THE CORRESPONDENCE OF PRINCE TALLEYRAND AND KING LOUIS XVIII. DURING THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA
Vienna, 14th March, 1815.
I have just left the conference, in which the declaration 1 which I had the honor of mentioning in my letter of yesterday to your Majesty has been signed. It was settled this morning in the conference of the five Powers; we carried it this evening to that of the eight Powers by whom it was adopted. I hasten to forward it to your Majesty; I send copies of it at the same time to the Prefects of Strasburg, Besançon, Lyons, Nancy, Metz, and Châlonssur-Marne, requesting them to have it printed and distributed in their respective departments and sent to the neighboring Prefects.I am sure that your Majesty will think it advisable to order its publication in every part of the kingdom. M. de Saint-Marsan, to whom. I have given a copy, will send it to Genoa and Nice.It seems to me that this proclamation leaves nothing to be desired in respect of strength, and I hope that it will in no respect fail in the effect it is intended to produce, in France as well as in the rest of Europe, where it will be circulated in every direction. One of Bonaparte's sisters ( Pauline Borghese) has been arrested at Lucca, on her way from Elba to Italy. Joseph, who was at Trieste, will be conveyed to Grätz, as well as Joseph, as soon as the Pays de Vaud has acceded to the request which I have instructed M. de Talleyrand to address to that canton in conjunction with the ministers of Austria and Russia.Some Russian and Austrian officers are carrying the demand to the canton of Vaud, and are desired to escort Joseph Bonaparte to Grätz.Orders have been issued for the occupation of the island of Elba in the name of the Allies.All therefore is working towards the same object with a concert and unanimity which I think hitherto unexampled among nations.I have obtained information respecting the generals appointed to command the troops stationed between Cliambéry and Lyons. Generals Sémélé and Dijon, and especially General Marchand, were represented to me as worthy of absolute confidence. I have seen no one who knew General Roussel d'Harbel.I am, etc.P.S. -- I think there ought to be a very clear line to break the declaration from the protocol which follows it, at the end of which all the signatures should be appended as they are in the enclosed copy.
NOTE TO LETTER LXVII.
1. The declaration of the 13th of March, 1815, issued by the signatory Powers of the Treaty of Paris, assembled at the Congress of Vienna, relating to Napoleon's escape from the island of Elba. It is printed in the Moniteur Univerael of the 13th of April, 1815 (see D'Angeberg, p. 912).
"I send to the King, my dear friend, the declaration I mentioned to you yesterday. It is very strong; there has never been a document of so much power and importance signed by all the sovereigns of Europe. It must be printed just as I send it, with all the signatures. It had to be cast in the form of an extract from a protocol in order to enable us to sign it. Take care that no ehange is made in printing it. Put a break between the declaration and the extract from the protocol, to which the signatures are appended. I am sending this document to Nice, to Strasburg, to Besançon, and to Metz, and I ask the Prefects to print and distribute it.
"Adieu. I do not think that we could have done better here."
-- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 14th March, 1815.
Vienna, 14th March, 1815.
The courier I am sending off to-day carries with him to Switzerland, to M. de Talleyrand, orders to take, in concert with the ministers of Austria and Russia, the steps which I had the honor of mentioning to your Majesty yesterday, for the purpose of removing Joseph Bonaparte from the frontiers of France.
He will be longer on the way than the couriers we send straight to Paris. I should not, however, have liked to despatch him without a letter to your Majesty, although I have no news to communicate, the courier bearing the instructions which your Majesty has done me the honor of announcing in the letter of the 3rd having not yet arrived.
I hope that these instructions will not be, as Prince Metternich flatters himself, such as to postpone the decision as to the fate of Murat to a distant period. We cannot and ought not to believe in Prince Metternich's promises. I had rather a warm discussion with him to-day on the subject. My opinion is that if the Murat question is put off, it will be lost for us, and in that case public opinion, which is now all in our favor, will go against us.
I have procured, and in the next letter which I shall have the honor of writing to your Majesty I will enclose, a paper drawn up by this same Prince Metternich, which will enable your Majesty to understand in what position with respect to the other Powers the French envoys to the Congress found themselves on their arrival at
Vienna, and to see how different is the position which we now occupy.I annex one of the declarations 1 printed at Vienna and distributed throughout Germany.I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER LXVIII.
1. Here is this furious declaration:
"ADDRESS TO THE NATIONS.
"The object of Bonaparte's reign will in future be the happiness of the Jacobins. He is satisfied with the present limits of France, and wishes to live in peace with the rest of Europe.
"His guarantees for this are --
1. "The grape-shot with which he destroyed the Parisian sections.
2. "His poisoning the hospitals in Egypt.
3. "The assassination of Pichegru.
4. "The murder of the Due d'Enghien.
5. "His oaths to the French Republic.
6. "His repeated attacks on the sovereigns of Europe.
7. "The pillage of the churches in Russia and Spain.
8. "His escape from the island of Elba.
9. "The organization of three thousand battalions of National Guards in the place of the conscription.
10. "The violation of all the treaties he has signed, including that of Fontainebleau.
11. "The abolition of all duties interfering with the practice of drunkenness.
12. "He also promises to issue, immediately after the Assemblies of May, if they should be favorable to him, an edict against perjury, drawn up by Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angely, and countersigned by Ney."
Vienna, 14th'Harch, 1815.
My letter No. 35 will not reach your Majesty until after the one I now have the honor of writing, because the courier who has charge of it has gone round by Zurich.
Although Bonaparte has only a handful of men with him, I thought it would be a good thing to deprive him especially of those who, not being French, and finding themselves at a distance from their own country, would have a double reason for devotion to him. I have therefore requested that the Polish troops in his service should be recalled by their Government. 1 My suggestion was received with alacrity. The order for their return was minuted in conjunction with me, and executed on the spot. The courier I send is taking it with him, and I have the honor of enclosing a copy. I beg your Majesty to have the kindness to give the necessary orders for providing these troops with the route they will require for their journey. The Emperor of Russia and Prince Czartoryski have shown much good will in this little affair. 2
A Prussian courier, who preceded by twelve hours the one sent to me on the 8th, brought news which has been confirmed by all my letters from Paris. This news, which was circulated without delay, excited general rejoicing. Every one praises the wisdom of your Majesty's measures; every one is persuaded that Bonaparte will not be able to escape punishment, and is glad of it.
M. de Jaucourt speaks of the good effect which a declaration on the part of the Congress would produce. 3 He even speaks on behalf of your Majesty, who by this time knows that his wishes have been anticipated. I sent some printed declarations to be distributed on the frontiers of Switzerland by yesterday's courier. I have the honor to-day of sending some copies to your Majesty. The date of Vienna and the official Austrian type seem to me calculated to produce a good effect.
The principles of legitimacy, which had to be drawn from beneath the ruins under which the overthrow of so many ancient and the establishment of so many new dynasties had, as it were, buried them, which were accepted so coldly by some and rejected by others when we first produced them, have at last become appreciated. Your firmness in supporting them has not been without its effect. The whole honor of it belongs to your Majesty, and the unanimity with which the Powers have pronounced against Bonaparte's last attempt is entirely due to it.
I have often had the honor of informing your Majesty that in the beginning the Allies had made every arrangement for making us simply spectators at the Congress; but I thought their agreement to this effect was only verbal, and I had no idea that they had put it in writing. The two protocols 4 which I have the honor of forward. ing to your Majesty prove the contrary, and they also show how little resemblance our present position has to that which they intended us to assume. These two protocols are copied from the originals, which I have actually held in my hand. Certainly the distance is enormous between the wishes of the Powers on the 22nd of September and the declaration which they have just made.
I shall have the honor of replying by one of the next couriers respecting the orders which your Majesty has been pleased to give me with regard to the Italian affairs.I received them only this evening.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER LXIX.
In the official account of Napoleon's return, inserted in the Moniteur Universel of the 25th of March, 1815, it is said that the Emperor left Elba with a hundred Polish light horse, etc.
"I have received your despatches of the morning of the 14th. Continue to send us information by every possible opportunity. We have no doubt as to the energy or the loyalty of the nation. Set Lafitte at rest. The delay in paying him was occasioned only by the delay in General Pozzo's return. I am sure that, if you were obliged to quit Paris, he would be able to furnish you with the necessary funds out of our balance in his hands. "Here the strongest possible measures continue to be taken. If France does not make an end of Bonaparte, Europe will bring him to justice. Never has Europe been more unanimous, and all the Powers at the Congress vie with each other in zeal and energy. I advise you to follow the lead of the diplomatic corps, and, as far as possible, to follow the King. Adieu; I wish you courage and resignation." -- Nesselrode to M. Butiakine, Vienna, 22 March, 1815.
This is what M. de Jaucourt wrote to Prince Talleyrand on the 14th of March:
"Our position grows more and more critical. Monsieur goes off again to-day. He came from Lyons, where Macdonald behaved with noble fidelity but very bad success; he harangued three thousand men who were at Lyons; he collected the officers. The officers, instead of yielding to duty, declared that they had no influence over their troops; they recriminated by talking of the faults committed with regard to the army, the injustice, the humiliation, etc.; they spoke of the men chosen to surround the princes, etc. Macdonald, however, drew them up behind the bridge of La Guillotière; as soon as they caught sight of the first hussars of Bonaparte they overset the Marshal, joined the hussars, and fraternized, as they call it. The Marshal escaped, was followed for six leagues, accomplished eleven in three hours, and rejoined Monsieur at Moulins. Monsieur is to set off for Châlons with him; Dupont is on the way, but will arrive late with the rear-guard. The garrisons in the north are sound. There may be, perhaps, some firmness in the troops under Marshal Ney; those of the Duc de Trévise behaved well at La Fère. We make too much of this small success. I do not believe in the steadiness of the Royal Guard, nor in the good will of the National Guard; I believe only in the firmness of the King. The Bonapartists are doing all they can to induce him to leave. This would be taking a step which would suppose the existence of some views, calculations, or at least plans; God has not permitted this miracle as the result of our royal or ministerial councils.
"The tears came to my eyes at the Council yesterday, when I saw the King, his brother, his nephew, and all his ministers deliberate for three hours on the arrests to be made. There is to be a battle, i.e. an assemblage of troops, at I know not what distance from Paris. The Due de Berry is to join them. The servants at Fontainebleau are preparing the castle for Bonaparte M. de Blacas said to me, 'This will, you know, give us a great many places to distribute. I I replied, 'You may promise them to a hundred people, you will not be compromised.' I still think that Bonaparte will give the slip to the Duc de Berry and will reach Paris without a battle. He will steal a march and arrive in Paris, unless the presence of the King, as is very probable, embarrasses him. He dares not use violence; he cannot frighten him. If the King decides on remaining, at the risk of being taken to Valençay, Bonaparte will probably considerably tarnish his unheard-of success. I shall not close my letter until I have seen M. de Blacas.
"The courier came from Lyons through Burgundy; at Mâcon he found all the people in a ferment, crying, 'Long live Bonaparte!' and he was obliged to take off his badge to pass. It cost him some buttons stamped with the fteur-de-lys from his coat.
"When I went out I left my vote in writing for M. de Bourrienne, whom it is proposed to make Prefect of Police.
"I proposed, with the consent of the Abbé de Montesquieu, to write thus to Oudinot: 'If the Old Guard swears fidelity, to offer the rank of officers to all the grenadiers, of nobility to all the officers, and to seize the Post horses for transport. If the guard accept they will keep their word; but the choice must be left to them, for no one is really gained over unless his heart is in it.'
" Monsieur will not go away again; he expects wonders from the review he is going to hold to-morrow of the Imperial Guard. . . . It seems to me that the Congress is making up its mind to issue a declaration. The King must be able to say that as long as he is master here foreigners shall not come in, but that if Bonaparte should by any possibility become master, this calamity would be caused by him alone, and the consequences would fall upon his head, etc.
"It seems to me that this would make the King popular, and excite animosity against Bonaparte.
2. A separate protocol of a conference held on the 22d of September, 1814, by the plenipotentiaries of Austria, Great Britain, France, and Russia, on the form and order of the discussion at the Congress at Vienna (see D'Angeberg, p. 245). The second protocol mentioned by Talleyrand, and which he annexes to his letter, does not appear in any of the collections of the archives of the Congress of Vienna.
COPY OF THE ORDERS GIVEN TO COLONEL JEZAMANOWSKI, OR, IN HIS ABSENCE, TO THE OFFICER IN HIS PLACE
By virtue of the commands of his Imperial Highness the GrandDuke Constantine, Commander-in-chief of the Polish troops in the grand-duchy of Warsaw, I transmit to you, sir, the present orders, in receiving which you will be kind enough, without entering into any discussion with any other person, to repair to Warsaw with the Polish troop which you brought from the island of Elba. and to receive on your arrival the further orders of the general of division, Count Vincent Krasinski. You will communicate a copy of this order to the general under whose command you may happen to be, informing him that his Imperial Highness has desired you, on pain of a most serious personal responsibility, to fulfil this order literally and immediately on its reception.
The annexed orders of the French Government authorize you to demand a route of road from the Government of the country nearest to the spot which you now occupy. With regard to the pay of your troop, as well as any arrears that may be due, you will apply in writing to Colonel Jankowski in Paris, transmitting to him at the same time the nominal lists and all the ordinary and necessary proofs for this purpose.
You will also send a report to M. Tolinski, the chief of the staff of his Imperial Highness the Grand-Duke Constantine, to tell him on what day you commence your march, the stages which will have been appointed for you, and the condition of your detachment.
APPENDIX TO NO. 36.
Protocol drawn up and signed on the 22nd of September, 1814.
The Ministers of Austria, Russia, England, and Prussia have met together to deliberate on the modes of procedure to be adopted at the Congress of Vienna, in order to bring it to a fortunate and speedy conclusion.
They have taken into consideration the stipulations of the Treaty of Paris relating to the Congress.
These stipulations are contained in --
1. Article 32 of the public treaty in the following words:
"Within a period of two months all the Powers who have been engaged on either side in the present war, shall send plenipotentiaries to Vienna in order to regulate in a general congress the arrangements necessary for completing the disposition of the present treaty,"2. In the first secret article, as follows:"The arrangements to be made respecting the territories to which his Most Christian Majesty relinquishes his claim by Article 8 of the public treaty, and the deliberations which it is hoped will result in the establishment of a real and durable balance of power in Europe, will be regulated at the Congress on the basis settled by the Allied Powers in council, and in accordance with the general arrangements contained in the following articles," etc.The above-mentioned Article 32 evidently reserves, to all the Powers named in it, the privilege of watching over their own interests at the Congress.The first secret article gives to the Allied Powers the initiative in every discussion, inasmuch as they have the right to lay down as a basis the arrangements settled by themselves.Taking into consideration that it would be impossible for so many Ministers as will be assembled at the Congress to settle the subjects for deliberation, and draw up a scheme of arrangement, the Ministers have agreed in the opinion that the course prescribed on the following points wouldbe the most favorable to the true interests of the intervening Powers, and that it alone would bring the negotiations to a speedy and fortunate conclusion.
1. In this course, the subject for discussion may be divided into two parts: The former relating to the great European interests comprised in the mutual relations of the Powers, the territorial divisions, the demarcation of boundaries, and the disposal of the countries occupied and administered provisionally by the Allied Powers.
The latter relating to the formation of the federative league of the German States.
2. That the preliminary work in both cases shall be confided to two commissions, composed in the following manner: Austria, Russia, England, Prussia, France, and Spain, charged with the preliminaries relating to the European question.
The Commissioners of Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Hanover, and Würtemberg to be charged with those relating to the organization of Germany.
3. In accordance with the separate and secret Article 1 of the Treaty of Paris, the four Cabinets are to draw up a plan fixing the territorial arrangements consequent on the principles announced in the Treaty of Paris and recognized by France. This plan to be communicated to France and Spain.
The six Powers will then communicate with the other Powers and ask them to make known their opinions and wishes.
As soon as the French plenipotentiary arrives, the present plan shall be communicated to France and to Spain, and not until that time shall the method and the steps requisite for executing the arrangements indicated in the present protocol be definitively settled, in conjunction with their plenipotenliaries.
As soon as the bases of the Germanic federation are settled, the internal details of the federal compact of Germany shall be referred to a session of the German Diet.
Approved by Metternich, Nesselrode, Castlereagh, Hardenberg, Humboldt. 1
This is the protocol which does not appear in the catalogue, although It is a very complete one, of Télot, nor is it reproduced in Count d'Angeberg's work on the Congress of Vienna.
LXXI. APPENDIX TO NO. 36.
Separate Protocol of the Conference of the 22nd of September, 1814. 1
A discussion arose on the Memorandum to be sent to the plenipotentiaries of France and Spain as to the forms to be observed at the Congress. The ministers present at the conference adopted it, after making a few changes.
At the same time they observed, on reading this instrument, that it was entirely for the sake of not annoying or giving umbrage to the French Court that they had abstained from fully developing the third article, which speaks of the initiative to be taken by the four Cabinets. For this reason, and with this object in view, it seemed to them to be doubly necessary to settle between themselves, and very accurately, the difference between the deliberations of the four and of the six Powers, and they have decided as follows:
1. That the four Powers only should decide on the distribution of the provinces 2 which the late war and the Peace of Paris have placed at their disposal, but that the other two Powers should be admitted afterwards to give their opinions, and make, if they please, objections which shall be afterwards discussed with them.
2. That, in order not to swerve from this rule, the plenipotentiaries of the four Powers shall not confer with the two others on this subject, until they have entirely terminated, and are perfectly agreed on, each of the three points relating to the territorial distribution of the duchy of Warsaw, of Germany, and of Italy.
3. That, in order to give themselves ample time for these preliminary discussions, these four plenipotentiaries shall meanwhile, and from the opening of the Congress, try to occupy themselves and the other two plenipotentiaries with other questions, in which the whole six Powers are fully entitled to take leading parts during the discussions.
These three principles have been defined during the conference as follows:
The disposal of the conquered provinces belongs naturally to the Powers to whose efforts their conquest was due. This principle was fixed by the Treaty of Paris itself, and the French Court already consented to it from the first, for the secret article of the Treaty of Paris asserts in the most precise terms:
"That the distribution of the territories shall be settled at the Congress in accordance with the principles laid down by the Allied Powers themselves."
The words settled and laid down by themselves clearly express that there is no suggestion here of simple proposals, or of discussions in which France would take part. It is not stated either where or how these principles are to be settled, and it would be an entirely unjust and arbitrary interpretation if it were contended that the clause meant only the contents of treaties already exiding 3 between the Allies.
But as France has adopted a legitimate Government, the four Allied Powers do not wish to banish either her or Spain from any discussion on the distribution of territories in which these two Powers may have a particular interest, or even which may concern the general interests of Europe, as they would have done had the peace been concluded with Napoleon.
Therefore of the three courses open to them on this question -- 4
1. To be admitted from the first with perfectly equal influence in the deliberation;
2. To be admitted only when the other parties are already of one mind;
3. To agree beforehand to all that the others decide;
The second is evidently the one which France has a right to claim, but with which she ought to be satisfied.Any other course would be fraught with extreme inconvenience. If France be not admitted until the other four Powers are already agreed among themselves, she will still make all the objections which she thinks advisable for her own safety, and for promoting the general interests of Europe, but she will not make any other objections. If she be present at the first discussion, she will take sides for and against every question, whether her interests be involved in it or not; she will favor or oppose this or that prince, according to her particular views, and the petty German princes will be encouraged by this to begin again all the mauuvres, intrigues, and plots which had so great a share in causing the misfortunes of late years. This is why it is of the greatest importance not to admit the French plenipotentiaries to take part in any discussion until the subject in question has been entirely settled. 5 Approved by Metternich, Hardenberg, Humboldt, Nesselrode.
NOTES TO ABOVE PROTOCOL.
See D'Angeberg, p. 249.
Martens writes "Powers," which is unintelligible.
Martens gives here an erroneous text "of the already existing treaty."
Martens, and afterwards D'Angeberg, gives here another text:
"a. Not to be admitted at all;
"b. Not to be admitted until all the other Powers are agreed;
"c. To assent beforehand to all that the others may conclude;
"The second is evidently the alternative which France has a right to claim, but with which she ought to be satisfied." Talleyrand's text is evidently preferable.
It is impossible to explain how it is that this instrument is found in Martens, and that the preceding one, drawn up to be seen by France, is not there. At the head of this instrument Martens writes: " France with the limits which were assigned to her," by M. Kératry, 2nd edit. 1824, Paris, p. 181-187. Perhaps Kératry was acquainted only with this second instrument, and Martens took it for his book.
No. 37. Vienna, 16th March, 1815.
Finding myself obliged to send again to-day a courier to Paris with the order recalling the Poles who are with Bonaparte, which was omitted by mistake in last night's packet, I take advantage of this opportunity to have the honor of telling your Majesty how much I wish to be kept as fully and accurately informed as possible of all that is going on in France, and how necessary it is that I should be so. 1 However well disposed the sovereigns, and even the people, may be at Vienna, it would be a miracle if there were not here evilminded men ready to spread alarming intelligence, and a great many credulous people ready to receive and promulgate it. Therefore it is very important that your Majesty's Legation may be always in a position to correct it.The news of Bonaparte's arrival in France made the funds fall here. The declaration of the Congress has made them rise again. I hope that it will produce a similar effect in France. This morning's news will perhaps make them fall again.The Genevese Government has written to the Federal Government at Zurich that they heard this morning that a regiment sent to oppose Bonaparte had joined his standard; that he entered Grenoble at eight o'clock on the evening of the 7th, and that the town was illuminated. The Government therefore asked for aid, in case Geneva should be threatened by any attempt of Bonaparte.The King of Würtemberg has sent this news by express to the Emperor Alexander; all his people were repeating it this morning. I give what are at any rate probable excuses for denying it; but they are not enough to destroy an impression which is produced, I think, by the apprehensions of the Genevese.I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER LXXII.
On the same day Talleyrand wrote to Jaucourt:
"I send you a courier again to-day, my dear Jaucourt, to set you a good example; and I must tell you that it is of the greatest importance that I should be informed of the smallest details relating to Bonaparte. Bad news is flying abroad; it ought to be contradicted, and that I cannot do unless I have direct information. So do not lose a minute in sending me all the news you hear. Remember this: that the very Europe which has been brought to making the declaration I sent you, is intensely jealous of France, of the King, of the House of Bourbon. These sentiments show themselves whenever the news is unfavorable. This morning three expresses from Geneva came to the Emperor of Russia and to Austria, to announce that Bonaparte was at Grenoble, and that a regiment had deserted our colors to join his. I saw one of these letters addressed to the Emperor of Russia. For Heaven's sake, send me some news. We have no reason to fear; our cause is safe; but news must be met by news. When the foreign couriers leave Paris for this place, give them a line for me; I cannot be too well informed. I am writing to M. Buisson to make him responsible. As the Chambers are to meet, all must be set in order, and I must do at once what I intended to do only on my return. I beg of you to see to this. If you act with the Constitution and with the Constitution alone, you are strong. I am sorry not to be with you, but I must finish my work here."
On the same day he wrote to the Duchess of Courland:
"I am setting a good example in the matter of couriers, for I am sending another off to-day. Try to persuade Jaucourt to send me one every day. It is too trying to be in a large town abounding in false news and to have nothing direct or trustworthy to tell people.
"I If not every day, at least they might write to me whenever anything happens. Everything is of importance; I would rather be written to every day. Adieu, dear friend."
On the same day, 16th March, he wrote to M. de Laval:
"Yesterday, the 15th, I had at last a courier. Of all the ministers at Vienna I was the last to receive letters. This caused me two very disagreeable days. The news is good, so I console myself. I think that this last dreadful attempt of Bonaparte's will not last long."
Vienna, 17th March, 1815.
I have the honor of sending to your Majesty a letter which I received this morning from Murat's minister here; I send it in the original, in order to avoid delay, and also because I do not want it here.
The Duke of Campo-Chiaro made a similar communication to the Duke of Wellington, and afterwards to the Court of Vienna, it having been already communicated to the Austrian minister at Naples. This proceeding, in addition to the news received here today, and the language held by the plenipotentiaries of the Great Powers, makes me foresee that if Bonaparte should advance on Paris, and if the Powers assemble their forces on our frontiers, it will be almost impossible, not only to obtain a declaration from the Congress against Murat and in favor of Ferdinand IV., but even to persuade Austria, and perhaps England, to enter into any actual and substantial engagement against him. I must therefore ask your Majesty to be kind enough to give me precise orders on this subject. We must think of ourselves before thinking of others.
The news received to-day came to Prince Metternich and by way of Milan. It announces the defection of two regiments, the entry of Bonaparte into Grenoble, and his departure from Grenoble for Lyons on the evening of the 8th; and it adds that the disposition of the provinces he has passed through is very unfavorable to us.
This news seemed of sufficient importance to warrant a conference between the Legations of Austria, Russia, England, Prussia, and France, at which the foliowing questions were proposed and discussed:
1. What shall be the policy of the Allied Powers in case Bonaparte should succeed in re-establishing himself in Paris?
2. What are the military resources actually at their disposal?
3. What measures shall be proposed? The declaration issued by the Congress has already proclaimed their policy. They will adhere to that.
