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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 Government, respecting the Indian nations lately in alliance with us, not to take measures upon the subject without previously referring to the Government at home. Such a question is now arising, and a very important one it is, not only as it
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 requested him to show during the negociation might be misconstrued, if continued through the whole fishing season.
I have the honour to be, &c, Charles Bagot.
Mr. Chad to Lord Castlereagh.
Hague, September 5, 1816.
My Lord—The Austrian Minister, the Baron de Binder, who returned last week from Vienna to this residence, has been directed by Prince Metternich to make renewed remonstrances against the licentiousness of the Belgian press.
M. de la Tour du Pin received a courier yesterday from Paris, with instructions from the Duke de Richelieu to state to M. de Nagell that, unless some decisive measures are adopted on this subject, his Most Christian Majesty would cause all diplomatic relations to cease between France and Holland.
The accounts transmitted by General Fagel of the intemperate manner in which he had been attacked by the Duke de Richelieu, at a diplomatic dinner given by General Pozzo di Borgo, were not likely favourably to dispose the King of the Netherlands for this communication.
M. de la Tour du Pin, in relating to me these circumstances, did not succeed in concealing that, in obeying the orders of the Duke de Richelieu, he was acting against his own judgment. He repeated how much he regretted that the Court of France had noticed the attacks of the Belgian press, and had thus been engaged in measures, from the prosecution of which it became very difficult to recede.
It appears probable that a compliance with the demands of Franco and Austria would not only cause great irritation in Belgium, but would also raise up an opposition to the King's Government even amongst those of his Dutch subjects who have been constant in their enmity to France and in their attachment to the House of Orange.
I have the honour to be, &c, G. W. Chad.
Lord Castlereagh to Mr. à Court.
Foreign Office, September 6, 1816.
Sir—In my official instructions to you, of this date, relative to Sicilian affairs, you will perceive that I have abstained from making any reference to that part of the Marquis Circello's communication to you, which had relation either to the engagements or to the discussions which have taken place between the Courts of Naples and Vienna on this question, as connected with the political state of Italy, because, as the Prince Regent is in no degree a party to these engagements; and as his Royal Highness's policy is as far as possible to avoid interference, I have thought it better to found my despatch upon that part of the conversation alone which had reference to the course the British Government was likely to pursue, in the actual state of affairs, and upon which you will have no difficulty, on your return to Naples, in fully explaining yourself.
The British Government is very sensible of the friendly disposition the Austrian Government has shown to concert their measures with them upon this subject. Their relations with the Court of Naples, as well as their general interest in the political tranquillity of Italy, must give them an interest not less warm than we feel in the result of any change which may be attempted in Sicily; but still we think that any actual concert between the two Powers would embarrass, rather than assist, the King of Naples; that it might be open to great misconception in Europe, and expose both Powers to an extent of responsibility more serious than could be counterbalanced by the advantages to be hoped to flow from their active interference.
In the progress of affairs, so far as your personal advice can be employed, to promote the welfare and happiness of the Sicilians, and to avert a state of things which might impose upon the British Government the necessity of interference, I am confident it will not be withheld; but, you will, at the same time, be cautious not thereby to commit your Court to a
responsibility, which they deem it their duty explicitly to
Lord Castlereagh to Lord Stewart.
London, September 6, 1816.
My dear Charles—I should be glad if you would endeavour by the return of the messenger to let me know with certainty what Austria will do upon the question of the reversion, because, if she refuses, we must try to make Spain accept at all events. My own opinion is that it is not for the interest of Austria either to keep this question open, or to have Napoleon the Second in Italy quasi Sovereign. France will never agree to it; and you may remember, the British Government sent a peremptory instruction to Clancarty at Vienna to protest against the boy being included in the arrangement.
The instruction proceeded on the principle that Buonaparte's leaving Elba had worked a forfeiture of the Paris stipulation, and that a life interest was as much as the Empress had any claim to expect, when not only the preferable claim of the Spanish family, but the general principle of not preserving the dynasty, was against her. You may remember how the reclamations of Maria Louisa, the gallantry of the Emperor of Russia, and the obstinacy of Labrador, led to the compromise of giving the Duchies for life to the Archduchess, saving their reversion for future decision.
What I wish now to ascertain is, whether we can close the point or not. If Metternich hesitates, he means to let Russia again interpose to prevent it; if he does not, and is prepared to give effect to his own proposition, made the 29th of March, 1815, I do not think the Emperor will now oppose a settlement. This query is to yourself.
You will explain to Prince Metternich that, in framing my despatches on the Sicilian question, my object has been, not to