Page images

commodore of the Alarm, behaved in a manner equally insolent and scandalous in the island of Trinidad, where he landed with drums beat ing and flags flying, to attack the French, and to avenge the injuries which he pretended to have received, disturbing, by the violation of the rights of my sovereignty the tranquillity of the inhabitants of the island.

By all these insults, equally deep and unparalleled, that nation has proved to the universe, that she recognizes no other laws than the aggrandisement of her commerce; and by her despotism, which, has exhausted my patience and moderation, she has forced me, as well to support the honour of my crown, as to protect my people against her attacks, to declare war against the King of England, his kingdom and vassals, and to give orders to take the necessary measures for the defence of my domains and my subjects, and to repulse the enemy. Signed by the King, and the Secretary of the Council of War. Done at the Palace of St Lau

renzo, Oct. 5, 1796.

On Saturday, the 8th of October, war was proclaimed at Madrid in the usual form.

Letter of General Beaulieu, sent to the Genoese Government on entering the Genoese Territory.

Head Quarters, March 30, 1796. Most Serene Republic, THE circumstances of the war, and, above all, the insolence of an enemy whose unjust pretensions know no bounds, compel me, at length, to enter your territory, with a part of that force which has been entrusted to my command by his Imperial Majesty.

[ocr errors]

I am persuaded, that after what has passed at Genoa, your Republic will consider the Imperial troops as friends. Far be it that they should do you the least injury; their ob ject is only to prevent the enemies of good order from invading your states, the defence of which is committed to me.

The republic may be assured that I shall consider its territories as a friendly country, and that the strictest discipline shall be maintained. All provisions, wood, and straw, shall be paid for in ready' money. I require only quarters and a free passage for my troops; and I trust the most Serene Repub lic will issue proper orders that the troops of his Imperial Majesty may meet with no obstacle, and that every occasion of dispute may be avoided.

[blocks in formation]

Address of the French Minister Faypoult, at Genoa.

Most Serene Doge, THE executive directory of the French Republic have made choice of me to reside at the Republic of Genoa in quality of minister plenipotentiary.

On their part I assure the most serene government of Genoa, of the lively interest the Republic of France takes in the prosperity and safety of the Genoese nation.

This sentiment is merely the consequence of the natural and reciprocal esteem of two people signalised by their courage and energy in the defence, and for the recovery of their liberty. Other powerful considerations ought to contribute to cement for ever the good harmony that subsists between 0 8


Genoa and France, the proximity of the two countries, the industrious activity of the inhabitants, the antiquity of their commercial and political connection, and, in fine, the remarkable situation of the Genoese territory, bordering on two nations who have long meditated to divide it between them, and France who could reap no advantage in aggrandizement at her expence.

The Genoese nation, and its most serene government, may rely on a constant succession of good offices on the part of the French nation, and reciprocally the French nation has a right to expect a loyal and sincere return on the part of the most serene government of Genoa. They have a right to think the latter will never give protection to those perfidious French, who are the contempt of the whole universe, to those emigrants who cowardly fled their country to conspire against it. The executive directory feel the full extent of the duty imposed on them by the confidence of a great nation, from a free, a generous, and magnanimous people.

The executive directory are about to crush the remains of those enemies who disturb the tranquillity of France, while their energetic measures have already guaranteed to Europe their immovable stability, and announce to all that the national power confided to them, ought and will be faithful and sincere in respect to foreign nations.

Truth and justice are the only basis of their diplomatica. In fine, they trust they are worthy of that greatness and national generosity, not merely to limit their cares to the interest of France

alone, but also to extend them to the happiness of those nations which have shewn themselves the sincere friends of the French. They may henceforward regard their equity and power, as forming the tutelary guide of their preservation.

I have the honour to present my credentials to the most Serene Doge, and to assure him, that in the exercise of my function, I shall ever be animated with an ardent desire to be personally agreeable to the serene government of Genoa, and to obtain the confidence and the esteem of the Genoese nation.

Copy of the Note of the Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic, dated 22 Messidor (July 10), fourth year, to the Secretary of State.

FOR several days past movements have manifested themselves among the inhabitants of Genoa and its environs, the cause of which could not escape the undersigned, because it is injurious to the French Republic. It is falsely insinuated to the people, that the French wish to take away their property, their arms, their churches.

Under the eyes of the most serene government the priests deviate from the spirit of peace, which should be peculiarly charicteristic of their speeches and actions; they inflame the imaginations of the people by religious ceremonies, grounded on the danger which the Genoese nation is supposed to run. The women collect in great numbers, and repair in crowds to the churches, praying Heaven to protect them against the banditti who are come from the mountains. These movements have been di


rected against the French, in such a manner, that last Wednesday, July 6, a band of women assailed, on the bridge of Lavignano, two Frenchmen, who were peaceably taking a sketch of the bridge.

The undersigned cannot believe that the most serene government is provoking by any particular measure this alarm, which has no foundation, since the French Republic is the friend of nations that are at peace with her; since she respects their liberty, their commerce, and their property. These truths must be demonstrated to the senate of Genoa; and it can not but be by some base perfidy that the instigators of the present ferment speak to the people of the just fate of Arquata, and divers places which the insurrection in Lombardy had changed into dens

of assassins and robbers.

the un

As it is important to stop in its growth an evil which might prove fatal in its consequences, dersigned requests the most serene government to take the measures in its power to undeceive the people, respecting the false impressions en. deavoured to be made on them. The men who mislead them are known; the Genoese government can no longer suffer their plots and insolent declamations against the French, without offending the French Republic, and becoming responsible for the misfortunes which might attend upon a reciprocal irritation of minds. It ought to deprive the impostors of the faeulty of deceiving, by all the exaggerations which they do not cease to devise and to circulate, by informing the people of the demands which General Buonaparte and the undersigned have really ad.

[blocks in formation]

Letter from the Commissary Direc tor Sucy, to the Commandant of Fort La Lauterne.

St. Pierre d'Arena, 25 Fructidor.

THE agents of the government here have guaranteed our landing goods in the harbour of St. Pierre d'Arena, nevertheless two English sloops have gone out of port, and passed before your post, in order to carry off our vessel, and it was not till the sloops were at a distance with their prize that you commenced firing, which you did not keep up, and which you discontinued when the English ships were within reach. Yet you cannot be ignorant of the fact, because we fired more than thirty times before you were disposed to oppose this violation of neutrality.

You will, Sir, acknowledge the receipt of the present. (Signed)



[blocks in formation]

bour would be guilty of a violation of neutrality, and the rather, as they had given their word of honour not to make reprisals for 24 hours after their departure; and even then not within cannon shot of the garrison.

For these reasons I could not in. terdict the departure of the sloop alluded to from this harbour.

As soon as I received the accounts of the violence committed on the French tartan, I gave directions for my batteries to prevent the accomplishment of the attempt began on the said tartan, and at the same time to maintain our neutrality. "

If the effect of these directions has not answered my expectation, the miscarriage is not to be ascribed to any neglect of mine.

I have the honour to be,
With the most sincere esteem,

Your obedient humble servant, BEDIANI, Lieutenant-colonel. Fort Lauterne, 12th Sept. 1796.

Letter from his Excellency M. Barthelemy, Ambassador of the French Republic, to the Burgomasters, Chief Megistrates, Landamman, and Council of the Twelve Swiss Cantons.

Magnificent lords,

THE executive directory having thought proper to renew the credentials of several of the envoys of the French republic to foreign powers, has just transmitted to me those by which it has been pleased to accredit me to the very respectable Helvetic body, in quality of ambassador of the French republic. I enclose them in this.

flatter myself, magnificent lords, that theknowledge you already

have of my sentiments for all the members of the illustrious Helvetic confederation, will leave you no doubt of my zeal to cultivate the confidence of which you have already given me such satisfactory proofs; and I also hope, magnifi. cent lords, that you will be persuaded beforehand, that, as the faithful interpreter of the constantly amicable dispositions of the French government to your coun. try, I shall not cease to exert myself zealously in concurring to the success of its views, in whatever may be the best calculated to streng. then the indissoluble ties which constitute the happiness of the two nations, and to secure the tranquillity and prosperity of the Helvetic body.

I pray God, &c. (Signed)


Basle, March 2, 1796. Letter of the Executive Directory to the Highly Respectable Helvetic Body.

Very dear, great friends, allies, and confederates,

THE wish we entertain to keep up and cultivate a friendship and good understanding with you, induces us to appoint citizen Barthelemy to reside in Switzerland in quality of ambassador of the French republic.

The knowledge we have of the principles and sentiments of citi zen Barthelemy, authorises us to think that the choice we have made of him to fill this important post, cannot but be agreeable to you. It is with this persuasion that we pray you, very dear great friends, allies, and confederates, to grant him a full confidence in whatever he may be charged to say to you from us, and more particu


[blocks in formation]

Declaration of the Executive Directory, dated Paris the 16th Germinal (5th April) to the Senate of Basle. THE executive directory is credibly informed, that last year a plan was formed to attack the French frontiers, by marching the corps of emigrants commanded by the prince of Conde, first into the Frickthal, and from thence through the territory from Basle, against the department of the Upper Rhine, the Mont-terrible, Doubs, and Jura; that this plan, so far from being laid aside, is again resumed; and that preparations are actually making to carry it into effect. This plan is supported by several inhabitants of Switzerland, who employ all their interest and influence to facilitate its execution. The known sentiments of several magistrates of Basle, and other inhabitants of note, are by no means qualified to appease the solicitude of the directory on this head, it being notorious that they treat with as much aversion the friends of the French republic, as they shew predilection for what

ever concerns the Imperial armies, and the interest of the emperor.

Thus it must be supposed, that if, in the execution of that plan, the enemy violated the territory of the canton of Basle, the magistrates who compose the government of this city would endeavour, by pleading the impossibility of resistance, to ward off the consequences of the violated neutrality of the canton; of course, there does not exist at present, sufficient security that its neutrality will be respected. Under these circumstances, the directory finds itself obliged to declare to the magistrates of the city and canton of Basle, that, unless they adopt vigorous, sufficient, and unsuspicious measures for the defence of their own territory, and the maintenance of the respect due to their neutrality, it is resolved to take every step that shall be requisite for the protection of the frontier departments against every kind of insult; and the directory renders them answerable for all the unhappy consequence that may result from the military operations which circumstances may require.

Letter from the Sovereign Council of

Basle to his Excellency M. Barthelemy, Ambassador from the French Republic in Switzerland.

WE have received, with your excellency's letter of the 16th Ger ninal, (5th April) a paper, coming from the executive directory, and as it appears extracted from their registers-we pass over this unusual form, because it is to be supposed that it was through mistake that the paper was so transmitted to us, and that without doubt the intention

« PreviousContinue »