A military committee has been appointed to deliberate on the other two questions. It is composed of Schwarzenberg, Wellington, Wolkonski (Russian), Knesebeck (Prussian). The committee will meet to-night. The Emperor of Russia wishes to be present. If I learn to-night the result of their deliberations, I shall not wait till to-morrow to send another courier to your Majesty.
M. Anatole de Montesquieu's 1 visit here, ostensibly in order to see his mother, having been suspected by the Austrians to have a totally different object, and not to have been without some political motive, I have advised him to return immediately to France.
I am inclined to think that in a few days the Emperor of Austria will take under his care and lodge in his palace Bonaparte's son, lest the boy should be carried away; it has even been suspected that this was the object of M. Anatole's visit. The language held by his mother, which was reported by the Austrian police charged with watching her, afforded some grounds for this belief.
I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER LXXIII.
M. de Montesquieu-Fezenzac was detained at Vienna, and on the 5th of June his mother was still asking for a passport for her son, and entreated M. de Talleyrand to obtain for him, before his departure, the passport for which he had been wishing and waiting so long, together with all the necessary safeguards for enabling him to reach the French frontier.
Vienna, 19th March, 1815.
The Duke of Wellington despatches a courier to-day to London, who, if possible, will pass through Paris. I take this opportunity of informing your Majesty that in the military conference held on the day before yesterday, at which the Emperor of Russia was present, it was decreed that Bonaparte, with whom the Allied Powers will never treat, must be stopped by prompt and enormous efforts. They have therefore decided on renewing the Treaty of Chaumont, of which I have had the honor of sending a copy to your Majesty. But it is to be directed only against Bonaparte, and not against France, who, on the contrary, will be one of the consenting parties. Sardinia, Bavaria, Würtemberg, and Baden will likewise accede to it, as well as Holland and Hanover.The Sublime Porte will be invited, not to take part in the war, but to refuse admittance to French rebels, as well as to their ships.Proposals are also to be made to Switzerland. The actual state of affairs allows of no neutrality, the man who is forcing all Europe to arm being no better than a brigand. 1 I have received from Austria a Declaration 2 relating to the Valtelline, to Bormio, and to Chiavenna. This Declaration states that those places must be included in the arrangements to be made respecting Italy, and used for purposes of compensation.I am, etc.P. S. The courier who left Paris on the 11th has arrived without any obstacle.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXIV.
"These arrangements will, therefore, set all Europe at war, no longer with France, but, on the contrary, to save France from Bonaparte and his adherents. Therefore, when the object for which this war has been set on foot has been attained, there will be no treaty required, because the French nation is at peace with every other. The treaty of the 30th of May is still valid, and will continue to regulate our relations with foreign Powers." -Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 19th March, 1815. M. Henri Martin (vol. iv. p. 150) says that "Bonaparte sent a message to Murat, desiring him to inform Austria that he would soon be in Paris, and that he accepted the treaty of 1814." M. Martin adds, "If he was sincere, his return had not even the excuse of an attempt to restore to France the frontiers of which his conduct had deprived her."
See D'Angeberg, p. 1933.
Vienna, 19th March, 1815.
No news has reached us to-day. I have the honor of writing to your Majesty at 6 p.m.The affairs of Switzerland were finished this morning. The deputation which was at Vienna is to carry the Declaration 1 agreed upon by the Allied Powers and signed by them. I am sending a copy to M. Auguste de Talleyrand. The Swiss plenipotentiaries think that it will satisfy no party completely, but that it will not much offend any one. It is generally believed, therefore, that the stipulations it contains will be adopted.The next news that we receive here will probably decide Wellington's departure. His courier ought properly to arrive on the 21st; he will make up his mind on the 22nd.An excellent spirit reigns here. We think of nothing but Bonaparte. All the acts of the Congress will be directed against him. 2
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXV.
Declaration of the Powers assembled at Vienna on the subject of Switzerland. Annex No. 11 of the act of the Congress of Vienna. (See D'Angeberg, p. 934; Thiers, "History of the Consulate and the Empire," vol. xviii. p. 604.)
"You are doubtless already aware that Bonaparte has appointed M. de Caulaincourt Minister for Foreign Affairs; he has also nominated Carnot Minister of the Interior. The appointment of M. de Caulaincourt will, I think, necessitate on your part some steps which of course you have already considered. As for me, I am good for nothing; do not give me any mission -- I will not have any. All that will have to be done outside of the Congress, if indeed the Congress lives, will be a certain amount of intrigue, and already there are signs of emigration which are odious to me. You have round you men who are a hun. dred times more capable than I am.
" Durand has made me such noble frank proposals that, if I mentioned no one else, I should feel obliged to speak of him. Reinhardt is at Brussels; he will retire to his country house between Bonn and Cologne. He has, in accordance with my wish, carried off the seals of the ministry, as well as some important documents; he will send them by a safe opportunity. He writes to me in the bitterness of his heart, 'My family is safe, and I did not see Bonaparte enter Paris. This must be enough for me.'
"He believes that Bonaparte will leave the nation to the National Guard, even if they should come to blows; and march with his soldiers (who in reality are his only nation) to the banks of the Rhine, where, thanks to the dilatoriness of the Congress, he may find some adherents, as well as in Belgium. I myself thought that he would like to be attacked in order to unite all parties in a common hatred against the foreigner; but perhaps it is true that the reannexation of Belgium and of the frontier of the Rhine are objects of almost equal interest to the nation; and a success, if the rapidity of his advance should give him one, will have a prodigious effect.
"The precautions taken in the country are an evidence of uneasiness. No newspapers; they are all stopped. Passports are not given or visé without extreme difficulties. Trade is beginning to complain. Do you not think that M. Zeppelin will stay at Paris? I have written as strongly as I could to tell them to send you at least a duplicate of the whole correspondence. It is important that you should know all that is going on in the diplomatic corps. I have given passports to them all; but I have some idea that M. de Zeppelin and M. de Waltersdorf will remain, perhaps even M. de Fagel, the latter to watch: the pretence of waiting for orders would be already a concession. You will, however, have means for obtaining information. At this juncture we shall derive great advantage from the spirit which dictated the appointments of our ambassadors. I think that the Prince de Laval, who had asked for his passport, will stay at his post, or even would return to it. He will be more in the way of corresponding with you than many others as long as Italy remains quiet. They will have, of course, the sense to think of their five or six thousand exiles, whom they must not throw into the arms of Bonaparte, but who are very much embittered.
"We are expecting the Duke of Wellington. Nothing less than his presence can assure the English, who are all moving away.
"The great Blacas has drawn out his travelling equipage; he has not achieved wonders, he has made only a great middle-class fortune. Louis leaves all his, amounting to thirty-five millions; it is distressing, for this would have been enough to advance upon the Rhine. The bonhomme has already taxed cotton and increased the severity of the custom-house: people will kiss the tyrant's hand and pay.
" Adieu. My misgivings were not premature when I sent you my sad conjectures; well I am not any happier.
"The King's philosophy points to Hartwell, and the activity of the princes just suffices to make them listen to every suggestion and follow their own inclinations blindly. Perhaps you will write the epitaph of this madman; this will be a fine thing, but then France will be ruined.
" D'André is at Brussels, where he is playing his own little game with Fouché.
"Good-bye. I hope you will be able to keep enough to be only poor. The position is honorable, but I am not fond of poverty. Bresson has thought of the sum which is not included in the budget, and is no doubt awaiting your orders; it is reduced to eighty thousand francs. I dare say that he will be able to keep the disposal of it. As for me, dear friend, I have fifty thousand francs, and yet not a sou, if, as is reported, the hero of Elba seizes the property of the Provisional Government and banishes its members." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, Ostend, 27th March, 1815.
Vienna, 19th March, p.m., 1815.
I have the honor of forwarding to your Majesty a letter which I have just received from the Russian minister. It seems to leave nothing to be desired on the subject it relates to. The sentiments it expresses are excellent, and in accordance with the language the Emperor holds at present. He has throughout shown the very best spirit.It is proposed to have two armies in the field and two in reserve.The line of operations of the one will extend from the sea to the Main; it will be composed of English, Dutch, and Hanoverians, with the North German contingents and Prussians. All to be under the command of the Duke of Wellington.The second will have its line of operations between the Main and the Mediterranean, and will be commanded by Prince Schwarzenberg. This army will consist of Austrians, Piedmontese, Swiss, and South German contingents.The commander-in-chief for the Italian army has not yet been named.Of the two armies in reserve, the one will be called the Army in reserve of the North, and commanded by Marshal Blücher.The other, commanded by General Barclay de Tolly, will be the Army in reserve of the South. 1 All this is only what is proposed, but it seems to suit Austria and England. We shall shortly have some definite information as to the strength of each of these armies.I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER LXXVI.
A letter from Vienna inserted In the Moniteur of the 21st of April, 1815, said, "Lord Wellington will operate in the Low Countries, Fleld-Marshal Blücher between the Rhine and the Moselle, and Field-Marshal Schwarzenberg on the frontiers of Switzerlaud."
Vienna, 20th March, 1815.
The Emperor Francis has just ordered Madame de Montesquieu to deliver up to him the boy who is under her care. Her language at the present juncture has been so opposed to the decisions taken by Austria and the other Powers, that the Emperor would not any longer allow his grandchild to remain with her. She will to-morrow receive orders to return to France. The boy will be established at Vienna, in the palace. It will be impossible, therefore, to carry him away. Several circumstances induced the belief that this would have been attempted. 1 I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER LXXVII.
The day when Talleyrand wrote this letter about the King of Rome was the one chosen by Napoleon for his entry into Paris, as being his son's birthday.
Vienna, 23rd March, 1815.
The Duc de Rohan-Montbazon arrived on the night before last and brought me your Majesty's letters. All the measures had been already taken when he arrived, and he found the declaration of the 13th of this month posted up in the Rhenish provinces, By this time it must be circulated all over France. I hope that its effect may be to deprive traitors of confidence and to give courage to the loyal.
The forces which Austria, Russia, England, Prussia, Bavaria, Holland, Germany, and Sardinia will bring into the field, will form, including the garrisons, a total of more than seven hundred thousand men, ready to act whenever they are required. The Prussians have already eighty thousand men on the Rhine; the English, Dutch, and Hanoverians, an equal number. Two hundred and fifty thousand Russians will arrive there at the end of April, with five hundred and ninety pieces of ordnance.
I think that, instead of three, there will be four armies in the field, one of which will be under the command of Marshal Blücher.The Allied Powers themselves earnestly wish that it may not be necessary to employ any portion of these forces, and that France may be able to do without their help. But a request from your Majesty will bring them at once into the field. The newspapers we have received to-day from Paris, and which reach to the 14th inclusive, 1 give me hopes that your Majesty will not be obliged to leave Paris. 2 If the contrary should be the case, what appears to us here as most desirable would be that your Majesty should retire, if it were absolutely necessary, to some strong place in the north, 3 on the fidelity of which you could perfectly rely; that the two Chambers and the portion of the army which remains faithful, and to which some of the National Guard might be added, should follow your Majesty thither. The most important of all things to avoid is to allow your Majesty to appear isolated, which might have the effect of dividing your Majesty's cause from that of the nation, whereas they are in reality one and the same. 4 The Duke of Wellington wishes he were already in Belgium at the head of the troops he is to command, so as to be ready whatever may happen, and this makes him very anxious to despatch the affairs which have still to be terminated.Some objections have been started here to the departure of Madame de Montesquieu, and to-day there was a talk of sending her to Linz.Your Majesty will no doubt be sorry to hear that Madame de Brionne died yesterday. She was eighty-one years of age.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXVIII.
"The newspapers, my dear Jaucourt, give a good impression -- I am speaking of those of the 12th, 18th, and 14th, which are full of the regimental addresses; and I advise you to arrange with the Foreign Ministers to send off, one or other of you, every day, a courier to Vienna."
-- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 23rd March, 1815. "To confess the truth, the King's part would have been a splendid one if he had remained in Paris. The King announced this resolution at first; he changed his mind twice. It is a great pity. I shall never believe that the town of Paris would have allowed him to be murdered by that man. The troops would have fired on us. However, it is all over. It is absolutely necessary to reconstruct a nucleus, to gain over the commander of a fortified post and keep a footing on the sacred soil. For if the King returns in the rear of a foreign army, he will give famous opportunities to all the machinations of the Jacobins and of Bonaparte, who make common cause at present."
-- From Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 4th April, 1815.
"I believe I told you what passed on the day of the King's departure. In the first place, M. de Blacas did not own to it except very ambiguously, begging at the same time that it might be kept secret. I found myself in the King's way as he left his apartment. He whispered to me, 'Tell my ministers that I am going to Lille, and that I wish them to assemble here. Tell the ambassadors that I shall be charmed to see them at Lille, out that they are perfectly free, if they prefer it, to return to their respective Courts.'"
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 2nd April, 1815. On the 19th of April Talleyrand writes to Jaucourt: "We cannot understand here why so many people have been sent away. It seems to me that it would have been very useful if a nucleus of Frenchmen of all opinions and conditions had surrounded the King. . . .
" Marshal the Duke of Ragusa's wish not to remain inactive is, no doubt, as natural as it is praiseworthy; but, in my opinion, it is not with the aid of foreigners that it becomes him and the other generals who surround the long to give proofs of their devotion.
"The Swiss, although they have long been friendly to France and well affected to our royal family, are, nevertheless, not French. The thing to be desired is that the King should raise an army of Frenchmen, under the orders of his officers, of which the nucleus, it seems to me, might be formed at once, and which, beyond doubt, would be easily recruited, and would become numerous as soon as, by means of the King's armies entering our territory, the country they occupy will be freed from the influence of Bonaparte. The return of the King to his kingdom at the head of a national army would exercise, both in the provinces which are faithful to him, as well as in those which have not yet returned to their allegiance, a very different and more powerful influence than that which he would produce by entering only at the back of foreign armies.
"As for you, Count, it is necessary that you should remain with the King. You must be with him in order to lay before him the correspondences of his ministers at foreign Courts, to transmit his orders and instructions to them, and to give them intelligence. It is very essential that, in circumstances like the present, he should receive frequent information on all that is going on. I beg of you to write to them as often as possible."
-- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 19th April, 1815.
Vienna, 23rd March, 1815.
This letter will be taken to your Majesty by a Prussian courier who starts to-day.
I have just seen a letter written entirely by the hand of Bonaparte, and addressed to the Archduchess Marie Louise. It is dated the 11th of March from Lyons, and announces that he will reach Paris about the 21st. This letter, which is entrusted to General Songeon, who betrayed your Majesty, was carried by an officer of the 7th Hussars, called Nyon, to M. de Bubna, who sent it on hither. It is written for two purposes: first, to make his army and his followers believe that he is in relations with Austria; and, secondly, to persuade Austria that he has an immense following in France. To this letter were added a number of proclamations, 1 all horrible. He talks of a former letter which has not arrived.
At Lyons his army was composed of the 14th Hussars, and the 23rd, 24th, 5th, 7th, and 11th of the line. Each of these regiments consists of only one thousand men, and, added to those he had already, bring his army up to from nine to ten thousand men at the utmost. (His date is the 11th.) 2
It was reported that he was marching towards Charolais, where the feeling in general is said to be unfavorable to us. He was still at Lyons on the 13th.
Here there is complete unanimity. Your Majesty may rely upon this. I will answer for it.
To accelerate matters the Emperor of Russia proposes to draw up the stipulations relating to Poland as a special treaty between Russia, Austria, and Prussia. This was settled at this morning's conference. This private agreement will be inserted in the general treaty.
The sovereign prince of the Low Countries will take the title of King of the Netherlands. It will be announced to-morrow, and acceded to on the same day.
We are now going to tackle the question of Italy, in which we have gained considerable ground against Murat.
I have obtained the recall of Herr von Schraut, the Austrian minister in Switzerland, who has been holding very objectionable language. It seems that his health has a great deal to do with his misdemeanors.
I am sending to France M. de la Tour du Pin, who is, at present, of no use to me here. My object is to place him with Marshal Masséna, to encourage the Marshal to take possession in your Majesty's name of all that Bonaparte has temporarily seized; to let him know that he has no possible cause for fearing the disposition of the Allied Powers, and to offer him all the external succors which your Majesty thinks he can require. I shall take no steps in this matter until I have received a formal order from your Majesty.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXIX.
This allusion is to Napoleon's two proclamations, one to his soldiers, the other to the French people from the Gulf of St. Juan, 1st March, 1815.
"When the King left Paris his effective force, all included, amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand men. To increase it Bonaparte recalled all who were on leave. One hundred and six thousand of these have returned. He also recalled all who had retired, and the opinion of the military bureaux is that this recall will bring in one hundred and fifty thousand men; but the country between Bordeaux and Marseilles will yield few or none at all, so that the best calculators estimate that the utmost this measure would afford would be one hundred thousand men, but these would be seasoned troops. On the whole, therefore, the army at his disposal on the 20th of March would amount to two hundred and fifty thousand men; of which fifty thousand must be subtracted for the depôts and those in hospital, so that his army will consist of not less than two hundred thousand efficient troops between the 20th and 25th of March.
"The cavalry of this army amounted, when the King left, to twenty-one thousand. Marshal Macdonald, who furnished these details to me, estimates that, in spite of the paucity of saddle horses, it may be carried to thirty thousand. These are naturally included in the two hundred thousand efficient troops.
"The King left behind twelve thousand pieces of ordnance of all calibres; so Bonaparte may have as large an artillery force as he wishes. He will have plenty of draught horses; he will take one or two from every commune according to its strength, and he will pay for them by reducing his requisitions, by which means he will not exhaust his funds. He will take the peasants' carts to supply his want of ammunition wagons.
"I do not attach much value to the two million two hundred and fifty thousand National Guards that he is forming into battalions in every department. The Marshal thinks, however, that he will be able with the battalions of grenadiers and chasseurs to furnish the garrisons of his fortresses, which he will hold by throwing into them the depôts, with officers of the line to command them.
" Bonaparte, when I left, had three hundred thousand muskets, without including the arms of the hundred and fifty thousand men of his army. He can therefore only arm four hundred and fifty thousand men. He has powder and projectiles enough for his summer campaign."
-- Ghent, Beurnonville to Talleyrand, 26th April, 1815.
Vienna, 26th March, 1815.
The Emperor Alexander having yesterday desired me to go to see him, this morning, at 11 o'clock, I went to the Palace. He has never been so civil to me since I reached Vienna. "We must," he said, "banish all recriminations, and consider frankly what may be useful in the present state of affairs, not in order to seek out what has led to it, but to find a remedy." He talked to me abundantly, and with enthusiasm, of his affection for your Majesty. If necessary, he is ready to spend his last soldier and his last shilling in your Majesty's service. He even spoke like a valiant soldier who does not fear the risk of life or limb. He would sacrifice his life rather than abandon a cause in which he feels that his honor is engaged. On my side, I professed the utmost trust in him; and indeed I have for some time let him know that I entertained this confidence, through the medium of those who are most with him, and with whom I am intimate. If the assistance of foreign Powers becomes indispensable, it will be good for us that the Emperor, who can have no ambitious project at our expense, should play the chief part.
He often repeated to me: "Tell the King that this is not the time for clemency; he is defending the interests of Europe." He several times praised your Majesty for having resolved on not quitting Paris.
The forces to be employed, and of which he had the return, make up a total of eight hundred and sixty thousand men.
The Treaty of Chaumont, the stipulations of which are renewed, gives six hundred thousand, and this without counting the Army of Italy, which amounts to a hundred and fifty thousand, besides the Russian and Prussian reserves.
The Prussians have already on the Rhine seventy thousand infantry, seven thousand cavalry, and five thousand artillery. They are preparing in addition a hundred and fifty-nine thousand infantry, nineteen thousand cavalry, and six thousand artillery.
The Russians begin to understand that they cannot repose a full confidence in Austria until she has absolutely declared herself against Murat. I found the Emperor very well disposed on this subject. We meet this evening to sign the treaty of co-operation. I proposed yesterday to insert in it the following article: "The present treaty, having no other end in view but to support France, or any other country which may be invaded, against the enterprises of Bonaparte and his adherents, his Most Christian Majesty shall be specially invited to accede hereunto; and, in the event of his Majesty's requiring the forces stipulated in the second article, to make known what assistance circumstances will allow him to bring forward in furtherance of the objects of the present treaty." Although this article has not been definitively adopted, I have every reason to believe that it will be.
I am, etc.
Vienna, 29th March, 1815.
I need not express to your Majesty my feelings on learning the disasters which have followed each other with such incredible rapidity. Your Majesty may estimate my sorrow by remembering my attachment to your person, which is as well known as my zeal and devotion. All my energies shall be always consecrated to your Majesty's service. I say so once for all; I shall not repeat this.
The treaty of co-operation was signed on the evening of the 25th; it was officially notified to me on the 27th. I have the honor of enclosing to your Majesty a copy of this treaty, 1 as well as copies of the Note communicated to me at the same time by the plenipotentiaries, and of my reply. 2
As soon as this important affair was concluded, the Duke of Wellington would no longer put off joining his army; he left Vienna this morning at six o'clock.
We are redoubling our efforts to bring the affairs of the Congress to a termination. In my opinion, it will end in April. More than ever I think it important that its last act should be one of solemn significance, for it will prove to the whole world that the Powers are of one mind, and steadfastly determined on maintaining the conditions which Bonaparte's attempt is calculated to overturn.
As your Majesty may be embarrassed at this moment for defraying the expenses of the French Chancellerie, of the mission to the Congress, and of the couriers and other messengers for obtaining information, I have made arrangements with England to meet them. Your Majesty need not, therefore, be troubled with this subject. 3
I am very anxious for news, and to hear of your Majesty's arrival. I trust that your Majesty has taken with you all the letters I had the honor of addressing to your Majesty, and that you have ordered M. de Jaucourt to carry with him every gaper relating to the Congress. 4 I think that there must be some things in my letters which would displease the Powers who now are favorable to us, but who may often have been severely commented upon during the last six months.I am keeping with me two 5 trustworthy couriers to communicate with the place chosen as a retreat by your Majesty. They will never attempt to enter France except by the frontiers which your Majesty considers safe.I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXXI.
Treaty of the Quadruple Alliance, concluded at Vienna on the 25th of March, 1815, between Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia (see D' Angeberg, p. 971).
A Note of Prince Talleyrand's of the 27th March gives the adhesion of France to the treaty of the 25th March ( D' Angeberg, p. 984).
"I suppose that M. de Blacas has made you acquainted with his pecuniary situation. If he speaks truly it is very indifferent. He has the crown diamonds and four millions. I hear from other quarters -- not from him -- that he has, besides, all that remains out of the extra six millions which may have been squeezed out of the taxes for the works at Versailles." -- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 10th April, 1815.
"I recommend you to take the King's orders with regard to his ministers at foreign Courts who are neither able nor willing to return to France; they must receive a salary. We can do nothing here in this respect, because our payments have been suspended since the date of the 20th of March, the day of Bonaparte's entry into Paris. I have arranged for ourselves at Vienna with the English Legation, which, after receiving the assent of its Government, will advance us enough for our daily expenses."
-- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 19th April, 1815.
Reinhardt writes to M. de Talleyrand from Brussels, 28th March, 1815:
"I did not take with me, Prince, any important papers. At midnight M. de Jaucourt came to the office to send off couriers to Vienna, and he signed the circular letters giving to the foreign envoys the choice of either joining the King at Lille or returning straight to their respective Governments.
" M. de Jaucourt, knowing that I was resolved not to remain, wrote an order to M. d'Hauterive authorizing him to sign in the interim; but, as I was the first in rank, I was obliged to have a reason to enable me to leave. He gave me the commission of carrying the seals of the office.
"As for the papers, not one of the Department took any away. Not one of the subordinates was willing to follow without an express order from the King. It would have been more dangerous to carry them away than to hide or burn them. as M. de Bresson ordered with regard to those under his charge which might have compromised people. . . .
"Nevertheless, I am sorry that I did not take away the treaties of the 3rd of January. I cannot remember that there were any others in the Chancellerie which might lead to serious consequences."
" Reinhardt was to have joined us with some of the materials of his office. He broke the seal, and started probably on the same day as I did, which was
the day after the King's departure. All I did was to burn your letters and to leave word that Mariotti's should be burnt. . . . I should have done better if I had removed those documents; but, besides that I was very much hurried, the chiefs of the Department were in bed, and I do not know if they would have been willing to allow me." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 27th March, 1815.
"I strongly suspect that your courier, who I am told was Augustin, did not take much pains to go straight to M. de Caulaincourt."
-- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 4th April, 1815.
Vienna, 30th March, 1815.
General Pozzo is setting out to join your Majesty; I cannot let him go without a letter from me.
All the Powers are perfectly agreed as to the destruction of Bonaparte; they consider it a matter of personal interest.
The Emperor of Russia holds the very best language; he is setting all his troops in movement, and thinks this question of such importance that he ought to spend in it his last soldier and his last shilling. He will himself march with the army. I hope the diplomatic corps has followed your Majesty. I am expecting news of your Majesty's movements with extreme impatience.
