?""The King will never forget the services which your Majesty has rendered them, and will always be ready to recognize them. But he has his duties as the sovereign of a great country, and the head of one of the most powerful and ancient houses of Europe. He could not abandon the House of Saxony, he wishes us to protest in case of necessity. Spain, Bavaria, 4 and other States as well would protest together with us." 5 "Listen; let us make a bargain: be amiable to me in the matter of Saxony, and I will be the same to you in that of Naples. I am not pledged to anything on that side.""Your Majesty knows well that no bargain is practicable. There is no parity between the two questions. It is impossible that your Majesty should not be of the same mind as ourselves with respect to Naples."" Very well, then, persuade the Prussians to let me retract my word.""I see very little of the Prussians, and should certainly not succeed in persuading them. But your Majesty has facilities for doing so. You have complete power over the mind of the King. Besides, your Majesty can requite them.""In what manner?""By leaving them something more in Poland.""You propose a singular expedient to me. You want me to take upon myself to give to them."
The conversation was interrupted at this point by the Empress of Russia's coming into the room. She was pleased to say some obliging things to me; but she remained only a few minutes. The Emperor resumed: "Let us sum up the case." I briefly recapitu- lated the points upon which I could, and those upon which I could not come to terms, and I concluded by saying that I must insist upon the maintenance of the kingdom of Saxony with sixteen hundred thousand inhabitants. "Yes," said the Emperor, "you insist strongly upon a thing that is decided;" but he did not utter that word in the tone which conveys an unchangeable resolution.His object in summoning me to him was to learn --
1. To what extent the arming that was talked about was going on in France, and what was its purpose. I think I answered him in such a manner as neither to let him believe himself threatened, nor yet to leave him too much at his ease.
2. Whether your Majesty would be inclined to make an alliance with him at some future day. Unless he should lay aside his spirit of conquest, which is by no means likely, I do not see that it would be possible for your Majesty, whose spirit is so entirely conservative, to ally yourself with him, if indeed it were not in an exceptional case, and for a temporary object. But it was not advisable, if he wished for such an alliance, to deprive him of all hope of it, and I avoided doing so.
3. What determination we had really come to with regard to Saxony.
On that point I left him so little in doubt that he said to Count Nesselrode, from whom I heard it, "The French are decided on the question of Saxony, but let them settle it with Prussia. They want to take from me to give to her, but I do not consent to that." I have related this conversation in so much detail so that your Majesty may be enabled to judge how much the Emperor's tone has changed since I had my last audience of him. During the whole course of our conversation, he never exhibited a single symptom of irritation or temper. All was calm and pleasant. He is certainly less moved by the interests of Prussia, and less withheld by his friendship for the King, than he is embarrassed by the promises which he has made him; and I am inclined to believe that, not. withstanding the chivalrous disposition which he affects, and his desire to pass for being strictly bound by his word, in his own secret heart he would be enchanted to have a fair pretext for releasing himself from it. I base this opinion especially upon a conversation which he has had with Prince Schwartzenberg, and which I think contributed in no small degree to making him wish to see me. He asked the Prince how matters stood, and whether they would succeed in coming to an understanding, and then pressed him to give his opinion, not as the Austrian minister, but as a friend. After having parried the question for some time, Prince Schwartzenberg told him plainly that his conduct towards Austria had been hardly frank, and even hardly loyal; that his pretensions tended to place the Austrian monarchy in actual danger, and things in general in a position which would render war inevitable; that if war were not made now (either out of respect for the incipient alliance, or to prevent their figuring in the eyes of Europe as blunderers, utterly devoid of foresight, whose blind confidence had placed them at the mercy of events), it would inevitably break out in eighteen months or two years. Then the Emperor said, incautiously, "Oh, if I had only not gone so far!" but he added, "How am I to get out of it now? You must feel that it is impossible for me to withdraw from the point where I now stand." At the very time when M. de Schwartzenberg was representing war as inevitable sooner or later, the movements of a body of Austrian troops in Galicia seemed to indicate that it might be near at hand. The Cabinet of Vienna appears to be waking up from its lethargy. M. de Metternich talked to Prince de Wrède of an alliance, asking him whether Bavaria would not now add twenty-five thousand men to the Austrian forces; to which Prince de Wrède replied that Bavaria would be willing to furnish as many as seventyfive thousand men, under the following conditions:
1. That an alliance should be concluded with France.
2. That Bavaria should furnish twenty-five thousand men, and no more, for each hundred thousand men furnished by Austria.
3. That if England gave subsidies to Austria, Bavaria should receive her portion of them in proportion to their respective strength.
I am convinced that up to the present time these are words only, mere demonstrations, but it is no slight thing that Austria should have resolved upon making them; and, in consequence, the Emperor Alexander was naturally anxious to know what he had to fear or to expect from us.
Knowing that his habit, when he is speaking to any one of those who are opposed to his wishes, is to affirm that he is in agreement with the others, and being desirous that the results of my interview with him should not be presented in a false light, I took advantage of a visit made to me by M. de Sickingen, to make them known to the Emperor of Austria through him. The Emperor repeated them to M. de Metternich, by whose recapitulation I have ascertained that M. de Sickingen has reported them faithfully.
This disclosure has produced the best effect; the universal feeling of distrust with which we were regarded at the beginning of our sojourn here is lessening day by day, and the opposite feeling is gaining ground.
On my return from my audience of the Emperor Alexander, I found the Saxon minister here. He had come to communicate to me -- firstly, a protest by the King of Saxony, which the King had sent to him, with orders to lay it before the Congress, after having communicated it to M. de Metternich, upon whose advice he is directed to act; secondly, a circular of Prince Repnin, who was Governor-General for the Russians in Saxony. 6 This document (a copy of which I subjoin to my despatch to the Department for publication in the Moniteur) has given rise to the protest of the King, which cannot be printed until after it has been officially laid before the Congress; until then I shall not have a copy of it. This circular -- by which Prince Repnin announces to the Saxon authorities that, in consequence of a convention concluded on the 27th of September, the Emperor Alexander, with the consent of Austria and of England, has ordered the administration of Saxony to be handed over to the delegates of the King of Prussia, who is in future to possess that country, not as a province of his kingdom, but as a separate kingdom, whose integrity he has promised to maintain -has thrown M. de Metternich and Lord Castlereagh into the greatest perplexity, and is bitterly complained of by them.
It is very true that their consent has been shamefully perverted by being represented as absolute, whereas it was purely conditional, and that this justifies their complaints, but it is no less true that they have given a consent which they now bitterly regret.
Your Majesty is already in possession of the Note of M. de Metternich.
I have the honor this day to forward to your Majesty that of Lord Castlereagh. 7 I received it only two days ago; it was procured for me under a promise of profound secrecy, therefore I address it directly to your Majesty. I am told that Lord Castlereagh tried hard to induce the Prussians to return it to him. The Note confirms all that I have had the honor to convey to your Majesty during the last six weeks, and even reveals things which I should not have believed, did it not afford so undeniable a proof of them.
However strange M. de Metternich's Note may be, on comparing it with that of Lord Castlereagh, differences entirely to the advantage of the former become apparent.
M. de Metternich endeavors to persuade Prussia that she ought to renounce her views upon Saxony; he sets forth the moral and political reasons which lead him to object to giving his consent, and, while giving it, acknowledges that it is wrung from him by a sort of necessity.
Lord Castlereagh, on the contrary, after some expressions of vain and sterile pity for the royal family of Saxony, declares that he has no sort of moral or political repugnance to abandon Saxony to Prussia.
M. de Metternich's consent is given on the ground that Prussia will have sustained losses, for which it will be impossible to compensate her in any other manner. Lord Castlereagh's consent, on the contrary, is given on the grounds that Prussia shall preserve that for which M. de Metternich talks of making compensation to her; he means her to have Saxony as an increase of power, and not an equivalent.
Thus they both make the question of Saxony subordinate to that of Poland, but in essentially opposite senses, which shows how little real agreement there is between these much-united allies, who cried out so loudly that France wanted to divide them.
They are, however, agreed upon getting Prince Repnin's circular withdrawn, and I think it will be repudiated by the Prussians themselves.
For the rest, it appears to me that neglect, if not contempt for the principles and even the commonest notions of sound policy, could hardly be carried farther than in that Note of Lord Castlereagh's.
He came yesterday to ask me to dinner, and proposed an interview for to-day. I had expected some disclosure or some important overture, but he came to talk to me solely of his troubles. Deceived in the hopes that he had built upon Prussia, and finding the ground cut completely from under his feet in consequence, he is greatly depressed. He came to consult me as to how an impulse might be given to affairs so as to set them going. I told him that the Emperor Alexander asserts that he is in agreement with Austria on the question of Poland, and that only a few details remain to be settled; that if this were really the case, the best thing he could do would be to induce Austria to terminate that arrangement prompt- ly; that they had subordinated the question of Poland and Saxony one to the other, and this not having succeeded, they must be separated, and that of Poland terminated first; that Austria, quiet on that side, and no longer obliged to divide herself between the two questions, might give her entire attention to that of Saxony, which all the Austrian officers regarded as much more important of the two; that Russia, being satisfied on the point which directly interests her, will probably give little trouble upon the other; and that when Prussia finds herself standing alone relatively to Austria, England, France, and Spain, the affair will be easily and promptly settled.
