Page images
PDF
EPUB

it worth while to make such an offer; and it is certain that the high tone which was held some months ago by this Government against Spain, and which had all the appearance of being given for the purpose of preparing the people for a war between the two countries, has suddenly and greatly subsided.

The Russian Minister has not been at Washington. He intends to remain at Philadelphia. I am told that Mr. Pinckney is instructed to make any reparation which the Emperor of Russia may require for the proceedings against the Russian Consul-General, of which I transmitted to your lordship an account in my despatches of last November, and that Mr. Harris has been in the mean time recalled from St. Petersburgh, ostensibly in disgrace, for not having properly explained to the Emperor the difference between the general laws and those of the State of Pennsylvania; that it is intended to sacrifice Mr. Harris, and to appoint Mr. Coles, who was sent specially to St. Petersburgh to explain this matter, as his successor. It is, however, still doubted whether Mr. Pinckney himself will be received.

General Toledo, respecting whom I wrote to your lordship in October last, is still in the United States; but he has certainly abandoned the cause of the Mexican insurgents, and has made his peace with the Spanish Government through the Spanish Minister here.

I have the honour to be, &c., CHARLES BAGoT.

Mr. Charles Bagot to Lord Castlereagh. Washington, March 11, 1817. My dear Lord—The Session of Congress has closed, without any notice being taken of the late negociation respecting the Fisheries, or any intimation being given by the Government to either House that such a negociation had existed. This silence is very remarkable, and has either been occasioned by the fear of making public the refutation given in the correspondence between Lord Bathurst and Mr. Adams, of the

arguments urged by the latter in support of the American pretension of right; or by the desire of making any measures which the Admiral on the Halifax station may think proper to take, in the ensuing season, in regard to American fishingvessels, appear vexatious and odious in the eyes of the Federal States to the eastward.

An apprehension of being thought to have intrigued with the Federal Members of Congress against the Government prevented me from acquainting any of them with the negociation. But, some days before the Congress rose, an opportunity was afforded me of speaking upon the subject to one of the principal gentlemen of Boston, not a Member of Congress, who happened to be accidentally in Washington. From him I learnt that no idea existed, either in the Eastern States or amongst the Members of Congress, that any negociation respecting the Fisheries had ever taken place since the Treaty of Peace; that they lamented the policy of Great Britain which had led to the measure; but that they conceived themselves to be peremptorily excluded from our shores.

Under these circumstances, I would take the liberty of submitting to your lordship's consideration, whether it might not have a good effect, if, in some manner, publicity could be given to the negociation in England, so that it might become known in this country before the fishing season commences. I believe that the Eastern States, now a little out of humour with us, on account of the advantages which they conceive to have been taken of them in the commercial Convention, might be thus satisfied that it is not the intention nor the policy of the British Government to act in any unfriendly or illiberal manner towards them. It might also have the effect of preventing some of the American fishermen from equipping their vessels for the approaching season; or, if it did not do so, it would, at all events, apprise them of the risk which they incurred.

I have the honour to be, &c., CHARLES Bagot.

Lord Castlereagh to Lord Clancarty.

Foreign Office, April 18, 1817. My dear Lord—I deem it material to put you in possession of a confidential communication of much importance, which has been received within these few days from the Russian Ambassador. I also send the copy of a despatch from Lord Cathcart, with reference to the communication in question, and for your information copy of a private letter, which I have thought it right to address to Sir Charles Stuart, with reference to the intercourse which the Duke of Orleans is supposed to have had with the refugees in the Low Countries and also with Lord Kinnaird. I have not deemed it necessary to quote my authority, but the evidence upon which your report rested appeared to me so much deserving of attention as to require some step to be taken to probe the truth of these reports.