I am, etc.
Vienna, 3rd April, 1815.
As Lord Claucarty is sending a courier to London who will pass through Belgium, I seize the opportunity for acquainting your Majesty with the present state of affairs here.
A few days ago, we heard that Murat had entered the Papal States, and that the Pope had been obliged to quit Rome. This event has at last opened the eyes of Austria, and made an end of all her hesitations. We are now very nearly of one mind with regard to the Italian question, which will very soon be definitively settled. All that will then remain for us to do will be to collect all the articles already agreed upon, and form them into the act which is to terminate the Congress; for I am more than ever anxious that there should be such an act.Your Majesty's embassy here has not lost position; it enjoys as much respect and exercises as much influence as if your Majesty were still in Paris and the royal authority unimpaired throughout the kingdom. I can assure your Majesty that this position will not be altered.I have received no direct news since your Majesty's departure from Paris; 1 I am awaiting it with extreme impatience. I venture to add that it is of the highest importance that I should be kept informed of your Majesty's movements and intentions.I am, etc.P.S. -- I much wish that your Majesty would bestow on me a detailed list of the persons who followed the Court, and those who are expected. Proper names are very useful. Was the Archbishop of Rheims able to follow your Majesty?I have heard nothing from M. de Jaucourt. Your Majesty will allow me to put this letter into his envelope. M. de Vincent arrived here this morning. The Austrian Government will probably receive through the Secretary of the Austrian Legation, M. Lefébvre, a letter from Bonaparte or the Duke of Vicenza; but this communication will receive no answer and produce no effect.My letter No. 45, which has come back to me, will show your Majesty how many have miscarried.
NOTE TO LETTER LXXXIII.
On the night of the 19th-20th March, 1815.
Vienna, 5th April, 1815.
The events which have taken place in France have in no respect altered the position of your Majesty's ministers at the Congress, where the affairs which concern the future arrangements of Europe continue to be discussed in the same way as they were before. I have reason to hope that all that remains to be settled will be arranged in conformity with the wishes which your Majesty has expressed to me.In several letters which I have had the honor of writing, and which have perhaps not reached your Majesty, I said that it appeared very important to all who are here, as well as to myself, that your Majesty should not quit French territory, or, at any rate, if this were impossible, that you should remain as near to it as practicable. If I were to venture to give an opinion, which is also that of the ministers of all the Powers, I should say that a residence in a town as near the sea as Ostend can only produce a hurtful effect on public opinion, because it may give the impression that your Majesty is disposed to quit the Continent and to put the sea between yourself and your kingdom. The residence which, under the present circumstances, seems, if the state of affairs will allow of it, the most suitable for your Majesty, would be Liège; it is thought that the disposition of the army would make that town safe.We are now occupied here in settling a second declaration of the Congress, which will confirm all the arrangements announced by the Powers in that of the 13th of March. It will be an answer to all Bonaparte's 1 proclamations since he has become the master of Paris, and I cannot help thinking that it will produce a great effect wherever it is published; it is especially calculated to affect the public mind in France.The only letter I have received since your Majesty quitted Paris is the one with which you condescended to honor me, dated the 26th of March. 2 I have received none from M. de Blacas nor from M. de Jaucourt, and I must inform your Majesty that this neglect is extremely painful to me and hurtful to our affairs here.I am, etc.P.S. -- I enclose a letter which I sent by a courier, and which has come back to me, as well as one which the same courier was taking to M. de Jaucourt.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXXIV.
"You will have seen an answer from M. Bignon to the Declaration of the Powers in which there is some of Bonaparte's own work. He takes care to suppress the document, and afterwards choosing some isolated passages, he answers and distributes in every direction his reply to an unknown document. Lally is charged with answering it, and he will do so admirably, but the difficuaty is how to make his answer known to the French public." -- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 9th April, 1815. This letter is wanting in the manuscripts of the Department for Foreign Affairs. It will be found aftetr Letter C.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
No. 1 from Ghent.
Ghent, 9th April, 1815.
I have received your No. 46 by the hand of Prince V. do R -----. 1 Your expressions of attachment are always very agree. able to me, and in such a painful moment they are, of course, more welcome than ever; but I had no need of them to give me an absolute trust in your fidelity.
The treaty of the 25th of March, the sequel and complement of the declaration of the 13th, being directed solely against Bonaparte, I do not hesitate in desiring you to accede to it in my name. If you require an authorization ad hoc, you shall have it immediately; but in the meanwhile I authorize you in these words to act as if you had received one.
The weight that I am able to put into the balance is nineteentwentieths of the French nation, of whose sentiments neither I nor the Powers can entertain any doubt. But this powerful engine cannot be set in motion without external succors; the Allied armies must therefore enter France, and the sooner the better. Each instant of delay deprives me of strength, because it is in the nature of intense excitement to be always on the point of declining: and, on the other hand, delay gives strength to the enemy, because it gives him time to assemble his forces, and, by means which he knows only too well how to employ, to turn in his favor those who at present ask nothing better than to arm in my cause.
The Duke of Wellington, whom I saw yesterday, and whose zeal in my service I cannot possibly overpraise, has despatched a courier to ask permission to act without waiting until all the other armies are assembled. I need not tell you to support this request earnestly. If they wait until all the forces are assembled, it will be impossible for the troops to effect anything before the 1st of June. I have no doubt as to our ultimate success, but Bonaparte would then be crushed only under the ruins of France, 2 while immediate action will still more certainly insure his destruction and save our country. This may not be the object of other nations, but it must be ours.The Duke of Wellington tells me that the counter-proposal which I sent to you on the 7th of March has been adopted. I am very glad of it. I am also much pleased with the arrangements you have made regarding the Chancellerie, the couriers, etc. It relieves my finances, which are very slender at present. 3 I have brought with me all the letters and documents you have sent me since you reached Vienna, and I ordered M. de Jaucourt to do likewise.Your courage has not been shaken by these events; of this I was convinced beforehand. You see that mine is not so either.
On which, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXXV.
Prince Victor de Rohan
. "I would bet ten to one that Bonaparte will fall, but I should not like to bet that the Bourbons will succeed, still less that they will remain. Nothing is so easy as to destroy and lay waste France, and to bring about a revolution in her Government; nothing is so difficult as to maintain her -- to replace her as she was on the day after the royal Council. "Great God! what a long way have we travelled since that day!
"To express it in one word, the road led straight to the island of Elba." -Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 10th April, 1815.
In a letter to Talleyrand, dated 24th April, 1815, M. de Jaucourt says --
"I own that the confusion of orders, the shame of the flight, our impotency in consequence of our not having a penny, the quiet imbecility with which M. de Blacas replies, 'I am very sorry, but I could not make the King unpopular,' as if the twenty-five millions which ought to have been taken out three days earlier might not have been replaced a week later. . . . I could fill ten pages with this subject, and I say all this renders indispensable some measure which will banish M. de Blacas from the ranks of politicians."
Vienna, 13th April, 1815.
Since Bonaparte is now master of Paris, the Allied Powers have thought that it might be advisable to renew, by a second Declaration, the proclamation of the sentiments expressed in the Declaration of the 13th of March. There is every reason to believe that, with the exception of a few individuals, all who in France belong to any party or opinion desire the same thing -- the fall of Bonaparte. We wish to make use of this unanimous desire to effect his destruction. When once this object is accomplished, the private opinions of each individual party will find themselves without support, without power, without means of action, and will no longer offer any obstacle. 1
The Declaration, therefore, was calculated to persuade every member of every party to compass the fall of Bonaparte. Although of one mind as to the substance, they could not agree as to the form, and for the present its publication is adjourned. They even think of substituting for a declaration of the Congress an identical proclamation, to be issued by all the generals commanding the Allied troops on their entrance on French territory; and I am not indisposed to adopt this idea, which seems to me to possess many recommendations.
All that I hear from France proves that Bonaparte is in great dif ficulties. The emissaries he has sent here also lead me to believe this. 2
One of them, M. de Montrond, has reached Vienna, with the assistance of the Abbé Altieri, an attaché of the Austrian Legation in Paris. He had no despatches or ostensible mission, and he was more probably sent by the party which favors Bonaparte than by Bonaparte himself. This is what I am inclined to think. He had messages for M. de Nesselrode, Prince Metternich, and me. He was to ascertain whether the foreign Powers were determined on not recognizing Bonaparte, and on making war against him. He had also a letter for Prince Eugène. What he was desired to ask me was if I really could make up my mind to excite a war against France. "Read the Declaration," I replied; "it does not contain a single word with which I do not agree. The question, too, is not of a war against France, but of a war against the man of Elba." He asked Prince Metternich if the Austrian Government had entirely lost sight of the views it entertained in March, 1814. "The Regency? We do not wish for it," replied Prince Metternich. Lastly, he tried to find out from Prince Nesselrode what were the intentions of the Emperor Alexander. "The destruction of Bonaparte and his followers," was the reply; and so the matter ended.
Pains were taken to acquaint M. de Montrond with the strength of the forces which are to be immediately employed, as well as with the treaty of last March. He returned to Paris with this information and these replies, which will probably give considerable matter for reflection to those who are now attached to Bonaparte's fortunes.His second emissary was Count Flahault. When he reached Stuttgart, the King of Würtemberg had him arrested and taken back to the frontier. He had despatches for the Emperor of Austria, the Emperor Alexander, the Empress Marie Louise, and for your Majesty's Legation at Vienna (these were, we supposed, the despatches being marked private, letters for annulling the powers of your Majesty's Embassy at Vienna). The Allied Powers continue very favorable. I can assure your Majesty that it is an enterprise of extreme difficulty to drive so many people to the same goal, I labor unceasingly to keep them all from straying out of the right path. 3 The territorial arrangements for Southern Germany were settled yesterday. A few days more, and I hope that the Congress will have finished all its business.I shall have the honor of sending you by the next English courier, who will start on Saturday, the 15th, the declaration of war on the part of Austria against Murat. 4 It is very badly expressed. This affair will, I hope, be soon terminated, and to your satisfaction.
I am, etc.
P.S. -- M. Fauche-Borel is the bearer of this letter.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXXVI.
"The measures taken ever since he reached Paris by the Government of Bonaparte, the men he has chosen for ministers, the direction in which every means is tried to force public opinion, prove Bonaparte to be under the influence of all that are left in France of the old Revolutionary parties, and that it is from them alone hat he derives all his power of action within the country. It is nevertheless notorious that none of these parties, or of the men of whom they are composed, really like Bonaparte, because they are perfectly aware that if he succeeds in consolidating his authority, he win deprive them (as he did when for the first time he seized the reigns of government), of the share of power he is obliged to leave to them, now that he requires their support. It is, therefore, evident the they have joined him only because they could find no other means of escaping from a state of things in which all participation in public business was withheld from them and they even thought they had reason to fear for their own safety.
"But it does not seem to me doubtful that they would be the first to overthrow Bonaparte if the Government which they expected to succeed him would offer guarantees on which they could perfectly depend, which would not only deliver them from all anxiety, but might also satisfy their ambition. The Allied Powers agree in this opinion, and this is why they wish that the King, in a proclamation to precede the meeting of the electoral colleges which Bonaparte has summoned to Paris, should endeavor to rally all parties to his standard by assuring to every one without distinction all the advantages of the constitutional system. The Allied Powers consider that a royal declaration couched in these terms would be a powerful auxiliary to the forces they are about to bring into the field. Several of the Powers would also wish that the King, imputing the blunders which may have been committed to his former ministers, should form a new ministry just as if he were in France, and that its composition should offer the requisite guarantees to each party. I am writing to the King on this subject by the Comte de Noailles, who also takes this letter to you. As I know that the ministers who are to be sent by the Allied Powers to his Majesty will mention the subject to him, I should wish that his Majesty might forestall their arguments by a resolution in accordance with the views which I have had the honor of expounding to you; and I beg you to do everything in your power to persuade the King to take this course."
-- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 22nd April, 1815.
Here is what Napoleon says of this mission in his Memoirs:
" Montrond's mission had several objects: to gain over Talleyrand; to carry letters to the Empress and bring back answers; to furnish Talleyrand with an opportunity for writing to France, and for seizing the threads of the plots which he had woven there.
"All these objects were accomplished." 9th May, 1815.
"Saint- Léon reached Vienna yesterday, my dear Prince. He is a friendly envoy sent by M. de Mollien, and has come partly on business of my own. His instructions were to make me uneasy about a great law-suit which is to be instituted against mein the National Court of Justice. Montrond had failed with his measure of sequestration; something more was wanted. Here it is!
"In other respects Saint- Léon is a good and fine fellow, but about as fit for politics as Dupont de Nemours, who also would have certainly been sent to me, if he had not already started for America. Always yours." -- Talleyrand to Metternich.
"I am convinced that you are, and that you think yourself, the real diplomatic Cabinet of France, and that the whole diplomacy of Europe is assembled at Vienna." -- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 4th April, 1815. Declaration of the Court of Vienna on the conduct of the King of Naples, 12th April, 1815 (see D'Angeberg, p. 1065).
APPENDIX TO NO. 50 (LETTER LXXXVI).
Proposed Declaration laid before the Conference of the Eight Powers assembled at Vienna by the French Plenipotentiaries, on the 11th of April, 1815, and annexed to the Despatch of the 13th of April.
The European Powers had flattered themselves that they had secured a lasting peace to the world by the treaties of the 11th of April and 30th of May, 1814.
France was the first to profit by it; all her direct interests had been consulted, while those of the other nations remained liable to the future decisions of the Congress. Her ancient limits, far from being restricted, were extended. A monstrous despotism had been replaced by liberal institutions. Her colonies were restored to her, the seas once more opened to her. There was no longer any obstacle to the development of all the germs of prosperity within her frontiers. The evils of which she had been the instrument were no longer laid to her charge; there was a full and complete reconciliation between her and the rest of Europe. While she was enjoying at home all. the blessings of a paternal Government under her legitimate monarch, she drew new strength from the confidence she inspired abroad. Invited to the Congress, she exercised in it a full share of the influence appertaining to one of the principal members of the great European family. The man who to-day is loudly proclaiming that for fifteen years he has been meditating the subjection of the whole world, 1 and who, in the execution of his impious design, was willing to sacrifice the lives of two millions of Frenchmen, carrying everywhere sword and flame, and working incessantly for its attainments of violence and fraud; this man, unanimously rejected by the nation which had entrusted her happiness to him, and whose life even had had to be protected against the just indignation of this nation; 2 this man, whose character and actions have been blasted by the unanimous testimony of the authorities he had himself established, 3 by the declarations of the generals, and recently even by the proclamations of those 4 whom he has succeeded in seducing; -- this man, who not only was deposed, but himself abdicated his authority, and subsequently renounced it for himself and his family, by a solemn treaty with the Powers of Europe, who therefore alone could set him free, has returned to seize once more that sceptre, in the hope of again satisfying his unparalleled passion for tyranny at the expense of France and of Europe.
Europe neither can nor ought to suffer this; she is arming, not against France, but as much for the welfare of France as for her own security. She acknowledges no other enemy than Napoleon Bonaparte, and all who fight in his cause.
When, on the 1st of April, 1814, the Powers declared 5 that they would not treat for peace with him, every nation, the French among the first, applauded this resolution.
When first they heard of his appearance in the south of France in the month of March last, they declared that they would give him neither peace nor rest.Now that he has made himself master of Paris, and has succeeded in once more seizing the reins of power, they renew this declaration in the most solemn manner.No blow will be aimed at the independence of the French nation.The treaty of the 30th of May and the political and territorial arrangements settled at the Congress will continue to regulate the relations between France and the rest of Europe.If Europe should find herself driven into this new and unexpected war, she is determined that neither Napoleon Bonaparte nor his family shall profit by his criminal attempt; that this obstacle to the peace of the world shall be removed; and that France shall guarantee security to the rest of the world and to herself by her institutions. When this end has been accomplished, then, and not till then, will the Powers lay down their arms.
NOTES TO THE APPENDIX.
Napoleon, it is true, said in his proclamation that he had wished to rule over Europe; but he added, "We must (now) forget that we have been chief among nations."
This allusion is to the threatening attitude of the South in 1814 towards the Emperor when on his way to the island of Elba.
The Senate, which proclaimed his deposition in a Declaration much resembling the above.
Of Ney, among others.
Prior to the abdication at Fontainebleau, 6th April, 1814.
Vienna, 15th April, 1815.
I have delivered the three letters which your Majesty desired M. de Jaucourt to send to me. I venture to mention that it seemed to me, from some questions whose object was to discover whether your Majesty was pleased with the Declaration, that the Emperors had expected to find some expressions of satisfaction in these lettera.
1 Nevertheless, I perceive, both in their words and in their actions, nothing but proofs of the perfect concord at present established among them, and which I will do my utmost to keep up to the end. M. Pozzo must have told your Majesty what trouble it was, in circumstances which were much less complicated, to reconcile interests which were determined to think themselves incompatible.The Russian troops reached Bohemia four days sooner than they were expected. It would not be surprising if, although they come from the Vistula, they reached the Rhine before, or at least as soon as, the Austrian troops.There are such conflicting opinions here on the strength and position of the army under the Duke of Wellington's orders, that I should be very glad if your Majesty would have the kindness to desire M. de Jaucourt to give me precise information on this subject, and especially as to the period when it may be expected to enter France.
2 Marshal Wrède leaves us in two days. He will stay at Munich four days, and thence repair to his command. The troops under his orders, as well as the Prussian troops, are extremely eager.
3 The Austrians have received news from Italy, dated the 7th of April, with which, on the whole, they are satisfied. But they are very easily satisfied. Their motive for satisfaction is that Murat's troops, after having tried without success to carry the bridge of Occhiobello, 4 were forced to retire, and his whole army is between Modena, Ferrara, and the coast. General Frimont hoped to be in a position to give battle towards the 12th.I have the honor of transmitting to your Majesty the Declaration against Murat, which has been officially communicated to me by Prince Metternich.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER LXXXVII.
1. Talleyrand wrote to Jaucourt on the same subject on the 19th of April, 1815, from Vienna: "I have delivered the King's letters which you enclosed; they make me more and more sorry that M. Reinhardt is not with the King. They did not give much satisfaction. The sovereigns expected to find in them some gratitude for the Declaration they have published, and they let me see their disappointment. However, what I tell you about this is a mere observation; it is intended only to induce you to carry all matters connected with our department with a high hand, for M. de Blacas seems to Know very little about them. We cannot understand here why so many people have been sent away; it seems to me that it would have been very useful to collect a nucleus of Frenchmen of all opinions, and from all parts of the country, round the King."
1. M. de Jaucourt answers from Ghent, 23d April:
"I not only wrote at once to Reinhardt, but I made use of the people who were passing through Frankfort, where he is watched by the police, to tell him to come hither. I think I may be certain that among the motives which may postpone his return, there is none personal to me. He has some friendship for me, and he is aware of my great esteem for him. His presence would be all the more useful to us because, without reference to his former opinions, he would at the present time be most anxious to represent the King as the preserver of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. All who have not forgotten the state of France agree in this, but here, unfortunately, they are not the majority."
2. "The Allies, although they are the King's allies, are at the best only generous enemies to France, and what is their generosity? You have seen the Russian proclamations -- they are furious. The Duke of Wellington has written about them to the King of Prussia. You may be sure that Bonaparte will post them up, and will treat us to some of his own performances to the same tune."
-- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand 10th April, 1815.
3. "All that I hear of the behavior of the Prussians disturbs me, not only on account of the mischief and excesses of all kinds of which they are guilty. but because there may be more analogy than is convenient between the spirit which animates them and that which inspires those who at present rule over France." -- Ghent, Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 23d April, 1815. "My policy reduces itself to points on which I am certain . . . to give the King the most popular aspect which can be attributed to a sovereign who follows in the wake of hostile armies. To his person is attached the integrity of France; to his cause is attached the generosity of the Allies; to him, finally, is attached the Treaty of Vienna. All kinds of promises should be held out to the soldiers who rally round the King, and these promises should be kept. Paris must be spared -- it will count on this beforehand; the same language should be held which you and your friends have always held, and wished others to hold. Do not forget, dear friend, that the mortal enemies of Bonaparte are the friends of liberty; that they are detested by him; and that, through our folly, he has found an entrance among those who voted for his death. You know that Bonaparte has granted the liberty of the Press. . . .
"The devil himself could not persuade M. de Blacas to let me have the newspapers, which axe rigorously suppressed here."
-- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 2nd April, 1815.
4. The Moniteur of the 30th April said --
" Vienna, 15th April.
"On the 8th King Joachim commanded in person several very sharp attacks against the bridge of Occhiobello. He failed in each attempt, and in the evening the enemy was forced to retreat, after suffering considerable loss."
APPENDIX TO NO. 51 (LETTER LXXXVII.)
Declaration against Murat.
The Minister of State and for Foreign Affairs of the Emperor of Austria has submitted to his Imperial Majesty the Declaration that the plenipotentiaries of Naples did him the honor of forwarding to him on the 8th of this month. He is ordered to make the following reply:
The treaty of alliance between Austria and the Court of Naples had hardly been concluded when it was impossible to help remarking, from the prolonged inaction of the Neapolitan army, as well as from many undeniable proofs which fell into the hands of the allied armies, that the King, far from uniting with them in promoting the common objects which the Powers were endeavoring to attain in the war of 1813-14, had principally regulated his behavior according to the issue of the event.
The Emperor, nevertheless, remained faithful to the treaty of alliance of the 11th of January, 1814. Unwilling to attach importance to the motives which might have led to the negotiation, or to the circumstances connected with the King's accession, his Imperial Majesty put aside all considerations save those involved in the terms of the treaty. His Imperial Majesty immediately endeavored to establish friendly relations between his allies and the Court of Naples. The reasons which prevented the development of these relations into formal alliances are so well known by the Neapolitan Cabinet that the undersigned does not think it necessary to repeat them. The more the King has thought fit to choose a different course from that pursued by Austria from the beginning of the alliance, the less right has he to impute to the Cabinet of Austria disasters to his own Government which were the necessary result of this divergence.
The Emperor has never ceased to represent to the King the consequences which would ensue from his prolonged occupation of the Marches at a juncture when a sound policy pointed out to the King the duty of limiting his pretensions to the preservation of his kingdom, to the exclusion of all ideas of conquest -- a juncture in which the same policy laid upon him the honorable duty of assisting the Governments in Italy to secure the peace of the peninsula, instead of keeping up a ferment in the minds of the people by continually reinforcing armies out of all proportion to the resources of his territories, and still more by massing these armies on points which, in consequence of the geographical position of the Austrian possessions, were protected against all attacks from the Powers which were unfavorable to the Court of Naples, and therefore could be considered only as offensive positions against Austria and all the other sovereigns in Italy.
Although the general affairs of the Empire at this moment claimed his Imperial Majesty's whole attention, he omitted no effort to bring the King back to a position more in accordance with the King's real interests. He left no proof of confidence and no means of persuasion untried until the period when, the Neapolitan armaments assuming an attitude of direct aggression, the Emperor was forced, in February last, to take a step which was provoked by the demands of the Neapolitan Cabinet -- demands which proved only too plainly the King's objects, as to which there can remain no uncertainty since his late manifestation to the Papal Court, and the recent development of his plans.
The undersigned received orders to hand, on the 25th of February, to the plenipotentiary of Naples and to the plenipotentiary of France an explicit Declaration that the Emperor would not, in any case, allow foreign troops a passage through his territory. The Declaration addressed to France was communicated to the Neapoli. tan plenipotentiary. If these simultaneous Declarations differ in terms, the reason is easily given. It was Naples which had raised this question; it was she who had placed herself in an attitude of aggression.
The Emperor considers it due both to the safety of his States and to his general relations with Europe to make these declarations. It is due to his dignity to maintain them. His Majesty would have rejected any demand on the part of France to send armies through Italy; he would have considered any reiterated attempt of the kind, after the Declaration of the 25th of February, as a declaration of war.
The Emperor is forced, in like manner, to consider the irruption of Neapolitan troops on the frontier, and their encampment in the Marches, as a rupture of the alliance, and a measure directed against Austria. His Majesty looks upon the entrance of the Neapolitan troops into the Legations, and their hostilities against the Imperial troops, as a positive declaration of war, whatever may be the color which the Cabinet of Naples may seek to give to these transactions.The undersigned has therefore orders to recall the Imperial Legation at once from Naples, and at the same time to give passports to the Neapolitan ambassadors at Vienna.(Signed) PRINCE METTERNICH. Vienna, 10th April, 1815.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
No. 2 from Ghent.Ghent, 21st April, 1815.
I have received your No. 49, including No. 38. Very soon after you despatched it, you must have received news of me, and I hope that since that time you have continued to do so: but the want of the means I had at my disposal in Paris must necessarily make our correspondence unpunctual.I am anxious to receive the Declaration you speak of, which was, your letter gives me reason for hoping, in part your work. Chevalier Stuart has just told me that it was Signed on the 11th. I, on my side, am writing the proclamation which I shall issue when I set foot in France. 1 I will send it to you as soon as it has been corrected and read, before it is approved by the Duke of Wellington and General Pozzo di Borgo. If the allied sovereigns are still at Vienna when it reaches you, I hope that you will gain their suffrages in its favor. I do not wish, however, that it may find them still there; celerity is the thing wanted above all others in our operations. All the reports from the interior are excellent, but we must not allow time to the enemy.On which, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER LXXXIX.