Prince Repnin's circular was the signal for which Bavaria was waiting, to declare that she would not subscribe to any arrangement, and would not enter into any German league, until the maintenance of the King of Saxony had been previously secured; this Prince de Wrède declared positively to M. de Hardenberg, who, while saying that he could not take anything upon himself, and would refer it to the King, hinted, nevertheless, that the King of Saxony might be maintained with a million of subjects. Thus all is still in abeyance, but the chances of saving a great part of Saxony are increased.
I had written so much of my letter when I received that with. which your Majesty has honored me, of the 9th of November, and also that of the Count de Blacas, written by your Majesty's orders.
Your Majesty will judge by Lord Castlereagh's Note, which I have the honor to forward, either that the minister has instructions of which the Duke of Wellington knows nothing, or that he does not consider himself bound by those which have been given to him; and that if he has made the question of Saxony depend upon that of Poland, he has done so in a sense precisely inverse to that which the Duke of Wellington supposed.
As for what concerns Naples, I have given an account to your Majesty of the proposal made by M. de Metternich in one of those conferences, at which only he, M. de Nesselrode, Lord Castlereagh, and myself were present, that we should not enter upon this affair until after the Congress, and of my answer. (In No. 10 of my correspondence this detail is given.) The threats contained in the letter from which the Count de Blacas has sent me an extract, are contained, I am told, in a pamphlet published by an aide-de-camp of Murat's, named Filangieri, who was at Vienna quite recently. 8 (This pamphlet has been seized by the police.) But I hope that if Italy be once organized, from the Alps to the frontiers of Naples, as I have proposed, such threats will be no longer formidable.
I waited to close my letter until I had returned from a conference to which we were summoned for this evening at eight o'clock. Nothing was done there but the reading and signing of the protocol of the last conference.The Emperor of Russia is indisposed, sufficiently so to keep his bed, but it is only an indisposition.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XX.
1. Louis XVIII. and Frederick Augustus III. were cousins-german.
2. On the 26th of April, Prince Metternich had denounced the treaty, or Franco-Austrian alliance, of the 14th of March, 1812. He had withdrawn the auxiliary aid stipulated by that alliance. Austria, who became neutral in the interval before declaring war against us, had obtained a promise of neutrality from the King of Saxony which Napoleon's victories at Lutzen and Bautzen made it impossible for him to keep.
3. See Appendix.
4. His Majesty the King of Bavaria used the following words to Count Alexis de Noailles on the 9th of November, 1814: "I learn that a close watch has been kept on the French envoys; their proceedings have been minutely observed; and it has been discovered with much surprise that they keep aloof from all secret manœuvring, that they have not distributed the smallest sum of money, and that their conduct is stainless and free from intrigue. I have made a protest on the affairs of Saxony. I am with you. I will not separate myself from your policy. Would you like to know what is privately said? The word of the King, his loyalty, and his principles are relied upon; but it is believed that he will not be master of the army, and that after the negotiations he will be forced into war by the clamor of generals greedy for conquest."
5. On the 8th of November, 1814, the Archduke Charles used the following words to Count Alexis de Noailles: "I have no doubt that France will play a fine part in the Congress, and that the talents and experience of M. de Talleyrand will be as useful to Europe as to your own country. You have set a valuable example by your manner of not demanding increase of territory. That example will be useful in Europe in the restoration of the former relations between nations. France is a sufficiently fine country, by reason of its situation, to regain its former preponderance without any extraneous aid. We soldiers have drawn the sword; now let the politicians finish the work, and build up the welfare of Europe upon solid foundations, so as to prevent fresh devastation. I have read your scheme of finance; it appears to me to be a good one, but I do not pretend to understand the subject thoroughly. The chief thing in politics and in finance is to do what you will do, no doubt -- that is, to hold to what has been promised; mark out a certain course, as I am sure you have done, and follow it inexorably; to perseverance of that quality success is certain."
6. See D'Angeberg, "Congrès de Vienne", p. 413.
7. In this Note of the 11th of October, 1814, Lord Castlereagh wrote confidentially to Prince Hardenberg: "As for the question of Saxony, I declare to you that if the incorporation of the whole of that country in the Prussian monarchy is necessary to secure so great a boon to Europe, however deeply I should personally regret to see so ancient a family so profoundly afflicted, I could not feel any moral or political repugnance to the measure itself. If ever a sovereign has placed himself in a position in which he ought to be sacrificed to the future tran quillity of Europe, I think the King of Saxony has done so; both by his perpetual tergiversation, and because he has been not only the most devoted, but the most favored of the vassals of Bonaparte, contributing zealously, and with all his might, in his double capacity of head of a German State and of a Polish State, to extend the general thraldom even to the heart of Russia."
"A pamphlet of a revolutionary and threatening character, by one Filangieri, an aide-de-camp of Murat's, is in circulation here. The police have had it bought up. Prince Metternich makes use of scares of this kind to mislead public opinion with respect to the maintenance of Murat on the throne of Naples; but he is the only one, even of the ministers of the Emperor of Austria, who supports this cause, of which Europe will dispose." -- Letter of the French plenipotentiary to the Department.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
22nd November, 1814.
I have received your No. 11. It would afford me ample matter for observations, if I had not forbidden myself to make any, when they can serve no purpose beyond that of personal satisfaction. Count Alexis de Noailles' report of what he heard from the lips of the princes with whom he has conversed, has afforded me pleasure. I am especially struck with what the King of Bavaria says. But what will any good intentions avail, if they be not sustained by Austria and England? Now, I very much fear that, notwithstanding the infinitely adroit manner in which you have spoken to Prince Metternich, notwithstanding the unfulfilled conditions of the Note of the 22d of October, Poland and Saxony will be abandoned. If this misfortune does befall, there will still remain to my unfortunate cousin his firmness and patience in adversity, and to me the consolation (for I am more resolute in this than ever) that I shall not have shared, by any consent, in these iniquitous spoliations. I believe in the utterances attributed to the Emperor Alexander, on the subject of Italy; it is of the utmost importance, in this case, that Austria and England should be im- hued with the adage -- a trivial one it may be, but full of good sense, and eminently applicable to the circumstances -- Sublata causa, tollitur effectus.
I am better satisfied with the turn which the affairs of Italy are taking. The union of Genoa, the male succession in the House of Savoy, are two important points, but one of much greater importance is that, notwithstanding all the boasting of Murat in his gazettes (perhaps too well founded in reality), the kingdom of Naples is turning back to its legitimate sovereign.
On which, etc.
Vienna, 25th November, 1814.
No sooner had we uttered the word principles here, and demanded the immediate meeting of the Congress, than a rumor was industriously spread on all sides, that France was still hankering after the left bank of the Rhine and Belgium, 1 and would never rest until she had recovered them; that your Majesty's Government might well share the desire of the nation and of the army on these points, seeing that if it did not share, it would not be strong enough to resist it; that under either supposition the danger was the same; that therefore the utmost precaution should be taken against France; that barriers through which she could not break must be opposed to her; that the arrangements of Europe must be co-ordinated to that end; and that all should hold themselves vigilantly on their guard against her negotiators, who would not fail to do everything to defeat it. We at once found ourselves exposed to prejudices against which we had to contend for two months. We have succeeded in conquering the most painful of these; it is no longer said that we have been given double instructions (as M. de Metternich assured Prince de Wrède), that we have been ordered to speak in one sense and to act in another, and are sent here to sow discord. The public does justice to your Majesty, to whom they no longer impute a hidden purpose; they praise your Majesty's disinterestedness, and applaud your defence of principles. They acknowledge that no other Power plays so honorable a part as that of your Majesty. But those whose object it is that France should still be regarded with distrust and fear, being unable to excite those sentiments under one pretext, are rousing them under another. They represent the internal condition of the kingdom in an alarming light, and, unfortunately, they found their statements upon news from Paris given by men whose names, reputation, and official position inspire respect. 2 The Dúke of Wellington, who keeps up a very active correspondence with Lord Castlereagh, talks to him of nothing but conspiracies, secret discontent, and murmuring, the precursors of a storm about to burst.
The Emperor Alexander says that his letters from Paris foretell coming trouble. Mr. Vincent informs his Court that a change of ministry is to take place, that he is sure of it, and they affect to regard a change of ministry as a certain indication of a change in foreign and domestic policy. 3 From this they conclude that they cannot reckon upon France, and ought not to enter into any agreement with her. In vain do we refute these statements, quote dates and facts which contradict them, meet them with the counter information of which we are in receipt, indicate the source from which we have reason to believe the Duke of Wellington has derived his, and show how little trustworthy is that source; they still persist in asserting that, at our present distance from Paris, we do not know what is taking place there, or that it is our interest to conceal it, and that the Duke of Wellington and Baron Vincent, being on the spot, are better informed or more sincere.
I will not accuse Lord Castlereagh of having disseminated the prejudices with which we have had to contend, 4 but he has either conceived them himself, or they have been suggested to him, for he is certainly more deeply imbued with those prejudices than anybody. The long war that England has had to wage almost single-handed, and the danger in which it placed her, have made an impression upon him so strong, that it deprives him, so to speak, of the power of recognizing the total change of the times. The least reasonable of all fears, at present, is certainly that of the restoration of the continental policy. Those persons, however, who have the closest relations with him, assert that he is always full of that particular apprehension, and that he thinks it impossible to pile up too many precautions against this imaginary danger. He fancies himself still at Chatillon, treating with Bonaparte, and wanting to treat for peace. It is easy to imagine the effect which the Duke of Wellington's reports produce upon a mind thus disposed, and to perceive that the Duke himself forms an obstacle to that good understanding which he seemed to think it would be easy to establish between Lord Castlereagh and us.
