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fion which the last note left in many refpe&ts on their minds. It neither answers their just expectations, nor the idea which they ought to form of the prudent foresight of the plenipotentiaries of the German Empire. They could, above all, with difficulty express, and will abstain from defining, the sentiment which they experienced in reading the passage of that paper, where they so strangely allude to the 3d article of their note of ift Thermidor (July 20). Who could have thought, that, after an examination of more than twenty days, after so many fittings, employed, no doubt, in useful deliberation, they should have delayed declaring themselves, and should have been filent respecting one of the most essential and most precise articles of that note, and which must be considered as irrevocable?
It is at length time that this state of things, that these equivocal delays, should have an end. The French government desires peace ; iis conduct has sheltered its' intentions from all doubts; but to attain that object, it has exhausted every thing that could be expected of its good intentions. The last propo. fitions which the undersigned made in its name, are the conditions of that peace. There is then no longer room for discussion or delay. The deputation must decide. If they consult only themselves, if they yield ro the purity of their intentions, the choice will be foon made. Let them reflect well, that, in any case, these delays and these refusals will not be advantageous to the Empire, and that the public voice in Germany will approve any determination which shall avert for ever the scourge of war.
It being impossible for the ininisters plenipotentiary of the French republic not to insist on the whole of what is contained in their note of ift Thermidor (July 19), those of 4th Mesidor (June 22), and the preceding, they again demand of the deputation of the Empire a categorical and decisive answer on all the points therein treated of. They expect it.
They assure M. de Metternich, minister plenipotentiary of his Majesty the Emperor, of their most distinguished consideration.
BONNIER. Rastadt, 26th Thermidor ( Aug. 14),
Jean DEBRY. 6th year of the French republic.
Minutes of a Conversation between Count Metternich, Minister Pleo nipotentiary of his Majesty the Emperor, and Citizens Jean Debry and Bonnier, Ministers Plenipotentiary of the French Republic at Raftadt, 241h Thermidor ( August 111h), between Twelve and One o'Clock in the Forenoon. .COUNT Metternich having waited upon Citizen Bonnier, where Jean Debry was present, he told them, that the interVOL. VII. 3 P
view which he had the honour to request of them arose from the respect which he entertained for the French legation ; a sentiment which he should preserve with pleasure in all the communications he had with them. He added (referring to the note he had tranf. mitted to them), he could not ratify the third point of the last note of the deputation of the Empire (that relating to the demolition of Ehrenbreitstein), because the object of it was of too great importance, and too intimately connected with the military department, to allow him to decide upon it immediately. At the same time he was averse to retard the communication of the other points, in order to prove his readiness to concur in accelerating peace,
Citizen Bonnier said, that the French legation had remarked with surprise the omillion by the Imperial minister plenipotentiary of an article so essential as that of the 3d of the conclusum of the deputation of the Empire ; that the French legation had demanded a categorical anfwer to all the points of their note; that they entertained the same defire with the French government to accelerate peace with the German Empire ; and that they themfelves, the ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic, insisted that the deputation should seriously set about answering the propositions of the French government, and that the underligned Thould explain himself in a precise manner with regard to the 3d article of the last conclusum.
Count Metternich confined himself to what he had already said on this subject, adding only, that he could not consider a paper as official till it was signed by him and transmitted to the French legation.
Citizen Bonnier replied, that they, the French plenipotentiaries, would send their answer immediately.
Count Metternich observed on this occasion, that the demand of the French government with regard to retaining the fort of Cassel opposite to Mentz, had the more surprised him, as it was contrary to the first basis of peace: that the French government had proposed the course of the Rhine as the boundary between empires desirous to avoid all points of contact with Germany, to prevent every cause of war in future, and to consolidate a good understanding between the two states: that it was in order to attain that object which the deputation of the Empire so ardently wifhed, that they had acquiesced in the said basis, on certain conditions to which the French legation had yet returned no answer : that by the demand of retaining the fort of Caffel, pot only a territorial contact was established, but France would otherwise have a military point, at once offensive and defensive against the Germanic Empire, and that justice required that each should be master within it felf: that the reasons which the French governinent had urged to prove the necessity of demolihing the entrench
ments, ments, and the Tête du Pont opposite Manheim, applied here with additional force, because it is notorious that Cassel has never been an integral part of Mentz, while the Tête du Pont of Manheim had always been a part of that place.
Citizen Bonnier replied, that the French legation insisted on its last proposition, and that the French government irrevocably demanded the demolition of the fort of Ehrenbreitstein.
Count Metternich availed himself of this opportunity to demonstrate to the French plenipotentiaries the little moderation and management which the French government and its agents had always displayed in their proceedings. He added, that the last proclamation of Citizen Rudler, with regard to the absent inhabitants on the left bank of the Rhine, was a new proof of this af. sertion, though Count Metternich flattered himself that such a thing as German emigrants would never be talked of.