1. "I have the honor of sending you several copies of a newspaper which we are bringing out under the name of the Journal Universel. You will recognize In it M. Lally's pen. . . . A manifesto drawn up by him will appear in two days; it will precede the King's proclamation when he enters the French territory. . . . It was read yesterday at the royal Council. This Council con- sists of the Duc de Blacas, the Duc de Feltre, myself, Lally, and Chateaubriand. It was read to-day to General Pozzo, who was much pleased with it, and will take it to-morrow to the Duke of Wellington." -- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 23rd April, 1815 LETTER XC.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
No 3 from Ghent.
22nd April, 1815.
I was just about to reply to your No. 49, enclosing No. 38, when I received No. 50, enclosing No. 44. You, no doubt, influenced the Declaration of the sovereigns; I hope that if there is still time you will influence that of the generals', which will be a very important document. If it is to produce all the desired effect, it is necessary that, in conformity with the Declaration of the 13th of March and Article 3 of the treaty of the 20th, Europe should declare herself the ally of the King and the French nation against the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte; 1 the friend of all who declare themselves on the side of the former, and the enemy of all who arm in favor of the latter; which excludes at the same time all ideas of conquest and all middle courses, of which even the possibility must not be entertained.
On my side I am engaged in drawing up the Declaration or Proclamation which I shall issue when I return to France. I will send it to you as soon as it is finished, but I hope sincerely that it will Dot find you any longer at Vienna. Your No. 46 announces the speedy termination of the Congress. You must, of course, sign the final treaty in my name, but I am most anxious to have you with me, 2 especially under the present circumstances.
You have heard of the unfortunate issue of my nephew's courageous attempt; 3 you know that my niece herself was not able to save Bordeaux. The public mind is not, however, demoralized in France; all reports are unanimous on this point; the great thing is to act promptly, and this is entirely the Duke of Wellington's desire and opinion.
I shall make only one observation on your letter No. 38. It is that it is right to preserve the Due de Campo-Chiaro's letters, as a proof of the utter perfidy of his master. 4
On which, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XC.
1. "If you succeed in maintaining this salutary resolution to make war against the individual only, and not against the nation, to support the royal cause conjointly with that of liberty, against usurpation, including in the term every species of oppression, you will, my dear friend, have performed, conscientiously and honorably, the finest exploit of which civilized nations are capable."
-- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 9th April, 1815.
2. "Every one tells me that the divine Blacas only enjoys a vacant favor. This favor would be given to one who, like you, would add personal authority to skilfulness. Of those here, some are foolish, and others, like Marmont, are ill at ease; others again, like myself, are men whose principles and habits are distasteful, although their persons and even their characters are liked."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 10th April, 1815.
"You must come, I assure you. You may take any place you like at present. The ministry will be composed by your advice. If this ministry be strong, the old habits, predilections, and prejudices of Monsieur will give way to it: again, it must be so strong that its resignation shall be dreaded." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 28th April, 1815.
On the 28th of April Chateaubriand writes to Talleyrand:
"Since the last letter which I had the honor of sending you from Brussels by the Duc de Richelieu, things have somewhat changed for me: the King has called me to his Council, but without a title; he has charged me with reporting to him the state of our internal policy. But, Prince, one must have an internal policy -- we axe waiting for you to give us one once more. Your presence here is absolutely necessary. Come before we commit any new blunders. You must put yourself at our head; we must form a ministry of which you will be the guide and support.
"You are aware, Prince, of my devotion to you. I should be too happy if I could contribute a little with you to the restoration of France, which for a second time needs your services.
"I told you that we should be lost if we did not remove Bonaparte from Elba. Well, Prince, we shall be lost if you do not come to remove the King from Ghent. Come, come; nothing on earth is more important."
3. The Due d'Angoulême was taken prisoner and carried to the Spanish frontier by the partisans of Napoleon.
4. This is the letter enclosed by Prince Talleyrand:
"A courier despatched from Rome by the Chevalier Cuvilli on the 4th, has brought the news of Bonaparte's escape from the island of Elba to Naples on the morning of the 5th; it says that he left Elba on the 26th for Fréjus, having been invited to France by a party in his favor.
"The King immediately assembled his Council, and called to it all the heads of administration and counsellors of State to announce this event to them. Far from wishing to consult them, he declared that, whatever might happen in the future, his resolution was taken to remain faithful to his engagement with his ally in the interests of peace and order in Europe; that he saw no other security for his States than that which was based on loyalty and honor. He repeated these sentiments himself to the Austrian minister, and sent a courier to me at Vienna to announce his intentions. This courier reached me on the 15th, at 4 P.M. "As I think it right to show respect for the eminent talents and high character of your Highness, who, while fulfilling zealously the duties of your position, would certainly dislike to fall into mistakes or disguise facts through false information, I have the honor of making this confidential communication, relying upon your Highness's unvarying kindness, irrespective of our relative positions.
"I venture to point out to your Highness that when the King found himself threatened by France, and did not know whether this escape was an act of madness or the result of an agreement with another party -- a question which was unwisely mooted -- the part taken by the King was entirely that of the present Government in France. May the justice which is not one of the least remarkable attributes of the magnanimous sovereign now on the throne, induce him to sacrifice the object of restoring tranquillity to Europe (who, after all, is only reaping the fruit of her own acts) to other considerations." -- The Due de Campo-Chiaro.
Vienna, 23rd April, 1815.
Something has occurred here of such a painful nature that I should like to be able to conceal it from your Majesty, but it is of great importance that it should be known in the present state of affairs, with which it is intimately linked; and, besides, it would be sure to come to the ears of your Majesty by some other means, unaccompanied by the considerations which will correct and balance its effect.
For some time I have had occasion to observe that the Emperor of Russia's opposition to your Majesty's wishes was not always caused by any design he entertained himself, but in some cases because he thought himself slighted -- 1. That your Majest did not offer him the blue ribbon, 1 which was given to the Prince Regent; 2. Because of the rejection of his pressing intervention in favor of the Duke of Vicenza, in whom he takes a lively interest, 2 and who has been excluded from the Chamber of Peers; 3 3. On account of the firmness with which your Majesty, in the question of the marriage, refused to yield to his wishes on the religious question; 4. Because the constitutional Charter differed in many respects from the views he announced on the subject in Paris, 4 and which his liberal ideas caused him to consider as very useful and important.
I knew that he had long been complaining of these things in his intimate circle, but this seemed to me of little importance. Now, however, I have reason to think that these ideas influence his opinion regarding the situation of France and that of your Majesty.
From the news we receive from France, and the information brought thence by individuals, it seems that on your Majesty's side is to be found the whole body of the nation, and on the other side two parties: the first, that of the army, which is entirely devoted to Bonaparte, those who are well disposed being subjugated or drawn away by the majority; the second party, formed out of the remnants of the old revolutionary faction. The second joined the first only because the former had the start and obliged the latter to follow. They agree only on one point -- the desire of change; but they desire it for different motives and to accomplish different ends. The army, tired of quiet, wanted a chief who would give it once more all those chances of danger, fortune, and fame to which it had been accustomed for twenty-two years. 5 Bonaparte was eminently the man. The chiefs of the second party know him and detest him. They are aware of his insatiable love of domination; they know that civil liberty has no more cruel enemy. They know very well that where a rebel army has unseated the supreme government only a faint reflection of civil power can subsist; that without a civil government they can have no existence, and that passive obedience will be their lot as well as that of every one else. They have no illusions as to Bonaparte's motive in conciliating them: they know that his union with them is on his part a forced union; that the chains by means of which they will try to restrain him, and which at this moment he is willing to bear, will endure only so long as he is not strong enough to break them, and that if he obtains a succession of victories, he will acquire that power. They do not conceal from themselves that what the army has done once, it may do a second and a third time, and that in such a state of things there will be no safety either for the master or his slaves. Disabused of their old chimeras, they no longer dream of a republic. The titles and fortunes they have acquired bind them to the monarchy. They were not opposed to the legitimate dynasty but they could not endure a Government under which, excluded from any share in active employment, they found themselves deprived of all political existence and threatened with still greater losses in the future. 6 Their aversion for this state of things is so great, that they would have been willing to escape from it at any price, and rather than return to it they would throw themselves into all the horrors and hazards of revolution.
Bonaparte's first object is to nationalize the war in which he will have to engage. The first object of the Powers is to prevent him. He feels that he cannot attain it by persuasion, and that to strike fear is his only chance of success. But his army, which he must draw to the frontiers, and which will be engaged with foreign armies, is not a sufficient instrument for him. He must have others, and he can find them only in the party to which he formerly belonged, on the ruins of which he raised himself, which he has long oppressed, and whose support he is now seeking. The Powers think that if pains were taken to calm the fears of this party, it might be induced to abandon a man whom it does not like; 7 that Bonaparte would thus lose his chief resource, and the one which would render his resistance the most protracted and dangerous. A memorandum has been drawn up of a Declaration to this effect. When it was proposed only to declare that Europe was not arming against France, but for France, that Europe recognized no other enemy but Bonaparte and his followers; that she would grant neither peace nor truce to him; and that she would not lay down her arms until she had overthrown him, all opinions were unanimous. But when there was a question of saying in the Declaration that the ultimate aim of the war was to restore the legitimate dynasty, opinions were divided. "If you do not allude to this re-establishment," said some, "those who armed within the country and were induced by the Declaration of the 13th to take up arms in the King's cause, will think themselves abandoned. You will deprive yourselves of a certain support to obtain one which is uncertain; if you only announce your intention to overthrow the usurper, and leave it to be supposed that when once he has fallen France may do as she pleases, you will deliver her over to Jacobinism, and to factions that are even more dangerous to the welfare of Europe than Bonaparte himself."
Others say that "the re-establishment of the legitimate dynasty is an object with regard to which there ought to be no doubt as to the intentions of the Allied Powers. The Declaration of the 13th of March sufficiently asserts this. If you insist upon it again too positively, you will miss your aim, which is to detach Bonaparte from those who can only be reconciled by concessions which the Powers may hint at, but which the King alone can promise or bestow."
Affairs were in this stage when the Emperor Alexander sent for Lord Clancarty, who, since the departure of Lord Castlereagh and the Duke of Wellington, is at the head of the British embassy.
Their conversation was in part reported to me by Lord Clancarty, but in much greater detail by Lord Stewart and Prince Metternich. The task of reporting it to your Majesty is one of extreme difficulty, all the more that in several instances I find myself divided between my sense of respect for the person and my devotion to the cause of your Majesty; I fear that what I yield to the one may appear to be wanting to the other. But your Majesty, 8 whose interest it is to be aware of the sentiments of the most powerful of his allies, would acquire a very erroneous impression of them if I left out the reasons he advanced, or even the reproaches by means of which he pretended to justify them. The importance of this consideration alone induces me to report them.
The Emperor asked Lord Clancarty, in the first place, why he did not approve of the proposed Declaration, and what objection he had to make. "It is," replied Lord Clancarty, "that the Declaration does not, in my opinion, say all that it ought to say. It is not enough to overthrow Bonaparte; we must not open the door to the Jacobins, who would suit us still less than Bonaparte himself."
"The Jacobins," retorted the Emperor, "are formidable only when allied to Bonaparte, 9 and this is why we must try to separate them from him. When once he has fallen, they will not be the party to succeed to his inheritance. The first object is to overthrow him, and in this we are all of one mind. As for me, I shall devote all my strength to effect this, and shall take no rest till it is done. For the remainder, I am willing to postpone any declaration or proclamation to the time when our troops shall be nearer France. This, indeed, is what I should prefer. But the overthrow of Bonaparte is not the only point on which we must come to an understanding. In an enterprise of the magnitude of that on which we are engaged, we must from the very beginning keep our end in view. The overthrow of Bonaparte is only half our work; there will still be the security of Europe to provide for. She can never be tranquil as long as France is not quiet, and France will only be quiet under a Government which is generally popular."
" France," said Lord Clancarty, "was happy under the King; the hopes of the whole nation are centred in him."
"Yes," replied the Emperor, "of that part of the nation which has never been anything but passive, which has for twenty-six years submitted to every sort of revolution, which only murmurs, but interferes with none. But the remainder, which appears like the whole nation because it alone comes forward, it alone acts, it alone governs -- will this party submit voluntarily and be faithful to a Government it has just betrayed? Will you force such a Government upon this party against its will? For the sake of so doing will you set on foot a war of extermination to which there might be no end? And are you sure that you will succeed?" I feel," replied Lord Clancarty, "that duty ends where impossibility begins. But until impossibility is proved, I hold that the duty of the Powers is to support the legitimate sovereign, and not to allow it even to be a question of abandoning him." 10
"Our first duties," replied the Emperor, "are towards Europe and towards ourselves. Even if it were easy to re-establish the King's Government -- as long as there was no certainty of its future stability, what would be the effect of re-establishing it but to prepare fresh misfortunes for France and for Europe? If what has once happened should happen again, should we be as united as we are to-day? should we have nearly a million men under arms? should we be ready when danger broke out? and what probability is there, should the same elements of disorder subsist, that the King's Government would be more stable than it has been now? For the rest, whatever may be our opinion on this subject -- the reestablishment of the King, which we all, and I more than any other, desire -- may meet with insurmountable obstacles; as this is not an impossible case we are bound to provide for it, and to settle beforehand what ought to be done. Last year a regency 11 might have been established; but the Archduchess Marie.Louise to whom I have spoken, will not at any price return to France. Her son is to have an establishment in Austria, and this is all that she wishes for him. I have ascertained that Austria, on her side, no longer thinks of a regency or wishes for it. Last year it seemed a means likely to conciliate conflicting interests; but the situation is no longer the same. It is a thing, therefore, which we must not any longer take into consideration. The only way to conciliate all parties is to choose the Duke of Orleans. He is a Frenchman; he is a Bourbon; he is the husband of a Bourbon; he has sons; he has served in his youth in the Constitutional cause; he has worn the tricolor cockade, which I often said, when I was in Paris, ought never to have been left off. 12 He would unite all parties. Do you not think so, my lord; and what would be the opinion of England?" "I do not know," replied Lord Clancarty, "what would be the opinion of my Government on a proposal which would be as new to it as the idea is to me; as for my own private opinion, I do not hesitate to say that it seems to me extremely dangerous to abandon the principle of legitimacy in order to take up any sort of usurpation. But your Majesty would certainly wish me to communicate to my Government all that I have had the honor of hearing."
The Emperor told him to write, and after repeating how essential it was to make sure of the aim one has in view from the beginning of such an important enterprise, he retired.
Lord Clancarty accordingly did write, but laid great stress on the reasons which should attach England to your Majesty's cause. Prince Metternich, to whom Lord Stewart and Lord Clancarty repeated this conversation, thought that the question raised by the Emperor was at least ill-timed; that it would not do for the Powers to lose themselves in hypotheses which might never occur, but that they ought to wait until each question presented itself, and treat each singly. He desired the Austrian ambassador in London to speak in these terms.
The Emperor Alexander, who does not take in very clearly the principle of legitimacy, has, without waiting for the opinion of the English Cabinet, inserted in the Frankfort Gazette an article which I have before me, and which says that the Powers Only want to overthrow Bonaparte, but that they in no way pretend to interfere with the interior administration of France, or even to impose any Government upon the country, which will then be free to choose the one she prefers.
But so far he is alone in his opinion. Even Prussia, which is in the habit of agreeing with all he wants, is well disposed towards your Majesty, and has even expressed a wish that your Majesty should issue a Proclamation, and that this Proclamation should precede the assembly of the electoral colleges in Paris, which has been summoned by Bonaparte. This desire is also that of the majority of the Powers. It is thought of the utmost importance that your Majesty should rally all parties to yourself by assuring them, without distinction, all the benefits of a constitutional Government. The Powers would consider a Proclamation of this kind issued by your Majesty as a powerful auxiliary to the forces they are bringing into the field. Several of them also wish that your Majesty, making your ministers responsible for the faults which may have been committed, would constitute a new ministry, just as if you were in France, the members of which would offer the requisite guarantees to all parties. 13 I have been asked to write this to your Majesty. I have even been told that this desire will be expressed in the suggestions to be made by the ambassadors whom the Powers are about to send to your Majesty, and I should therefore like them to be anticipated by your Majesty.
To all that the Emperor of Russia said to Lord Clancarty I ought to add what has reached me of his language by channels which I have ever reason to think trustworthy.
He has, on several occasions, repeated that when he was in Paris a few months ago, all that he saw and heard made him fear that the Government would not be able to maintain itself. It seemed to him to be difficult for the sentiments and opinions of the princes 14 to be sufficiently in harmony with the opinions and habits of a generation which had been born during their absence, and which on several points had neither the opinions nor the habits of its fathers.
The Emperor, who is fond of generalizing, frequently says that it is impossible to govern in opposition to the ideas of the time. He says that his fears increased when he saw that your Majesty was calling into the ministry and into the royal councils men who were, no doubt, very estimable, but who almost all had spent the period of the Revolution away from France or in retirement, and consequently neither knew France nor were known by her, and were totally wanting in that political experience which even genius cannot make up for. He thinks that they have done great harm to the royal cause, and although he thinks that similar evils will be avoided in future by your Majesty's choosing other advisers, I must add that he remarks that the one of your ministers who excites the most animadversion from all parties is, more than any other, in your Majesty's confidence. 15 He even went so far as to say that the greater part of the mischief proceeds from the power which your Majesty has given to the princes who surround your person, or has suffered them to take; 16 that their unpopularity seems to him to be an irremediable evil; that if your Majesty had been personally unpopular the effect would have been much less disastrous, because discontent against the reigning monarch is tempered and softened by hope in his successor, while if it falls upon the successor that hope cannot exist.
The Emperor often repeats in ordinary conversation that he is quite willing to believe that your Majesty would, if alone, be wel- come to France, and be loved and respected there, but that as it is impossible to separate your Majesty from your surroundings, 17 he fears that your throne will never be firmly established.
I have the satisfaction of seeing that all the Powers are sincerely interested in your Majesty; even the Emperor of Russia's language is due more to ill humor and to his philosophical ideas, than to any profound calculation. I wish I could add that this interest extends to Monsieur, and to their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of Angoulême and Berry, but when once power is exclusively concentrated in the hands of your Majesty and of responsible ministers, who will enjoy at the same time your Majesty's confidence and that of the nation, the exaggerated impressions produced both within and without the country by past errors and inadvertencies, will be gradually effaced.
The Baron de Talleyrand has arrived here with the letter with which your Majesty has honored me, dated April 10th.
I am continually stimulating activity here, and urging the importance of haste. But the Duke of Wellington, in a letter subsequent to the one your Majesty did me the honor to mention, writes that, in consequence of the bad news from the south, he feels the necessity of postponing operations until the Powers are able to attack on all points and with larger forces. Now, the distances are so enormous that, with all the good-will in the world, it is impossible for the Austrians to assemble a hundred thousand men on the Rhine until the end of May.
Your Majesty will be glad to hear that the Austrian troops in Italy have obtained victories which promise still more important ones. Prince Leopold 18 Will leave in a few days to join the Austrian army. The Viennese newspapers have at last left off writing "KingJoachim;" they say simply "Murat."
M. de Blombelles, formerly Portuguese Minister, now a canon at Glogau, and father of the Blombelles who was in Paris, would like to re-enter the diplomatic service in any capacity, from that of ambassador to that of chargé d'affaires. He thinks that he might be useful as chargé d'affaires at Munich, and he thinks that he could live there on a salary of eight thousand francs.
I am taking advantage of M. de Noailles' kindness to transmit this despatch, which he will have the honor of delivering to your Majesty.
He has been very useful here in many ways, and I think that there is no one who could give your Majesty better information on
the military and political condition of all the Cabinets whose assistance is now so urgently needed by us. I entreat your Majesty to confide to him all the orders you desire to transmit to me. He ought to return hither before the end of the Congress; and the affairs of Germany and Italy, which must be terminated, advance so slowly that he will arrive in good time to affix his signature.
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XCI.
1. The Order of the Holy Ghost, instituted by Henry III. The cross was suspended by a blue watered silk ribbon.
2. "On his arrival at St. Petersburg M. de Caulaincourt at first was greatly embarrassed. The murder of the Due d'Enghien had left a stain on his forehead. The Empress-Mother would not receive him. . . . The Czar received him kindly, and gradually took a liking to him, which in the end grew into a real friendship." -- Memoirs of Madame de Rémusat, tom. iii. p. 273.
3. The Due de Vicenza gave in his adhesion to the acts of the Senate and the Constitution of the 6th of April, on the 16th of April.
4. On the 1st of April, 1814, the Emperor Alexander declared, in the name of the Allied Powers, that he would recognize and guarantee the Constitution which France would adopt. Talleyrand, who during all that time inspired Alexander, thought that he was re-establishing a legitimate monarchy with the aid of the nation, the King, and the laws. Being always in favor of a constitutional monarchy, he demanded at this time a Constitution, a Declaration of Rights, a Charter by which the King himself should be bound -- not a Charter wrung from the King, but one that was to be drawn up and voted beforehand. And, in fact, it was only on the 6th of April, after the vote of the Constitution, that Louis Stanislas Xavier, brother of the late King ( Louis XVII. is obviously and purposely omitted), yielded to the wish of the French nation: "He shall be proclaimed King of the French as soon as he has sworn fidelity to the new Constitution." As yet there was no mention of the "kingdom of Navarre" or the "grace of God."
Here is what M. Henri Martin says with great wisdom of this Constitution:
"The public neither liked nor esteemed the Senate, which was natural enough after the behavior of the latter under the Empire: and saw nothing in this Constitution but the principles of hereditary right and pensions to the senators. Political interest, which had been stifled by the Empire, was not yet thoroughly awake, and the people did not understand that to turn the Senate into ridicule was to play into the hands of the Émigrés: it was not understood that the Senate, however unworthy, was at this time defending the principles and the rights of the nation. It was not, however, the admirers of the Empire; it was the old opposition, the men of the Revolution -- such as Lanjuinais, Lambrecht, Garat, Grégoire -- who sustained the leading part in the debate." -- Martin's "History of France," tom. iv. p. 96.
It was the arrival of the Comte d'Artois which destroyed the work attempted by the constitutionalists, and drove the Restoration into the road which led successively to Ghent and Goritz.
We shall see that after the Hundred Days, M. Durbach, in the sitting of the Chamber of Deputies of the 29th of June, 1815, accused Louis XVIII. of having despised the constitutional throne offered to him by the nation.
6. " M. de Chateaubriand is astonished that there are no records; Madame de Staël is always of the opinion of the malcontents; Benjamin (Constant) scatters praises, but praise dies in a grimace on his lips. This is what our Paris is like now. France wants peace, but the army wants Belgium."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 20th January, 1815.
7. "Your old diplomatic phalanx is much neglected; its members all trust to you, and believe that the present system has set them on one side. I assure you that an ancient name, when it is borne by a man of your ability, will always preserve its value, but the time for fools of quality is passed."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 1815.
8. "Patriotism decided Carnot upon accepting the post of Minister of the Interior. The year before, he assisted Napoleon in defending the country. He did still more in 1815; he abjured all his past career by entering the Imperial Government. He was convinced that every nerve must be strained in the defence of France, and no other consideration could move him."
-- H. Martin, tom. iv. p. 137.
9. "We ought to have accurate information as to all that is going on. This evening I put M. d'André, who is at Brussels, at the King's service; but the proper means are not taken to obtain information, and we are reduced to reports which axe falsified. . . . The devil himself could not persuade M. de Blacas to give me the newspapers, which axe rigorously excluded here!" -Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 2nd April, 1815.
10. "The measures taken by Bonaparte's Government ever since he reached Paris, the men who compose his ministry, the manner in which every possible means is taken to force public opinion, prove that Bonaparte is under the influence of all that are left of the old revolutionary parties in France, and that it is from them alone that he derives all his power of action in the country. Nevertheless, it is notorious that not one of these parties, or of the men of whom they are composed, really likes Bonaparte, because they know perfectly well that if he succeeds in consolidating his authority, he will soon tear from them, as he did when he for the first time seized the reins of government, the share of power which he is obliged to give them now that he is in need of their support. It is, therefore, evident that they joined him only because they saw no other way of escaping from a system in which they were deprived of all share in politics, and in which they thought they had ever reason to fear for their personal security. But I do not doubt but that they would be among the first to overthrow Bonaparte if the Government which is to succeed him would offer them guarantees on which they could perfectly rely, which would not only deliver them from all anxiety, but would hold out baits to their ambition. All the Powers agree in thinking this, and they consequently wish that the King should endeavor, by means of a proclamation to precede the assembling of the electoral colleges whom Bonaparte has summoned to Paris, to rally all parties round his standard by promising to them all without distinction, every advan tage attached to a constitutional Government. The Powers would consider a royal proclamation in this sense as a powerful auxiliary to the forces they are about to employ. Many of them also wish that the King, making his ministers responsible for all the blunders which have been committed, would appoint a new ministry, just as if he were in France, composed of men whose nomination would afford sufficient guarantees to every party. I am writing to the King by the Count de Noailles, who will take this letter on the same manner to you. As I know the ministers who will be sent to the King by foreign Courts will also speak of it to him, I should wish his Majesty to anticipate by a resolution in accordance with the suggestion I have just had the honor of proposing to you, all that they may say to him, and I beg of you to do all in your power to persuade the King to adopt this resolution. . . .
