Page images

this day to M. de la Tour du Pin, upon the subject, has requested me to write to you.

These complaints are founded, first, upon their having suffered Bastide to be at large after examination, the Procureur-General having been informed that he, Bastide, had stated that Cantillon had fired upon me; secondly, upon their having omitted to arrest and examine Raymy, he having stated the same thing; thirdly, upon their having suffered to be at large Cauchois le Maire, Guyet, Madame Guyet, Madame Regnault de St. Jean d'Angely, Sausset, Brice, all of whom are more or less implicated in the conspiracy, as appears by their letters, by the examination of other persons, by reports, &c.; fourthly, in having omitted to seize and examine the papers of Marinet, in his lodgings, Rue de la Musée, at Bruxelles, and in having called upon the Minister of Police at Paris to send a procuration from the said Marinet to authorize such examination.

I am very little disposed to listen to this kind of reciprocal accusation of apathy and neglect ; but I must say that there is something extraordinary in the conduct of the police in the Netherlands on this subject, more particularly when it is connected with the fact that M. de Thiennes, and even the King himself, state that they believe the whole plot was one for Lord K— to get to Paris, and that the former went so far as to send to M. de Cazes a message by telegraph from Lisle to that purport.

In bringing this subject under your consideration, I beg you just to reflect a little upon what grounds the King will stand in this affair. For years the French Ministers, and the Ministers of the Allied Powers at Paris, and the Allied Sovereigns themselves, have pointed out to the King the inconveniences and dangers resulting from his allowing those proscribed by the united opinion of all Europe, and the criminals who escaped from the vengeance of the laws in this country, to resort to his dominions, there to receive the encouragement which his Majesty has afforded them. The mischief foretold has occurred; a plot has been formed in the Netherlands by these very people to assassinate me; not, I presume, because they did not like my face, or my manners, or the colour of my coat, but because I was the General of the Allies, and the main support of the system of tranquillity and order, which it is wished to establish in the world—and then the Ministers and agents of the Government of the King of the Netherlands, instead of their doing everything in their power to aid those of this country in bringing to light this transaction, and to justice those concerned in the plot, appear to exert every nerve and to make use of every chicane which the law can admit, to prevent the seizing and to screen and save the criminals!


Why are not all the French men and women, named as being concerned in this affair, seized and sent into France, to be dealt with according to law! They are in the Netherlands, in spite of the King's engagements and his orders to the contrary; and surely there could be nothing unjustifiable in making an 'exertion to hand them over to the tribunals which can and will make them speak out and punish them.

I beg you to speak seriously to M. de Nagell upon this subject, and tell him I write to you for the sake of public justice, and of the King's reputation. I consider my own safety to be quite out of the question : if it was involved in the decision of it, I should, perhaps, scruple to write so strongly upon the subject; but, as it is, I have these motives alone for troubling you.

Yours, &c., WELLINGTON.

(Endorsed—“ In Lord Clancarty's Private of March 31, 1818.")
Lord Clancarty to the Duke of Wellington.

The Hague, March 28, 1818. My dear Duke I received your letter of the 24th yesterday at 11 AM. I was not before aware that the proceedings taken here for the investigation of the foul conspiracy against your

person and the peace of Europe had afforded ground of complaint to the Government and Police Department in France. This intelligence was, on the contrary, received by me with surprise ; for I had imagined, not that the Police Department here had done or was capable of doing its duty — the King is, indeed, so fully in unison with all that can be said by the French Government upon this subject, that he has altogether abolished it as a department, and turned its functions over to those who he thinks may be more capable of discharging them with efficiency—but that the Procureur-General at Bruxelles, to whom, prior to the cessation of the Police Department, we had been driven to resort, had not only acted with all the energy which his powers enabled him to exert, but that this was felt to be the case by the French Government and M. de Cazes ; and on this ground it was that, for the purpose of encouraging further exertion, I lately solicited and obtained the expression of your satisfaction at the conduct of M. Vanderfosse and of the Minister of Justice here, under whose orders he acts.