I have done everything I can to bring about such an understanding, not only since we have been at Vienna, but before Lord Castlereagh left London, when he was on his way through Paris. That it has not been established is due not only to Lord Castlereagh's prejudices, but also to the real and complete opposition that exists between his views and ours. Your Majesty has directed us to defend principles; the Note of the 11th of October, which I have had the honor to send to your Majesty, shows what respect Lord Castlereagh has for them. We are to employ every means to maintain the King and the kingdom of Saxony. Lord Castlereagh absolutely wants to treat the one as a condemned criminal, of whom he, Castlereagh, has constituted himself the judge, and to sacrifice the other. We wish that Prussia should acquire or preserve a great part of the duchy of Warsaw, and Lord Castlereagh wishes this as well, but from motives so different, that he takes the same means for the destruction of Saxony which we employ for its salvation. He wants to turn the assistance which we shall have given him in the question of Poland against us. It is impossible to reconcile such opposite purposes.
I have often spoken, and to the Emperor Alexander himself, of the restoration of Poland as a thing which France desires, and which she would be ready to support. I have not demanded that restoration without an alternative, because, as Lord Castlereagh has not demanded it himself, I should have stood alone in making the demand, and should thereby have irritated the Emperor Alexander without acquiring any merit in the eyes of the others; and I should also have offended Austria, who, up to the present at all events, is against the restoration. Only two days ago Lord Castlereagh, with whom I was remonstrating upon the way in which he had conducted affairs for the past two months, answered me, "I have always thought that when one was in a league, one must not separate one's self from it." He regards himself then as in a league; that league is certainly no other than a sequel to their treaties prior to the peace. Now, how can we hope that he will come to an understanding with those against whom he acknowledges he is leagued?
The other members of the league, or coalition, against France are in a similar case. Russia and Prussia expect nothing but opposition on our part; Austria may desire our support in the question of Poland and in that of Saxony, but her minister dreads our interference in other matters, much more than he desires it on behalf of those two objects. He knows how much we have the Neapolitan question at heart, and he has it no less at heart himself, but in a very different sense from ours. Last Sunday, on coming away from a dinner at Prince Trautmannsdorf's, I went to see him. On the previous evening I had received a letter from Italy, informing me that Murat had seventy thousand men; mostly armed, thanks to the Austrians, who had sold him twenty-five thousand muskets. I wished to have an explanation about this with M. de Metternich, or at all events to let him see that I knew it. I led him to talk on the Neapolitan question; and as we were among a great many people in the salon, I offered to withdraw into his cabinet in order to show him the letter. He said there was no hurry, and that the question would come up again afterwards. I asked him whether it was not already decided. He replied that it was, but that he did not want to set things in a blaze all at once; and, as he alleged his customary fear that Murat would raise Italy, "Why, then," said I, "do you furnish him with arms? If you are afraid of that, why have you sold him twenty-five thousand muskets?" He denied the fact, which was just what I expected, but I did not allow him to have the satisfaction of thinking that his denial had convinced me. After I Ieft him he went to the Ridotto, 5 for he spends three-fourths of his time at balls and fêetes; 6 and his head was so full of the Neapolitan question, that having met a lady whom he knew, he told her he was harassed about this matter, but that he could not consent; that he had some consideration for the position of a man who had made himself beloved in the country which he governs; and that he passionately loved the Queen, and was in constant communication with her. 7 He was masked while saying all this, and perhaps a little more on the latter point. It is to be expected that, in accordance with the hint which he gave some time ago in a conference, of which I have had the honor to send your Majesty an account, he will resort to every imaginable device to hinder the Neapolitan question from being treated at the Congress.
The four Allied Courts, having each some reason to dread the influence that France might exert in the Congress, have naturally united, and they are afraid to approach us when there is any division between themselves, because an approach would involve concessions which they do not want to make. Amour propre is also, as might be expected, concerned in this. Lord Castlereagh believed that he would be able to make the Emperor of Russia give way, and he has only irritated him.
Lastly, jealousy of France is added to these motives. The Allies believed that they had weakened her to a greater degree; they were not prepared to find that she has the best army and the soundest finances of all Europe; now they believe this, and say so; and they even go so far as to regret that the Peace of Paris was made. They reproach each other with it, wonder how they were ever induced to make it, and admit this, even at the conferences and in our presence.
It cannot, therefore, reasonably be expected that England and Austria should make real and sincere approaches to us, except in a case of extreme necessity, such as would arise should their disputes with Russia end in an open rupture.
Still, notwithstanding this position of affairs, the difficulties in which it involves us, and those which the letters from Paris create, the Powers here are now in an attitude of consideration and complaisance towards us, such as we could hardly have hoped for six weeks ago -- an attitude which, I may even say, is surprising to themselves.
Up to the present the Emperor Alexander has not wavered.
Lord Castlereagh, personally piqued, although he has recently received a blandly worded note from Russia, says, but not to us, that if the Emperor will not stop at the Vistula, he must be forced to do so by war; that England can only furnish a small body of troops on account of the American war, but that she would furnish subsidies, and that the Hanoverian and Dutch troops might be employed on the Lower Rhine.
Prince Schwartzenberg inclines to war, saying that it can be made now with more advantage than some years hence.
A plan of campaign has been already drawn up at the Chancellery of War; and Prince de Wrède has also made one.
Austria, Bavaria, and the other German States would put three hundred and twenty thousand men in the field; two hundred thousand, under the orders of Prince Schwartzenberg, would advance upon thev Vistula, by Galicia and Moldavia; a hundred and twenty thousand, commanded by Prince de Wrède, would advance from Bohemia, upon Saxony, where they would produce a rising, and from thence between the Oder and the Elbe. At the same time Glatz and Neiss would be besieged. The campaign would not commence before the end of March. But this plan necessitates the co-operation of a hundred thousand French troops; one half to be directed upon Franconia to prevent the Prussians from turning the army of Bohemia, the other half to occupy them on the Lower Rhine.
We must therefore expect that this co-operation, upon the absolute necessity of which the military authorities are agreed, will be demanded of us if the war is to take place.
Up to the present time, however, neither M. de Metternich nor Lord Castlereagh talks to us of war, and I am even assured that there has been no question of it between them. It is only with Bavaria that they have severally exchanged confidences on the subject.
Either they continue to build some hope upon the negotiations they are still carrying on, or they want to gain time. Lord Castlereagh having failed, they wished to put Prince Hardenberg forward again, but he could not see the Emperor Alexander either yesterday or the day before. The Emperor is much better, but he still keeps his room, and I do not think that Prince Hardenberg has seen him to-day.
The arrangements relative to Genoa are agreed to in the Italian Commission. They are now being drawn up; the commissaries requested M. de Noailles to undertake that task. The rights of the House of Carignan being' recognized, M. de Noailles has instructions from me not to accept the arrangements made for Piedmont, except as an integral portion of a settlement to be made for the whole of Italy, with the concurrence of France. This is a sort of reservation which I have thought it well to make on account of Naples.
The affairs of Switzerland are to be treated in a Commission of which M. de Dalberg is, as I have had the honor to inform your Majesty, a member.
The affairs of Germany are brought to a stand by the refusal of Bavaria and Würtemberg to take part in the deliberations until the fate of Saxony shall have been fixed.
A thousand reasons make me desire to be with your Majesty. I am, however, retained here by the belief that I may be more useful to your Majesty's service in this place, and by the hope that, in spite of every obstacle, we shall succeed in carrying out a good part at least of your Majesty's desires.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XXII.
1. "No doubt all the soldiers, and even the recruits, would rush to retake Belgium, and to advance once more upon the Rhine; but if you should have to go to Naples, you could not put France in motion except by submitting to that." -- to Talleyrand, 29th October, 1814.
2. For a letter from Fouché to Talleyrand, bearing on the state of things in France at that date, see Appendix.
3. On the 3rd of the following December, Marshal Soult succeeded General Dupont at the Ministry of War, Beugnot was made Minister of Marine, and D'André Prefect of Police. Jaucourt wrote to Talleyrand at the same date:
"You will see by the newspapers that Marshal Soult has been appointed to War, Beugnot to the Navy, and D'André to Police. . . . The latter appointment astounds me. About Marshal Soult I had a sort of notion, because M. de Blacas asked me a number of questions concerning him, but the idea had gone out of my head. This morning the Marshal made a positive declaration of love for you, to me; and I received it so as to let him think that in your opinion nobody could be better fitted to enter a conjointly responsible (solidaire) ministry than himself. D'André will please you; so will Beugnot."
4. "I assure you that during the course of the Congress, and in your absence, a less considerable personage (than the Duke of Wellington) would be more convenient for us; small affairs seem to take the place of great ones in his head, and to occupy him quite as much." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 2nd October, 1814. "The Duke of Wellington is not popular, and the English become daily less so. He went to a hunt and ran two wretched wolves to earth across the newly-sown corn-fields. He did not think fit to indemnify the farmers; this has caused great annoyance. He is going to renounce that sort of amusement." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 19th November, 1814.
"The Duke of Wellington gets on well with us. I endeavor to remove his prejudices. I have no reason to be anything but satisfied with him. Just at this moment there is a slight cause of annoyance which I wished to do away with, but M. de Blacas would not assist me. His hunting over the fields with dogs has given rise to complaints; he gives up doing so, and even wants to give his dogs to the Duc de Berry. At first I had an idea of offering him one of the King's forests; I do not know why I could not obtain it. The result would have been the same, only we should have been polite. You know so well what politeness can do, prevent, or excuse, that I shall not be so foolish as to add a word." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 27th November, 1814.
