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principality in Germany to its own duke ! The manifesto which Russia put forth on the occasion of this seizure, is particularly dwelt upon by the French minister : for the first time, he sasy, was seen amanifesto of one ally against an other; and this manifesto was conceived in such a spirit, and couched in such language, as proved not only “that the bond which had united the two governments was broken, but that Russia had publicly thrown the gauntlet to France for a difficulty which was foreign to her, and which could not be solved but by the method proposed by Bonaparte.”— These events occurred in the course of the year 1810; in the subsequent year the intentions of Russia were still more manifest : at the very time she was dictating the terms of peace to the Tucks, she was preparing for war with France : in the month of February 1811, the Russian armies press. ed so closely, and in such numbers on the Vistula, that the army of the duchy of Warsaw was com, pelled to repass that river, and fall back on the confederation. That Russia had some hostile object in view was evident, not merely from the immense armies which she had assembled, but from the circumstance that, by increasing them to such a degree she had nearly exbausteil her finances : she never would have done this, had not her object been hostile; and yet she had no ground for hostilities; at the very moment when the Russian armies were so powerful, and were collected in such a menacing posture and situation, all the French troops were within the Rhine, except a corps of 40,000 men stationed at Hamburgh for the defence of the coasts of the north sea, and for the maintenance of tranquillity in the countries recently united; the reserved places in Prussia were
occupied only by the allied troops ; the garrison of Dantzic consisted of not more than 4000 men; and even the troops of the duchy of Warsaw were on the peace establishment. In these circumstances it was evident that the preparations of Russia were without an object, unless they were intended against France: bis majesty, nevertheless, was even yet unwilling to suspect Russia of breaking her most solemn engagements, or to imagine that, after the experience she had had of the result of a contest with France, she would again hazard it, unprovoked and without cause : he therefore proposed an arrangement on the following terms : In the first place, the existence of the duchy of Warsaw ; this indeed was a condition of the treaty of Tilsit, and therefore, in proposing this article, he only called upon Russia to abide by her engagements : Secondly, the annexation of oidenburgh ; this the war with England had rendered necessary; and this also, though not contained in the treaty of Tilsit, was conformable to its spirit: Thirdly, that Russia should pass clear and positive laws respecting trade in English merchandize and denationalized vessels ; these laws to be regulated by the treaty of Tilsit : Lastly, the recalling of the Ukase of 1810, by which the mercantile relation of France and Russia were destroyed, and the ports of the latter opened to English produce. All these articles the French minister insisted might have been settled to the mutual satisfaction and interest of the two powers, had Russia not been determined to come to a rupture with France : had she acknowledged the duchy of Warsaw, Bonaparte would have pledged himself not to encourage any enterprize which might lead, either directly or indirectly, to the re-establishment of the kingdom of Poland. He
was willing to accept the intervention of Russia, with respect to Oldenburgh, though she had no right to interfere, as the duke was a prince of the confederation of the Rhine, and therefore under Bonaparte, as the protector of that confederation. He was nevertheless willing to give the duke an indemnity. Even on the grand and paramount object, and that which was nearest the heart of the French emperor, the exclusion of British produce; he desired to come to some understanding, in order to reconcile the wants of Russia with the principles of the continental system, and the spirit of the treaty of Tilsit. The offer of articles so moderate in themselves, and which would have been discussed and modified on the part of France with perfect sincerity and an anxious desire to be at peace with Russia, and to secure her interests, the French minister asserted, not with the same spirit which dictated them, but with evidences of a hostile disposition. All new offers made to Russia were answered by her with fresh armaments; she refused to enter into any explanation, to propose any terms; to state what were her grievances, or the object she had in view; till at length it became apparent that it was not her own commerce, but the commerce of England she wished to protect and encourage; that she did not wish to secure the independence of Warsaw, but to seize it herself; and that it was not for the interests of the duke of Oldenburgh that she wished to interfere, but that it was an open quarrel with France that she wished to keep in reserve till the moment of the rupture for which she was preparing. Such is the substance of the first official communication of the French minister for foreign affairs to the Russian ambassador; and we have given it at considerable length, because it contains all that Bona
parte could urge against Russia' as the reason or pretext of going to war with her ; at the same time it displays more reluctance in having recourse to war than he was wont to manifest in his former official communications.
Very soon after the differences between Bonaparte and the emperor Alexander, the former took such measures as he thought would either awe the emperor into submission, or secure victory and success in case of hostilities : he assembled large bodies of troops in the north of Germany : instead of evacuating Prussia, which he was bound to do, he kept possession of a great part of the kingdom, especially of those places which were most conveniently situated for an attack on Russian Poland ; and he forcibly occupied Swedish Pomerania. To all these circumstances the Russian ambassador alludes in his reply to the communication from the minister for foreign affairs : he begins by expressly declaring, that the preservation of Prussia and her independence from every political engagement hostile to Russia were indispensible to the interest of his imperial majesty: it was impossible that peace between France and Russia should be permanent, that it should not be frequently interrupted or endangered, if there did not exist between thein a neutral country; neutral in reality, not merely in name, and capable of making its neutrality respected : it was therefore absolutely necessary that all foreign troops should be withdrawn from Prussia : till they were withdrawn, Russia could not consider herself safe, nor could she regard France as that sivcere and real ally which she always wished to consider her. The emperor Alexander was convinced that it was his real policy to be at peace with France, and he therefore, was extremely solicitous to remove every cause of suspicion or quarrel : but, this could not be done while by the occupation of Prussia, the Russian frontiers were threatened by a French army.-Under these impressions, therefore, the Russian ambassador declared, that the first basis of a negociation must be, a formal engagement, or a complete evacuation of the Prussian states, and of all the strong places in Prussia ; a diminution of the garrison of Dantzic: the evacuation of Swedish Pomerania, and an arrangement with the king of Sweden, calculated to give mutual satisfaction to the crowns of France and Sweden :-if these terms were previously complied with, the emperor Alexander engaged not to adopt any change of the prohibitory measures established in Russia against direct trade with England; to agree with the French emperor respecting a system of licences to be introduced into Russia in the same manner as in France, provided such a system do not augment the deterioration already experienced by the trade of Russia ; to modify the custom-house duties of the Russian empire in such a manner as may be desired by France; and, finally, to conclude a treaty of exchange for the duchy of Oldenburgh, and to withdraw the protest he was about to issue on the subject of the seizure of that duchy, and on the claims of his family to it.
To this communication of the Russian · ambassador no answer was given ; in fact, Bonaparte and his minister for foreign affairs left Paris for the army; and when the ambassador wrote after them for his passports, they describe this natural and unavoidable demand as having “ decided the rupture." Passports were refused him; and at the very time when he could not see his master for want of them, nor his sovereign write to him, on account of all communication being stopped at