"I told you that Murat had failed in his attempts to cross the Po; he has since been repulsed from its banks and pursued. In the last place he was turned out of Bologna, and General Bianchi obtained a decisive victory over him. The affairs in Italy are going on well."
-- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 22nd April, 1815.
11. "The Chevalier Charles Stuart (ambassador from Great Britain to the King Louis XVIII.) called on me yesterday evening. . . .
"He insisted on the objections to acting entirely on foreign ground and of assuming (this was his expression) an attitude of emigration. . . . We declare that we are making war on Bonaparte; we declare that we are not making it on the French nation; therefore, when once Bonaparte has fallen, we shall have no other common cause for war. Bonaparte retorts to our declaration that he is the choice of the nation; that to make war on him is really to make war on France, and above all to make war for the sake of replacing Louis XVIII. on the throne and inflicting him for the second time on the nation. In order to restrict himself to the prescribed limits, Lord Castlereagh was obliged to speak as he did, and his speech announces the only principles that we can publicly avow. Nevertheless our wishes as well as our endeavors are in favor of the King; we desire his success -- we do not doubt it; but we cannot escape from the conditions of the treaty and the declaration of the Powers."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 25th April, 1815.
In the sitting of the House of Commons of the 26th of April, Lord Castlereagh communicated the Memorandum relating to the treaty of the 25th of March, and positively denied all intention of imposing a definitive Government in France.
Lord Liverpool made a similar announcement on the 27th, in the House of Lords, and asserted that England had not promised to re-establish the House of Bourbon.
12. The allied sovereigns had thought of it for a short time in 1814. It is well known that Napoleon, when he started on the campaign in France, himself gave the regency to Marie Louise, with King Joseph as lieutenant-general.
13. "The Bourbons end with the King and make a new beginning with the Duke of Orleans. This is true; but the King is neither aware nor willing to believe in all that ought to be done to justify his re-establishment -- the apprehensions of the purchasers of forfeited estates, the strain put upon the Concordat, etc. There must be pamphlets, articles in the newspapers, and publicity. The King has been received from the hands of foreigners. If he is to be accepted as a condition of peace, he will never be re-established. Do you think that Bonaparte was re-established by the love of his soldiers? No, he was elected. The 'grace of God,' 'the 19th year of his reign' -- all this shocks and disgusts. If he is determined to owe nothing to us, he will get nothing. Look at the tricks of Napoleon I with his usual Machiavellism he is going to give us an Assembly in May."
-- Ostend, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 27th May, 1815.
" Lally and M. de Chateaubriand cry you mercy, and are writing or rewriting to you; for they have all written to you. The Court party, which draws nearer and nearer to the King, whispers that you must be Prime Minister; Monsieur's followers say the same thing, especially lately, when we hear the Duke of Or leans' name on all sides. M. de Chateaubriand, who was consulted on this point, proposed to send for the duke and make him generalissimo of our armies; this is rather romantic. It would be, no doubt, perfectly safe, as regards the heart and the sense of duty characteristic of this prince, to put ourselves to such an extent in his hands; but he is so popular with the army that it would be perhaps giving him a too easy and too dangerous power of distinguishing himself."
-- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 6th May, 1815.
14. "All that you tell me, my dear Prince, on the necessity of a Cabinet is very true, very right, very urgent, very impossible. I do not know what your fortunate and honorable return, your superiority, and your wish to establish a ministerial system similar to that of England, might effect; but just now, what we must try for is, instead of a patched-up union which gives only an appearance of unanimity, to have a free opposition which will give opportunities for a criticism which will oblige all parties to be careful and to do their best. The responsibility of Ministers will be effected by eager debate in the Chambers, by petitions and denunciations, and not at all by a strict law which no one will have the courage to propose in the Cabinet or the wisdom to pass in the Chambers." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 25th February, 1815. 15. Count d'Artois and the Dukes of Angoulême and Berry. "The travels of the young princes and princesses are unpopular. Great expense, a great many complaints, many prejudices -- this is what they will spend and bring back. Louis (the Minister of Finance) must take care." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 5th February, 1815.
16. "The King will write to you through the Due de Blacas, for it is he who writes for the King, and when he came to visit me he had already your letter to the King in his pocket. I was alone with the King, as you may suppose, when I delivered the letter. . . . You may judge, therefore, of what the King said to Blacas. Perhaps he thought that if he wrote a few lines to you with his own hand you would answer them; and you know that unless you put a separate sheet in your letter, the King would be very much embarrassed to avoid giving it all to Blacas.
"Every one who comes from France cries out on Blacas as if he were a ravening wolf." -- Ghent, Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 2nd May, 1815.
17. "In this circumstance, as in every other, we feel the fatal effect of the influence of the princes, who are always patronizing, always at work, always interfering, and often ordering." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 2nd May, 1815. "The King received a list from the Due de Feltre; he said that he would think it over at his leisure. Every time that the King thinks at his leisure, Monsieur thinks with him. I know that it has been said at Monsieur's that it was necessary that Monsieur should have at least one person devoted to him, who would tell him all that passed in the Cabinet and in the King's Council when he was not present. My dear friend, if you do not arrive, invulnerable and armed at all points, they will circumvent you, and the King's cause will be lost." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 11th May, 1815.
18. "All irritation turns to the benefit of Jacobinism, but while everything is done to irritate, it is all done unwittingly. There are twenty people who worry, who are in the way, who are ubiquitous, and who wish to be a body, a power in the State." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 28th February, 1815
19. Leopold Jean Joseph, Prince of Salerno.
Vienna, Ist May, 1815.
Baron de Vincent starts to-day to join your Majesty, and he is kind enough to take charge of the letters I have the honor of writing.
Murat, when he commenced hostilities, counted on a rising of the Italian populations, but his expectations have been completely deceived; in this belief he advanced to the banks of the Po, where the first engagement took place. Since then he has had nothing but defeats. He is retreating in all haste towards the kingdom of Naples, in fear lest he should be cut off by an Austrian force which is in Tuscany. The last engagement of which we have received any official intelligence, occurred at Cesena, where he recrossed the Ronco and suffered considerable losses. His army, already much diminished by the prisoners that have been taken, to the number of seven thousand, diminishes every day through desertion. There is every reason to hope that this war will soon be over. The advantage of replacing King Ferdinand IV. on his throne will not be the only one that we shall derive from the fall of Murat. By setting free the troops employed against him, and by removing all uneasiness as to the maintenance of peace in Italy, it will greatly facilitate operations against Bonaparte. It will also produce an immense effect in France, by showing to everybody that no Power in Europe will endure these new dynasties founded on violence and injustice, and that all Europe is determined to overthrow them. 1 These are the fruits of our efforts in supporting the principle of legitimacy.
This principle is now explicitly recognized. 2 A treaty has just been signed by Prince Metternich and the Commander Ruffo, King Ferdinand IV.'s minister at Vienna. This treaty stipulates the subvention to be furnished by Sicily in the war against Murat. Instead of the twenty millions which your Majesty intended to give for this war, King Ferdinand, I am told, promises twenty-five millions. My next despatches will inform your Majesty as to the stipulations of the treaty, which I have not yet been able to see.
Prince Leopold of the Two Sicilies leaves on the 4th of this month for the Austrian head-quarters.
Although the affairs of Parma are not yet terminated, the Em- peror of Austria has published an edict, in which he assumes in his daughter's name the definitive administration of the three duchies. 3 Your Majesty will perceive by this that the arrangements the Congress was to decide upon are executed before they are discussed, which is very objectionable, but which we are not powerful enough to prevent.The Austrian and Russian troops are marching forward. The head-quarters of Prince Schwarzenberg is at Heilbrunn, in Würtemberg, and the Prince himself left yesterday for that place. He will pass through Bohemia, where he will stay for only a few days.The arrangements with Bavaria, which I had announced to your Majesty as finished, but which were not signed, have, after having occasioned new discussions, at last been agreed on. Their settlement, however, could be only eventual. They will not be definitively arranged until after the War, because they must be subordinate to the negotiations with the Courts of Baden and Darmstadt, which are to make cessions to Bavaria, for which they are to be indemnified on the left bank of the Rhine; and these Courts do not care to receive concessions of which the chances of war, should they be unpropitious, might deprive them.The Danish minister, General Waltersdorf, is to start on the day after to-morrow on his mission to your Majesty. He, as well as Baron de Vincent, is accredited as an envoy to the Duke of Wellington. I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XCII.
1. "The King sent for me before the Council; he rose and said, 'I am sending the Count de Noailles off at once; it is absolutely necessary that Prince Talleyrand should come. I am writing this to him; I tell him that I want him very much, I wish to see him. You know that he writes to me on a great many points which he will discuss when he comes.'
"At the Council was read a royal proclamation, proposed by Pozzo, looked over by M. de Pradel, revised, altered, and settled by the King. There is one very ingenious passage in it; it is that the King sets forth, as an act of his own co-operation in the treaty, the engagement taken by the Powers not to interfere in the Government to be established in France after the fall of Bonaparte."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 6th May, 1815.
2. See D'Angeberg, p. 1156. 3. Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
No 4 from Ghent.
5th May, 1815.
I received your No. 52 by M. de Noailles. I add to this despatch the proclamation which I am about to publish, and which, I flatter myself, will be as much approved by the sovereigns as it has been by the ministers who are with me here. But this subject, however important, is not the most important of all. There is another point in your despatch which, ever since I received it, has been, and continues to be, the subject of my most serious reflections; in order to come to a final decision, I need wise counsels, and it is impossible to give them by letter. I told you to join me as soon as you had signed the final act of the Congress in my name; but I now feel more impatient to see you. Therefore, unless this signature is likely to detain you for only two or three days at the utmost, start without waiting for it. It is of very little consequence which of my plenipotentiaries signs the treaty, but it is of great consequence that I should have you at my Side. 1 On which, etc,
NOTE TO LETTER XCIII.
1. "Come to us. When you come you will be able to do as you like; but if once measures have been taken in contradiction to your views and projects, it is you who will be obliged to make concessions, arrangements, and take, half measures. Your Cabinet must be very strong, very national, thoroughly in accordance with public opinion." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 30th April, 1815.
"You cannot judge from where you are of the need of your presence here. The Court is acquiring a likeness to Coblenz, which will drive away, first me, and then all who are loyal to France and the King, and who repudiate the idea of emigration. Come with a Cabinet already settled, or even without a Cabiret, but speak in the name of a Cabinet. . . . You are surrounded at present with an aureole of glory from the Congress; you possess the omnipotence of an extraordinary political career; you will arrive in the name of all the sovereigns, with a caduceus in your hand. But if you allow the Congress to terminate before you come, after every one has discussed, examined, pulled to pieces, and conjectured, and set on foot all the petty intrigues that fools understand so well, you will not have half your influence. . . .
"Chevalier Stuart is so convinced of the necessity for your arrival that he said to me, You may be certain that if he does not come, it is because he prefers an agreeable and comfortable position to any other." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 2nd May, 1815.
" Pozzo says that you can be useful, necessary, the saviour of the King and his cause, only by coming here; that you have terminated the affairs of the Congress with glory; that the departure of the sovereigns from Vienna Will not allow you to remain there; that their position is becoming warlike, and is no longer in harmony with yours. "The Court party, which is becoming more and more identified with the King, whispers that you must be Prime Minister; Monsieur's people say the same thing, especially lately, when the name of the Duke of Orleans has been heard on all sides; M. de Blacas makes loud protestations of disinterestedness, and as for the Chancellor Dambray, he does not know what to be at." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 6th May, 1815.
Vienna, 5th May, 1815.
A former Chamberlain of Bonaparte's, M. de Stassart, who, having accompanied the Archduchess Marie Louise hither, became a Chamberalin of the Emperor Francis, and some time ago had returned to Paris, has lately been sent thence, hearing a letter from Bonaparte for the Emperor, and one from M. de Caulaincourt for Prince Metternich. Protected by his title of Chamberlain, he got as far as Munich; but he was arrested there, and the letters in his charge have been sent hither. Both these letters urge, from different motives, the return of the Archduchess and her son. The turn taken by Bonaparte and his ministers is one of moderation and affection. The letters remained sealed till the moment of the conference; they were opened in the presence of the ministers of the Allied Powers. It was decided that they should remain unanswered. Opinion was unanimous. Your Majesty may see, therefore, that every attempt, of whatever kind, on the part of Bonaparte to enter into relations with foreign Powers, is repulsed and remains fruitless.
The English ministers, to whom I applied for obtaining the pecuniary supplies needed by your Majesty's mission to the Congress, and who had acceded willingly to my request, have received letters from their Government, authorizing them to advance no more than a hundred thousand francs at six months' date. 1
Our credit on the Bank of France, which was far from being exhausted, has been suspended from the 21st of March. This arrangement debits us with the expenses incurred, and which ought to have been paid on the 1st of April. The members of the embassy have received no payments from Paris since January.The most reduced expenditure for the months of April and May, without including arrears, will consume a good. part of the sum which was promised to us by the English Government, and the rest will only take us on to the beginning of August. Your Majesty will consider what arrangements it will be possible to make at that period,I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER XCIV.
1. " M. de Blacas has only four million five hundred thousand francs here; the eight millions which he hoped to pass in bills of exchange have been stopped at Perregaux' and refused in England."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 26th April, 1815.
Vienna, 14th May, 1815.
The Count de Noailles has just arrived, and has delivered to me the letter with which your Majesty has honored me, dated the 5th of May. His arrival is followed so closely by the departure of the courier of whom I have to take advantage, that I can only have the honor of writing a very short letter to your Majesty.
My anxiety to find myself at your Majesty's side would make me start to-morrow, if affairs were sufficiently advanced to render only my signature necessary, or if the termination of the Congress were still in the distance. But the Italian questions are not yet settled, although they soon will be. The delay in settling these is detaining M. de Saint-Marson and the Commander Ruffo here for a few days longer, although the departure of the latter is very urgent, and the former has been summoned to Turin, where he occupies the post of Minister of War.
Besides these reasons, the sovereigns will soon leave Vienna, and as in a coalition every step is liable to a thousand misinterpretations, I could not leave before their departure without more inconvenience than advantage accruing to your Majesty's affairs; and at any rate the difference, taking into consideration the preparations I see are being made, will be of only forty-eight hours, more or less. Indeed,
I do not think that it is possible, in our position, to leave at a time when every one needs urging forward. 1 I have had rather a long conversation with the Emperor Alex. ander, which I shall have the honor of reporting to your Majesty. I must only say now that his language was very favorable -- that he spoke very earnestly and properly of our affairs. His opinion is that, for the present, a passive attitude is the one suitable to your Majesty, and to those who are about you. He is particularly anxious to make it clear that every step taken by any one Power with a view to the common good, or entailing a danger common to all, should be undertaken in concert with all the others. This was the chief object of the mission to the different armies; and he hopes that this rule will be adopted by your Majesty.I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER XCV.
1. "I will join the King as soon as the Congress is over. But it seems to me that, as it will last only a week or a fortnight longer, it would be inconsistent in me, and extremely hurtful in every respect to the interests of the King, if I were to withdraw. Nothing, in my opinion, is more important to the King, under present circumstances, than the conclusion of an act in which the whole of Europe takes part; and it is of the greatest possible interest to the whole of Europe, and nothing is more calculated to make an impression on the mind of every nation, and on that of his Majesty's subjects, than seeing this act signed by his ambassador just as if the King were enjoying his full and legitimate authority without any obstacle or opposition. Besides this, it does not seem to me that there is any difficulty in the King's present position. His part is to be entirely passive, for he ought not to appear to take any active share in the aggression which is preparing against his kingdom while under the yoke of Bonaparte. It will not become an active one until after the allied troops have entered France, and his Majesty will have to interfere in order to prevent with all his might the violence and vexations which are unfortunately inseparable from war, and to diminish as much as possible the evils by which it is always accompanied. But the King must give no loophole for thinking that it is for his sake, in defence of his interests, that this war is undertaken. It would render him hateful. And, in fact, it is certain that the foreign Powers are making this war much less for his sake, than because they think their peace and safety compromised as long as the power of France is in the hands of Bonaparte. It seems, then, advisable that the royal princes should not join the army, and that even the French troops who surround the King should not be employed aggressively, but should be set only to occupy the recovered Provinces, to maintain order and to protect life and property in them, and at most to repulse the attacks of Bonaparte's partisans. "As for the proposals from Paris, I think that for the present we must content ourselves with listening to them and waiting."
-- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 13th May, 1815.
Vienna, 17th May, 1815.
In place of the second declaration which was proposed, and which I had the honor of mentioning several times to your Majesty, it has been arranged to substitute a report which will answer the same object. This report will be published to-morrow in the Gazette de Vienne, 1 and afterwards in the different newspapers of Germany and other countries; it has likewise been printed by the press of the Austrian Chancellerie. I have the honor of sending several copies to your Majesty.Your Majesty will see that this report fully confirms the disposi tion manifested by the Powers in the Declaration of the 13th of March -- that it refutes the sophistries of Bonaparte and exposes his impostures. But it will, above all, strike your Majesty that Europe does not profess to be making war for the sake of or by the demand of your Majesty. Europe makes war for her own sake; her own interests depend upon it; her safety demands it. Not only is this the only true aspect of the war, but, furthermore, it is believed by everybody to be the only one suitable to your Majesty. It is the only one which will not place your Majesty in a false position with your own subjects, for nothing could contribute so much to their alienation as a wrong opinion on the cause of the war. They must never attribute the evils which war is about to bring on them to your Majesty.I am, etc.P.S. -- In obedience to your Majesty's commands, I have written to the Legations of the sovereigns and archdukes who are here to ask for my dismissal.I send to M. de Jaucourt some letters from M. de la Tour de Pin, which may interest your Majesty. M. d'Osmond's letter, in which they are enclosed, gives some details on the late proceedings in Italy.
NOTE TO LETTER XCVI.
1. For this report of the 13th of May, see Martens, New Series, vol. ii. No. 263
Vienna, 23rd May, 1815.
In my farewell audience I received from all the sovereigns proofs of the most friendly sentiments towards your Majesty. These audiences were not merely formal; they were much longer than those which are usually granted in similar circumstances. I shall have the honor of reporting what passed to your Majesty. Although all was not finished, my anxiety to be with your Majesty had determined me on starting to-morrow, but Prince Metternich and M. de Nesselrode, as well as the Chancellor Hardenberg, urged me to sign the protocols which contain the arrangements settled by the Congress, together with all the principal members. I thought I ought to accede to their wish, as my departure will be postponed by it only for two days. These protocols will contain the definitive text, with the exception of some slight modifications which will concern only the modes of expressing the articles composing the instrument settled by the Congress. A Commission, to consist of a plenipotentiary from each Power, will be left here, to put the articles in proper order and separate those that refer to particular interests from those that concern the general interest. I shall leave M. de Dalberg here to represent France in this Commission. This work will not take more than eight or ten days, if the delegates will work a little faster than their chiefs have done.I have the honor of enclosing to your Majesty two letters from the Due d'Angoulême. I have had the honor of writing one to him which is probably lost. Some day we shall perhaps see it in the French newspapers. 1 I have sent to Lord Castlereagh by to-day's courier a letter from the Duchesse d'Angoulême. In order that your Majesty may have a complete collection of my voluminous correspondence, I have the honor of enclosing copies of the letters which I expect have not reached their destination.If no unforeseen obstacle arise, I shall be at Ghent, at your Majesty's disposal, on Sunday, the 4th. 2
I am, etc.
NOTES TO LETTER XCVII.
1. The Moniteur Universel had published the letters addressed to the Due d'Angoulême which were found at the Tuileries on the return of Napoleon.
2. "Your Highness left us on Sunday, the 11th of the month. It was not until that day that the great act of the Congress, enriched at the last moment by a dozen additional articles, was definitely settled."
-- Gentz to Talleyrand, 16th June, 1815.
Vienna, 27th May, 1815.
I can now tell your Majesty all the fears I have experienced during the last week. The question was raised whether the circumstances which oblige us to leave some points unsettled ought not to determine us to put off the signature of the act to some future time. 1 A rather powerful intrigue was on foot for this purpose. The object was to call in question points which were already decided, and to come to no resolution on others which were still undecided. There was nothing more essential to your Majesty's interests than for your name to be placed in an act which was to proclaim the union of all the Powers. I was therefore bound to strain every nerve to attain this object. I was very well seconded by the English and Austrian ministers. The signature will take place to-morrow or the day after.
I have the honor of sending your Majesty a Declaration addressed by the Swiss Diet to the ministers accredited to it, and a convention signed between those ministers and the ministers of Switzerland. Your Majesty will see that, although Switzerland seems in this Declaration to wish to preserve her neutrality, her intention, which is clearly expressed in the convention, is nevertheless to do all that can be expected of her in the cause of Europe. Urgent necessity, of which the generals of the coalition must judge, will authorize the passage of the allied troops through the Swiss territories. In all the letters received here yesterday by the different foreign ministers, Baron Auguste de Talleyrand's endeavors for attaining this salutary end have been highly praised.
Both from a moral and a military point of view, the conduct of Switzerland is considered by the Allied Powers to have been highly useful.
I shall not again have the honor of writing to your Majesty from Vienna; I am just starting, and shall myself lay the assurances of my respect and devotion at the feet of your Majesty.
I carry no documents with me.
I am, etc.
NOTE TO LETTER XCVIII.
1. "I am alarmed by a proposal which is said, my dear Prince, to be yours. It is reported that there is to be no signature. Before taking an irrevocable decision, let me tell you that it is of the highest importance for the cause of the King, for the opinion that will be held in France as to her position in relation to the Allied Powers, for the opinion which will be formed in France of the union between the Powers, for the dignity of the Congress -- that something shou d be signed. When once articles have been settled and signed, one may leave the final arrangement to the plenipotentiaries of the different Courts. But if the protocols are not signed it will be thought that there are hesitations, and the moral force of the coalition will be considerably diminished. Adieu, dear Prince. Always yours, Talleyrand." -- To Prince Metternich.
LETTER XCIX. 1
CONGRESS OF VIENNA.
The Powers who had made common cause with France in the war terminated by the treaty of the 30th of May, 1814, had agreed on such arrangements for the negotiations of the Congress as would have reduced France to playing an entirely passive part.
The majority had pretensions to which they were well aware that France must be opposed. They wished to neutralize her opposition, and for this reason they tried to attach suspicion to her motives. She was supposed to have ambitious projects; she was accused of wanting to recover the left bank of the Rhine and Belgium. It was reported that her ambassadors were furnished with double instructions; that they professed great disinterestedness; that they talked of nothing but justice and principle, but that their object was to sow discord between the Allies. Austria, Russia, England, and Prussia continued to call themselves by this name. The spirits of the coalition had survived the peace, and seemed even to have acquired new strength.
The French embassy, against which public opinion had been raised by these means, found itself completely isolated. It was almost a crime to have anything to do with it. No one dared to visit its members; the ministers of some petty Courts were reprimanded and threatened for having done so. One of the sovereigns at Vienna asked a member of the Portuguese embassy if he ever saw Talleyrand. "Sometimes," was the reply. "And I also," said the king, "should like to see him, but I dare not."
This state of things continued for two months and a half. The ministers of the four Powers negotiated with each other, exchanged Notes which they concealed from France, and held conferences at which her representatives were not present.
Russia wanted to have the whole, or nearly the whole, of the duchy of Warsaw; to give it special institutions, and to make it a sort of phantom of Poland. This would be, said Russia, a sort of expiation for the partition of that kingdom; it would pave the way for the civilization of all the old Polish provinces and for their future independence.
Prussia supported these views of Russia, and wanted nothing for herself in Poland, being well aware that as, in agreement with the treaty of alliance, her power was to be restored to what it had been in 1805, it would become necessary to compensate her for the Polish subjects she had lost by giving her German subjects.
She asked, and Russia asked for her, the whole of Saxony. Lord Castlereagh, in a Note of the 10th of October, and Prince Metternich, in a Note of the 22nd, consented: the former, on condition that Prussia, whom he wished to make extremely powerful, should stipulate for her ancient rights over the duchy of Warsaw, and should take Saxony, not as a compensation, but by way of an increase of power; the latter, with the sole reservation of the arrangements to be made as to the military frontiers of the two States.