The complaints stated in your letter under four distinct heads may, for the purpose of action and explanation, be reduced to two, viz. :

1st. The not having arrested and sent to Paris the ten persons whose names are Brice, Sausset, Cauchois le Maire, Guyet, Alexandre Bastide, Raymy, Dublar, Madame Regnault, Madame Guyet; and

2ndly. The non-examination of Marinet's papers in the first instance, and the demand made for a procuration for this purpose.

The best comment which can perhaps be made on the first of these complaints will be found in the following statement of what has been done in consequence of the arrival of the courier from Paris, and what the nature of the instructions of which he was the bearer. Your wishes were clearly expressed on the subject; these persons were, if possible, to be arrested and sent to Paris, and I was to support M. de la Tour du Pin in effecting this object.

Immediately upon the arrival of your letter, I went to M. de Nagell, and, in the strongest terms, represented to him the necessity of vigorous action in an investigation in which the whole of Europe was concerned, the King's own interest and his reputation particularly involved, and the detriment which must accrue to his affairs from any backwardness on his part, which could not fail to render him obnoxious to every one of his Allies. Though I did not conceive this lecture at all applicable to M. de Nagell, and as little to his royal master, whom, from the beginning, I have found as anxious for the discovery of the conspirators and as willing to lend himself to anything practicable for this purpose as could be wished, and though I totally disbelieve the fact of the King having ever been disposed to entertain the notion of the whole plot having been framed for the purpose of enabling Lord K- to get to Paris,” or that it was otherwise than an atrocious conspiracy for the most damnable object, and only defeated in its execution by the beneficent providence of God—yet my tone, manner, and words to M. de Nagell were as serious as if my sentiments had been of a very different description. His answer to me was that he fully agreed in every word I had uttered, but asked to what all this led, and what I now required at the King's hands. I replied, the immediate arrest and transmission to Paris of the ten persons already named in this letter, and mentioned their being still at large as an instance of the slowness of this Government in aiding the inquiry instituted for the discovery of the authors of this hellish conspiracy.

M. de Nagell observed that the persons named to him were to be differently considered : two of them, Sausset and Brice, were among the numbers contained in M. de Caux’s list; two others, Cauchois le Maire and Guyet, had rendered themselves immediately obnoxious to this Government, and against all the

four every effort of what he acknowledged to be a very inefficient police had long been used for their arrest. Of the other six, one (Alexandre) was believed to have sailed for America in August last; but, however this might be both as to him and as to the other five, a formal ground of accusation, or some application, stating the pendency of a judicial proceeding in France, in which they were judicially implicated, would be necessary to authorize their arrest here, still more to cover the proceeding of handing them over to the French authorities; for that persons (and allow me to say this is too little attended to by those at Paris when they allow themselves to judge of proceedings here) could not, though foreigners, be arrested and detained ad libitum in this country,

In answer to those observations, I told M. de Nagell that it did not appear to be requisite that either a formal accusation, or an application stating the existence of a judicial proceeding at Paris, as mentioned by him, was necessary for the arrest and transmission of these people; that the King had undertaken to send from his dominions all those French from whom his Majesty the King of France had withdrawn his protection; that these persons were all French, and it did not appear to me too much, under the circumstances of the late conspiracy, to ask that they should be taken and sent as persons implicated in it to France, there to be dealt with according to the laws of that country.

To this M. de Nagell assented, but said it would be necessary to have an application to this effect made by the French Minister, and, if made at my request, he promised to forward it, with a strong letter in its favour, to the King (now at Amsterdam) by the courier which would be despatched at four o'clock. I told him I had reason to believe M. de la Tour du Pin had received instructions to make such an application, and that I had little doubt of obtaining their immediate execution from him. I was then leaving him, for the purpose of receiving the French Minister, when he added that he believed I would

« PreviousContinue »