5. For a description of a Ridotto, taken from the Vienna correspondence of the Moniteur Universel, see Appendix.
6. On the 7th of December, 1814, M. de la Tour du Pin wrote to the Department:
"The public is generally discontented with the position of affairs; they lay the blame especially on the Emperor of Russia, who loses ground with them day by day. It is not that he is not gracious, and it may even be said affable, in society, in which he likes to mix without being noticed; he dines with a party of twenty guests chosen without restriction, and at a small dance where there were only forty persons, he danced with almost all the women:
but these pleasant ways do not compensate, in the minds of clear-sighted Austrians, for the faults of his ambition, and they are held to be aggravated by the fact that in the very palace of his host he is contriving means to injure him. Any other minister than M. de Metternich would turn this mood of the public mind to great account; but what is to be expected of one who, in the most solemn position in which a man can be placed, passes the greater part of his time in mere follies, who did not hesitate to have the Bacha de Surène performed at his house, and many of whose days, since the Congress, have been wasted in equally futile amusements? After that, Count, you need not be surprised that our affairs make but little progress. In the Moniteur Universel of the 10th November, we find the following: " PrinceHardenberg is so busy that he can hardly spare a moment to fêtes and public ceremonies. He is less often seen than any of the ministers."
"In the course of that summer, there arrived in Paris M. de Metternich. the Austrian ambassador, who has played a considerable rôle in Europe, taken part in most important events and made an immense fortune, without possessing talents to raise him above the intrigue of a second-rate politician. At this period he was young, agreeable, and successful with women. A little later he seemed to attach himself to Madame Murat, and continued to entertain feelings towards her which for a long time maintained her husband on the throne of Naples." -- "Mémoires de Mme. de Rémusat," tom. iii, p. 48.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
Parls, 26th November [ 1814].
I have received your No. 12, and I can say with truth that it is the first with which I have been satisfied; not but that I have always been so with your conduct, and your manner of rendering me an account of the state of affairs, but because I perceive that, for the first time, ideas of justice are rising to the surface. The Emperor of Russia has made a retrograde step; and in politics, as in everything else, one such step leads to another. The Emperor will, however, deceive himself if he thinks to pledge me to an alli ance (political, be it understood) with him. You know that my system is a general alliance, but no particular alliances. The latter are a source of war, the former is the guarantee of peace; and although I do not fear war, peace is what I most ardently desire. That I may secure peace I have augmented my army, and I have authorized you to promise my co-operation to Austria and Bavaria. These measures are beginning to succeed, I may hope for otium
cum dignitate, and that is enough to inspire me with satisfaction. You have said all that I could have said concerning Lord Castlereagh's Note. I account for the difference between his language and that of the Duke of Wellington by their respective positions -the one follows instructions, the other gives them. 1 I wish I could see the affairs of Italy settled from the Alps to the Terracina, for I ardently desire the important result which must ensue from the arrangement.
On which, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER XXIII. 1. "We exult in our chief! You have won the battle of talent and principles, in the King's name and your own. No matter what turn things may take, you have obtained a great personal success, and France fresh honor. That is much. "We expect more. We think here that they will draw back in the affair of Saxony; the Duke of Wellington expresses himself plainly about it, and urges forward the proceedings of Lord Castlereagh." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 3rd December, 1814.
Vienna, 30th November, 1814.
I have received the letter with which your Majesty deigned to honor me on the 15th of this month, and by the same post the authorization to consent to the exchange of a small portion of the country of Gex for a part of Porentruy, which your Majesty has been pleased to give me. The former Prince-Bishop of Basle 1 has already resumed, as bishop, the spiritual administration of Porentruy, but he will not be able, as prince, to recover the possession of it, which he has lost, not merely by the fact of conquest, but by the general consolidation of the ecclesiastical States of Germany in 1803. He enjoys, as prince, a pension of sixty thousand florins, and he does not claim anything more; he cannot therefore be an obstacle to the exchange which we have had the honor to lay before your Majesty, but that exchange might be rendered difficult by one of the conditions upon which your Majesty makes it depend, viz. the restitution of Bernese Aargau to the canton of Berne; for, according to all appearance, that restitution will encounter great, and perhaps even insurmountable opposition. I suppose, however, that if a few bailiwicks of Aargau only were restored to Berne; that those portions of the bishopric of Basle comprised within the former boundaries of Switzerland were given as compensation for the surplus; and that Berne were content with this arrangement, your Majesty would also be content. The Commission charged with the affairs of Switzerland has done nothing up to the present, except ascertain that the multiplicity and the divergence of claims will make its task very onerous. They who at first were all for regulating those claims without any intervention on our part, and even contested our right to a voice in the matter, have been the first to ask for our assistance and our advice. It is true that the Swiss envoys here, who have been friendly with us from the beginning of our stay at Vienna, assured them that if they believed they could establish a stable order of things in Switzerland, without the intervention and even without the assent of France, they were entertaining an entirely groundless hope.
When the Allies treated for, and wanted to make peace with Bonaparte, they addressed themselves to the cantons which had suffered most from Swiss revolutions, appealing to the memory of their losses, and to their regrets, and holding out a prospect of repairing those losses. Their object was to detach Switzerland from France, and this expedient appeared to them to be infallible. But it so happened that those were precisely the cantons that were most attached to the House of Bourbon; then the Allies cared no longer to employ means which did not lead to their end, but rather led away from it, and nothing came of their attempts, except the difficulty of retracing their steps and quieting things down again. A scheme was then formed for uniting Switzerland and Germany in the same coalition. That idea is now given up, and there seems to be a sincere desire to terminate matters by satisfying the most considerable and the most just claims, and beyond that, making as little change as possible. We may therefore hope that an arrangement for Switzerland will be come to, which, if not the best in itself, is at least the best that can be made under the circumstances; that the independence of the country will be proclaimed, and, which is no less important for us, its neutrality.
The Commission on the affairs of Italy has made a report on the question of Genoa, and prepared a draft of articles, which will be signed to-morrow, and addressed to the eight Powers. I shall have the honor of sending a copy of this draft to your Majesty by the next post.
After the affairs of Genoa will come those of Parma. These will be more difficult, if it be true, as it is reported, that the emperor of Austria and M. de Metternich have recently given positive assurances to the Archduchess Marie Louise that she shall retain Parma. It is a certainty that the Archduchess, who up to the present carried only her husband's arms on her carriages, has had the arms of the duchy of Parma painted on one of them. I hope, nevertheless, that we shall succeed in having the duchy restored to the Queen of Etruria.
It is at Venice that the twenty-five thousand muskets sold to Murat were taken. It seems that, notwithstanding the patronage of M. de Metternich, he does not feel very safe; for he has just written a long letter to the Archduchess Marie Louise, in which he announces, among other things, that if Austria will assist him to remain at Naples, he will raise her once more to the rank from which she ought never to have descended. These are his own words. Such an extravagant utterance, even from a man of his country and his character, can only be explained as an effect of self-betraying fear.
The conferences of the German Commission are still suspended. Würtemberg has declared that it can give no opinion whatever upon portions of a whole which it is only allowed to see one by one, and that it will not deliberate upon any until it is acquainted with all. This has been met, on the part of Austria and Prussia, by a Note in which those two Powers plainly manifest the kind of predominance they want to exercise over Germany. 2 All the States of the Rhenish Confederation, with the exception of Bavaria and Würtemberg, being convinced that influence thus divided between two Powers would soon be converted into predominance and sovereignty, have united to express their desire for the restoration of the former Germanic Empire in the person of him who was its head.
These same States are on the point of forming a league, with the object of resisting, by non-consent and inertia, the system which Austria and Prussia are endeavoring to establish. The Grand-Duke of Baden held aloof at first, but he has joined the others by the advice of the Empress of Russia, his sister, who in this matter has been simply the mouth-piece of the Emperor Alexander.
The affairs of Poland and Saxony are still in the same position. The step which Prince Hardenberg took, at the instigation of M. de Metternich, and which was not approved by Lord Castlereagh, has produced no result, neither has the discussion of Lord Castlereagh with the Emperor Alexander.
I have the honor to forward to your Majesty the papers respecting that discussion, six in number. A letter which I shall get, and which I have read, is still wanting; it is the Emperor Alexander's last, and in it he says to Lord Castlereagh that there has been enough of all this, and directs him henceforward to take the official course. Those who have read these documents do not see how Lord Castlerergh, having put himself so much forward as he has done, can recede, but he himself does not see how and in what direction he can take another step.
For the rest, your Majesty will see that Lord Castlereagh has concerned himself about Poland only, being resolved to sacrifice Saxony, in pursuance of that policy which regards masses only, but takes no account of the elements of which they are formed. This is the policy of schoolboys and coalitions. I have to make the same request of your Majesty, with respect to these papers, as I have made concerning those I have already had the honor to forward; for I obtained them in the same manner and under the same conditions. The Emperor Alexander seems inclined to make approaches to us. He complains of those who, since we have been here, and especially in the early days, intervened between him and us, and he designates M. de Metternich and M. de Nesselrode. It is Prince Adam Czartoryski whom he employs to communicate with me. The Prince is now high in his confidence, and has been taken into his Council, to which M. de Nesselrode is no longer summoned. The Council is composed of Prince Adam, Count Capo d'Istria, and Baron Stein. 3
The Emperor is convalescent, and goes out. M. de Metternich is ill, and has not lef his room either yesterday or to-day, so that there could be no meeting of the ministers of the eight Powers. Lord Castlereagh came to me this morning to propose that we should profit by this idle time to enter upon the affair of the negroes. I spoke jestingly about his proposal, and the personal motives which led him to make it, but said to him so positively that this matter must come last of all, the affairs of Europe having to be attended to before we entered upon those of Africa, that I hope he will not give me occasion to repeat it.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XXIV.