The fate of Saxony, therefore, seemed to have been irrevocably fixed in the month of October, yet the French ambassador was still ignorant of this transaction in December. A plan had been conceived of uniting Austria, Prussia, and Holland, including the Netherlands, the States of Germany, and even the Swiss Confederation, in a close and perpetual league. The chief object was to isolate France in Europe -- to surround her with States in which it would be impossible for her to find one ally. The way had already been prepared for the execution of this plan, by obliging Spain to promise that the ancient family compact should never be renewed under any circumstances.
But as at the same time they wanted this league to serve as a barrier against Russia, it was necessary to detach Prussia from Russia, which they could not effect, and to obtain from Russia the voluntary or involuntary renunciation of her designs on the duchy of Warsaw. Every means of persuasion was employed without effect; and as for force, both England and Austria were well aware that they were not sufficiently strong to act against Russia and Prussia combined.
In this state of affairs France ought naturally to have encouraged the resistance of Russia, by showing her perfect indifference to the solution of a question discussed without her concurrence, and by offering at the same time her assistance to the other Powers. But as the Powers could not have accepted this offer without renouncing their favorite idea of isolating France, it only raised their apprehensions, and caused assistance from such a quarter to be regarded as a remedy worse than the disease. They were alarmed at the idea of seeing a French army reappear, even as an auxiliary or an ally, in the countries which the French had so often overrun as conquerors. These apprehensions were increased and fed by many publications which appeared in Paris. Nevertheless the French embassy succeeded in allaying them by patience, moderation, and good sense.
A treaty of alliance between France, Austria, and England was concluded on the 3rd of January, to which the Low Countries, Bavaria, and Hanover acceded. The coalition was thenceforward entirely dissolved, and France had no longer to fear being imprisoned in the iron circle which the Powers were preparing to draw round her.
This alone would have been much, even if France had derived no further advantage from her presence at the Congress. But this treaty caused a complete change in the position of the French embassy: on all sides advances were eagerly made to us. Those who had formerly repelled us now sought for our advice or support, and France found herself in the possession of the part which either Russia or England might have played, the former if she bad been disinterested, the latter if she had cared, but which both these Powers allowed to escape them. In fact, the English Parliament made this a matter of reproach to Lord Castlereagh.
Had Austria been less timid, and Lord Castlereagh less anxious to preserve peace, the treaty of the 3rd of January might have led to the re-establishment of Poland and the preservation of the whole of the kingdom of Saxony. As it is, Russia has been obliged to relinquish the half of her claims upon the duchy of Warsaw, and Saxony has been as it were dragged from the grave, not, it is true, unscathed, but nevertheless with a territory equal to that of the kingdom of Hanover or Würtemberg, and this she certainly owes to France.The French ambassador was instructed to use his utmost endeavors --
1. That Prussia should not be placed in contact with France. The frontiers of the two countries will nowhere touch.
2. That Prussia should not acquire Luxemburg and Mayence. She will have neither; both will be federal fortresses.
3. That her influence in Germany should not become exclusive, nor too predominant. This, indeed, was the principal object intended to be accomplished by the federal organization, which, however, there was no time to carry into effect.
4. That the organization of Switzerland should remain as it was; and it remains so.
5. That the independence of Switzerland should be secured; and it is secured.
6. That in all future European wars Switzerland should enjoy permanent neutrality, which is as essential to French as to Swiss interests. This neutrality has been guaranteed.
There was reason to fear that when, as is likely soon to happen, the reigning branch of the House of Savoy becomes extinct, Austria might take advantage of the marriage of one of the Archdukes with the eldest daughter of the present king, and claim the inheritance of the House of Savoy for the Archduke. The French ambassador was instructed to take care that the rights of the Carignan branch were recognized and respected; and they have been.
The foregoing were doubtless the most important points for France in the then situation of Europe and of France herself. To obtain them all her efforts were therefore directed, and at first she had small hope of succeeding. Yet when the event happened, which brought about the present war, the French embassy had obtained them all.
As Austria, in the person of her sovereign, or of the princes of his house, must always possess almost the whole of Upper, and part of the centre of Italy, French interests indisputably require that Austrian influence should not, either directly or indirectly, be predominant over the whole of Italy. It was the duty, therefore, of the French embassy, in the interests of France, and without respect of persons, to endeavor to re-establish in Italy an influence which, in the state of affairs in Europe at that time, might be backed by external support, and serve as a balance to the influence of Austria. The conduct of the King of Naples has contributed more towards accomplishing this object than any wishes of the House of Bourbon, for by his ill-timed aggression he has destroyed his excellent chance of preserving his throne. The approach of hostilities, which obliges the sovereigns to leave Vienna, prevents the construction of the political organization of Germany; the foundations of it only will therefore be laid, and the work will be subsequently finished at a Diet.
NOTE. 1. This paper is entirely in conformity with No. 9 of tom. cccviii., " France and the States of Europe," entitled, "Memorandum on the Conduct of the French Embassy at the Congress of Vienna," drawn up by M. de la Besnardière, attach?è of the embassy.
REPORT PRESENTED TO THE KING DUBING HIS JOURNEY FROM GHENT TO PARIS.
1 June, 1815.
In April, 1814, France was occupied by three hundred thousand foreign troops, to be followed, if necessary, by five hundred thousand more. She had only a handful of soldiers left in the country: they indeed had performed prodigies of valor, but were thoroughly exhausted. She had large forces abroad, but these, being dispersed and without communications, could no longer be of any use to France, nor even assist each other. A portion of these forces was shut up in distant fortresses, which they might hold for a longer or shorter time, but which must necessarily yield to a blockade. Two hundred thousand French soldiers were prisoners of war. In this state of affairs it was absolutely necessary to put an end to hostilities by an armistice, which was declared on the 22nd of April.
This armistice was not only necessary; it was good policy. It was essential that the fear inspired by the strength of the Allies should be followed by confidence; but to effect this it was necessary to give the Allies confidence in the good intentions of France.
This armistice deprived France of no present or future advantage, nor of anything that she could have the least hope of keeping. Those who maintain that more favorable conditions of peace might have been obtained if the surrender of the fortresses had been put off until after the conclusion of peace, either do not know or forget that no armistice could possibly have been obtained without the surrender of the fortresses, and that any effort to prolong their occupation would have excited the suspicion of the Allies, and thereby have changed their favorable disposition towards us.
As it was, the disposition of the Allies towards France was all that could be wished; in fact, much better than we had any right to expect. They were welcomed as liberators, and were constrained to justify the praises lavished on their generosity by showing themselves generous. It was all-important to take advantage of this enthusiasm when it was at its height, without allowing it time to calm down. It was not enough merely to have caused a cessation of hostilities; it was necessary that French territory should be evacuated and the interests of France thoroughly settled, leaving no uncertainty as to her future, in order that your Majesty might at once assume your proper position. The signature of peace, therefore, had to be hastened, in order to obtain it on the best terms and with all the possible advantages to be derived from it.
By the treaty of the 30th of May France lost only what she had conquered, and not even all that she had conquered, during the struggle to which it put an end. She was deprived of nothing that was essential to her safety, and she lost only the power of domineering, which had not conduced either to her happiness or to her prosperity, and which was incompatible with the advantages of a durable peace. 2
In order to come to a right judgment concerning the peace of 1814, we must consider the impression which it made upon the allied nations. At St. Petersburg the Emperor Alexander, and at Berlin the King of Prussia, were received, not merely with coldness, but even with dissatisfaction and murmurs, because the treaty of the 30th of May did not fulfil the expectations of their respective subjects. France having everywhere raised immense war contributions, it was now expected that she would in her turn be treated in the same way; instead of which no demand was made upon her. She retained possession of all the objects of art which she had acquired by conquest, all her monuments and public buildings were respected, and it must be owned that she was treated with a consideration of which history presents no example under similar circumstances. 3
While all the immediate interests of France were settled, those of the other Powers were left subject to the decisions of a future Congress. France was invited to this Congress, but her plenipotentiaries found on their arrival that the passions and prejudices which should have been extinguished and destroyed by the treaty of the 30th of May, had again been roused after its conclusion, perhaps even in consequence of the incomplete satisfaction given by its provisions to the Powers.
They therefore continued to describe themselves as "allies," just as if the war had still been going on. Their plenipotentiaries having been the first to arrive at Vienna, came to an understanding in writing that the intervention of France in the business of the Congress should be merely formal. The French Legation suspected this from the very first, but could not obtain absolute certainty of the existence of these protocols till four months afterwards.
The substance of two of these protocols, dated the 22nd of September, 1814, 4 and which have been laid before your Majesty, is as follows:
"That the Allied Powers should take the initiative in all the subjects to be discussed" ( Austria, Russia, England, and Prussia were alone meant by the term 'Allied Powers'), because these four Powers were those most closely united with one another, both by international treaties and by common object.
"That they alone should come to terms with each other as to the distribution of the provinces to be disposed of; but that France and Spain should be permitted to pronounce their opinions and advance their objections, which should then be discussed in common.
"That the plenipotentiaries of the four Powers should not enter into deliberation with those of the two others on any point relative to the territorial distribution of the duchy of Warsaw, of Germany, and of Italy, until after they had arrived at a unanimous conclusion among themselves with regard to each of these three questions."
It was intended, therefore, that France should play a purely passive part in the Congress; she was to be simply a spectator of what was going on, and to take no active part. She continued to be the object of the mistrust and animosity engendered by the remembrance of the repeated invasions and the still recent calamities which she had inflicted upon Europe. She was still feared, her strength was still formidable, and it was thought that security could be obtained only by setting the whole of Europe in array against her; in fact, it was the coalition over again.
Your Majesty will allow me to take pleasure in the recollection that I always maintained, and endeavored to persuade the most eminent officers in your Majesty's service, that it was in the interest of France and of their own reputations at the present juncture voluntarily to renounce the idea of recovering possession of Belgium and of the left bank of the Rhine. I was of opinion that unless this patriotic sacrifice was made, there could be no peace between France and Europe. And we have seen that, even after France had lost these provinces, so great was her strength that the whole of Europe was kept in a state of alarm and obliged to maintain a hostile attitude. 5 So great is your Majesty's power, that even now, when Europe has attained to the maximum of strength and France is reduced to the minimum, Europe has still misgivings as to the success of the contest in which she is embarked. 6
My opinion coincided with your Majesty's feeling on this subject; unhappily most of your Majesty's principal servants, many highly respected writers, together with the army and the majority of the nation, did not share in these moderate views, without which any durable peace, or even the semblance of peace, was impossible, and the ambitious disposition, which was not without reason regarded as inherent in the French character, increased and justified the alarm inspired by our strength. 7
This is why the newspapers were full either of insinuations or of open charges against France and her plenipotentiaries. We were isolated, and hardly a soul dared to associate with us; even the few ministers who did not share in this universal prejudice avoided us, in order not to be compromised in the eyes of others. Their intentions were carefully concealed from us. Meetings were held without our knowledge, and as soon as the sittings of the Congress began, a committee was formed to regulate the federal organization of Germany, each member of which was bound by a solemn promise not to communicate anything that passed to us.
Although your Majesty's Government was not actuated by the motives attributed to them, although they wanted nothing, and were determined to ask for nothing, nevertheless the questions to be brought before the Congress concerned them most materially. Although French interests might differ from the temporary inter- ests of some of the Powers, they were fortunately in accordance with the interests of the majority, and even with the permanent interests of all.
Bonaparte destroyed so many reigning houses, and incorporated in his empire so much territory, and so many distinct populations, that when France ceased to be the enemy of Europe, and retired within the limits to which she would henceforward have to keep in order to remain on terms of peace and amity with other nations, vast countries without any government were found throughout Europe. The States whom he had despoiled without utterly destroying them, could not recover all their lost provinces, because portions of these had passed under the dominion of sovereigns with whom they had themselves entered into alliance. As it was necessary to find a government for the territories vacated by France, it was decided that they should be distributed, by way of indemnity, among the States which had suffered from Bonaparte's depredations. 8
These allotments of population and territory, repugnant and degrading as they are to humanity, were indispensable, in consequence of the violent usurpations of a Government which employed its strength only in destruction, and thereby necessitated this work of reconstruction out of the fragments which were left. 9
Saxony was conquered, the kingdom of Naples remained still in the possession of a usurper; the fate of these two States had to be decided.
It was laid down in the Treaty of Paris that the distribution of territories should be such as to establish in Europe a real and permanent balance of power. 10
Every one of the Powers allowed that it was right to comply with this principle, but the private views of some blinded them as to the means of accomplishing this object.
On the other hand, the balance of power would be established to no purpose if the Congress did not adopt, as one of the foundations of the future tranquillity of Europe, those principles which alone can secure internal tranquillity in individual States, and at the same time protect them from being subject in their mutual relations to the influence of force only.
It was your Majesty's wish, on your return to France, to bring back with you the purest political morality as the rule of your Government. Your Majesty felt that it was necessary that a similar desire should be shared by other Cabinets, and that it should appear in the relations of States with each other. Your Majesty commanded us to use all your royal influence and to devote all our efforts towards causing political morality to be held in honor by assembled Europe. Your Majesty wished that the Restoration should be general. 11
To this, however, there were many obstacles. The effects of the Revolution were not confined to France. Military conquests extended them to other countries by stirring up the passions of men and producing a general disregard of authority. In Holland and in many parts of Italy the people were accustomed frequently to see revolutionary government take the place of legitimate rule. While Bonaparte reigned in France, a people might be deprived of their independence, not by conquest only, but kings were deposed, governments were abolished, and whole nations effaced by a simple decree.
Habit and fear might make this state of things endurable, though doubtless, if it had lasted, the ruin of all civilized society must have followed, and some of the Powers, to whose interests the situation seemed for the moment to be favorable, were not ashamed to take Bonaparte for their model.
We exposed all the dangers of this misconception. We proved that the very existence of all Governments was most seriously imperilled by a system which made their preservation depend upon a party in the State or on the chances of war. Lastly, we showed that the principle of legitimacy must be held sacred in the interest of the people themselves, because legitimate Governments can alone be strong and durable, whereas illegitimate Governments, relying upon force only, fall to pieces the moment that support fails them, and then the people are delivered over to a succession of revolutions of which no one can foresee the end.
It took much time and trouble to get a hearing for these principles: they were too strict for the policy of some of the Courts; they were contrary to the system adopted by the English in India, and probably inconvenient for Russia, who had certainly ignored them in several important and recent transactions; 12 and before we succeeded in obtaining their recognition the Allied Powers had already made arrangements directly at variance with them.
Prussia demanded the whole of Saxony, and Russia supported her demand; England, in the official correspondence oil the subject, not only gave her unreserved consent, but even tried to prove that the step was fair and expedient; Austria also gave in her official adhesion, reserving only some slight rectifications of frontier. Thus was Saxony completely sacrificed by the private arrangements made between Austria, Russia, England, and Prussia, from which France was excluded.
Before long, however, the French minister's language, reasonable, thoughtful, and consistent, and without the least trace of any ambitious designs, began to make an impression. He felt that trust in him was renewed; 13 it was perceived that he was arguing not more in the interest of France than in that of Europe in general, and of each individual State; and the dangers which he pointed out became apparent. Austria was the first to wish to retrace the steps which had been taken with respect to the Saxon question; she declared, in a Note delivered to Prince Hardenberg on the 10th of December, 1814, that she would not permit that kingdom to be destroyed.
This was the first advantage gained by following in the line traced by your Majesty. 14
I reproach myself for having so often complained, in the letters which I have had the honor of writing to your Majesty, of the difficulties we experienced and the slowness of our progress. But I now bless this slowness; for if things had proceeded more rapidly, before March the Congress would have come to an end, the sovereigns have returned to their capitals, and the armies have marched home; and then how many difficulties we should have had to overcome! 15
Prince Metternich having officially communicated to me his Note of the 10th of December, I was able to explain the views taken by France, and I addressed to him and to Lord Castlereagh a full profession of political faith. I declared that your Majesty asked for nothing for France, and no more than simple justice for any one; that your Majesty desired above all that revolutions should come to an end, and that these doctrines should be banished in future from the political relations of States, in order that Governments might be enabled to prevent outbreaks, or, when threatened or attacked by revolutionary movements, to put an effectual stop to them.
The mistrust previously felt for us was completely dispelled by these declarations, and quite the opposite feeling soon took its place. Nothing now was done without our co-operation; we were not only consulted, but our approbation was solicited. An entire change came over public opinion; and those whose fears and suspicions had formerly led them to avoid us now came forward in crowds.
It was more difficult for England than for Austria to set aside the engagement taken to hand over the whole of the kingdom of Saxony to Prussia. The English instructions on this subject were more explicit than the Austrian. England had not, like Austria, made the gift of Saxony depend upon the possibility of finding other means for indemnifying Prussia for the losses sustained since 1806 by the cession of other territories equally suitable. Moreover, the position of ministers in England is such that they dare not, at the risk of losing what the English call reputation, 16 leave the road which they have once taken, and in deciding upon what road to take, their policy must always be guided by what is likely to be the opinion of Parliament. Notwithstanding this, the English Legation was induced to break its promise to Prussia, to change its plan of action, to desire the preservation of the kingdom of Saxony, to support France, and at last even to join France and Austria in a treaty of alliance. This treaty was signed on the 3rd of January. 17 It was remarkable as being the first indication of a reconciliation between Powers who, by their many interests in common, were bound, sooner or later, to stand by one another. Bavaria, Hanover, and the Low Countries acceded to this treaty; and then only was the coalition, which in spite of the peace was still in existence, really dissolved.
From this time the majority of the Powers adopted our principles, and it was clear that the others would not long continue to oppose them; it remained, therefore, only to apply them.
Prussia, deprived of the support of Austria and England, though still backed by Russia, found herself compelled to confine her claims to a portion only of Saxony; and thus that kingdom, which seemed irrevocably doomed to destruction, and whose sentence had been pronounced, was saved from ruin.
Bonaparte, after having seized the kingdom of Naples by force of arms, treated the country as his private property, and gave it, in violation of all national independence, as he might have given a landed estate, to one of his generals in recompense for his services. Acquiescence in such a title to a throne would have been no less gross a violation of the principle of legitimacy than Bonaparte's original act. Preparations, the success of which was certain, were therefore made for deposing Murat, When he accomplished his fall by his own aggression. Seven weeks have hardly elapsed since his rash attempt, and already the reign of the usurper is over, and Ferdinand IV. has regained his throne. In this important matter the English ministry courageously and thoroughly supported the conduct of France, in spite of the indiscreet and ill-timed clamor of the opposition, and in spite of the ill-advised intrigues of English travellers throughout Italy.
France is also to be congratulated upon the turn taken by almost all the other negotiations at the Congress.
The king of Sardinia having no heir male of the reigning branch of his family, there was reason to fear that Austria might attempt to have one of the Archdukes, who was married to one of the King's daughters, declared his successor; this would have placed all Upper Italy in the hands of Austria or of Austrian princes. It was settled that the right of the Carignan branch to succeed to the dominions of the King of Sardinia should be recognized. These dominions, augmented by the territory of Genoa, have become the inheritance of a family devoted to France. They will therefore form a counterpoise to Austrian influence in Italy, and serve to maintain a just balance of power in that country.
The whole of the duchy of Warsaw could not be kept out of the hands of Russia, but half of it was restored to its former possessors. 18
Prussia required neither Luxemburg nor Mayence, and on no side did her frontiers touch those of France; along the whole line the kingdom of the Netherlands was interposed, a kingdom whose natural tendencies, especially since her accession of territory, are favorable to France.
The blessing of perpetual neutrality was secured to Switzerland, which is almost as advantageous to France, whose frontier on that side is vulnerable, as to Switzerland herself. In spite, however, of this neutrality, the Swiss have joined Europe against Bonaparte. They will enjoy the neutrality they desired, and which is now secured to them forever, in all future wars between other nations. But the Swiss themselves felt that they had no right to claim neutrality in a war which is directed against a man, not against a nation -- a war which has been forced upon Europe for self-preservation, and which concerns Switzerland as much as any other country; they were therefore willing to aid the cause of Europe as far as their position, organization, and resources will permit them to do so. 19
By the Treaty of Paris France undertook, by a given date, to abolish the slave-trade. This might have been considered a sacrifice and a concession on her part, if the other maritime Powers, who did not share in the humane sentiments which dictated this measure, had not also adopted it.
Spain and Portugal, the two other Powers who were engaged in the slave-trade, undertook, like France, to abolish it. They asked, it is true, for rather longer delay, but their demand seems not unreasonable, looking to the requirements of their colonies, and remembering that in these rather backward countries public opinion had to be prepared for the measure.
The navigation of the Rhine and the Scheldt was placed under fixed rules equally applicable to all nations.
These rules were to prevent the riverain States from placing any obstacles of their own contrivance in the way of navigation, and from exacting any dues beyond those to which their own subjects were liable. These arrangements and the facilities which they afford to commerce will restore to France much of the benefit which she derived from the possession of Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine. 20 All the most important points, then, were settled satisfactorily for France, perhaps even more satisfactorily than could have been expected. In the minor details also her peculiar interests were cared for as much as those of the other nations.
From the time that the Powers, putting prejudice aside, recognized that, if things were to be established on a firm basis, each State must see its way clearly to securing all the advantages which it has a right to claim, earnest efforts were made to satisfy every one as far as that could be done without prejudice to the interests of others. But it was a gigantic undertaking. The ravages of twenty years of confusion had to be repaired, opposing interests to be reconciled by equitable arrangements, necessary losses to be made up for by superior advantages in another direction; the idea even of perfect political institutions, and of a perfect balance of power, had to be made subservient to the establishment of a lasting peace. 21
The chief obstacles were overcome, the most knotty points resolved, and every exertion was made to leave nothing unsettled. Germany was to receive a federal Constitution as the result of the deliberations of the Congress; and this would have put a stop to the evident tendency there was to form a southern and a northern confederacy. The Powers intended, by equitable and judicious arrangements, to erect an effectual barrier in Italy against the frequent recurrence of the revolutions which for ages have been the scourge of that country. Measures of general utility were taken in hand, by which it was hoped that the mutual interests of the various countries would be secured, their points of contact and their industrial and commercial relations multiplied, and all profitable means of communication brought to perfection, or facilitated according to the principles of liberal policy.
We flattered ourselves that the Congress would crown its work by establishing, in lieu of temporary alliances, the results of the needs and calculations of the moment, that permanent system of general and reciprocal guarantee and international adjustment which we had taught all the Powers to appreciate. Lord Castlereagh drew up an excellent article to this effect. The Ottoman Empire was included in this grand scheme for mutual protection, and it was probably owing to the information derived from England and France that the Porte decided upon rejecting all the overtures made to it by Bonaparte. By these means order would have been established in Europe, and placed under the constant protection of all parties interested in its preservation, who, by wisely concerted measures and by loyally united efforts, would have stifled at its birth any attempt at disturbance.
The progress of revolution would then have been checked, and the Government might have turned all their attention to home administration and the substantial improvements much needed and longed for by the people, and in carrying out the many salutary schemes which have unfortunately been suspended by the dangers and convulsions of recent years. The restoration of your Majesty's Government, all whose interests, principles, and wishes are directed to the preservation of peace, alone made it possible to establish the tranquillity and future prosperity of Europe upon a solid foundation. To complete this great work it was necessary that your Majesty should retain possession of your throne. It has been interrupted by the terrible catastrophe which has for some time separated your Majesty from your people. All care for the prosperity of nations has had to be abandoned in order to save them from dangers which threatened their very existence. Many intended measures have had to be postponed to a more favorable opportunity, and many others have been passed hurriedly and without the mature reflection of undivided attention.
The Congress was, therefore, obliged to leave its task unfinished, and there was some talk of postponing its signature until the work could be completed.
Several of the Cabinets took this view, perhaps with the secret intention of taking advantage of coming events. I regarded the adjournment as a great misfortune for your Majesty, not so much on account of the uncertainty which it would cause as to the intentions of the Powers, as because of the effect which the treaty would have upon public opinion in France; the treaty being a measure in which the most important interests of Europe are involved, and in which your Majesty, in spite of actual circumstances, appears as one of the principal parties. It was my duty, therefore, to do my utmost to obtain its signature, and I esteem myself most fortunate in having succeeded.
A great nation like the French could not be satisfied unless the same respect and friendly feeling which your Majesty's Government has a right to expect from foreign Courts, but which had for the moment been extinguished by the terror inspired by the French name, were extended to your Majesty's subjects. 22 I have now the pleasure of informing your Majesty that since the month of December, 1814, every Frenchman whom business of any sort has brought to Vienna has been treated with special consideration, and it is not too much to say that on the 7th of March, 1815, the day on which the arrival of Bonaparte in France became known, the fact of being a Frenchman was regarded as a claim to general good will. I well know what great importance your Majesty attached to this reconciliation, and I am glad to be able to inform you that your Majesty's wishes in this respect have been completely fulfilled.
I beg to make known to your Majesty how greatly the ambassadors, my colleagues, the Due de Dalberg, the Count de la Tour du Pin, and the Count de Noailles, together with M. de la Besnadière, Counsellor of State, who accompanied me to Vienna, have contributed to the success of the negotiations. They have rendered great service, not only by their work upon the different Commissions to which they were appointed, but still more by their conduct in society, by their language, and by the favorable opinion which they inspired, both of themselves and of the Government which they represent. Their enlightened co-operation alone enabled me to overcome the many obstacles, to extinguish the ill feeling, and to remove the bad impressions with which I had to deal -- enabled me, in a word, to restore to your Majesty's Government the influence which is justly its due in the councils of Europe.
