Page images
PDF
EPUB

to form his alliance, of which Hesse things compatible with the maintewas to be the first bulwark, endea. nance of peace. yours were made to detach from him The emperor Napoleon appeared a power, whom family connections, to be solicitous to remove this doubt. alliances, and relations of every Two negotiations were then carrying kind, united in the closest manner on at Paris, 'one with Russia, the to his majesty's person.

other with the English ministry. In But even these hostile steps were both these negotiationsthe intentions not sufficient. Does any one wish of France against Prussia were evi. to know what was the lore by dently manifested. which it was hoped to gain the elec. By the treaty which the emperor tor of Hesse, and what was the aug- of Russia has refused to ratify, mentation of territory with the ex- France offered, in conjunction with pectation of which he was flattered ? Russia, to prevent Prussia from It was the prince of Orange, the depriving the king of Sweden of his brother-in-law of the king—that German territories. Yet, for many prince who had been twice deceived months, the cabinet of St. Cloud in the most shameful manner—who had continually pressed the king to was now to be robbed the third seize those states, with the threefold time! He still possessed the terri. view,-first to revenge himself on tory of Fulda ; this was promised to the king of Sweden ; secondly, to the elector, and it would have been embroil Prussia with all other given, had the clector consented to powers; and, thirdly, to purchase accept it, and had not Prussia taken her silence with respect to the subup arms.

version of Southern Germany. But His majesty saw the system of the king had long been aware, that usurpation advance every day; he such were the views of France; and saw a circle, continually becoming his unfortunate dispute with Swenarrower, drawn round him, and den was painful to him. He had, even the right of moving within it therefore, been careful to provide begining to be disputed with him, against every suspicion of self-intefor a sweeping resolution forbade a rested motives, and he confided his passage to any foreign troops, arm- explanations to the emperor Alex. ed or not armed, through the states ander. The scene now again changed, of the confederation. This was to and Napoleon, who had so long cut off, contrary to the rights of been the enemy of the king of Swe. nations, the connection between the den, was suddenly transformed into detached Hessian provinces; this his protector. was to prepare pretexts on which It is not superfluous to remark, to act; this was the first threat of that, in this insidious treaty of the punishment aimed at a magnani. French emperor, in order to satisfy mous prince, who had preferred a the honourable interest which the defender to a master.

court of St. Petersburgh took in the But even after this, his majesty maintenance of the rights of the king cannot reflect on it without admira- of Naples, be promised the latter tion ; the king considered whether an indemnification; engaging te a combination might not be found, "prevail on the king of Spain to cede which should render this state of to him the Belearic islands. He

will act in the same manner with The French troops were in no respect to the augmentation of ter. manner diminished, but continually ritory he pretends to bestow on his reioforced and augmented, and conallies.

tinually advanced nearer to the These were all preludes to the frontiers of Prussia or her allies, steps he took against Prussia : we till they at length took a position now approach the moment which which could only menace Prussia, determined his majesty.

and were even assembled in force in Prussia had hitherto derived no. Westphalia, which certainly was not thing from her treaties with France the road to the Mouths of the but humiliation and loss ; one sin- Cattaro. gle advantage remained. The fate It was no longer doubtful that of Hanover was in her power; and Napoleon had determined to overit must remain, unless the last whelm Prussia with war, or to render pledge of the security of the north her forever incapable of war, since he were annihilated. Napoleon had was leading her from humiliation to solemnly guaranteed this state of humiliation, till she should be rethings, yet he negotiated with Eng. duced to such a state of political land on the basis of the restoration degradation and feebleness, that, of the electorate. The king is in deprived of every defence, she could possession of the proofs.

