Page images

of the effect resulting from this step, it will be very easy for you to disavow me, and I shall not complain of your doing so.

I am sorry to state that the Prince of Orange, though not to the same public extent, has again taken up the cause of the Belgic half-pay officers ordered to Batavia. It appears that, to excuse themselves from this service, several of them, among whom is Colonel de Wastine, a Frenchman, and, till a late period, in that service, pleaded the want of sufficient health. Medical officers were accordingly sent by the King to establish the fact, and M. de Wastine particularly refused to submit to the required inspection, and actually directed the medical officers to be turned out of his lodgings. On this being reported to the King, his Majesty struck his name out of his army.

The Prince of Orange has represented to the King that he is compromised by this act, and has again tendered his resignation; but, though this happened, I believe, on Thursday last, I have not yet heard that the resignation has been accepted. The matter is still a secret here, though his Royal Highness, with sufficient imprudence, confided the fact to M. le Comte de Vilain XIV., one of the Belgic Deputies to the Second Chamber, who has been in uniform opposition to Government, one of the four Chamberlains excluded from the Queen's ball, (as I acquainted you in a former letter) and who waited on the Prince on Friday to take leave, prior to his return to the southern provinces.

Yours, my dear lord, &c.,

CLANCARTY. PS. A despatch has just been received by this Government from their Admiral in the Mediterranean, stating that four Tunisian vessels, of twenty guns each, (one of them probably that spoken of in the letter formerly noticed, from the Consul at Alicante) were then at Port Mahon, one bound to Rotterdam, the three others for the Thames, under the alleged pretence of seeking reimbursement for the loss sustained by the recapture of the Hamburgh, &c., vessels taken from them by us. This appears great stuff. I have thought it right, however, to furnish you with the fact as it has reached me by a verbal communication from M. de Nagell.

[ocr errors]

Lord Clancarty to Lord Castlereagh.

The Hague, March 6, 1818. My dear Lord—I have nothing of an official nature worthy of conveyance by the present occasion. The Reports of the Procureur-General at Bruxelles to the Minister of Justice here I no longer send in gross; with the exception, perhaps, of the enclosed extracts from those of the 1st of March, they cease to be of interest. These present two facts; 1st, the cautious delicacy which induced M. le Comte de Merci d'Argenteau, Civil Governor of Bruxelles, to warn Lord K- against making the very limited discovery conveyed in his letter to Sir George Murray, of the existence of a premeditated plan to murder the Duke of Wellington; and secondly, that my Lord K- is in the habit of advancing moneys in support of sedition, other than those sums which, by his intervention, we already know to have been paid to the caisse de sustentation at Antwerp, on account of the Duke of Orleans.

I am in great hopes, however, that the slight information hitherto afforded by his lordship will prove sufficient, if not for the success of further discovery, at least to set him at variance with his worthy coadjutors among the proscribed French at Bruxelles, and that he may consequently be thus induced altogether to withdraw his residence from this kingdom. Already the Jacobin journals have commenced somewhat covered hostilities against him, which, I trust, will soon grow into undisguised war and direct attack. An open house, tolerable manners, a command of money, and abundant good-will to a bad cause, have enabled his lordship to do considerable mis

chief: happily, however, these have been somewhat counterbalanced by very restricted powers of judgment and a temper not always at command. The Sessions of the States-General here are drawing towards a close: it is thought they will terminate on Thursday next. The King has found these gentry more difficult of late than he had expected. The law respecting libel on foreign Sovereigns, &c., I have already acquainted you, was lost by a majority of three. I did not, however, then state, because I was then ignorant of the fact, that the ill-success of this projet is attributed to the exertions of his Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, who is supposed not only to have encouraged opposition to it, but to have had sufficient influence to turn the scale against it in the Second Chamber. A projet of law respecting le Droit de Chasse has subsequently been ousted by a considerable majority, and against the success of this also the Prince of Orange is stated to have exerted himself. It being hoped that the States-General will be adjourned on Thursday next, the Court intends, immediately after Passion week, to repair for some time (probably a week or ten days) to Amsterdam. Thither, if invited, I shall conceive it my duty to accompany them, unless I shall receive directions from you to the contrary. The despatch from Lamb, which you will receive by this conveyance, reached me yesterday evening under flying seal. I must own that, to reconcile the instructions from Prince Metternich of the 11th December to his Minister at Munich, with those to the Comte de Buol of the 21st January, is beyond my limited capacity—that they should, however, though in direct opposition, flow from the head that devised them appears to me quite natural. His Highness would have done well to have recollected that there is no secrecy among the Plenipotentiaries at Frankfort; and, consequently, that the chances were strong in favour of both instructions becoming public. But his greatness of soul and perfect mastership of the diplomatic art, no doubt, despise such paltry considerations.