It was by determining to uphold the principle of legitimacy that we obtained this important result. The presence of the sovereigns who were at Vienna, and of all the members of the Congress, at the expiatory ceremony of the 21st of January, was a striking homage paid to this principle.
But at the very moment of its triumph at the Congress, it was attacked in France.
The truth of that which I am about to tell your Majesty is more distinctly perceived from afar than on the spot, in Paris. 23 Outside France, because there are fewer objects to distract the attention, and because a mass of intelligence arrives all at once free from the accessories which are apt on the spot to give a false coloring to facts, an observer from a distance is the best judge of all that is going on; notwithstanding this, however, I should hesitate to trust to my own observation only. Having long occupied a diplomatic post abroad, my duty to your Majesty requires that I should follow the rule laid down by the Foreign Office for all its agents employed in foreign countries. It is their duty to make a report of the opinion held in the countries to which they are accredited, of the various acts of the French Government, and of the impression which these acts produce upon enlightened and observant men.
A man can accommodate himself to any settled state of things, even to one opposed to his convictions, because under it there are no fears for the future; but he cannot accustom himself to a state of things varying from day to day, because each day gives birth to fresh fears, and we cannot tell what the end will be. The partisans of the Revolution had made up their minds to put up with the first acts of your Majesty's Government, but they were alarmed by that which was done a fortnight, a month, or six months afterwards. This is why they were resigned to the expulsion of members from the Senate, 24 but would not endure the expulsions made from the Institute, though these latter were of much less importance. 25
The changes which your Majesty has seen fit to make in the Court of Cassation ought to have been made eight months earlier. 26
The principle of legitimacy was also imperilled, and most seriously imperilled, by the foolish conduct of the defenders of legitimate power, who did not distinguish between the source of power and its exercise, and believed, or acted as if they believed, that legitimate power must necessarily be absolute and unquestioned. 27
However legitimate a power may be, its exercise nevertheless must vary according to the objects to which it is applied, and according to time and place. Now, the spirit of the present age in great civilized States demands that supreme authority shall not be exercised except with the concurrence of representatives chosen by the people subject to it.
To fight against this doctrine was fighting against public opinion, and many persons occupying positions near the throne caused great injury to the Government by giving utterance to sentiments opposed to this feeling. 28 The virtues and good faith with which your Majesty is credited constitute your strength; some recent acts have tended to diminish this. Such are the forced interpretations and subtleties by means of which some of the provisions of the constitutional Charter appeared to be evaded, and especially the decrees upsetting institutions duly authorized by law.
Men began to doubt the good faith of the Government, and to suspect that it regarded the Charter only as a temporary measure extorted by the difficulties of the time and one that it intended to let fall in abeyance if the watchfulness of Parliament allowed it to do so. Reaction was feared, and this fear was increased by some of the appointments made. The selection of M. de Bruges, 29 for example, to the post of Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor, however great his personal merits may be, has displeased every one in France, and has, if your Majesty will allow me to say it, astonished all Europe.
General anxiety rallied to the ranks of the partisans of revolution all those who, without sharing in their errors, were attached to constitutional principles and also those who had an interest in upholding, I will not say the doctrines of the Revolution, but the results of those doctrines.
To these causes, much more than to any real attachment for his person, Bonaparte was indebted for any partisans outside the army, and even for many of those in the army, because, having risen by the Revolution, he was bound by every conceivable tie to the men who had been its leaders. 30
It cannot be denied that, great as may be the advantages of legitimacy, it may nevertheless lead to abuses. This is felt strongly, because during the twenty years immediately preceding the Revolution the tendency of all political writing was to expose and exaggerate these abuses. Few persons know how to appreciate the advantages of legitimacy, because they are all in the future; but everybody is at once struck by its abuses, because they may occur at any moment and show themselves upon every occasion. Has any one during the last twenty years reflected enough to perceive that none but a legitimate Government can be stable? A Government that offers to every ambitious man the chance of upsetting it and placing another in its stead, lives a threatened life, and bears within itself a fermenting spirit of revolution, ready at any moment to break out. The notion unhappily prevails that legitimacy affords a sovereign too much facility for setting himself above all laws, by securing him in the possession of the throne, however ill he may govern.
With this turn of mind now manifesting itself among all nations, and in these times, when everything, and especially politics, is discussed, examined, and analyzed, people are apt to ask what is legitimacy, whence it proceeds, and in what it consists. 31
In the time when religious feelings were all-powerful and deeply engraved in the hearts and minds of men, it was possible to believe that the sovereign power was an emanation from the Divinity. It was possible to believe that those families who were raised to the throne by Heaven's favor, and long kept there by its will, reigned over men by divine right. But in these days, in which there remains scarcely a trace of these feelings, and in which the bond of religion, if not broken, at any rate is much loosened, men will no longer allow the claim of legitimacy to this origin.
In the present time the general opinion, one that it would be vain to attempt to weaken, is that Governments exist only for the sake of the people; a necessary corollary to this opinion is that legitimate power is the form of government best calculated to secure the prosperity and tranquillity of the people. From this it follows that authority, to be legitimate, must have existed for a long succession of years; and accordingly, we see that legitimate power, from the fact that it is fortified by memories of the past, by the affection which men naturally feel for the family of their chief, and having on its side possession, which in itself confers a title in the case of private ownership, is the form of government least likely to expose the people to the perilous chances of revolution, and is, therefore, the form to which they are bound in their best interests to submit. On the other hand, if the conviction obtains that the abuses to which this power is liable constitute an evil over-weighing the advantages which it offers, legitimacy must be looked upon as a delusion and a snare.
How then are we to inspire nations with confidence in legitimate authority, which alone can insure it respect and stability? We have only, but this is indispensable, so to constitute it as to remove all fear lost its power should be abused.
It is just as much in the interest of the sovereign as in that of his subjects that it should be so constituted, for absolute power would be in these times as heavy a burden upon him who wields it, as upon those who have to submit to it.
Before the Revolution, authority in France was restricted by ancient institutions; it was tempered by the action of the great bodies of the magistracy, the clergy, and the nobility, who were necessary elements in its composition and the instruments of its power. Now that these institutions, these instruments have been destroyed, others must be found to supply their place; and these others must be such as not merely are not repugnant to public opinion -- they must be the objects of its choice.
Formerly the secular power could derive support from the authority of religion; it can no longer do this, because religious indifference has penetrated all classes and become universal. A Government, therefore, must now rely only upon public opinion for support, and to obtain that it must march with the times.
It will obtain it if people see that the Government, while fully able to promote their prosperity, is powerless for harm. But to insure this, they must be certain that it cannot act arbitrarily. It is not enough that they should believe in its wish to do good, because they might be afraid that this wish might change, or that the wrong means might be employed to obtain a desirable end; it is not enough that confidence should be founded upon the virtues and good qualities of the sovereign, which, like him, are perishable; it must be founded on the strength of national institutions, which are everlasting. Moreover, even the institutions most calculated to secure national prosperity would inspire no confidence, unless they were established under the form of government, which the spirit of the age looks upon as the only form adapted to obtain that object.
Guarantees are wanted; they are wanted equally for the sake of the sovereign and for that of the subjects. These guarantees would not be believed in --
Unless personal liberty be protected by law against all infringement;
Unless the liberty of the press be fully secured, and law confine itself to punishing its offences; 32
Unless the judges be irremovable in order to secure their independence; 33
Unless the administration, or any public body other than the courts of law, be debarred from exercising jurisdiction in any case;
Unless all the ministers, jointly and severally, be responsible for the exercise of the power entrusted to them; 34
Unless only responsible persons be admitted to the councils of the sovereign; 35
And, finally, unless the law be the expression of the united will of the three separate states of the realm.
With old and populous countries, in which new wants have developed inteiligence, and intelligence has added force to the passions, it is necessary that the executive should be strong in propor tion, and experience shows that the strength of authority is increased by dividing it.
These opinions are no longer peculiar to any one country; they are shared by almost all. Accordingly, we see that the cry for Constitutions is universal; everywhere the establishment of a Constitution adapted to the more or less advanced state of society has become a necessity, and everywhere preparations for this purpose are in progress. The Congress, in giving Genoa to Sardinia, 36 Lucca to the Infanta Maria Louisa of Spain, on restoring Naples to Ferdinand IV. and the Legations to the Pope, expressly stipulated, on behalf of these countries, that the form of government which appeared requisite or most suitable to their actual state should be introduced. Every sovereign and every minister I have seen is frightened at the consequences which the system of government adopted by Ferdinand VII. must produce in Spain, and bitterly regrets that Europe allowed him to recover his throne except upon the condition of his granting to his subjects institutions in harmony with the spirit of the age. 37 I have even heard sovereigns deplore as a personal misfortune that their subjects were not sufficiently advanced to be ripe for institutions implying a high degree of civilization.
I have gathered these opinions from the deliberations of assembled Europe. I found all the sovereigns with whom I conversed, together with their ministers, imbued with them. They are expressed in all the letters written by the ambassadors of Austria and Russia to London, and also in those of Lord Castlereagh. I was therefore bound to submit them to your Majesty in this report; and I was the more bound because in the farewell audiences granted me by the sovereigns, they all commissioned me to inform your Majesty, that they are fimly convinced that France will never be tranquil, unless your Majesty unreservedly adopts these opinions, and takes them for your sole guide in government. They said that the whole past must be forgotten in France, 38 and that without restriction; the least exception would be dangerous; and that there would be no assurance of safety for the sovereign, unless it were one in which all parties could share, and that such assurance would not be considered satisfactory, unless it were judged so to be by all classes of society. They said that your Majesty must arrive at a complete system, in which every component part illustrates and makes manifest the honesty of the whole, in order to enable the public at once to see clearly the aims and objects of the Government, and then every one will understand and be free from anxiety as to his own position. 39
They added that although it may at first seem that no one is interested so much as your Majesty in the preservation of tranquillity in France, yet in reality they are just as much interested in it themselves, inasmuch as the present critical situation of France compromises the existence of all Europe, and because it would be difficult, after they had once returned home, to renew the efforts which they have made this year.
The sovereigns, after reading your Majesty's last proclamation to your subjects, told me that they remarked with regret one phrase in it, by which your Majesty seems to imply, though with much caution, that you submitted to accept their assistance, whence it might be inferred that if your Majesty had declined it, the peace might have been unbroken. They are afraid lest this should injure your Majesty's cause in France by giving your Majesty the appearance of having been imposed upon her by them. They think that, in order to disabuse your subjects of so unfortunate an idea, your Majesty and those about you should remain quiet. This will be difficult, for your Majesty will have to restrain and even suppress the zeal of your servants. In their opinion your Majesty should appear to be grieved by what is going on, rather than to take part in it; your Majesty, either in your own person or in that of your adherents, should intervene between the allied sovereigns and your subjects, to diminish as much as possible the evil effect of war, and to make the minds of the Allies easy respecting the fidelity of the fortresses which may be surrendered, and which, I presume, will, according to the arrangements to be made between your Majesty's ministers and the Duke of Wellington, be confided to persons selected by you. Lastly, that in order that your Majesty may clearly appear to be not only not making war, but not even instigating it, they think it would be best that neither your Majesty nor any of the royal princes should accompany the allied armies. Never were politics handled with so much delicacy. 40
If any part of France should succeed, thanks to the events which are about to happen, in shaking off Bonaparte's yoke, I think that your Majesty could not do better than proceed to the spot immediately, accompanied by your ministers, and then and there summon the Chambers and resume the government of the kingdom, just as if the whole country had returned to its allegiance. 41 The projected advance upon Lyons, which I was very anxious to have carred out on account of the excellent effect which it would produce upon the southern provinces, would have been very favorable to the execution of this plan.
The intelligence that so great a number of commissioners have been appointed to the army has produced a bad impression. 42 I think that all your Majesty's measures should be taken in concert with the Allies, and subject to their approbation. This act of deference should go far towards placing clearly before their eyes the object of the war, of which, I am bound to say, the different Cabinets do not take exactly the same view. England certainly wishes earnestly for your Majesty's restoration, without any ulterior objects; 43 Austria also wishes for it, though less eagerly; but I am not at all sure that Russia is not inclined to enter into other entanglements, or that Prussia would not make her own aggrandize. ment her chief object.
Could not your Majesty, at the moment when the foreign armies are about to enter France, issue a second proclamation to your subjects, carefully soothing the self-esteem of the nation, who, not without reason, resist having even what they desire imposed upon them by foreigners? This proclamation, after dealing first with the erroneous opinion which Bonaparte is trying to spread concerning the cause and the object of the present war, might go on to say that the foreign Powers have not embarked in this war for the sake of your Majesty's interests, knowing, as they do, that France needs only to be delivered from oppression, but for the sake of their own safety; that the Powers would not have made war unless they had been persuaded that Europe would continue to be threatened with the greatest calamities, while the man who for so long has loaded her with misfortunes remained master of France; that the return of this man to France is the only cause of the war, and is its chief and immediate aim to wrest from him the power which he has seized; that, in order as far as possible to soften the rigors of war, to ward off its disasters, and stop its ravages, your Majesty, surrounded by Frenchmen, takes the place of intermediary between the foreign sovereigns and your people, with the hope that the consideration due to your Majesty may be extended to your dominions; that this, and this only, will be the position occupied by your Majesty during the war, and that you have forbidden the princes of your house to accompany the foreign armies or to take any share in hostilities. Passing next to the measures to be taken within France, your Majesty should make known your readiness to enter into any engagements, which may be deemed necessary. And as the best pledge for the security of good government lies in the selection of those who have to administer it, your Majesty should announce that your present ministry is provisional only, and that you are prepared, on arriving in France, to make any changes that may be desirable in order to secure the services of a ministry, whose appointment shall be a guarantee to all parties and all opinions, and one that shall relieve all anxiety
Lastly, it would be useful if in this same proclamation your Majesty alluded to the national domains, 44 dealing with this question in a more absolute, decided, and encouraging spirit than that of the constitutional Charter, the provisions of which have not succeeded in calming the minds of those who have become possessed of these domains It is most essential just now to remove all cause, or any pretext even, for anxiety on this head, because the present feeling has already stopped the sale of the forest lands, which we want as much as possible to encourage, as the produce is more than ever needed.
It is the general opinion, in which I share, that it is desirable, I may say necessary, that your Majesty's address to your people should be framed in the spirit of the foregoing suggestions, 45 and, above all, that it should contain the most entirely satisfactory pledges in the matter of constitutional government. If, as I venture to hope, your Majesty shares this opinion, you will probably see fit to charge some of your confidential advisers with the duty of preparing a draft of the proclamation for submission to your Majesty.I have given your Majesty a full and correct report of the results of the negotiations of the Congress, and of the impression produced in Vienna by the state of affairs in France. There remain only a few trifling matters of detail.During my stay in Vienna a great mass of papers accumulated on my hands. As most of these do not contain matter of sufficient interest to be wanted again for reference, and as your Majesty has copies of all that are important, it was needless for me to bring them all away. I have, therefore, burnt the greater portion of these papers, and left the remainder in Vienna in safe hands.I have now completed my long task, one that from the nature of the things which I had to submit to your Majesty has sometimes been a very painful task, and it affords me great pleasure to be able to conclude it by bringing to your Majesty's notice the zeal and devotion above all praise unceasingly shown during the sitting of the Congress by your Majesty's ambassadors and ministers at the various Courts to which they were accredited. The same causes which led me to encounter so much opposition made their position difficult from the very beginning; these difficulties were subsequently much increased in consequence of the painful events which have succeeded each other since the beginning of March. They have regarded these difficulties, however, only as an additional opportunity for proving their attachment towards your Majesty. In addition to this, several of them have for some time past found themselves in great pecuniary embarrassment. They did their best to live in a manner becoming the dignity of the several positions in which your Majesty's confidence had placed them. I trust that some provision has been made for improving their present condition; some of them are in really distressed circumstances.
NOTES TO LETTER C.
"At Roye a consultation was held. M. de Talleyrand had two old wornout horses harnessed to his carriage and proceeded to the King. His equipage occupied the whole space from the inn in which the minister was staying to the King's door. He alighted from his carriage with a Memorandum, which he read to us, and discussed the course to be taken on our arival."-- Chateaubriand, Mémoires d'Outre Tombe, tom. vi. p. 388. In his celebrated Memorandum of the 25th of November, 1792, M. Talley. rand said, describing the foreign policy which the Republic ought to follow:
"We no longer need -- as we were advised some years ago by eminent statesmen -- to adopt the policy of restoring France to the rank assigned to her by her extraordinary extension, and to the leadership in all respects due to her among the continental Powers.
"We know now what all these grand ideas of rank, leadership, and preponderance are worth. We know what to think of the political stage upon which the turbulence and incapacity of European Cabinets have struggled so long and so ostentatiously, at the expense of their people's interests. We have at last learnt that the only real profitable and reasonable leadership -- that which alone becomes free and enlightened men -- consists in being master at home, and in never entertaining the ridiculous pretension of being other people's master. We have at last learnt -- rather late. perhaps -- that for States, as for individuals, the real way to get rich is, not by conquering and invading foreign countries, but by improving your own. We have learnt that all increase of territory all the gains of force or cunning, long associated by time-honored prejudices with the idea of rank, leadership, national coherence, and superiority among the nations of the world, are but the cruel mockery of political folly and false estimates of strength, increasing the expense and complications of government and diminishing the well-being and safety of the governed, for the sake of the transient advantage or vanity of those in power.
"The reign of illusions is, then, over in France. In her maturity she will not be seduced by the grand political considerations which so long and so deplorably led astray and prolonged her childhood. Circumstances, which no human sagacity could foresee, have placed her in a position without example in the history of nations.
"By her courage, her perseverance, and her intelligence she has marked out for herself a new career, and, having ascertained the object to be aimed at, she will know how to obtain it."
It is well known that the events of 1815 were followed by a second Treaty of Paris (in November), which made a great change in the situation described by Talleyrand. Henri Martin, speaking of M. de Talleyrand's behavior when the Louvre was pillaged by the Allies under the second Restoration, says --
"The Great Powers, who were less interested in the question, might probably have been brought by negotiation to consent to the retention by France of part, at least, of the art treasures. But Talleyrand, knowing that he could not long remain Minister of Foreign Affairs, affected a prudery most unusual in him, and refused to run the chance of incurring unpopularity by compromising the matter in any way. The King had the same feeling on the subject. There was no attempt at negotiation, and consequently the Allies, unchecked and acting on their own authority, pillaged the Louvre."
See D'Angeberg, p. 249.
See D'Angeberg. The Memorandums of M. de Gagern, M. de Humboldt, M. de Capo d'Istria, the Prince of Hardenberg, and Prince Metternich, presented in August, 1815.
M. de Gagern endeavors to prove in his minute, which is extremely violent, that, even after the cession of Alsace, France would still be "the strongest and in all respects the preponderating Power."
"Remember this this same Europe which has been persuaded to make the Declaration which I have sent you is full of jealousy against France. . . . Whenever bad news arrives this feeling becomes manifest.' -- Talleyrand to Jaucourt. 10th March, 1815.
There is still a good deal of the war spirit abroad. But no one except the
Bourbon family takes the slightest interest in the King of Saxony, and not a single soldier could be raised to fight for him in all France. The frontier of the Rhine in Belgium, or even the fortress of Luxemburg alone, would call out recruits fast enough; but depend upon it, there is no inclination towards the disinterested policy of taking up arms for the integrity of Saxony and the balance of power in Europe as it was in 1792." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 9th May, 1814. According to the instructions given to the French plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Vienna, the vacant countries were divided into two classes. 1st. Countries assigned by the treaty of the 30th May: to the King of Sardinia. Savoy, the Department of Nice and part of the State of Genoa: to Austria, Illyria, and Italy from the Po to the Ticino: to Holland, Belgium, and the frontier of the Meuse to Prussia, the country comprised between the Meuse, France, and the Rhine. 2d. Countries not disposed of by the said treaty, viz.: the rest of the State of Genoa, part of Italy, Lucca, Piombino, the Ionian Islands, the old grand-duchy of Berg, East Friesland, Prussian Westphalia, Erfürt, and Dantzic, and also the island of Elba, of which Napoleon I. was only the temporary sovereign.
"On the evening of the 4th of April, 1814, Napoleon had a long conversation with Caulaincourt upon whom it made an indelible impression. . . . He strove to persuade the solitary hearer who was to report his words to the world at large, and he strove perhaps to persuade himself that he had acted only in the interests of France; he repeated the expression which had once before escaped him, and repeated it with true and deep anguish: Ah! to leave France so small after having received her so great!' "
-- Henri Martin, "Histoire de France," tom. iv p. 93.
The following is the definition of the balance of power in Europe given in one of the instructions relative to the Congress of Vienna: "It is a combination of the mutual rights and interests of the Powers, by means of which Europe aims at securing the following objects: 1st. That no single Power, nor any union of Powers, shall have the mastery in Europe. 2nd. That no Power or union of Powers shall be at liberty to infringe the actual possession and recognized rights of any other Power 3rd. That it shall no longer be necessary in order to maintain the established state of affairs, to live in a state of imminent or actual war, and that the proposed combination shall secure the peace and repose of Europe against the efforts of a disturber, by diminishing his chances of success."
See D'Angeberg, p. 540.
The part of the French ministers in the Congress of Vienna was really the simplest and noblest of all. All that concerned France having been settled by the Treaty of Paris, they had no demands to make for themselves, and were therefore at liberty to watch the conduct of others, to defend the weak against the strong, to confine each Power within its just boundaries, and to labor sincerely for the re-establishment of the political balance. And I must do them the justice to say that they pursued this course, and refrained from making any proposal or submitting any plan tending, either directly or indirectly, to produce the slightest change in the stipulations of the Treaty of Paris, to the smallest extension of their frontiers, or towards any claim whatever incompatible with the rights of neighboring nations or with general tranquillity In spite of all the lies that are going about the world, in spite of the plans, of the attempts, and of all the intrigues which inveterate hatred of France has falsely and often ridiculously ascribed to her ministers, veracious history will have to bear witness to their honorable conduct; and I, who was a spectator of all that happened, and who am, therefore, more competent than any one else to write the history of these transactions -- I wish to be the first to do them justice." -- Metternich to Talleyrand. In his letter to Metternich, M. de Talleyrand reminds the prince that the partition of Poland was "the prelude, partly perhaps the cause, and to some extent the excuse, for the commotions of which Europe has been the victim."
Enough notice has not been taken of the fact that M. de Talleyrand succeeded in having the partition of Poland condemned by the very Powers who consummated it.
"It was certainly a grand moral lesson to see the Powers who destroyed Poland join those who had allowed her destruction in denouncing this great crime. " -- Viel-Castel," Histoire de la Restauration," tom. ii. p. 222.
"The King alone, among all the sovereigns, appeared at the Congress as the defender of principles. His policy that of putting aside all selfish aims, is beginning to be universally appreciated, and has given a peculiarly noble aspect to the cause which we are pleading: this, and the frankness we have exhibited in all the discussions, make it impossible to doubt our generosity and disinterestedness, and tend more and more every day to banish the suspicions of ambition and treachery, which have been nourished against France, Accordingly, we are now as much courted as we were formerly shunned." -- Talleyrand to the Marquis de Bonnay 18th November, 1814.
See D'Angeberg, "Instructions for Prince Talleyrand at the Congress of Vienna, September, 1814."
These words of Talleyrand remind one of what Madame de Staël said of the Hundred Days:
"If Napoleon triumphs, adieu to liberty; if he succumbs to Europe, adieu to national independence. In the original "character."
" M. de Talleyrand did one great thing at Vienna. By the treaty of alliance, which he negotiated between France, England, and Austria, of the 3rd of January. 1815, he put an end to the coalition formed against us in 1813, and Europe was divided into two parties, greatly to the advantage of France: but the events of the 20th of March destroyed his work: the European coalition was again formed, directed against Napoleon and against France, who made herself, or allowed herself to be made, the tool of Napoleon."
-- "Mémoires de Guizot", tom. i. p. 100.
Unfortunately, while the skilful negotiations of M. de Talleyrand at Vienna were obtaining these results, the mismanagement of affairs at home by the Restoration Government precipitated the crisis which destroyed his work. M. de Jaucourt wrote to him, under date of the 24th of November, 1814.
"If all that you do not do was managed as well as all that you do, it would be too great luck. I am devoured by zeal for the house of the Sovereign, and I therefore entreat you to consider carefully our administrative, financial. and constitutional position; above all, do give us a ministry. Bring your penetrating and judicious mind to bear upon the future. Without you we should be in a bad way."
"One of M. de Talleyrand's favorite ideas, and one that always appeared to me sound and reasonable was that it should be the aim of French policy to deliver Poland from a foreign yoke, and to make it a barrier to Russia as a counterpoise to Austria. He was constantly urging this with all the influence in his power. I have often heard him say that the peace of Europe depended upon Poland." -- Mémoires de Madame de Rémusat, tom. iii. p. 53.