1. At the commencement of the Revolution, the Bishop of Basle, a prince of the Holy Roman Empire and an ally of the Swiss Cantons, was Joseph Sigismund von Roggenbach. The French invasion put him to flight on the 27th of April, 1792; on the 22d of November of the same year the Republic of Raurasia, which only lasted until the 23rd of March, 1793, was constituted. Roggenbach died on the 9th of March, 1794. He was succeeded by a prelate named Neveu, who figures in the "Almanach de Gotha" until the fall of the Empire, not withstanding the secularization of 1803.
2. On the 29th of September, Talleyrand wrote to the Department: "The agents of the small Courts are trying to make approaches to France, and we are encouraging them."
3. "After the retreat of Napoleon in 1812, the Emperor Alexander selected Baron Sten to make of him the future arbiter of the destinies of Germany. Stein played a considerable part in the conferences of Kalisch, and his influence made itself felt until the second peace of Paris in 1815." -- Mémoires de Metternich," tom. i. p. 169.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
4th December, 1814.
I have received your No. 13, and while I am still equally satisfied with your conduct, I am, as you will not be surprised to hear, very ill-pleased with the position of affairs, 1 which seems to me to be very different from that which they had attained when you dispatched your No. 12. God only can rule the minds of men; man can do nothing in that; but, whatever may happen, if I hold firmly by my principles, and perhaps deserve that the phrase justum et tenacem propositi virum should be applied to me, honor at least will remain, and that is what I most desire.
I am not surprised at the reports that are current, the news that is sent, and the confirmation which ill-will lends to them. As for myself, if I heeded all that is said, I should never have an instant's peace, but nevertheless my sleep is as tranquil as in my youth. The simple reason is that I have never had any other expectation than that the mixture of so many heterogeneous elements would produce a state of ferment when the first days of the Restoration were past. I know that it exists, but I do not let it disturb me.
Resolved as I am never to depart, outside my kingdom, from the dictates of equity, or, inside it, from the constitution which I have given to my people, and never to relax in the exercise of my legitimate authority, I fear nothing; and a little sooner or later the clouds, whose gathering I have foreseen, will be dispersed.They talk to you of changes in the ministry, and I now announce them to you. I do all justice to the zeal and good qualities of Count Dupont, but I cannot equally commend his administration, and therefore I have removed him from his department, and confided it to Marshal Soult. 2 I give the Navy to Count Beugnot, 3 and the general direction of Police to M. d'André; but these removals, of which I wished you to be the first informed, make no change in the system of policy which is mine, and this you will be careful to say plainly to whomsoever may speak to you of these occurrences.I shall be very glad to see you again when the time comes, but the reasons which have determined me to deprive myself of your services here have gathered additional force from the very difficulties which you experience. It is necessary that you should continue to represent me at the Congress until its dissolution, as ably as you are now doing.
On which, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XXV.
1. The King seemed to me to be much pleased with the order, perseverance, and success of our negotiation, but not with our progress in general. He had the extreme goodness to impart to me the conversation of the two Emperors, and although he said with satisfaction, 'Here, you see, is a little firmness On the part of the Emperor Francis,' I thought I could perceive that he did not as yet put any confidence in the reconciliation with the Emperor Alexander, of which you have hopes." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 18th December, 1814.
2. "The last point in my last letter will be the first in this -- the dismissal of General Dupont. Everybody declares that the nomination of Marshal Soult was unexpected. Monsieur (the Count d'Artois) talked, on his arrival, about the complaints; the subject of those complaints was the ill-provided condition of the regiments." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 7th December, 1814.
3. See Appendix.
COUNT DE BLACAS TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
Paris, 4th December, 1814.
The letter, Prince, which the King has received from you, by a post which could not have brought me your answer to that which I had the honor to write on the 9th of last month, had already furnished me with important information on the principal subjects treated of in the letter which you were so good as to address to me on the 23rd. His Majesty was pleased to communicate to me your dispatch, as well as Lord Castlereagh's Note, and while it is, as you observe, impossible to avoid observing the difference that exists between the style of that Note and the language of the Duke of Wellington, yet I confess that I am unable to make up my mind as to the real causes of that difference. The King recoils from the idea of attributing it only to a cunning policy whose object would be the discrediting of France. The Duke of Wellington, both by semi-official communications such as I have already mentioned to you on the subject of the relations of Naples with Paris, and by his recent conduct on the occasion of a correspondence found in Lord Oxford's possession, and seized, 1 has manifested a disposition, which is quite opposed to the notion of his spreading abroad unfounded apprehensions. It may, indeed, be possible that he has done an ill office to the King's policy, without meaning to do so, by taking an exaggerated view of the dangers with which timid minds are constantly alarmed by too readily credited rumors. It is certain that several circumstances have, independently of the views of England, furnished pretexts for the vexatious notions from which you apprehend ill effects. You know, Prince, and you have often deplored with me the insecurity from which the Government of his Majesty suffers, for want of vigor and unity in the ministerial operations. 2 This defect, which was for some time known to the Cabinet only, cannot fail to acquire an unfortunate publicity in the long run. If there be added to this the discontent of the army 3 -- its complaints have been incessantly dinned into the cars of the Princes throughout the entire duration of their journeys in the departments -- the disturbance kept up by constant protests against the incompetency of the police; lastly, the constant accusations against men whose known views and manner of talking point them out, perhaps without justice, but certainly not without probability, as instigators of dangerous plots; it is clear that all these things, including measures of safety, which have been taken too openly, owing to the zeal of the military commandants, has produced an impression by which foreigners may profit without having helped to create it.
This state of things will explain to you, Prince, the imperative motives by which the King has been actuated in making a partial change in his ministry. His Majesty made known his resolution on this subject yesterday. While doing justice to the zeal and the good Intentions of Count Dupont, his Majesty was aware that the army, probably imputing to that minister evils which were rendered inevitable by the difficulties of the moment, ardently desired the institution of a new system, and the King selected the Duke of Dalmatia for the portfolio of War. That choice, in which his Majesty has been guided by a desire to restore to his troops the obedience, confidence, and ardor that are necessary to the maintenance of the national strength, will no doubt appear to you to be in accordance with the principles on which the King has invariably acted.The Ministry of Marine confided to Count Beugnot, and the general direction of Police entrusted to M. d'André, are other alterations by which the King hopes to be enabled to realize the public expectation.You will no doubt think, Prince, that this change, although not very considerable when considered in its relation to the composition of the Council, will nevertheless bring about important results. In fact, a good spirit in the army and the efficiency of the police are so imperatively demanded by public opinion, that, from this point of view, the King's resolution is of the greatest interest. His Majesty relies upon you to present this event in its true light at Vienna, and to cause it to be regarded, not as a ministerial revolution, but rather as a gain of additional strength and intelligence to the Government. The King deeply regrets that, instead of having to entrust this task to your care, he cannot have you with himself, to strengthen the favorable impression which he hopes his ministry will inspire. 4 Nevertheless, his Majesty feels the truth of your observations upon the advantageous effect which has been produced by your continuous efforts. It may be that affairs, taking a more rapid course, will detain you for a shorter period than you lead us to fear, and, for myself, I greatly wish that you may be able to return sooner than you seem to hope.
NOTES TO LETTER XXVI.
1. The Moniteur Universal of the 16th of September, 1814, contains the following:
"The Earl of Oxford arrived recently from Naples, where he has left the Countess and their children. It is known that the chief object of his journey is to communicate the exact state of affairs at the Court of Naples at present to the Government of the Prince Regent."
The following is the incident referred to, as explained in the private correspondence of M. de Jaucourt with M. de. Talleyrand: "The Earl of Oxford was arrested yesterday at a short distance from Paris. I only know this from the Marquis de Saint-Elie, chargé d'affaires, but not recognized by King Murat; he insisted upon seeing me this morning, and told me that the police agent, on arresting Lord Oxford, had said that he must examine his papers, knowing him to be especially in communication with the Marquis de Saint-Elie. I did not enter into any explanation with him; I merely said, 'You have nothing to do with me in all this, no relations existing between us; but you can see the Minister of Police, and you had better do so.'
" LordOxford was on such intimate terms, and so openly, with the Bonapartist brawlers and the zealous Muratists here, that the police were obliged to take action. They alleged that he had broken the rules of the Post Office, which forbid travellers to carry letters, as a pretext for seizing those which he had in his possession. At Villejuif a police agent presented himself at the carriage-door, and Lord Oxford was brought back to Paris. His papers were handed over in a packet sealed with his arms; the packet was opened in the presence of M. de Beugnot, and not only his papers but his letters were returned to him, with the exception of three addressed to King Joachim." -20th November, 1814.
"I have, I think, sent you some details of the affair of the Earl of Oxford, through which letters that prove the agitation and alarm of the King of Naples' people have fallen into Beugnot's hands. Madame de Staël figures in those letters, but as a high priestess of the temple of peace and liberty. She loves Joachim because of his love for those two benefactresses of the world." 3rd December, 1814.
