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Copy of the Answer of Count Romanzoff to the Yote of the Minister for Foreign Relations of the 25th April.—Wilna, May 7 (19), 1812. My Lord Duke, The Count de Nar
bonne has given me the dispatch which
your Excellency confided to him. I have
ful to the line of conduct which he originally marked for himself, always persevering in a mere system of defence, in short, always more moderate in proportion, as the developement of his power enables him to repulse with greater vigour such attempts as might be made against the interests of his Empire, and the dignity of his Crown, is satisfied to adhere to the wish with which you, my Lord Duke, conclude the interesting communication of your Court, , Constantly seeking to prove how much he has it at heart to avoid every thing which might infuse into his connexion with France a spirit of animosity and acerbity, such as would endanger its continuance, he has directed me not to enter into any resutation of alleged grievances, nor to oppose assertions which, for the most part, are grounded upon imputed facts, quite destitute of probability, and upon hypothesis altogether gratuitous. The dispatches addressed to Prince Kurakin, by the Baron de Serdobin, have partly anticipated the answer to all the accusations which have been made. They have represented, in its true light, the loyal conduct which the Emperor has observed in all his relations with France. They have given, with respect to our armaments, explanations, confirmed in such a degree, as appear to have even outstripped the hopes of the Emperor Napoleon. Since, notwithstanding the menacing movements of his armies beyond a line, where, for the security of our frontiers, they ought to have stopped, affairs continue here in the same state as at the time of the departure of the last Courier. Indeed, not a single man has entered the territory of Prussia, or that of the Duchy of Warsaw, and no new obstacle has tended on our part to prevent the continuance of peace. On the contrary, the last instructions which Prince Kurakin has received, furnish him with ample means of terminating all differences, and of opening the negociation which your Court desires. we have learned with satisfaction, the reception which our propositious have met with on the part of the Emperor Napoleon. The official answer which your Excellency
shall give to them, and which we are desired by Prince Kurakin to expect, will definitively settle the important question of peace or war. —The moderation which marks that I have now the honour of addressing to you, offers you, my Lord Duke, ample security that any overture that may be made of a pacific nature, will be ão,éâû'the stoohilobed: taken with respect to the British Government. He is grateful for the attention of the Emperor Napoleon in informing him thereof. He will always duly appreciate the sacrifices which that Sovereign shall make, in order to promote the conclusion of a general peace, for the attainment of which great and attractive object, no sacrifices can, in his opinion, be too considerable.—I have the honour to offer to your Excellency, &c. &c. - Count de Romanzoff.
Copy of a Letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs to Count Lauriston, Ambassador of his Imperial and Royal Majesty, at St. Petersburg.—Dresdeu, May 20, 1812.
I have the honour, Count, to send you copies of two notes from Prince Kurakin, dated the 30th of April and 17th of May, of a note which I addressed to that Ambassador on the 9th of the same month, and of the answer which he returned to me on the same day; and, lastly, of a note of the 11th of May, which reached me yesterday, and by which Prince Kurakin renews, in the most pressing manner, his demand of his passports.--—His Majesty, Count, could never have believed that this Ambassador would have taken so much upon himself: he thinks it fit that you should, by a note, addressed to the Count de Soltikoff, demand passports for yourself, in order to proceed to the Count de Romanzoff to Wilna, or to any other place of meeting that shall be appointed. You will announce to Count Soltikoff, that the communications with which you are charged, and which you cannot make but to the Chancellor or to the Emperor himself, are as important as they are urgent. You will show Count Romanzoff all the documents which I transmit to you. You will express the astonishment which his Majesty must have felt, when I gave him an account of proceedings so unexpected, and so contrary to the dispositions which the Emperor Alexander manifested to yourself: when he
perceived, that in the notes of the Russian Ambassador, the evacuation of Prussia was put forward as a condition upon which France was not even to deliberate—a condition such as his Majesty had never proposed after the greatest victories; when, in fine, by the demand of the independence of Prussia, his independence was violated, in
has contracted in the exercise of the right which belongs to all Sovereigns. You will, Count, make it be felt sensibly, how much the notes of Prince Kurakin are, in their form, and by their contents, opposed to those pacific dispositions, of which that Ambassador had given the assurance; by what spirit of conciliation his Majesty is induced to suppose, that in presenting their notes and combining to them the demand of his passports, he has trangressed the bounds prescribed to him, and with what regret, if they were really the expression of the intentions, and the result of the Orders of the Court of Petersburg, his Majesty would see every hope vanish, of succeeding, by a negociation, which he has been constantly soliciting for nearly two years, in the adjustment at last of the differences that divide the two countries. You will insist, Count, on-obtaining explanations which may still leave the way open for an accommodation. I have the honour
Copy of a Letter from Count Romanzoff to Count Lauriston. Wilna, 27th May (8th June), Evening, 1812.