In this passage the casuistry of the former Bishop of Autun peeps out. A neutrality ceases to be real as soon as it is violated: it must be owned that after getting out of the Congress of Vienna, under the pretext of what he called high principle, all that could be advantageous to France and agreeable to Louis XVIII., M. de Talleyrand was very much inclined to barter it away whenever the cause he was upholding seemed to require it.
All must allow the justice of M. de Talleyrand's views on freedom of carriage: many circumstances show that he foresaw the extraordinary development which increased facility of communication would bring to trade. It should likewise be remembered that his first, as well as his last, act of diplomacy was to endeavor to establish commercial relations with England. The Moniteur Universel of the 27th of July, 1815, contains the following passage concerning the results of the Congress of Vienna:
"From what grievous calamities a loyal and strong confederation, such as we now see, would have saved Europe and France. Those, however, who caused the evil have no right to accuse its victims. . . . And so the ancient edifice so well described by Voltaire as the European Republic crumbled away in the presence of a new power
-- a power that for the sake of its brand-new theories, and for the sake of one man and his usurping dynasty, insisted upon changing and modifying everything so that everything might be moulded in its new and strange forms. The European edifice had now to be reconstructed, and this was the task set before the Congress. Let us adopt the enlightened and just idea of the author of 'The Age of Louis XIV.,' and, without sharing the respectable opinions of the great Sully and of the good Abbé de SaintPierre, let us consider Europe, in its entirety and in the general system of its fundamental relations, as a society, a family, a republic of princes and nations. From this point of view we perceive that there is, in the midst of so many apparently conflicting and opposing interests, a fixed and indisputable principle capable of solving more than one political problem."
"The company of amateurs, which is to perform in a private theatre before the sovereigns, plays only the works of Racine and Molière. This exclusive use of the French language is naturally a scandal in the eyes of some of the Germans, who wanted German to be the language of the Congress." -Moniteur Universel of 30th June. 1814, correspondence from Vienna. "You are perfectly right, one can take an accurate view only of that which is seen as a whole. It is as difficult to place yourself at the right distance for observation when you are in the midst of commotion and disturbance, as it is to bring them near and judge them fairly when you are far away." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 4th February, 1815. Fifty-three senators were expelled from the Senate by Louis XVIII.; among them were Cambacérès, Chaptat, Curée, Cardinal Fesch, Fouché, Francois de Neufchâteau, Garat, Grégoire, Lambrecht, Roger Ducos, Rderer, Sieyès, etc. The following were expelled from the Institute: Cambacérès, Carnot, Guyton de Morveau, Monge, Merlin de Douai, Sieyès, Lakanal, Grégoire, David, Rcederer, Garat, and Cardinal Maury. Their places were taken by Monseigneur de Bausset, Bishop of Alais; MM. de Bonald, de Lally-Tollendal, the Dues de Richelieu and de Lévis, the Count de Choiseul-Gouffier, Ferrand, Letronne, Raoul Rochette, and Quatremère de Quincy.
On the 28th of February, 1815, Jaucourt wrote to Talleyrand:
"The Chancellor also is devoted to the King, and his robe is to him the emblem of monarchy restored. At the meeting of the Council yesterday I had a word with him and M. Ferrand. Upon the latter asking, 'Why this word institute, a word of revolutionary creation, and invented only twenty-five years ago?' and Dambray saying that if the ballot balls were brought back they would pounce upon them and snatch them from each other, I said, 'Well said; yours is a grand saying -- an admirable, useful, wise, conservative saying!"
On the 4th of March he writes:
"The King expels the voters from the Institute, but preserves the name of Institute; amalgamates the academies of painting, suppressing the fourth class; restores the name of Academy to the three classes, with their former rank, and fills up vacancies."
On the 21st of November, 1814, the Abbé de Montesquieu presented a Bill which aimed at assimilating the proceedings of the Court of Cassation to those of the Conseil des parties of 1789, making the Supreme Court a department of the King's Council, with the Chancellor of France as president, not only of the Court of Cassation, but of each of the separate Departments. The Chamber of Requests was not to be required to assign any reasons for its judgments. The King was to have power to make orders in Council without consulting the Legislature. The intention also was announced of calling for the resignation of those members of the Court whose services it was thought for any reason desirable to dispense with.
The opinion of the public, which was strongly adverse to the measures contemplated, found able expression in the speeches of MM. de Flaugergues and Dumolard in the Chamber of Deputies. The Bill, however, was carried, but in so modified a form that the Government did not think it advisable to send it up to the Chamber of Peers. The work of weeding out, however, was carried on by the order of the 17th of February, 1815. The illustrious Procureur-General Merlin de Douai, who voted for the death of Louis XVI., was dismissed, and also the Chief President Muraire. The place of the latter was taken by M. de Sèze, who defended Louis XVI.
"Méhée's pamphlet (the acts and proceedings of his Majesty's ministers in violation of the Constitution denounced to the King) has done harm enough, but its refutation in the Journal des Debats for yesterday, the 29th, will do still more. Do read that number. You would hardly believe, till you have read it, that people could take such pains to excite hatred. Those who are always talking and preaching about forgetting the past, about concord, peace, and the unity of Frenchmen, are daily lighting up the torch of discord, provoking civil war, and doing their best to divide France into two hostile camps." -D'Hauterive to Talleyrand, 30th September, 1814.
In a letter to Talleyrand, dated the 23rd of October, 1814, after praising Monsieur and the Due d'Angoulême, Beugnot goes on to say --
"The Due de Berry has lost popularity, both in society and in the army. The Prince has lately shown himself severe and sometimes hard. This must be an affectation on his part; for by nature he is only surly, and, like all surly people, has an excellent heart."
"It cannot be denied that M. de Blacas is believed to have had a great deal to do with recent events. The Duc de Richelieu says that this report is per- fectly true with respect to home matters, and I can answer for Its truth with respect to foreign affairs. Do all you can to prevent its appearing that the King is acting under his influence. You may be perfectly sure that the bare idea of his being subject to this influence will be enough to produce a most unfavorable impression. Of all those around the King you alone have stuck to him with unswerving fidelity, consequently you alone can be of any real service to him. " -- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 9th April, 1815.
"The outcry against M. de Blacas is so great that the King is the only person whose ears it has not reached. The Due de Gramont, and the whole house of Damas, and all the commanders of the army; the Duke of Ragusa, who is about to retire: the Council, Lally, Chateaubriand, Beurnonville, . . . all refuse to transact business with him, and declare that the feeling of the French nation towards him is similar to that of the Spaniards towards the Prince of Peace. . . . Monsieur said to me, 'We must allow nothing which can in any way countenance the ridiculous idea of the sovereignty of the people.' "
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 28th April, 1815.
"A mischievous decree has been passed affecting the Legion of Honor, and one equally mischievous, which I mentioned to you before, affecting the University -- this is what they have done. What they have not done is, to adopt a common aim, conscientious sincerity, and a firm and consistent proceeding. To-morrow, Sunday, the King will receive M. de Sèze: he has refused to receive the Chancellor of the Legion of Honor afterwards. It is a pleasure to him to touch the blue ribbon with his royal hands: this is very natural; but the hearts of thirty-seven thousand members of the Legion would have been touched if with his French hands he had thrown the grand ribbon of the Legion round the neck of M. de Bruges, or still more if it had been round the neck of some one else I could mention." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 18th February, 1815. This is the same M. de Bruges concerning whom, when it was proposed to appoint him Prefect of Police, Louis XVIII. observed, "Oh no; he is not Parisian enough."
Napoleon, when he received Lanjuinais, President of the Chamber of Representatives, asked him if he were Bonapartist or Bourbonist. "I am a patriot," answered Lanjuinais. "Your cause is now the cause of the Revolution. Upon the condition that you reign as a constitutional monarch, I will give you my loyal support." -- See Henri Martin, tom. iv. p. 151. Here we see that there are two kinds of legitimacy: one that of Louis XIV., which by a singular anachronism, and with a fatal misappreciation of modern ideas, the advisers of Louis XVIII. sought to revive; the other that of M. de Talleyrand and of the constitutional royalists, whose political doctrines are to be found in the new Bill for establishing a Constitution presented to the Senate by the Prince de Benevento on the 6th of April, 1814. By this Bill the principal conquests made by the Revolution, the liberty of the press, liberty of worship, etc., etc., were guaranteed; and by Clause 2 Louis Stanislas Xavier was freely called to the throne under the title of King of the French. There was no talk at that time of divine right or of a charter to be granted.
Louis XVIII. sometimes recognized the services of the press. In a letter dated 21st January, 1815, Jaucourt writes to Talleyrand: "The King has said a good thing. He asked to look at a paper called The Yellow Dwarf. The Duc d'Angoulême said, 'Does your Majesty, then, read The Yellow Dwarf? It is said to be a very bad paper.' 'I do,' said the King. 'In the first place, it amuses me; and in the next, it tells me what you would not tell me.' We ex- pect you to do the same, and even more, on your arrival, for they do not tell him much." "There has been some talk of reducing the salaries of the judges and other officers of the courts of justice, with a view to facilitate the granting of retiring pensions and to enlarge the field of choice. The Abbé de Montesquieu suddenly woke up to find this mean and unbecoming. Louis, to whom everything is a matter of calculation, approved of it. The idea, however, has been relinquished; it certainly would have been both stingy and unbecoming." -Jaucourt to Talleyrand, September, 1814. "The Chancellor, who indulges in such flowery phrases in the preamble of his ordinance of the Court of Cassation, and compares Justice to Zephyr and the rosy-fingered goddess. . . ." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 18th February, 1815. "In giving his assent to the principle of the irremovability of the judges, the King reserved to himself the liberty of declining to confirm the appointments of those already in office, and the right, consequently, of revising the list of the whole bench. It followed that the judges of all ranks were kept anxiously waiting to have their fate decided, and so remained in a state of dependence, which was likely to prove very injurious to the suitors, particularly to those among them who had become the owners of national property. The Chambers, before rising, demanded that an end should be put to this state of uncertainty, and accordingly the Government began the much-dreaded weeding-out operation in the Court of Cassation in January, 1815." -- Thiers, "Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire," tom. xix. p. 9.
"The last sitting on Sunday was rather curious. The Duke of Dalmatia's touchiness on the subject of the royal prerogative reminds one of the short existence and long meditations of Nicholas I. M. Ferrand, who has all the caution of an old member, of a Jansenist, and of a saint into the bargain, gave us a long discourse, the opening of which was not bad. He began by justifying some rather thoughtless acts of ministers on the ground of their good intentions and their unanimity; he admitted Dupont's weakness, but at the same time sang his praises in a way that greatly disconcerted the Marshal. He then proceeded to attack the Jesuits with all the enthusiasm of youth. Lastly, he dealt unsparingly with the question of the sale of ecclesiastical property. We ended by joining in a hearty laugh. He, poor man, wrote only to discharge his conscience, and having done this, added nothing to these fine opinions. After him the Chancellor gave us some of his prose. All this is bad: it reminds me of a consultation of physicians, with the respect always shown to the opinion of the family doctor. But, after all, our ideas are ripening; we are advancing towards the supply of a want hardly recognized as yet -- the want of system and of common action in Government, the want of a ruling will to direct the efforts of each department towards the attainment of one and the same end. However if we make haste to understand the position of a ministry under constitutional government, we shall perhaps gain time enough to give you time to arrive. But the truth is, we are in a bad way, and if we do not soon get better we shall come altogether to grief. Your Congress will give us strength. We look to you and the King for support, though, at the same time, I am much inclined to think, that it would be much better if the King let you on your return name a ministry, and made a thorough clearance of the present Government.
We love the King and we serve him loyally but he can only escape censure himself by making us take the blame and incur the contempt. I do not know whether any one else has ever spoken to you to the same effect, but on the reassembling of Parliament I will remind you of the letter of the 25th of January.
"All that you say, my dear Prince, about the necessity of selecting a Cabinet Council out of the members of the ministry, is very true, very just, and very important, but quite impossible. When you return, bringing with you success and honor, your high position and your determination to establish among us a ministry after the English fashion may perhaps effect something; but, at the present moment, what we want in the place of this veneer of union, with its mere outward semblance of concord, is a candid opposition, which would have the merit of forcing by its criticism every one to be careful and to do their best. Ministerial responsibility will be carried by agitation in Parliament, by petitions, and by threats, and not by any carefully deliberated measure; this the ministry would neither have the courage to propose, nor Parliament the wisdom to pass."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 21st February, 1815.
"The Chancellor has been at work upon the regulations for the sittings of the committee and the composition of the Council. Here are the results. They are to meet as often as there is occasion. Any matters affecting the ministers or things in general are to be brought before the committee. No measure which has to pass the Council shall be introduced there without having previously been discussed by the committee. The ministers are to communicate freely with one another. The deliberations are to be binding upon the ministers and to be secret." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 1st February, 1815.
"The Chancellor thinks his rules will settle all difficulties; he is like Maitre Jacques, and succeeds about as well as he did in promoting general harmony."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 4th February, 1815.
M. de Chateaubriand to Talleyrand:
"Ghent, 6th March, 1815.
"The Count de Noailles will tell you how much your presence is wanted here: so much so, indeed, that before M. de Noailles arrived I was on the point of despatching a courier to you. I will enter into no details, for you will learn all our misfortunes from the bearer. I will only say that I handed in yesterday the Memorandum which I was asked to draw up. I propose two things in this Memorandum: to appoint the Duke of Orleans commander of the army, and to appoint you, Prince, the head of a responsible ministry. I propose that this ministry should be chosen by you, and composed of men of European reputation, whose names alone would be a guarantee for the approval of all parties. The details of my plan are contained in a dozen clauses. I know the objections there are to the appointment of a paramount chief, or generalissimo of the army; but great diseases require heroic remedies. The time for half-measures is past; we have to save a crown, and that is worth some risk. The second proposal in my plan is too natural not to be adopted. But if you do not arrive soon, to choose your men and give your orders, I am afraid that much will be left undone. Come then quickly, Prince, and believe that I am,
"With the utmost devotion and respect,
Your Highness's most grateful and
"Obedient humble servant,
(Signed) " LE VICOMTE DE CHATEAUBRIAND.
"P.S. -- I had the honor of writing to you previously, to inform you that the King called me to his Council and commanded me to make him a report of the state of home affairs. This should give me some right to expect the post of Home Minister; but my claims are, of course, subject to the interests of the King and the country, as well as to your views and plans."
The royal princes were in the habit of attending the ministerial councils. In a letter dated the 4th of January, Jaucourt gives an account of a council held to discuss the dismissal of M. de Casaflores, and adds: "There was much discussion. Monsieur was for moderate measures; M. de Berry, as usual, like a runaway horse; the Due d'Angoulême judicious."
"On delivering to the King the conditions for the restoration of Genoa to Piedmont, I took the liberty of calling forth his opinion of the Constitution thereby given by respectfully praising our own. He read it with care and reflection, and then said, 'I perceive a great fault in it: there is no provision for re-election; this interval of four years must lead to mischief.' I reminded him of the sad and terrible consequences of the resolution to this effect passed by our first Assembly, and for a few moments we exchanged observations together (if I may be allowed thus to associate myself with the King) concerning national interests, the support given by the Chambers to the royal authority; in short, concerning the theory of national representation -- observations which have convinced me that the philosophical philanthropy of the 'hero of the north' is far beneath the wisdom and elevation of mind of Louis XVIII.' -Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 18th December, 1814.
The following extract of a letter fram Jaucourt to Talleyrand, dated the 7th December. 1814, gives an idea of the state of Spain at that time: "General Alava has been set at liberty; he owes this to the fear of a rising. Numerous arrests follow one after another; whole families are led off to the Inquisition; the persecution of the liberals continues. The greatest merit is no protection."
"Speaking of the Journal de l' Europe reminds me of what I want to say to you about the Journal de Gand. It is generally disapproved of. It is often abusive, which is always useless and frequently injurious. You ought to tell the editor that he must have self-control enough never to appear reactionary, and this requires more self-control than many people are aware of." -- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, dated Vienna, 17th May, 1815.
"The abbé only said in the course of the evening, before he went to bed, 'They forced me to dismiss an excellent prefect from Rennes. The one whom I shall put in his place will not be so good. Good gracious! do they suppose that I am not going to take any steps to stop the agitation in Brittany? However, I had to give way.' It is a fact that the abbé has adopted quite a new system. He now regrets having dismissed the prefects, and declares that the new prefects are not equal to the old ones; he actually defends the men now in office, and that to such an extent as quite to offend the princes; and, instead of falling in with this pretended system of restoration alias change, he is now all for the Constitution, stability, and even goes so far as to think that the status quo of the middle class, the new nobility, and of men accustomed to work should be permanently maintained in the disposal of appointments, and, in a word, generally throughout France."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, January, 1815.
"MY DEAR COUNT,
"I have received Nos. 3 and 4 of your Journal Universel (printed at Ghent). I beg you to remark to its editors that all the articles require to be written with much more pains and reflection, both in matter and style. I am now applying this observation particularly to the word 'nationaliser,' which is used in an unfavorable sense only. The Emperor of Russia, whom you ought to wish to please, continually makes use of this word both in talking and writing, and only yesterday his attendants showed great annoyance at the attempt to attach a bad meaning to an expression which he is constantly using. A paper written under the shadow of the throne needs to be written with much more care than the best papers published in Paris. Impress upon the editor that in the present state of affairs tact is talent. For example, all France will have noticed the following passage in No. 2: 'Nature, policy, and justice suggested, nay, commanded severity.' This phrase will cause anxiety in Paris, whereas you ought to do your utmost to reassure every one; you cannot take too much pains to inspire confidence, because bad consciences, of which there are so many in France, require to be reassured. Good consciences need no management. Tell Lally to expend all his indignation in indulgence. Indignation gives more opprtunity for eloquence, but indulgence is more favorable to wit, and as he is possessed of both, a hint will be sufficient for him.
"M. de Blacas is quite wrong in thinking that it is any excuse for letters that have given offence to say that they were written in the same spirit as those written from Hartwell. He is evidently quite ignorant that everything which recalls the recollection of the exile should be avoided. Its memories may be pleasing to a few useless people, but they do positive harm with all who are worth anything either in or out of France." -- Talleyrand to Jaucourt, 6th May, 1815.
Metternich wrote as follows to Talleyrand, dated 24th June, 1815: "Remain steadfast to your idea. Make the King enter France; it does not matter whether he goes east, west, north, or south, provided he is at home, surrounded by Frenchmen, and far from foreign bayonets and foreign aid. By keeping your eye upon Bonaparte's plans you will clearly perceive that the emigration is the chief weapon which he intends to make use of. The moment the King is at home and in the midst of his subjects he ceases to be an émigré. The King must govern, and the royal army must operate at a distance from the allied armies. As soon as the King has formed a rallyingpoint in France, we will send him all the French deserters who come to us." -"Mémoires de Metternich," tom. ii. p. 520.
"The King had a superb part if he had stayed in Paris.... The King announced that he was resolved to stay, but most unfortunately changed his mind twice. I will never believe that the city of Paris would have let him perish by the hand of that man ( Bonaparte), nor that the troops would have fired upon us. Anyhow it is done. We must now do all we can to form a rallying-point, to gain over the commander of one of the fortresses, and get a footing upon the sacred soil. For if the King arrives in the wake of foreign soldiers, he will be playing the game of the Jacobins and Bonaparte, who are making common cause together. It seems to us here that, for the moment, writings and proclamations would have little or no effect; we ought to be in France, and to have obtained a victory over a corps d'armée of Bonaparte. Then, as the armies advance, the French commanders attached to each army corps should order the Conseils Généraux of the Department to assemble; these latter should designate one or more members of their body to undertake the duties of commander or con-
troller of requisitions and of the commissariat, and to issue proclamations. We have D'André and D'Anglès already here, and to wield the pen we have MM. de Lally, Chateaubriand, who demands the title of minister of the King as payment for his first article, Lacretelle the younger, and Bertin de Vanx. You see we shall have quite a galaxy of literary talent."
-- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, dated Ghent, 4th April, 1815.
"M. de Vincent, or, failing him, M. Pozzo, has been instructed to protest against the appointment of royal commissioners to our armies." -- Metternich to Talleyrand, 24th June, 1815.
On the 25th of April, 1815, his Britannic Majesty's ambassador handed the annexed despatch to M. de Jaucourt:
"The undersigned, upon occasion of the exchange about to be made in the name of his Court of the ratifications of the treaty concluded on the 25th of March last, is charged to declare by the present Note that the eighth article of the said treaty, by which his Most Christian Majesty is invited to accede to it under certain conditions, is to be considered as demanding from the high contracting parties, according to a principle of mutual security, a united effort against the power of Napoleon Bonaparte, conformably with Article 3 of the treaty, but is not to be regarded as laying his Britannic Majesty under any obligation to continue the war with a view to imposing any particular form of government upon France. The Prince Regent holds himself bound to make this declaration, in spite of his great desire to see his Most Christian Majesty re-established upon his throne. The Ambassador Extraordinary of his Britannic Majesty has been instructed by his Court to make this confidential communication to the ministers of his Most Christian Majesty.
"The undersigned gives his most earnest assurance that this proceeding is not taken in consequence of any unfavorable feeling towards a cause upon which the peace of Europe must depend, but is the result of the firm conviction of his sovereign that, after the British nation has spontaneously used its utmost endeavors to promote his Most Christian Majesty's interests, any positive engagement to that effect would give rise to injurious disputes, calculated to embarrass the proceedings of the Government for the advancement of this object.
(Signed) " CHARLES STUART."
It should be remembered that it was at the suggestion of M. de Talleyrand, then Bishop of Autun, that the ecclesiastical domains were declared national property. These domains were then sold, and it was upon them that the assignats were secured. "What is still more serious is that two priests have refused the last sacraments to two dying men who were owners of property belonging to Émigrés: one of them persisted in his refusal till the man died, and we know where he will go to; the other consented at last, but so near the last moment that, after the priest had called the bystanders to witness the restitution, the patient died before the viaticum could be administered, and his soul had to start on its Journey without due preparation." -- Jaucourt to Talleyrand, 11th February, 1815.
"The Marshal (Soult), Beugnot, and I sat up together till one o'clock, after dinner was over. I attacked the Marshal in these terms. I said, 'Seeing that chance has brought together four ministers, who would all be disgraced if the King ruled without observing the Charter, it seems a good occasion to discuss the state of public opinion.' The Marshal was obliged to answer, but he was so disconcerted that he foolishly told us how he had declared to a certain General Travaut, a brave man and a good officer, that he would not employ him until he had restored all the property belonging to Émigrés acquired by him. Poor General Travaut has two hundred and fifty thousand francs' worth of this property, which constitute all his fortune.... Come as soon as you can; believe me, you are much wanted. I promise you that you shall have the Marshal for your spaniel. You will easily master him. He is a man who thinks himself superior to his patron, who does not know how to get out of the family clique by whose means he has risen; he fears and hates the Abbé, and is a man of desponding views, with no decided opinions -- one who yields to obstacles and stumbles over difficulties; a military club orator, vain, coarse, shrewd, and supple, and, in the words of the old adage, 'Animal capax rapax omnium beneflciorum' (one who gets all he can and keeps all he gets)." -- Extract from same letter. The following is an extract from a letter from Paris, addressed to M. de Talleyrand, and dated the 18th of October, 1814:
"One question that greatly disturbs men's minds is that of the national domains. The law on this subject seems clear and decided, but public opinion is not. Thence arise the exaggerated expectations of some and the chimerical fears of others. Six days ago, three houses belonging to Émigrés in the Rue Nivienne were put up to auction. I was present. There was not a single offer, though they are the three best houses in the whole street. A report was spread in the room during the bidding that the former proprietor wanted eighty thousand francs as the price of his patrimonial interest in them. The fact is true; I have verified it."
See in the Moniteur Universel of the 7th of July, 1815, the proclamation of Louis XVIII., dated at Cambrai and countersigned by M. de Talleyrand, who had the chief hand in its composition. There are whole passages in it word for word with this Memorandum.
THE KING TO PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
Ostend, 26th March, 1815.
I take advantage of an English messenger, who will probably reach Vienna before the letters of the Comte de Blacas and the Comte de Jaucourt. The desertion of the whole army left me no choice as to the steps I should take. As my life is supposed to be necessary to France, it was my duty to provide for my safety, which might have been endangered if I had stayed some hours longer at Lille. Bonaparte has the army on his side; I have the hearts of all the people on mine. I saw unequivocal proof of this all along my route. The Powers, therefore, cannot be uncertain what is the wish of France now. This is the text of what I want said; I trust to you to enlarge upon it. I cannot sufficiently praise the conduct of Marshals Macdonald and Mortier. The former has behaved everywhere as well as he did at Lyons; and the latter, who had received by telegraph orders to arrest me, saw me safe out of Lille, and on my way as far as Menin.
Upon which, my cousin, I pray God to have you in His safe and holy keeping.
[Continue to the APPENDIX]
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