On the 20th of September, M. de Jaucourt wrote to M. de Talleyrand: "Yesterday we met at the Chancellor's . . . the customary persons and the new-comer. If the Minister of War had not told me that this dinner was not so unmeaning as others at which the same persons had met, I should have thought they were all waiting to talk until I should have gone away. M. de Montesquiou slept and snored, or listened derisively; poor Ferrand contemptuously put his head on his knees; the Chancellor talked. . . . "I made some observation on the want of forethought, ability, and, above all, sincerity, that was shown in the way in which the Chambers were treated, and said that public opinion was not grasped in any way; that there was no useful writing, no sincere communication. Believe, my dear friend, that I have the same feelings which animated us on the 30th of April, but a time of crisis and danger gives much advantage. It is easier to place a hundred senators at the foot of the scaffold than to construct a united and responsible ministry now and here."
The departure of the deputies, the time of their return, the disposition of the Assembly, which, as well as a great part of that of the peers, will not form its opinion except on the presumption that what is proposed is more or less constituent -- all this annoyed him ( Baron Louis) and rendered him less tractable.
"It has been proposed, with the good faith of alarm, and the confidence of fear, to put the ministers into the Assembly, to increase the number of deputies, to declare the Assembly formed for a period of five years, and then to renew It wholly. . . . Madame de Staël is starting from Clichy to make a constitutional disturbance." 4th October.
" M. de Vitrolles came here to scent out something that he might put in the Moniteur. "I should not be too much disposed to use the Moniteur; its official character gives it an embarrassing importance, and its Vitrolique supervision is very disagreeable.
"The purchasers of national property are uniting, preparing to canvass the electors and get themselves nominated. Their fortune is at stake; it is designed to despoil them of their goods, if possible, if not, of their honor."
On the 1st of November, 1814, D'Hauterive writes: "A fresh quarrel has just broken out between the Abbé de Montesquiou and Beugnot. The former has authorized the prefects to have agents, who have been sent by the latter into the departments, unknown to the minister, to study what is called public opinion, but as the prefect, sub-prefects, mayors, etc., write, to spy upon them and misrepresent their conduct by lying reports. There is still great enmity between the two magistrates. The Abbé de Montesquiou expresses his sentiments very openly."
"It is reported as certain, and this comes from the principal personages at the War Office, that a certs regiment of infantry of the Guard has burnt its eagles, collected the ashes, and each soldier swallowed a portion of them while drinking a cup of wine to the health of Bonaparte." -- D'Hauterive to Talleyrand, 14th November, 1814.
M. de Jaucourt writes on the 10th of December: "We are not confirming ourselves in the principles of a representative government, of the collective responsibility (solidarité) of the ministers, and of the kind of ministerial authority and independence, without which responsibility is nothing but an obstacle and a hindrance to all public service."
Vienna, 7th December, 1814.
The letter I now have the honor to write to your Majesty will be short. I have only just learned the facts which I am about to narrate; substituting them for others of a more vague and less interesting character which I had collected.
I am informed, as I have every reason to believe correctly, that a post which arrived last night brought Lord Castlereagh and Count Münster orders to support Saxony (I do' not yet know to what extent, and whether under any hypothesis, or only within given conditions). It is added that Lord Castlereagh has, this morning, addressed a Note to M. de Metternich announcing this to him, and that Count Münster, who has always, though rather timidly, taken our side of the question of Saxony, means to declare himself on the matter very strongly indeed. Prince de Wrède must have read Lord Castlereagh's Note when he was with M. de Metternich.
The day before yesterday M. de Metternich had an interview with the Emperor Alexander, in which each of them displayed all the tricks and subtleties of which he is capable; but it came to nothing. As, however, M. de Metternich had declared that his master would never consent to give up Saxony to Prussia, the Emperor Alexander accosted the Emperor Francis in the evening, after the carrousel, and said, "The present day, we sovereigns are obliged to conform to the wishes of the people, and to observe them. The wish of the Saxon people is not to be divided. They would rather belong to Prussia its a whole, than that Saxony should be divided or parcelled out." The Emperor Francis replied to this: I know nothing about that doctrine; but this is mine: a prince may, if he likes, give up a portion of his country and the whole of his people; but if he abdicates, his rights pass to his legitimate heirs. He cannot deprive those heirs of them, and Europe has no right to do so.""That is not according to the intelligence of the age," said the Emperor Alexander. "It is my opinion," replied the Emperor of Austria; "it ought to be that of all sovereigns, and consequently yours. As for me, I shall never depart from it."
This conversation (which was reported to me by two different persons in precisely the same way) is a certain fact. It was, then, quite right to say that the Emperor of Austria held an opinion on the Saxon affair which did not leave M. de Metternich free to choose between defending and abandoning it, and it was not without reason that the Saxon minister flattered himself Saxony would not be forsaken.
It is reported that the Emperor Alexander has said, "One conversation with the Emperor Francis is worth more than ten conversations with M. de Metternich, because the former always expresses himself clearly, and with him one knows what one is about."
The princes of Germany, who have met to consult upon the means to be taken for the defence of their rights against the designs which they know or suppose to be entertained by the Commission charged with German affairs, are about, I hear, to issue a statement of their desire for the maintenance of Saxony, with reasons assigned. Prince de Wrède, to whom most of them have addressed themselves, has told them to make haste, for this is a favorable moment. He has promised that Bavaria will 'join them; but Würtemberg, on the contrary, ranges itself, at present, on the side of Prussia. The Prince Royal, who is in love with the GrandDuchess Catherine, has induced the Cabinet to take this new turn: a mean act on the part of the Court of Stuttgard, and one that will neither profit that Court nor hurt any other. It seems to me that conduct so far from noble and loyal, to say no worse of it, on the part of the King of Würtemberg, is not calculated to make it very desirable to become his nephew. 1 On another occasion I shall beg your Majesty to permit me to speak more at length on the subject to which I allude here.
The Emperor of Russia wished to see me; then he wished before doing so to clear up the confusion with which, as he desired Prince Czartoryski to tell me, his head was "encumbered." I could not make use of General Pozzo in this, for he is on indifferent terms with him. His servants find it difficult to see him. The Due de Richelieu had to wait a whole month for an audience. 2 Prince Adam, although he is an interested party in our discussions, is my most serviceable go-between. I have not seen the Emperor as yet, and I am told he is shaken, but still undecided; I do not know when or to what he will ultimately make up his mind.
I have the honor to forward to your Majesty copies of the two documents by which he closed his correspondence with Lord Castlereagh. He has been generally blamed for having engaged in a hand-to-hand contest (so to speak), which might have been considered derogatory to his rank even if he had had the best of it, and the opposite was the case. Thus, instead of the triumph which he no doubt anticipated, the result was wounded amour propre.
Your Majesty will see that in the whole of this discussion Lord Castlereagh regarded the question of Poland from one point of view only, and that he kept it apart from every other question. Not only has he not demanded the restoration of independent Poland, but he has not expressed any desire for such a restoration; and he has even spoken of the Polish people in terms which are calculated rather to hinder than to conduce to it. He has been especially careful to abstain from uniting the Polish question with that of Saxony, which he had completely given up, but is going henceforward to sustain.
I have also the honor to forward to your Majesty a letter from your Majesty's consul at Leghorn. 3 I have made efficient use here of the information which it contains, and which I have had conveyed to the Emperor of Russia. M. de Saint-Marsan has received similar information, and M. de. Metternich has acknowledged that the same particulars have reached him from Paris. The conclusion which I draw from all this is that it would be well to get rid without delay of the man of the island of Elba, and of Murat. My opinion is spreading. Count Münster shares it, and with ardor: he has written about it to his Court, and talked of it with Lord Castlereagh, whom he has excited to the point of going to M. de Metternich, to stir him up in his turn; but M. de Metternich does all in his power to support an opposite view.
His favorite artifice is to make us lose time, thinking to gain by that device. The Commission on the affairs of Italy have settled the Genoa business a week ago. I have already had the honor to inform your Majesty that they had been regulated according to your Majesty's wishes. I forward the report of the Commission together with my letter of to-day to the Department. Your Majesty will find that it contains the clauses, and even the express terms prescribed by our instructions. To-morrow, the Commission of the eight Powers will take cognizance of the report, and will pronounce upon it. Afterwards Tuscany and Parma will be dealt with. This section of the task, which ought to have been finished already, has been retarded by the slight illness of M. de Metternich, who, that nothing may be ended, calls his present condition "convalescence."
The time which is lost to our business is consumed in fêtes; the Emperor Alexander asks for, and indeed commands them, as if he were at home. We are invited to these fêtes, attention is paid to us, we are treated with great distinction, as a mark of the feelings entertained towards your Majesty, whose praises are sounded everywhere; but all this does not make me forget that it is nearly three months since I left your Majesty.
I have spoken to Lord Castlereagh about the arrest of Lord Oxford, of which M. de Jaucourt had informed me. Far from showing any displeasure, he told me he was "charmed" at it, and described Lord Oxford as a man who deserved no kind of esteem. I should be very glad if among his papers some were found which would compromise Murat 4 with this Court.
The two last mails from Paris have brought me the letters with which your Majesty has honored me, bearing date the 22nd and 26th of November.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XXVII
1. If the Due de Berry had married the Grand-Duchess Anne, he would have become the nephew of King Frederick of Würtemberg.