Mr. Ambassador, His Imperial Majesty has just been informed by Count Soltikoff, that your Excellency had demanded passports, for the purpose of attending his Majesty, with a view to execute in person the orders which you had received from the Emperor, your master. Though, in the midst of his troops, his Majesty would have felt pleasure in withdrawing himself for a short time from his present occupations, in order to receive near his person the Ambassador of a Sovereign, his Ally; but a circumstance, totally foreign to all his Majesty's thoughts, prevent him. He has just learned that the course of the post by letters between his Empire and foreign mations, has been suspended at Memel, and, *cording to every appearance, all communication with his Empire prohibited. He has since been informed, that one of his Couriers, returning from one of his mis
sions to his Majesty, has been unable to obtain permission to pass the frontier into his States, and that it has been necessary for him to turn back. Acts so extraordinary require to be cleared up. His Majesty, not being previously apprized of the nature of the communications with which your Excel
of things in the relations of the two Cabinets, invites you, Mr. Ambassador, to choose rather not to quit St. Petersburg, and to have the goodness to do me the honour to address to me, in writing, the communications which you have to make, or else to convey them, in writing, directly to his Imperial Majesty, at your own option; and in order to afford you the means of so doing, his Majesty has commanded me to place, for this purpose, at your disposal, the Sieur Baereus, an Officer in the corps of Field, who will have the honour to deliver you this letter. I entreat your Excel-, lency, &c. Coust De Romaszoff.
Gopy of a Leller from Count de Lauriston to Count Romanzoff. St. Petersburg, 31st May (12th June), 1812.
Sir, Count, The goodness which I have experienced on the part of his Majesty the Emperor Alexander, the marks of confidence with which he had condescended to honour me, prevented me from foreseeing any obstacle to the journey which I proposed to make to Wilna. I had, therefore, made arrangements for my journey, notwithstanding the very violent rheumatic pains which I have subsered for many days, sensible of all the importance of the communications which I was charged to make to his Majesty, or to your Excellency, under circumstances when the smallest delay might be injurious. What, then, was my astonishment on receiving your Excellency's letter . I saw all my hopes vanish; I saw. that I had deceived myself in the idea 1 had of the confidence which I supposed his Majesty would be pleased to conser on me, inasinuch as he refuses me any direct communication either with himself or with your Excellency, at a moment when this confidence, which I believed I had merited by my conduct, by my invariable zeal for the maintenance of the alliance, might be, as I have no hesitation to say it would have been, of the greatest advantage to the two Empires. The reasons even which your Excellency has put forward to prevent my
(To be continued./
As illustrated in the Prosecution and Punishment of
IN order that my countrymen and that the world may not be deceived, duped, and cheated upon this subject, I, WILLIAM COBBETT,
June, 1809, the following article was published in a London news-paper, called the Couri ER:—“The Mutiny amongst the LO“CAL MILITIA, which broke out at Ely, was “fortunately suppressed on Wednesday by the “arrival of four squadrons of the GERMAN “LEGiON CAVALRY from Bury, under the “command of General Auckland. Five of the “ringleaders were tried by a Court-Martial, and “sentenced to receive 500 lashes each, part of which “punishment they received on Wednesday, and “a part was remitted. A stoppage for their knap“sacks was the ground of the complaint that ex“cited this mutinous spirit, which occasioned “the men to surround their officers, and demand “what they deemed their arrears. The first “division of the German Legion halted yesterday * at Newmarket on their return to Bury.”— That, on the 1st July, 1809, I published, in the Political Register, an article censuring, in the strongest terms, these proceedings; that, for so doing, the Attorney General prosecuted, as seditious libellers, and by Ex-Officio Information, me, and also my printer, my publisher, and one of the principal retailers of the Political Register; that I was brought to trial on the 15th June, 1810, and was, by a Special Jury, that is to say, by 12 men out of 48 appointed by the Master of the Crown Office, found guilty; that, on the 20th of the same month, I was compelled to give bail for my appearance to receive judgment; and that, as I came up from Botley (to which place I had returned to my family and my farm on the evening of the 15th), a Tipstaff went down from London in order to seize me, personally ; that, on the 9th of July, 1810, I, together with my printer, publisher, and the newsman, were brought into the Court of King's Bench to receive judgment; that the three former were sentenced to be imprisoned for some months in the King's Bench prison; that I was sentenced to be imprisoned for two years in Newgate, the great receptacle for malefactors, and the front of which is the scene of numerous hangings in the course of every year; that the part of the prison in which I was sentenced to be confined is sometimes inhabited by felons, that felons were actually in it at the time I entered it; that one man was taken out of it to be transported in about 48 hours after I was put into the same yard with him; and that it is the place of confinement for men guilty of unnatural crimes, of whom there are four in it at this time; that, besides this imprisonment, I was sentenced to pay a thousand pounds TO THE KING, and to give security for my good behaviour for seven years, myself in the sum of 3,000 pounds, and
