Page images

que de voir se prolonger la résidence sur le territoire Français de l'armée étrangère parce qu'elle protège l'ordre et l'établissement actuel, et ils sont en animadversion contre ces mêmes étrangers parce qu'ils recommandent le maintien de la charte comme moyen d'ordre et de paix intérieure.

Je vois que le Gouvernement, qui se plaint de la manière dont les Gouvernemens étrangers le laissent traiter dans leurs gazettes, fait ou laisse publier dans ses papiers qui sont tous un peu officiels, puisqu'aucun ne paraît pas sans son attache, tout ce qui se débite de fâcher, sur la détresse vraie ou fausse de la classe industrielle de l'Angleterre. Le ton des journaux Français n'est d'accord que sur ce point, et il me semble que cette ingratitude envers l'Angleterre est à l'ordre du jour parmi toutes les Puissances de l'Europe. Elle se conduit envers l'Angleterre comme la France envers M. de Talleyrand. Je ne sais si je suis à la fois trop bon et trop bête, mais je trouve cette conduite aussi imprudente qu'ingrate. C'est Angleterre seule qui a sauvé l'Europe, qui a rallié les souverains et leur a donné les moyens : aucun d'eux seul n'eut pu se tirer d'affaire. Ôtez le pivot Anglais, ou sa force morale, de la machine politique du Continent, les forces des Souverains se vont mettre en jeu au gré de leurs passions privées ; la masse des autres forces n'aura plus de centre, ne pourra plus se rallier, s'organiser, et résister à une force impérieuse et ambitieuse un peu prépondérante telle que se présente la Russie. Il en est des États de l'Europe pris collectivement comme de chaque État en particulier il y faut un pouvoir ou une influence supérieure pour en resserrer et maintenir le faisceau ; et nulle Puissance peut jouer ce rôle d'une manière moins dangereuse pour les hiérarchies continentales que l'Angleterre dont le territoire ne touche à aucune d'elles. Quant au système d'équilibre, ce n'est qu'un beau roman. Je maintiens qu'il faut une influence capitale, et, certes, elle est moins dangereuse à Londres qu'à Petersbourg.

Mr. Edward Thornton to Lord Castlereagh.

Stockholm, August 24, 1816. My Lord—I had the honour of being admitted to a short audience of his Swedish Majesty on Tuesday last, the 20th. I am not very desirous of importuning your lordship with reports on the declining state of the King's health, which are otherwise sufficiently in circulation, although, in that respect, I did not observe any very material alteration : but I cannot refrain from mentioning to your lordship the striking declension in the mental faculties of his Swedish Majesty, which I had never occasion to observe before. The King was sufficiently prepared for my coming, and his first questions, of a common nature, relating to my journey, led me to suspect nothing of the failure of his memory. But immediately afterwards he asked me if I had not remarked the great changes which had taken place in the country. On my expressing by my countenance some surprise at a question of this sort, after so short an absence, he repeated it, and added that since the time of the deceased King (meaning Gustavus III.) there had been great changes in the country, and whether on coming back I had not been struck with them. He repeated this observation and allusion to the late King (feu le Roi) a second time.

With regard to the physical health of his Majesty, I did not observe any material alteration. There was perhaps a little in the increased degree of debility, and in the augmented care of the two gentlemen who were present, and who supported the King by the arm as he stood to receive me. But one of them desired me to speak louder, as his Majesty was exceedingly deaf; and this certainly was not the case before, nor when I had my audience of leave last year. I have not yet been admitted to the presence of the Queen.

I have the honour to be, &c.,



Lord Cathcart to Lord Castlereagh.

St. Petersburgh, August 16-28, 1816. My dear Lord—I have little to add in the form of a private and confidential letter to what I have stated in my despatches ; but as opportunities of writing confidentially do not frequently occur, I am glad to profit by every safe conveyance.