2. On the 24th of December, 1814, M. de Jaucourt writes from Paris to Prince Talleyrand: "If you have been told that the Duc de Richelieu was ill-disposed towards you here, do not believe it; I am certain of the contrary. I do not know the exact measure of his regard, but that of his praise was unmistakable. He speaks highly of the character, the intentions, and the sentiments of the Emperor Alexander, and yet he condemns his policy."
On the 4th of January, 1815, he writes: "I assure you that, let his motive be what it may, calculation, belief, personal liking, or any other, nothing can possibly be more friendly than the tone of the Duc de Richelieu with respect to you, everywhere and always. There is no doubt that he wants to be sent to Vienna."
M. de Talleyrand was replaced at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Duc de Richelieu on the 26th of September, 1815.
3. "To Prince Talleyrand.
" Leghorn, 15th, November, 1814.
"I think it my duty to inform your your Serene Highness, directly, that for some days past the number of travellers who arrive at and depart from the island of Elba is considerable, and that they all speak in the same way to persons who are in my confidence. They are Italians, Swiss, or Piedmontese. They all say that Bonaparte will not remain in banishment at Elba; that he will get out of the island; and that so soon as he appears at the head of his Guards in Italy, more than fifty thousand men, who are ready, will rise and rally round his standard, and thousands of French soldiers will join them. Two persons, among others, have been more particularly pointed out to me; they are men named Eltovi and Louis Cavani, from Milan. At a supper which they gave yesterday in the outskirts of the town, they named more than one hundred and fifty superior officers of the former Army of Italy, who are scattered about in the different cantons of the former kingdom, and who keep up correspondence among themselves. These two individuals had come on the day before from Porto Ferrajo Eltovi left the town this morning, stating that he was going to Lucca; the other says he is shortly going to Parma. I have sent a description of them to the Governor of Leghorn, but as Italian and Austrian subjects, these bearers of correspondence and agents of secret intrigue cannot be proceeded against in any vigorous way. The Austrian consul at this port is an estimable man, but he is over seventy years of age. He has probably no instructions to watch the subjects of the Emperor his master who come and go, and he has neither the means nor the activity that would be requisite for doing so. If severe measures be not taken to prevent and stop this correspondence, the tranquillity of Italy will not last long. Recruiting has ceased in Italy and Tuscany, since the recruiters have been arrested and put in prison.
" King Joachim received Bonaparte's officers well. He questioned them concerning the health and the occupations of the Prince of Elba, and particularly inquired into the quality and number of his troops. Captain Jaillade having answered that there were only fifteen hundred men on the island, Joachim replied, 'Well, that is the nucleus of five hundred thousand.' "If soldiers are not recruited, officers are. The latter are content with a very small sum, and they are afterwards placed in the Guard.
"The Tunisians have been well received at Porto Ferrajo, and one of them has availed himself of that fact to maintain a cruiser in these waters, and strike terror into the coast. The Tuscan Government has ordered a levy of National Guards, to defend it against these pirates.
"I beg you to accept, etc.,
" CHEVALIER MARIOTTI,
"His Majesty's Consul at Leghorn."
The Duke of Campo-Chiaro then stated that Murat had an army of fifty thousand men; that he had it in his power to raise the whole of Italy, and to have himself declared head of the Confederation; and that certainly he would die a king. In December, 1814, he sent the following note to Prince Talleyrand:
Vienna, 7th December, 1814.
The King of Naples was included in the coalition by whose successful efforts Louis XVIII. was raised to the throne of France; his accession to that coalition was not without utility to the common cause.
"The King of Naples is therefore entitled to expect friendly relations with the House of Bourbon, on whose side he had found himself on the battlefield.
"In the treaty of peace, concluded 30th May, 1814, Austria stipulates as much in her own name as in that of her allies, and the King of Naples had a solemn treaty of alliance with Austria, which was known to all Europe."
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
10th December, 1814.
I have received your No. 14. You have quite correctly interpreted my meaning on the subject of the canton of Aargau. I should certainly prefer that Switzerland should become what she formerly was; 1 but I do not want the impossible, and provided that the canton of Berne be satisfied, so far as it can be under the circumstances, I shall be satisfied also. As for the Prince-Bishop of Basle, I had not remembered the last decrees of the Empire; but I see that he has settled the question with respect to himself, and I have no objections to make to the arrangements concerning Portentruy.
I have read with interest, and I shall carefully preserve the papers you have sent me. Lord Castlereagh speaks very fairly with regard to Poland, but his Note of the 11th of October contradicts his language. If, however, he should succeed in persuading the Emperor of Russia, that would be a great advantage for Saxony; but I do not see any appearance of this, and we must continue to pursue our own course.You know Prince Cazrtoryski; I know him also. The fact that the Emperor Alexander has selected him as an intermediary leads me to believe that his Imperial Majesty wishes rather to draw me towards him than to approach me himself. Go on, nevertheless, with these conferences, but at the same time pursue my designs. No evil can result from them, and perhaps they may do some good.I am inclined to think that it is from fear that Murat is playing the braggart. 2 Never lose sight of the fact that if there exists a resource for Bonaparte, it is in Italy, and by means of Murat, and that thus Delenda est Carthago.On which, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XXVIII.
1. Before 1789, the Republic of Switzerland was formed of Sixteen Cantons: it now consists of twenty-two.
2. Murat had made an offer of his services to Louis XVIII. through the Marquis de Saint-Elie, who said to Jaucourt in November, 1814: "I can assure you once again that only the devoted services of the King of Naples, which are at the disposal of the King of France, can secure the execution of Prince Talleyrand's designs." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 27th November, 1814.
Vienna, 15th December, 1814.
The Note by which the German princes of the second and third order intended to record their unanimous desire for the maintenance of Saxony was on the point of being signed; it has not been, and it will not be signed. 1
The Duke of Coburg was at the head of those princes. His conduct cannot be too highly praised. One of his sisters is married to the Grand-Duke Constantine. His younger brother is aide-de-camp to the Grand-Duke and a major-general in the Russian service. In the last campaign the Duke himself wore the Russian uniform. He stands high in the good graces of the Emperor Alexander, and is on very intimate terms with the King of Prussia. If he opposed the designs of those sovereigns he might very reasonably have dreaded their resentment; and, on the other hand, he had every reason to hope that if Saxony came to be sacrificed, he might obtain a share of the fragments. All these motives have not availed to silence the voice of gratitude and justice in the Duke's heart, or to make him oblivious of what he owes to his House and to his country. When, after the death of the Duke, his father, in 1807, his possessions were sequestrated because he was in the Russian camp, and Bonaparte wanted to proscribe him, he was protected by the intercession of the King of Saxony. Since then the King might have extended his sovereignty over all the duchies of Saxony, had he chosen to do so, but he refused. The Duke, in his turn, zealously defended the cause of the King. He made his brother Leopold plead that cause in London, and the Prince Regent heard him with attention and favor. He had pleaded it here himself with the Sovereigns and their ministers. He even went so far as to send a Memorandum in his own name to Lord Castlereagh refuting his arguments; this he drew up in consultation with us. The Emperor Alexander, being informed by the Duke of Weimar, of the Note that was in preparation, sent for the Duke of Coburg and overwhelmed him with reproaches, as much on account of the Memorandum which he had sent to Lord Castlereagh as of his recent proceedings; accused him of scheming; quoted the conduct of the Duke of Weimar as an example which he ought to have followed; told him that if he had representations to make, it was to Prince Hardenberg he ought to have addressed them, and declared that of what had been promised to him he should have nothing.
The Duke's demeanor was firm and noble. He spoke of his rights as a prince of the House of Saxony, and of his duties as a German prince and a man of honor. He did not hold himself free to leave them unfulfilled: if the Duke of Weimar thought otherwise, he could only compassionate him. For the rest, he had, he said, twice risked his existence for the sake of his Imperial Majesty; if he had to sacrifice it to-day for the sake of honor, he was ready to do so.
On the other hand, the Prussians, their emissaries, and particularly the Prince Royal of Würtemberg, have intimidated a certain number of German ministers by declaring that they would regard all those who should sign anythnig in favor of Saxony as enemies.
This is why the Note has not been signed; but that it was to have been done is known, and also what prevented its being done, and the desire which that Note was to have expressed has probably gained in intensity by the violence that has been used to suppress it.
Perhaps I have dwelt at too great a length upon this particular circumstance; but I have been led to do so by the double motive of wishing to do the justice to the Duke of Coburg that I believe to be his due, and to make the nature and the diversity of the obstacles with which we have to contend better known to your Majesty.
While these things were happening, the Prussians received a Note from M. de Metternich, in which he stated to them that the kingdom of Saxony ought to be maintained; showing by statistical calculations appended to his Note, that their population would be the same as in 1805, if only three hundred and thirty thousand Saxons were added to that of the territory which they have kept, and that of the disposable territories which are destined for them.
I hasten to inform your Majesty of Count Münster's statement that, if it be necessary to secure the maintenance of Saxony, he will renounce the aggrandizement promised to Hanover. Your Majesty will assuredly learn this with pleasure, because of the facilitation of affairs which it affords, and also because of the esteem with which your Majesty honors Count Münster.
A passage in M. de Metternich's Note, in which he backed himself up with the opposition of France to the Prussian views upon Saxony, led the Emper of Alexander to fear that an agreement was already formed, or was about to be formed between Austria and us, and he immediately sent Prince Adam Czartoryski to me. The Prince began by renewing the proposal which the Emperor himself had made to me in the last interview with which he honored me -- that we should lend ourselves to his wishes in the matter of Saxony, while he would promise us his utmost support in that of Naples. He regarded his proposal as all the more acceptable because he now no longer demanded the relinquishment of the whole of Saxony, but consented that a nucleus of the Kingdom should remain.