two sureties in the sum of 1,000 pounds each; that the whole of this sentence has been executed upon me, that I have been imprisoned the two years, have paid the thousand pounds TO THE ---aros. ---n 1-- o' os-------, "n:--~ *lav Rrown and Peter Walker, Esqrs. being my sure firs; that the Attorney General was Sir Vicary Gibbs, the Judge who sat at the trial Lord Ellenborough, the four Judges who sat at passing sentence Ellenborough, Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey; and that the jurors were, Thomas Rhodes of Hampstead Road, John Davis of Southampton Place, James Ellis of Tottenham Court Road, John Richards of Bayswater, Thomas Marsham of Baker Street, Robert Heathcote of High Street Marylebone, John Maud of York Place Marylebone, George Baxter of Church Terrace Pancras, Thomas Taylor of Red Lion Square, David Deane of St. John Street, William Palmer of Upper Street Islington, Henry Favre of Pall Mall; that the Prime Ministers during the time were Spencer Perceval, until he was shot by John Bellingham, and after that Robert B. Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool; that the prosecution and sentence took place in the reign of King George the Third, and that, he having become insane during my imprisonment, the 1,000 pounds was paid to his son, the Prince Regent, in his behalf; that, during my imprisonment, I wrote and published 364 Essays and Letters upon political subjects; that, during the same time, I was visited by persons from 197 cities and towns, many of them as a sort of deputies from Societies or Clubs; that, at the expiration of my imprisonment, on the 9th of July, 1812, a great dinner was given in London for the purpose of receiving me, at which dinner upwards of 600 persons were present, and at which Sir Francis Burdett presided; that dinners and other parties were held on the same occasion in many other places in England; that, on my way home, I was received at Alton, the first town in Hampshire, with the ringing of the Church bells; that a respectable company met me and gave me a dinner at Winchester; that I was drawn from more than the distance of a mile into Botley by the people; that, upon my arrival in the village, I found all the people assembled to receive me; that I concluded the day by explaining to them the cause of my imprisonment, and by giving them clear motions respecting the flogging of the Local Militia-men at Ely, and respecting the en
loyment of German Troops; and, finally, which is more than a compensation for my losses and all my sufferings, I am in perfect health and strength, and, though I must, for the sake of six children, feel the diminution that has been made in my property (thinking it right in me to decline the offer of a subscription), I have the consolation to see growing up three sons, upon whose hearts, I trust, all these facts will be engraven.
Botley, July 23, 1812.
“I implore your Royal Highness to reflect on the manifold miseries that may arise from this “cause, and to be pleased to bear in mind, that, to yield hereafter upon force or menace, will be “disgrace; whereas to yield now would indicate a sentiment of justice.”—Letter to the Regent,
- LETTER VII. Sir, If I have now to refer to the proofs of the correctness of those opinions which I addressed to your Royal Highness many months past, upon the subject of the Dispute with America, I beg you to be assured, that I do it not in the way of triumph, but in the hope, that even yet my advice, most respectfully offered to your Royal Highness, may have some weight with you, and may, in some small degree, tend to avert that last of national evils, a war with America, a war against the children of Englishmen, a war against the seat of political and religious freedom. In my former Letters I took great pains to endeavour to induce your Royal Highness to distrust the statements in our public prints as to the power of the English party in the American States. I assured you, that the venal press in England was enaged in promulgating a series of deceptions with regard to the opinions of the people of America. I took the liberty to point out to your Royal Highness the mischiefs which must result from listening to the advice of those whose language might correspond with that of this press; and, in short, I showed, that, if the endeavours of that pernicious, partial, and corrupt press had their intended effect, war with America must be the consequence. By this press (the vilest instrument of the vilest corruption that ever existed in the whole world) the people of England were induced to approve of the measures which have now produced a war with America; or, at least, they were induced to wink at them. They were made to believe, that our measures of hostility against America were useful to us, and that the American Government had not the power to resent them by war. The same, I doubt not, was told to your Royal
Highness verbally; but, how wretchedly have the nation and you been deceived The state of affairs between the two countries now stands thus: There exists a Dispute on the subject of our Orders in Council, on that of the Impressment of American Seamen, and on the possession of the Floridas. There are some other matters of inferior importance, but they would admit of easy arrangement. With regard to the Orders in Council, your Royal Highness was advised to issue, on the 21st of April last,” a Declaration, stating that you would not repeal the Orders in Council, until France, Officially and Unconditionally, by some public promulgation, repealed her Berlin and Milan Decrees. France, so far from doing this, has, in the most public and solemn manner, declared, that she will never do what your Declaration required, though, at the same time, she has repeated (and she has done no more), what she had said to the American Government in 1810, and what was then communicated to our Government by "the American Minister in London. Nevertheless, you were afterwards advised to repeal the Orders in Council, though the conditions of the Declaration before issued were not at all satisfied, but were, in fact, set at open defiance. This repeal, which took place on the 23d of June last,+ was, however, too late in its adoption to prevent war. The American Government, who had been making their preparations for many months, and which preparations had been the subject of mockery with the venal press in England, declared war on the 18th of June last. The intelligence of this having been received in England, your Royal Highness was advised to issue, on the 31st of July, an Order in Council for an embargo on all American vessels in our ports, and also for capturing and detaining all American vessels at sea.