The Emperor, with his accustomed kindness, gave me several opportunities of seeing him before his departure without ceremony and in the country. In speaking of his journey, the language of his Imperial Majesty has been uniform as to intended dates, and as to the places he means to visit. He made it perfectly clear that he wished me not to follow him ; but he said that he could not object to my travelling where my inclination might lead me within his dominions, and assured me that, if I did come where he was, I should be well received ; and that I must not expect to find him at Warsaw later than the 5-17 of October. It ended at last in a sort of compromise, that I should not make the journey, unless there should appear to me to be a strong and urgent reason for it; but that, in that event, I may set out without farther communication with him, as if it were to make an excursion for my own amusement or curiosity.

Notwithstanding his attention to business, and the number of hours daily allotted to it in all places, the Emperor appears to me to have enjoyed this summer much, and to have taken great pleasure in the country, especially at Czarskoizelo, where he has put the grounds into great order, and planned many improvements. Considerable alterations are also in progress in his palaces and in ornamenting this city. He has also passed more of his time with the Empress, and they appear to be very happy together, nor is there anything of which I am aware likely to interrupt that harmony.

In regard to his popularity, it is difficult here to ascertain

the general tone of the country. His achievements out of the empire have universal applause; and on these subjects, all seem to join with enthusiasm in his praise.

But there are many causes which prevent the general sentiments from being so uniformly pronounced in regard to his government of the empire. The great expense of living has led all families to discontinue their former splendour, and all who can make their escape go to their country residences, or ask to go abroad. All who have lawsuits or private claims to solicit complain of delay, expense, and protracted anxiety; and all manner of persons, here and at Warsaw, complain of the expense of the military establishment, with very little reserve.

The truth is, that so much depends upon the decision of the Sovereign in all civil as well as military concerns, and so very little can be finished in any department upon the responsibility of Ministers, that business makes very slow progress, and, from accumulation, is often done at last upon the report of inferior officers, submitted by their principals without sufficient scrutiny.

This inconvenience, and the discontent which accompanies it, must always be great in proportion to the extent of so vast an empire; and the difficulty of detecting and eradicating abuses will always continue in the same ratio.

I have the honour to remain, &c., CATHCART.

The Hon. Charles Bagot to Lord Castlereagh.

Washington, September 1, 1816. My dear Lord—In a conversation which I had last year with Lord Bathurst, during your absence at Paris, he enjoined me, if any question should arise with the American Govern ment, respecting the Indian nations lately in alliance with us not to take measures upon the subject without previous) referring to the Government at home. Such a question now arising, and a very important one it is, not only as

affects the Indians, but as it may remotely affect the security of the whole province of Upper Canada.

I have strictly obeyed Lord Bathurst's injunctions; and, excepting that I have said what I thought was indispensable, for the purpose of guarding the British Government from any accusations of having excited the Indians to the hostilities into which they may probably be driven against this country, I have made no representations to Mr. Monroe upon what your lordship will see by my despatches is evidently taking place.

I shall continue to act in this manner, but I think it is now desirable that I should be put in possession of so much of your lordship's opinion upon the question, as may serve to guide me generally in any reference which may be made to me either by the Government in Canada or the American Government, upon the many incidental questions which will probably grow out of these proceedings.

There appears to be no prospect of my being able to bring the Convention respecting the fisheries to a conclusion before October. Mr. Monroe will not return from the country till that time. He offered to remain here for the purpose ; but told me that he did not think that before that time he could obtain the information which he required upon the subject.

The real history of this delay is, I believe, that the Government are afraid of concluding any arrangement upon a subject in which their Federal opponents in the Eastern States are alone interested, without ascertaining, as nearly as they can, their wishes upon the business. I have not thought it right to manifest any impatience upon my part; but I have apprised Mr. Monroe that, as a much longer delay would take place than I had expected, I should leave the Admiral on the Halifax station to take his own course in respect to the American vessels encroaching upon our rights, as the forbearance which, in expectation of a speedy arrangement, I had

« PreviousContinue »