I answered that, as regarded the question of Naples, I held by what the Emperor had said to me; that I placed my confidence in his word; that, at all events, his interests in the matter were the same as our own, and he could not be of any other mind than ours; that if the question of Poland, which must be regarded as personal to the Emperor Alexander, since he set his satisfaction and his fame upon it, had been decided in accordance with his wishes (this is not yet completely, but it is very nearly, done), he owed it to the conviction of Austria and Prussia that we should be only in the second rank in that respect; that on the question of Saxony, which was really foreign to the interests of the Emperor, we had taken it upon ourselves to pledge the King of Saxony to certain sacrifices; but that the spirit of conciliation could not lead us to go so far as the Emperor seemed to desire. The Prince talked to me of alliance and of marriage: I said to him that so many grave matters could not be discussed at the same time; and that, besides, certain things must not be mixed up with others, because such a combination would assume the base character of a bargain.
He asked me whether we had entered into engagements with Austria. I said, no. Then he asked whether we would enter into any in case of our not coming to an agreement about Saxony, to which I replied, "I should be grieved at that"[J'en serai fâché]. After a moment's silence, we parted, politely, but coldly.
The Emperor, who was to have gone in the evening to a fête given by M. de Metternich, did not go there. A sudden headache was the cause of, or the pretext for, his absence. He sent the Empress and the Grand-Duchesses. Next morning M. de Metternich waited on him by his request.
At the ball, M. de Metternich came up to me, and after having thanked me for a small service I had rendered him, he complained of the difficulty in which Lord Castlereagh's Notes on Saxony placed him. I thought there had only been one Note of a compromising nature (that of the 11th of October). But he talked of another, which I have procured, and have the honor to send your Majesty a copy of it. Although it bears the title of a Verbal Note of Lord Castlereagh's, I know that it is the work of Mr. Cook, to whom it does little credit in point either of doctrine or style. This Note has been sent to the three Powers who for so long a time called themselves Allied.
M. de Metternich promised me that on leaving the Emperor Alexander he would come to me, if it were not too late, to tell me what had passed; this time he kept his word. The Emperor was cold, stiff, and severe. He maintained that M. de Metternich said things to him on the part of the Prussians which they disavowed, and that the Prussians said things on the part of M. de Metternich which were entirely opposed to what he wrote in his Notes, so that he (the Emperor) did not know what to believe. He reproached M. de Metternich with having inspired Prince Hardenberg with I know not what ideas. X. de Metternich had with him a letter from Prince Hardenberg which proved the contrary, and he produced it. The Emperor took that opportunity to reproach M. de Metternich with writing unbecoming letters, and this charge is not unfounded. The Emperor had in his hands certain communications of an entirely private and confidential character, which could only have reached him through a most culpable indiscretion on the part of the Prussians. Lastly, the Emperor appeared to be in doubt whether M. de Metternich's Note contained the expression of the real sentiments of the Emperor of Austria, and added that he wished to have an explanation on the point with the Emperor himself. M. de Metternich went at once to give his master notice of this, and the Emperor of Austria, if questioned on the subject by the Emperor Alexander, will reply that the Note was drawn up by his orders, and contains nothing that he does not endorse.
In a conference between M. de Metternich and Prince Hardenberg the only difficulties that arose were concerning the statistical calculations appended to M. de Metternich's Note. They parted without having arranged anything, on M. de Metternich's proposing to nominate a Commission to verify his statistics.
This, Sire, is the state of things at present. Austria, in her calculations, lets Saxony off with a loss of four hundred thousand men only. She does not want to abandon Upper Lusatia, on account of the Gabel Pass, which lies before the entrance into Bohemia, and through which the French penetrated in 1813.
The Emperor of Russia consents to allow a kingdom of Saxony to subsist, but one which, according to Prince Czartoryski, must be only one-half of what it is at present.
Lastly, Prussia now seems to limit her claims to a numbering of population, and consequently she subordinates them to the result and the verification of her reckoning.
No doubt the question is not yet decided, but the chances are now more favorable than they have ever hitherto been.
M. de Metternich proposed that I should read his Note. I thanked him, and said I was already acquainted with it, but that I begged he would communicate it officially to me; that I considered he ought to do so, since he had quoted us in it, which I might object to his having done without informing us; that it was necessary we should sustain the Note, but that we could not do so with propriety unless a regular communication of it were made to us. He gave me his word that what I desired should be done. My particular motive for making a point of a formal participation is because that will be the real date of the rupture of the coalition.
A few days ago, I proposed that a Commission should be formed to deal with the affair of the Slave Trade. This proposal was about to be made, and I wanted to get hold of it myself in order to propitiate Lord Castlereagh, and induce him by that means to act with us in the difficult Italian questions which we were approaching. I did obtain something, for he asked me of his own accord to let him know in what way I proposed to settle the affair of Naples, and promised to send a courier for the orders which he might require. I have written the subjoined letter to him. 2 After having received it, he proposed to let me see his correspondence with Lord Bentinck. This I have read, and it is certain that the English are perfectly free in that matter. But certain promises have been made to Murat, the breach of which would place the promiser in a difficult position as a man, if Murat himself had observed his own promises strictly. "I believe," said Lord Castlereagh, "I am correctly informed that Murat kept up communications with Bonaparte in the months of December, 1813, and January and February, 1814, 3 but I should be very glad to have positive proofs of this; it would greatly facilitate my course of proceeding. If you have such proofs among your archives, you would do me a great favor by procuring them for me." I am writing to-day, in my letter to the Department, to have a search made for any that may be at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is possible that traces of a correspondence between Murat and Bonaparte may be found in the Secretary of State's office. Lord Castlereagh made no objection to the form which I proposed to him to adopt.
Count de Jaucourt will of course lay before your Majesty the two letters which I address to the Department to-day; I entreat your Majesty to be pleased to reject the proposals with respect to Gex which will be made to your Majesty at Paris. We have much reason to be displeased with the Genevese who are here. The authority of the Chancellor is more than sufficient to justify the abandonment of this question, which has been conducted too hastily. I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XXIX.
1. This protest in favor of the King of Saxony, signed by the Ministers of the princely houses of Germany, then assembled at Vienna, was couched in the following strong terms: "The general voice, not of Germany only, but of all Europe, is raised on behalf of the King of Saxony. His restoration ought, without doubt, to be effected simultaneously with that of peace. To doubt for a moment the keen interest taken by the monarchs in the fate of their unfortunate brother, would be to wound them deeply, and it would be doing them a still greater wrong to believe that they could, by sanctioning the deprivation of an entire family of their most sacred rights of possession, sanction an act of violence in the modern, which is unexampled in the ancient history of the Fatherland.
"Assuredly, if it be established beyond question that no prince of the Empire can be condemned except by a judgment of his peers; that hostile enterprises on the part of the legitimate sovereigns of Germany have been sternly opposed, such an attempt on the part of the other States ought to be much less to be apprehended in our day. Let the grand-duchy of Warsaw be treated as a conquered country, and as the expiatory sacrifice for a moment of error or weakness; let even the legitimacy of its creation be contested, -but can such a term ever be applied to a principality of Germany? And is not the first article of every treaty of peace, according to the practice of the law of nations, amnesty and restitution to the status quo ante bellum? Where is there a prince to whom the most sacred and solemn of titles could secure the inheritance of his ancestors and the cradle of his race, if it might be wrested from him by a mere agreement, or he could even be forced into some exchange, utterly reprobated by his people, who would demand their former master?
"When, in the last century, the princes of Germany -- alarmed by the apprehended exchange of Bavaria, in virtue of which one of the ancient German corporations was to be subjected against its will to a foreign dynasty, and which might disturb the balance of the States of the Empire -- rallied round the banner of Frederick the Great, in a close federation, with the purpose of protecting property against systems of arrondissement and projects of convenances, it was not held allowable to contest the legitimacy of that precaution, and Bavaria owed her preservation to it.
"If Germany is the keystone of the arch of the political edifice of Europe, Saxony is the corner-stone of the new federation in that portion of it. To remove it would be to shake the new building to its foundations, and we believe ourselves to be expressing the unanimous desire of all the integral portions of the German nation by declaring loudly: Without a free and independent Saxony, there is no stable federal Germany."
2. See D'Angeberg, p. 525.
3. Towards the end of December, 1813, Murat had an offer of his co-operation conveyed to Napoleon, on condition that he should be allowed to put himself in possession of the whole of Italy on the right of the Po, and to proclaim Italian independence. This proposal received no reply. About the middle of January, 1814, La Besnardière sounded the ex-Emperor once more on this subject, in consequence of the receipt of letters from Naples, probably from Queen Caroline. "What answer would you have me make to a madman?" said Napoleon. "How can this fool fail to see that only my entire preponderance in Europe could prevent the Pope's being at Rome? It is the interest and the desire of Europe that he should return thither, and I myself am the first to wish it." And when it was observed to him that it would perhaps be well to do something to attach Murat to himself, he answered, "What good would that do? He is a man with a weathercock for a head. You can see that by his continual changes."
"The Emperor Napoleon," adds La Besnardière, did not doubt that it depended entirely on himself to keep King Joachim in alliance with him, or to recall him how and when he choose." -- Memorandum from La Besnardière to Talleyrand, 5th February, 1815.
[Continue to Letter XXX]
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