have no other will than that of her War was now in fact declared.- formidable neighbour. declared by every measure taken The king delayed no longer. He by France. Every month produced assembled his army. General Knoa new notification of the return of helsdorf was sent to Paris with the his army; but, on one frivolous final declaration of his' majesty. pretext or another, it was still con. Only one measure remained which tinued in Germany; and for what could give security to the_king, purposes ?--Gracious heaven! to which was the return of the French eradicate the last trace of sovereignty troops over the Rhine. General among the Germans—to treat kings Knobelsdorf had orders to insist on as governors, appointed by himself this demand ; it was not the whole to drag before military tribunals ci- of the king's just demands, but it tizens only responsible to their own was necessary that it should be the governments ; to declare others first, since it was the condition of outlaws who lived peaceably in fo. his future existence. The acceptance reign states, under foreign sove. or refusal of it must shew the real reigns, and even in the capital of a sentiments of the French emperor. German emperor, because they had Unmeaning professions - argu. published writings in which the ments, the real virtue of which were French government, or at least its known by long experience--were despotism, was attacked; and this the only answer the king received. at the time when the same govern. Far from the French army being ment daily permitted hired libellers recalled, it was announced that it to attack, under its protection, the would be reinforced; but with a honour of all crowned heads, and haughtiness still more remarkable the most sacred feelings of nations. than this refusal, an offer was made, that the troops which had marched The last doubt had now disapinto Westphalia should return home, peared, troops marched from the in. if Prussia would desist from her terior of France towards the Rhine. preparations. This was not all: The intent to attack Prussia was it was insolently notified to the clear and certain. The king or king's ministers, that the cities of dered a note to be transmitted by Hamburgh, Bremen, and Lubeck, general Knobelsdorf, containing the would not be suffered to join the conditions on which he was ready northern confederation, but that to come to an accommodation. France would take them under her These conditions were :protection, in the same manner as 1. That the French troops should in the otber confederation, she had immediately evacuate Germany. given away cities, and promulgated 2. That France should oppose no laws, without permitting any other obstacle to thc formation of the

that

wer to make the least pretension. northern confederacy; and that The king was required to suffer a this confederacy might embrace all foreign interest to be introduced the larger and smaller states, not ininto the heart of his monarchy. cluded in the fundamental act of the

Another contrast of conduct in- confederation of the Rhine. censed the king to the utmost. He 3. That a negotiation should be received from the emperor a letter immediately commenced, for the full of those assurances of esteem, adjustment of all differences still which, certainly, when they do not in dispute : a preliminary article of accord with faćts, onght to be con- which should be, the restoration of sidered as nothing, but which the the three abbeys, and the separa. dignity of sovereigns renders a duty tion of the town of Wezel from the to themsewes, even when on the eve French empire. of war. Yet, a few day afterwards, These conditions speak for them. at a moment when the sword was selves : they 'shew how moderate not yet drawn - when the minister the king, even at this moment, has of the emperor endeavoured to been in his demands, and how much mislead those of the king, by as the maintenance of peace, if France surances assurances of the wishes peace, depends upon France friendly intentions of France-the herself. Publiciste of the 16th of September, The term peremptorily fixed by appeared, with a diatribe against the the king for the decision of peace king and the Prussian state, in a or war has elapsed. His majesty style worthy of the most disgrace. has not received the answer of fol periods of the revolution, in the cabinet of St. Cloud; sulting to the nation, and what, in rather, the preparations made other times than ours, would havc around him, daily, give that been considered as amounting to a answer. The king can henceforth declaration of war.

confide the safety and honour of his The king can trcat slanders that crown only to arms. He takes are merely abusive, with contempt, them up with pain, because the chief but when these slanders contribute object of his wishes was, nota to explain the real state of things, glory purchased by the tears of his it Feuld be unwise to treat them so. people, but by their tranquillity;

for

on

war

In the midst of these negotia. The principles which we have tions, the daily incroachments of proposed are on the one hand so mo. the French government, its spirit of derate that they cannot be rejected aggrandisement, and its unbounded without a menace to the general seambition, which threatened to swal. curity, and on the other hand so low up our allies, at last compelled conformable to the interests of all us to take an active part in the the powers concerned, that if they

are accepted a general and lasting We took up arms, but never peace may be again restored to ceased to wish for peace. We there. Europe. fore announced, by our ukases of Either peace or a continuance of the 1st of September, 1805, that the war must necessarily be the result object of our arming was to main- of this measure. We wish for tain the faith of our alliances, and peace, but if a durable peace, and to re-establish a general peace one grounded upon reciprocal ad.