Ever most sincerely yours, CLANCARTY.

[Enclosures.] Extrait d'une Lettre confidentielle de M. Vanderfosse, Procureur-Général au Ministre de la Justice.

Bruxelles, 1 Mars, 1818. J'ai pensé que son Altesse le Prince de Waterloo seroit charmé de connoître une circonstance que je n'ai apprise qu'hier : c'est que Lord K- payoit à Arnheim, par l'entremise de la maison Stappaerts et à l'un de leurs correspondants, la pension de deux auteurs, (Guyet et Cauchois le Maire, sans doute) et que Collignon, non plus que Brice, avoient disparu de Bruxelles.

Extrait d'une Lettre confidentielle de M. Vanderfosse, Procureur-Général au Ministre de la Justice.

Bruxelles, 1 Mars, 1818. On va presqu'à prétendre savoir avec certitude, que le 31 Janvier dernier, Lord K— fit confidence de sa lettre de la veille à M. le Gouverneur du Brabant, Merid, lequel lui auroit répondu de prendre bien garde à la part qu'il auroit l'imprudence de prendre à cette affaire.

Lord Clancarty to Lord Castlereagh.

The Hague, March 13, 1818. My dear Lord-On M. de La Tour du Pin's return here from Bruxelles, he was very sanguine in his expectation that both M. Collignon and Brice would be arrested. The Procureur-General at Bruxelles had also hopes of success, but not so strong, on this subject. These, as they respect Collignon, are now at an end. The information on which the ProcureurGeneral and La Tour du Pin have been proceeding, has been

found incorrect; the party has not been at Bruxelles since August last. Hopes are still the same of being able to lay hold of Brice.

Another source of information has presented itself to the Procureur-General of Bruxelles, which he is endeavouring to investigate. According to the information thus derived, (whether true or false remains to be discovered) the plot for the murder of the Duke was contrived at Bruxelles. Among those those who had a knowledge of it were Comte Victor de Croquembourg, now in the Conciergerie at Paris, Nicole, or Martinet, also confined there, Guyet and his wife, Cauchois le Maire and his wife, (the last of which is also a prisoner at Paris) and all the writers of the former Nain Jaune. Their meetings were held at the house of a grande dame, the position of which has been pointed out, and with such precision, to the Procureur-General, that he doubts not thus to establish the name of the owner thereof, who, he strongly suspects, is Madame Regnault de St. Jean d'Angely.

M. de Croquembourg is a Belgian of known disaffected principles : his brother, against whom, however, I am not aware of there being any imputation, is one of the Prince of Orange's aides-de-camp. Madame Regnault is very intimate with Madame de Berenger, one of the leading characters among that respectable body of elderly ladies at Bruxelles who used to surround the Prince, in whose society he took so much delight, and who were styled la cielle garde. Madame de Berenger has always been supposed to be much attached to the cause of Bonaparte.

A circumstance has occurred here, which, though of evil influence for the present, may possibly, by tending to open the mind of the King to the false principles on which his laws of libel are founded, operate some future good. In my despatch of the 5th December, 1817, I sent you two libellous pamphlets containing the petitions of Messieurs Cauchois le Maire and Guyet, who had been banished hence by the King for their

« PreviousContinue »