In spite of the verbal assurances given by him (Citizen Bonnier) and his late colleague, Citizen Treilhard, the undersigned still believed that this proclamation left some doubts with regard to the observance of this principle ; and that accordingly he had thought himself bound to communicate it to the deputation of the Empire, flattering himself at the same time, that this provision of Citizen Rudler was susceptible of a favourable interpretation ; but that he had been particularly struck on perusal of the deliberation of the central administration of Mont Tonnere, relative to the same subject, which would oblige him to submit the matter to the minister plenipotentiary of the French republic, in order that it might be remedied.
Count Metternich thought likewise, that he could not pass over in silence the official intelligence of the augmentation of the French troops on the right bank of the Rhine; he commu. nicated to the ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic the circular letter of the commandant of Mentz. The undersigned remarked, that this step was perfectly repugnant to the stipula. tions made at the time of the armistice, not to pass the lines traced out for the two armies; that the army of the Empire had scru. puloutly observed this engagement, and was still behind the banks of the Lech.
Citizen Jean Debry said, that all the public papers spoke of the news of war, and the preparations that were made ; and that, the movement of the French troops was a measure of precaution.
The undersigned replied, that the warlike dispositions alluded to, were unknown to him, and that the army of the Empire was in cantonments. · Citizen Jean Debry repeated the assurances that the French government really wished to conclude peace with the German Ein. pire, and to consolidate it.
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The undersigned withdrew, after referring to what he had advanced in the course of this conversation.
(Signed) The Count de METTERNICH.
Raftadt, 12th Auguft. IN consequence of orders from the court of Vienna to the Imperial minister to consent to no new concessions to the French, he suppressed the 3d article in the note of the deputation of the Empire of the 7th of August, relative to the demolition of Ehrenbreitstein, before it was delivered to the French ministers, According to the instructions to the Empire, the resolutions of the deputation are of no'effect unless they are agreed to by the Austrian plenipotentiary.
16th Auguft. THE French plenipotentiaries demanded from the Count de Metternich, the Imperial minister, his declaration in writing upon his refusal to sanction the last conclusum of the 7th of August, seeing that his instructions would not allow him to do so before the return of a courier whom he had dispatched to the court of Vienna.
Rastadt, 3d Fructidor (16th Auguf). THE undersigned ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic, justly surprised that their note of the 26th Thermidor last has not as yet produced any known effect, and in their love for humanity, impressed with a lively sense of the imminent danger of this state of inactivity to which the said note has conduced, require the deputation of the Empire to explain itself instantly, categorically, and separately, upon all the points in dispute, announced in the notes of the ift Thermidor, 4th Mellidor, and others pre. ceding. While they give this further proof of their formal wih and last persevering effort of the French republic for peace, they declare the deputation must remain responsible for the consequences in which further delays may involve it.
Conclusum of the Deputation of the Empire of the 17th Aug. 1798.
THE deputation of the Empire have seen by the last overture which the Imperial commission made to the directorial minister, in his note of the 17th August, the contents of a conversation which took place on the with between the Imperial minifier ple
nipotennipotentiary and the French legation. As it results from it, that the French ministers continue to insist upon a formal reply to their note of the 26th Thermidor, and that they await that reply, the deputation of the Empire are of opinion that the following answer should be given to the said note :
The deputation of the Empire have been satisfied on finding in the last note of the French ministers plenipotentiary of the 26th Thermidor, new assurances of the constant dispositions of the government to accelerate peace, as well as their confidence in the equally pacific sentiments of the deputation. But they were at the same time disagreeably affected at seeing that a simple misunderDanding had given rise to the idea manifelted in that note, that they could have passed over fub filentio in their reply, one of the molt important articles of the note of the ift Thermidor.
The deputation of the Empire, always convinced of the advantage resulting to negotiation by writing, when all the points are discussed at once, and not partially, have not failed to reply to the 3d article of the note of the ift Thermidor, which is the principal point in question here, as well as to what is said in the ad article, relative to the ille St. Pierre : and the deputation replied in the following manner on the 7th Auguft.
[The 3d article of the conclusum of ihe 7th August, which we have already given, was here inserted.]
As the Imperial minister plenipotentiary reserved himself to make an immediate declaration relative to that decision upon the 3d article, the deputation of the Empire confine themselves solely at present to communicate this state of things, adding the alsurance that they will continue in future to do all that Thall be in their power to accelerate the negotiation.
The deputation of the Empire request the Imperial commillion to transmit as soon as possible, by means of a note, as is cultomary, the reply to the French legation.
Raftadt, August 24. THE Count Metternich, at the reiterated solicitations of the deputation of ihe Empire, transmitted on the 2ift to the French ministers the conclusum of the 7th of August, in its original state, by restoring the article relative to the demolition of Ehrenbreitstein, but without giving it his sanction.
Answer of the French Ministers. THE undersigned ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic, for carrying on the negotiation with the German Empire, have received the note of the deputation of the Empire, which was