« PreviousContinue »
froin again manifesting my earnest hope that the future instructions I may receive upon pecuniary subjects may not be communicated to the French diplomatic agents in London, before I have had an opportunity of executing the commands of his Majesty's Government.
Believe me, &c, Charles Stuart.
Sir Charles Stuart to Lord Castlereagh.
Paris, December 22, 1817.
My dear Lord—The unfavourable manifestation of public opinion in the late discussions of the Chamber has compelled the Ministers to abandon, for the present, all the arrangements which I stated some time since to bo contemplated for the consolidation of the present Government, and to look forward rather to the possibility of changes which may give a decided colour to the Administration, and render the King's advisers the representatives of one of the great parties which divide the public opinion of this country. There is no doubt that, although this change will be delayed until it is absolutely forced upon the Government by the circumstances of the times, and that nothing less than successive defeats on several important questions can bring it about, considerable difference of opinion prevails among the King's Ministers concerning the mode in which it is desirable to attain such a result.
The well-known predilections of M. de Cazes will naturally induce him to remodel the Administration, by giving offices to the Members of the Council of State who have abandoned the cause of the present Government, and to the most moderate among the revolutionary party; while the leaders of the UltraRoyalists, namely, M. de Villele, Corbières, and Bonald, will probably be supported by M. de Richelieu.
Though hints have been thrown out to me that a knowledge of the decisive opinion of his Majesty's Government may very materially influence the course which is pursued upon this occasion, upon the principle of the instructions I have repeatedly received from your lordship, I have thought it my duty to abstain from interference, and to avoid even the expression of an opinion upon the subject. It is, perhaps, to be wished that all my colleagues had maintained the same reserve.
Believe me, &c, Charles Stuart.
Lord Clancarty to Lord Castlereagh.
The Hague, December 23, 1817.
My dear Lord—All seems tending towards a thorough reconciliation between the King and the Prince: they have dined each with the other; visitings and embracings have followed; and both seem again more pleased and in higher spirits than either could boast on the arrival of his Royal Highness at the Hague.
So far all is well—negociations are, however, briskly going on between them; on the Prince's side, no doubt for the purpose of being reinstated unconditionally in his superintendence of the army as Minister of War. I sincerely hope his Majesty will not be weak enough to give way upon this point. If he should, a complete triumph, at the expense of the royal authority, will be afforded to the Jacobinical crew at Bruxelles, who have already exerted more influence over his Royal Highness than is either consistent with his real interests or with good government.
I should be very sorry that, after what has passed, his Royal Highness should again be reinstated on any terms in the War Department. That there is, however, an intention of employing him somewhere I have no doubt: the Admiralty Department has been talked of, and in this he would, perhaps, be capable of doing less mischief than elsewhere; but, though I do not take it upon me to offer my opinions to his Majesty upon a point so delicate, yet, if I were to advise, it would be that, for some time at least, the Prince should be left altogether unemployed. Except dining with the King, and yesterday with me, Lis Royal Highness has been out nowhere since his arrival.
Yours, my dear lord, very faithfully,
Lord Clancarty to Lord Castlereagh.
The Hague, December 26,1817.
My dear Lord—A fact stated to me by M. de Nagell may perhaps throw some light upon the motives of the Prince's conduct in the late reconciliation. I can have no doubt that both he and his advisers conceived that Goltz would never stand against them, and that, on his removal, the Prince would become entire and unshackled master of the whole military department of this kingdom. Notwithstanding, therefore, that, at the very outset, Goltz had in a detailed letter to the Prince explained the whole of the circumstances of his conduct with reference to the orders issued for the employment of certain officers at Batavia as proceeding from the King, the whole artillery of his Royal Highness's advisers was levelled at M. de Goltz, as if he alone had opposed himself to the Prince's views.
As his Royal Highness joined, or rather led, in this attack, I strongly suspect, from the fact mentioned by M. de Nagell, that the Prince has concealed the real state of things, and most particularly Goltz's letter, from his sage advisers; and, though well aware from the very outset, that the order for the employment of the officers at Batavia proceeded from the King, and the King only, he is now desirous of endeavouring to account to his associates for his resumption of office by pretending now to learn this circumstance for the first time.
The fact stated by M. de Nagell is that the only condition formally insisted upon by the Prince was that the Comte de Goltz should write him a letter, explaining his conduct with reference to the officers, as having proceeded from the orders of his Majesty. In consequence of this, the King sent for M. de Goltz, and made the proposal to him in NagelFs presence. M. de Goltz stated that, having already, at the very outset, done what was now required, he could not again write a letter of this sort to the Prince as an original piece, without apparently, and contrary to the fact, laying himself open to the charges which such a letter, uncoupled with his former correspondence, would seem to substantiate, of having before failed in duty to the Prince, by concealing from him, his superior, matters of interest relating to his department.
Nevertheless, as the King seemed extremely anxious upon this subject, upon two conditions, he would forego his objections: the first was that his Majesty would permit him to state, in his letter to the Prince, that it was written by the express command of the King; and secondly, that, as in fact would be the case, it should profess to repeat and specifically allude to the former explanation of the motives of his conduct afforded by M. de Goltz at the commencement to his Royal Highness. The King having complied with these, the letter was written, and the Prince has been obliged to appear satisfied with the redaction, although it will scarcely fulfil all his Royal Highness's expectations.
Though the Prince will not be able to show up this letter, as accounting to his Bruxelles' associates for his resumption of office, he will still be able to state his having received a letter from M. de Goltz of the particular date, explanatory of his conduct, and thus endeavour to account for his own: and this will afford too great a triumph to those by whom his Royal Highness has had the misfortune of being surrounded.
The King appears in high spirits at the termination of this business. Not so the Prince, who, though necessarily accepting the felicitations offered on the occasion, seems far from being at his ease. At the great dinner at Court, on the Emperor of Russia's birthday, he had the want of tact to leave M. de Goltz totally unnoticed by him, although he addressed every other person in the room.
The reconciliation, such as it is, doubtless has its advantages with reference to the impression made upon the public; but I must own that, besides the apprehension of its not being likely to be sincere and permanent, I should have conceived it much better, both for the future interests of the King and of his Royal Highness, to have left the latter, for the present, unemployed.
Yours, my dear lord, &c, Clancarty.