* See Register, Vol. XXI. p. 735. - + Register, Vol. XXI. P.815. F
This is the state of affairs between the two countries; and the main question now appears to be, whether, when the American Government hears of our repeal of the Orders in Council, they will revoke their declaration of war. This is a question of great interest at this moment; and, I shall, therefore, proceed to lay before your Royal Highness my sentiments with respect to it. *
The same sort of infatuation that has
- prevailed here, with regard to American
affairs, for many months past, appears still to prevail. Indeed, Sir, I can call it no other than insolence; an insolent contempt of the Americans, thought by those who hate them, and who would, if they could, kill them to the last man, in revenge for their having established a free government, where there are neither sinecures, jobs, or selling of seats. This insolence has induced people to talk of America as a country incapable of resenting any thing that we might do to her; as being a wretched state, unsupported by any thing like vigour in government; as a sort of horde of half-savages, with whom we might do what we pleased; and, to the very last minute, the great mass of the people here; ninety-nine out of every hundred, firmly believed, that America would never go to war with us. They lest provocations quite out of the question. They appeared to have got into their heads a conclusion, that, let us do what we would to America, she would not go to war with us. This way of thinking has pervaded the whole of the writings upon the subject of the Dispute with America. At every stage in the progress towards war, the corrupt press has asserted, that America knew better than to go to war with us. When she went So #. as to pass Acts for raising an army and equipping a fleet, and that, too, with the avowed intention of making war against us; still the hirelings told the people, that she dared not go to war, and that she only meant to bully. I could fill a large volume with assertions from the Times news-paper alone, that we should not yield a titlle, and that America would not dare to go to war. But, the fact is too notorious to dwell upon. There is no man, and especially your Royal Highness, who can have failed to observe the constant repetition of these assertions. At last, however, America has dared to go to war, even against that great warrior George the Third, nearly three-fifths of whose reign has been occupied inwars, ex
clusive of the wars in India. He has been not only the greatest warrior, but the greatest conqueror of any European prince that ever lived. Napoleon is nothing to him as a conqueror; and yet the Americans have dared to declare war against him. But,
leven now, now that she has actually de
clared war, and that, too, by an Act of Congress, by a law passed by real representatives of the people; by men elected by the free voice of the nation; by an un, bribed, unbought, unsold, unenslaved as: sembly, not by a set of corrupt knaves whom the President can at any time twist about by means of the people's money; even now, when she has declared war in this solemn manner, the hireling news. papers in London would fain make us believe, that the whole thing is a mere make. belief, that it is a mere feint, and “will “end in smoke.” At the least, they tell us, that when the news of the repeal of our Orders in Council reaches America, there must be a revocation of the declaration of war. They seem to forget, that the declaration of war in America is an Act of Congress, and that to do away the effect of that Act, another Act must pass. They seem to forget, that it is the people who have declared war; and that the people must be consulted before that declaration can be an: nulled, or revoked. But, Sir, the fact is, that these writers talk miserable nonsense. We are at war with America; and, before we can have peace with her again, we must have a treaty of peace. But, the main question for rational men to discuss is: “Will the repeal of our Or. “ders in Council be sufficient to induct “America to make peace with us, without “ including the redress of her other griev. “ances?” This is the question that we have to discuss ; it is a question in which hundreds of thousands are immediately interested; and it is a question which I think may be answered in the negative; that is to say, Sir, I give it as my opinion, that the repeal of our Orders in Council will not be sufficient to restore us to a state of peace with America, and, I now proceed respectfully to submit to your Royal Highness the reasons, upon which this opinion is founded. In my last Letter (at p. 787, Vol. XXI.) I had the honour to state to your Royal Highness, that there was another great point with America: namely, the Impressment of American seamen, which must be adjusted before harmony could be restored between the two countries; and, as you must have perceived, this subject of com