The misfortune which attended vantages cannot be attained, we the arms of the allies disappointed shall account it a sacred duty which our intentions, but the principles we owe to the honour of the Rus. on which we acted are not changed. sian name, to the security of the The French government, in the country, to our faith pledged by beginning of the present year, shewed treaties, to the general preservation a disposition towards pacific ap- of Europe, to abandon all pacific proximations. We gave orders to proceedings, and to make those exenter into discussions upon the sub. ertions which all those considerations ject.

: render indispensable. The restoration of peace, which We are persuaded, that the proshould combine the security of our vidence of the most high, who is empire with the interests of our the protector of truth, will defend allies, and with the general tranquil- our just cause with his strong arm. lity of Europe, was laid down as the We are persuaded that our faithprinciples of the discussions.

ful subjects, animated at all times But to our regret the condition of with love for their country, acthe treaty concluded with France tuated at all times with a spirit of neither corresponded with the dig- honour, and sentiments of bravery, nity of our empire nor with the in all surrounded with great examples terests of our allies. We there- of patriotic zeal, will unite their fore refused to ratify those condi- exertions with ours when called tions.

upon by the security of Russia, by In order, nevertheless, to demon- the voice of fame, and by our comstrate the unalterable principles by mands to co-operate for the general which we are actuated, and which, weal. - under all events, we have kept in this firm persuasion, depending steadily in view, we have at the same upon the aid of the Almighty, and time explained the means and the the zeal of our faithful subjects, we principles in conformity to which have thought it necessary to anwe are disposed again to open ne. nounce to you beforehand our ingotiations with the French govern. tentions, thereby to give you a fresh peut,

proof that in none of our under

takings

All our

lence, had marked the spirit of protestations made in all circumhatred which animated our enemies, stances by the court of Berlin. In and the moderation of our soldiers, a war so just, in which we take arms who, tranquil at the aspect of all only to defend ourself, who have their movements, astonished only at provoked by no act, by no pretenreceiving no orders, rested under sion, and of which it would be im. the double confidence of courage possible to assign the true cause, we and a just cause. Our first duty reckon entirely on the support of has been to pass the Rhine our the laws and the people; whom self, to form our camps, and to circumstances call upon, to give us cause the sound of war to be heard. new proofs of their love, of their It has spread into the hearts of all devotion, and of their courage. On our warriors. Rapid and com- our part, no personal sacrifice will bined marches have brought them, be painful to us, no danger will stop in the twinkling of an eye, to the us, whenever it is the question to spot we had indicated.

assure the rights, the honour, and camps are formed; we are going to the prosperity of our people, march against the Prussian armies, Given at our imperial quarters, at and to repel force by force. At all Bamberg, the 7th Oct. 1806. times, we ought to say it, our heart

By the emperor, is sorely affected at this constant (Signed) Napoleon. preponderance which the genius of The minister secretary of state. mischief obtains in Europe, occu. (Signed) H. B. Maret. pied incessantly in traversing the designs we form for the tranquillity of Europe, the repose and happiness Copy of the Note of M. de Knobelsof the present generation—besieg- dorff, to the Minister for Foreign ing every cabinet by every kind of Affairs, Sept. 12, 1806. seduction — leading those astray whom it cannot corrupt-blinding The undersigned, feeling how them to their true interests, and much it is of the first importance 13 launching them into the midst of dis- answer immediately the note which putes, without any other guide than his excellency the prince of Benethe passions it has known how to in- vento, minister for foreign affairs, spire them with. The cabinet of has done him the honour of addres. Berlin itself has not chosen with de- sing to him this evening, feels hitu. liberation the part it takes : it has self compelled to limit himself to the been thrown into it with art, and representation of the following obwith malicious address. The king servatious. The motives which bare has found himself, all at once, an engaged the king, my master, te hundred leagues from his capital, on make armaments, have been the efthe frontiers of the confederation offect of a scheme of the enemies of the Rhine, in the midst of his army, France and Prussia ; who, jealous and opposite the French troops dis. of the intimacy which exists betwea persed in their cantonments, and these two powers, have done every who thought themselves justified in thing in their power to alarm, by counting upon thc ties which unite false reports, coming at once from the two states, and upon the lavish every quarter. But above all, what

« PreviousContinue »