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acceptance, perhaps there might be no objection to give you power to accept, subject to the redaction of the projét in due form. At present it is mere projết, and not even preliminary treaty. It omits prisoners and other points usually included. I am scribbling half asleep.
You will exercise your own discretion about despatches. If you forward them to England, send me the substance, if not a copy.
Ever yours, in great haste,
Lord Aberdeen to Lord Castlereagh.
Chatillon sur Seine, March 10, 1814. My dear Castlereagh–Our conference is just concluded, but I must refer you to Stadion's despatch for the particulars, as it is late, and the only important part of the proceeding consists of a long declaration given in by Caulaincourt, by way of observations on our projét, and a list of the cessions which Buonaparte is prepared to make. The original papers will be transmitted by Stadion. From what has passed, you will be able to judge what new instructions we require, or if we require any. I do not believe that Caulaincourt received these declarations from his master, but that they have been composed here. The list of cessions is so worded as to compromise Buonaparte as little as possible. You will observe that, when mention is made of the limits of France, they are not described. Nothing is said of any cession in the Netherlands. The independence of Italy is, indeed, admitted ; but it is not said in what manner it is to be established, whether as a kingdom, under Beauharnois or any other person. The only object which Caulaincourt appeared to have much at heart, was to engage us to remain ; and this he testified in a manner too obvious to be mistaken.
I think you are perfectly at liberty to do what you please, for we did not even take the declarations of Caulaincourt officially, ad referendum, but received them almost in silence.
He was particularly anxious that we should not consider anything he said as a refusal of our projét-on the contrary, he declared repeatedly that he was ready to enter at once dans le fond de l'affaire, but wished that the observations might have the weight they deserved. He proposed to fix a time for another conference, but Stadion said that we were not in a condition to listen to any proposal of that nature.
I must observe that he came up to me before dinner to-day, and asked about you: he asked if there was any hope of your return. I professed ignorance of your intentions. He said, “ For the love of God, engage him to return! If he were but here, and would listen to my propositions, so that we might understand each other, we should speedily conclude the affair. How is it possible to conclude matters at a public conference? Neither party can easily be brought to declare the last word; but I am confident, if we could discuss the points separately, there would be no material difference. You are not to judge from a public declaration, made to save appearances, what may be the ultimate intention.” I made no reply whatever to this very remarkable speech, which, I have no doubt, was intended to have reference to the transaction of this evening.
I shall be anxious to hear to-morrow what may be your instructions. I will send a report of this night's conference, when I have been able to concert it with Cathcart and Stewart. In the mean time, I send the protocol of the conference of the 28th of February.
Ever most sincerely yours, ABERDEEN.
Lord Castlereagh to Mr. Hamilton.
Chaumont March 10, 1814. My dear Hamilton—I have been a very bad correspondent, but I have found it difficult to supply one intelligible report of the many events passing here. In order to avoid trouble in classing, I have addressed the whole to Liverpool. When I return, I can settle with him what despatches shall be made official, in which case Lord B.'s name can be substituted.
I send you my treaty, which I hope you will approve. We four Ministers, when signing, happened to be sitting at a whist-table. It was agreed that never were the stakes so high at any former party. My modesty would have prevented me from offering it; but, as they chose to make us a military Power, I was determined not to play a second fiddle. The fact is, that upon the face of the treaty this year, our engagement is equivalent to theirs united. We give 150,000 men and five millions, equal to as many more-total, 300,000. They give 450,000, of which we, however, supply 150,000, leaving their own number 300,000. The fact, however, is that, sick, lame, and lazy, they pay a great number more. On the other hand, we give to the value of 125,000 men beyond the 300,000. What an extraordinary display of power! This, I trust, will put an end to any doubts as to the claim we have to an opinion on continental matters.
I am not aware of anything in the treaty which may require revision. As it is an instrument of great moment, I shall, however, stay the ratifications here till the return of the messenger, whom I beg you will expedite. If it can be avoided, better make no change ; if there is any essential error, being all assembled, we could, without any serious inconvenience, execute new copies, and cancel these. As soon as I hear from you, I shall send off the ratification of the three Powers, to be exchanged in London. By laying the treaty before Parliament before the holidays, we can discuss it immediately on my return.
Yours truly, CASTLEREAGH.
Lord Burghersh to Lord Castlereagh.
Troyes, March 12, 1814. My dear Lord Castlereagh–I send you a despatch, with, I fear, but little news in it. Our operations are, in my mind, very singular: the fact is, we are afraid of fighting. I am
convinced this army will not be risked in a general action ; without one, I don't see how we are to break down Buonaparte. Schwarzenberg would almost wish to be back upon the Rhine; he has so many difficulties to face in his present advanced position, that nothing but a victory could extricate him ; but this he thinks a dangerous remedy: to go back without being forced, would require great nerve to bear the responsibility, so he continues where he is, without, I fear, any great prospect of doing much, unless the way was made easy for him by victories gained by others of the Allied armies.
Some time ago, a Swiss officer, Lieut.-Colonel Freudenreich, who was formerly in the English service, and on the staff of General Hope, when he was with the Austrian armies, proposed to attach himself to me, if I could give him an appointment. I answered, it was impossible ; but, from some confusion in a message delivered to him, he joined me at this place before our retreat. I explained to him I could do no more than offer him my table : he has remained with me. I must say he is of great use to me; without, therefore, saying anything to him, I wish you could allow me to give him an appointment of secretary, such as is at present allowed me, and amounting to fifteen shillings per diem. The truth is, I very much want a person like him, who speaks German. It remains, however, for your decision.
My messenger Vich takes this letter ; he is very unwell, and can't ride. I wish you could send me another who was more active.
Peace is the constant cry of every officer in this army. It is very disgraceful, but it is my duty to tell you of it—the army is in a state of great disorganization, pillage and plundering at its utmost. The inhabitants of this town can get no bread : they are starving, and eat the dead horses which are to be met with in the streets. Believe me ever yours most sincerely,
BURGHERSH. VOL. IX.
Lord Castlereagh to Sir Henry Wellesley.
Chaumont, March 12, 1814. Sir-I enclose, for your confidential information, copy of a treaty which has just been signed between the Courts of London, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and Berlin. Until the ratifications are exchanged, it cannot be made regularly the object of an official proceeding, but you may communicate confidentially upon it with the Spanish Government, and prepare them for the early invitation which they may expect to receive, under the Second Secret Article, to accede to this treaty.
The importance of its policy, and the value to the nations of the Peninsula of having the great military Powers of Europe solemnly pledged to their defence, will, as I have no doubt from your past correspondence, be duly appreciated both by the Regency and Cortes. This measure is now perhaps more than ever important, in order to discourage, on the part of France, any attempt hereafter to presume upon the engagements which were lately so disgracefully imposed upon Ferdinand VII. in his captivity.
I shall be desirous of learning, as early as possible, the sentiments of the Spanish Government upon this important subject. Should they feel disposed to accept the invitation to be made them, I should wish the necessary instructions to be sent to their Ambassador in London, to treat as to the number of troops, &c., to be furnished by Spain. On this point I should be glad of any preliminary information your Excellency can procure, as to the sentiments of the Government.
I have, &c. CASTLEREAGH.
Lord Cathcart to Lord Castlereagh.
Chatillon sur Seine, March 12, 1814. My dear Lord—There was not much to add to the original documents transmitted in the night of the 10th and 11th, to