It is possible, or rather, I should say, probable, that the King of the Netherlands has received a copy of the principal of these papers from St. Petersburgh, but, at any rate, I think you may, in strict confidence, confer upon its contents both with his Majesty and with M. de Nagell. This document cannot fail additionally to awaken the King to a sense of the dangerous complications to which his immediate interests, as well as those of all Europe, may be exposed, if the Low Countries are suffered to continue the scene of intrigues against the settlement under which his Majesty's title to his crown is derived. It is not less due to the character of the Prince of Orange that all possibility of misconception of his views should be obviated. However pure, as we can have no doubt, his intentions are, it is disadvantageous that any portion of the Jacobin party in France should be suffered so far to delude themselves as to speculate for a moment upon making him their instrument.

When you have conversed with the King and M. de Nagell, on the Russian despatch, I shall be glad to hear from you. It niay be as well not, for the present, to mention to him my letter to Sir Charles Stuart. It is time enough when we know whether it has given occasion to any and what result at Paris.

Believe me, &c., CASTLEREAGH.

Lord Castlereagh to Lord Clancarty.

Cray Farm, Sunday, April 20, 1817. My dear Clancarty-The enclosed Protocol reached me yesterday from Paris : I think it right to send it to you in a private letter, and wish the evils it contemplates could be managed by private communication. Public representations on such subjects are much to be deprecated.

I send you copies of correspondence with the Duke of Wellington and Lord Liverpool, relative to fortification expenditure. The estimated expenditure for 1817, you observe, is about £1,400,000 : this appears a very large sum to lay out in one year. If you can manage with the Netherlands Government to postpone a part of our payment, it will be a convenience. May we not, at all events, make the subsidy money and the frigates a set-off?

Has the King any desire to purchase Ordnance stores cheap? Our arsenals are overloaded, and we wish to sell to a friendly Power. You may offer muskets, cannon for fortresses, and gunpowder, all of the best quality, 20 per cent. under what this Government paid for them.

I have been talking over with Cooke here your private letter of the 11th. He states, and I believe he is right, that, in the case of an insult offered to a foreign Minister, it is the duty of the Court to which he is accredited to proceed against the offender, without waiting for any complaint from him or his Court; and that all foreign Ministers are bound to concur, if called upon, in seeing a colleague protected. If the libel is against the Court itself, a complaint is usual; but, against the individual, it is the province of the local Government spontaneously to repress any infraction of the law of nations. The French Government perhaps, in prudence, might have gone more softly; but, where the act was not insulated, but a part of a long prevailing system, it is not extraordinary that they should have taken the question as high as doctrine would justify.

Ever yours, &c., CASTLEREAGH.

Extracts from a Report received from Sir Charles Stuart.

Paris, 20 Avril, 1817. Le procès de M. de Maubreuil va être probablement l'occasion d'un grand scandale. Voici quelques détails qui ne sont pas connus, et qui feront mieux entendre la suite de cette affaire.

Avant que le Roi fut arrivé à Paris, en 1814, lorsque Bonaparte était encore à Fontainebleau avec 30 mille hommes de sa garde, on put craindre qu'il ne se retirât dans les provinces de l'Est ou du Midi, ne s'y défendit, et n'y entretint une guerre civile. Un M. Laborie, secrétaire de M. Talleyrand, imagina de former une espèce de bataillon d'hommes déterminés, qui, dans les chances de la guerre, n'aurait d'autre destination que de viser à Bonaparte et de lo tuer. Maubreuil et un nommé Dasy furent proposés pour commander et former ce bataillon, et ne furent pas refuses. Mais Bonaparte ayant traité, et partant pour l'ile d'Elbe, il n'en fut plus question.

Maubreuil alors repandit que la Reine de Westphalie emportait des millions et les diamants de la couronne ; et, dans le désordre de ce moment, obtint de Monsieur et du Gouvernement provisoire des ordres qui l'autorisaient à requérir dans les provinces l'autorite civile et la force armée, pour remplir une mission non specifice dans ses ordres. Or, son procès roule sur ce qu'accompagué de gens armés par lui il a dépouillé la Reine de Westphalie de ses diamants personnels et d'une cassette contenant 84 mille franes ; sur ce qu'il n'est point revenu remettre sa proie au Gouvernement, l'a déposé à

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »