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only to the fecurity of his own do ninions and those of his allies, and to the general fafety of Europe. Whenever he fhall judge that fuch fecurity can in any manner be at tained, as refulting either from the internal fituation of that country, from whole internal fituation, the danger has arifen, or from fuch other circumstances, of whatever nature, as may produce, the fame end, his majesty will eagerly embrace the opportunity to concert with his allies the means of immediate and general pacification. Unhappily no fuch fecurity hitherto exifts; no fufficient evidence of the principles by which the new government will be directed; no readonable ground by which to judge of its ftability. In this fituation, it can, for the prefent, only remain for his majefty to purfue, in conjunction with other powers, thofe exertions of juft and defenfive war, which his regard to the happiness of his fubjects will never permit him either to continue beyond the neceffity in which they originate, or to terminate on any other grounds, than fuch as may beft contribute to the fecure enjoyment of their tranquillity, their conftitution, and their independence..
Grenville. Downing-street, Jan. 4, 1800...
"Letter from the Minifier of Foreign Affairs in France to Lord Grenville. Paris, the 24th Nicofe, 8th year Jan. 14.
My lord, I loft no time in laying before the firft conful of the French republic the official note, under date of the 14th Nivole, which you tranfmitted to me; and I am charged to forward the anfwer, equally official,
which you will find annexed. Re ceive, my lord, the affurance of my high confideration.
..(Signed). Ch. Mau. Taileyrand,
The official note, under date of the 14th Nivofe, the 8th year, addreffed by the minifter of his Britan nic majefty, having been laid be fore the firft conful of the French republic, he observed with furprize that it refted upon an opinion, which is not exact, refpecting the origin and confequences of the prefent war. Very far from its being France which provoked it, she had, it must be remembered, from the commencement. of her revolution, folemnly proclaimed her love of peace, and her difinclination to conquefts, her refpect for the inde pendence of all governments; and it is not to be doubted that, occupied at that time entirely with.ber own internal affairs, the would have avoided taking part in thofe of Europe, and would have remained faithful to her declarations.
But from an oppofite difpofition, as foon as the French revolution had broken out, almost all Europe entered into a league for its deftruction. The aggreffion was real, long time before it was public; internal refiftance was excited; its opponents were favourably received; their extravagant declamations were fupported; the French nation was infulted in the perfon of its agents; and England fet particularly this example by the difimitfal of the minifter accredited to her.— Finally, France was, in fact, attacked in her independence, in her honour, and in her fafety, long time before the war was declared. Thus it is to the projects of fubjection.
diffolution, and difmemberment, which were prepared against her, and the execution of which was feveral times attempted and purfued, that France has a right to impute the evils which he has fuffered, and thofe which have afflicted Europe. Such projects, for a long time without example, with refpect to to powerful a nation, could not fail to bring on the moft fatal confequences. Aflailed on all fides, the republic could not but extend univerfally the efforts of her defence; and it is only for the maintenance of her own independence that she has made ufe of thofe means which the poffeffed, in her own ftrength, and the courage of her citizens. As long as the faw that her enemies obftinately refufed to recognize her rights, the counted only upon the energy of her refiftance; but, as foon as they were obliged to abandon the hope of invafion, the fought for means of conciliation, and manifefted pacific in tentions: and, if thefe have not always been efficacious; if, in the midit of the critical circumftances of her internal fituation, which the revolution and the war have fuc ceffively brought on, the former depofitaries of the executive authority of France have not always thewn as much moderation, as the nation itself has fhown courage; it must above all be imputed to the fatal and perfevering animofity with which the refources of Eng. land have been lavithed to accomplish the ruin of France. But if the wifhes of his Britannic majefty fin conformity with his aflurances) are in unifon with thofe of the French republic, for the re-eftablishment of peace, why, inftead of attempting the apology of the war, thould not attention be rather
paid to the means of terminating
plores the conclufion of a war, marked already by fuch great calamities, and the prolongation of which threatens Europe with an univerfal convulfion and irremediable evils. It is, therefore, to put a ftop to the caule of thefe calamities, or, in order that their terrible confequences may be reproached to thofe only who fhall have provoked them, that the first conful of the French republic propofes to put an immediate end to hoftilities, by agreeing to a fufpenfion of arms, and naming plenipotentiaries on each fide, who fhould repair to Dunkirk, or any other town as advantageonfly fituated for the quicknefs of the respective communications, and who fhould apply themfelves, without any delay, to effect the re-establishment of peace, and a good understanding between the French republic and England. The first conful offers to give the paflports which may be neceflary for this purpose.
(Signed) C. M. Talleyrand.
Letter from Lord Grenville to the
figned on the 18th inftant, has been laid before the king. His majefty cannot forbear expreffing the concern with which he obferves in that note, that the unprovoked aggreffions of France, the fole caufe and origin of the war, are fyftematically defended by her prefent rulers, under the fame injurious pretences by which they were originally attempted to be difguifed.His majefty will not enter into the refutation of allegations now univerfally exploded, and in fo far as they refpect his majesty's condua) not only in themfelves utterly groundlefs, but contradicted, both by the internal evidence of the tranfactions, to which they relate, and alfo by the exprefs teftimony (given at the time) of the govern ment of France itself. With refpect to the object of the note, his ma jefty can only refer to the answer which he has already given. He has explained, without referve, the obftacles which, in his judgement, preclude, at the prefent moment, all hope of advantage from negociation. All the inducements to treat, which are relied upon in the French official note; the perfonal difpofitions which are faid to prevail for the conclufion of peace, and for the future obfervance of treaties; the power of enfuring the effect of thofe difpofitions, fuppofing them to exift; and the folidity of the fyftem newly established, after fo rapid a fucceffion of revolutions
all thefe are points which can be known only from that teft to which his majefty has already referred them-the refult of experience, and the evidence of facts. With that fincerity and plainnefs which his anxiety for the re-establishment of peace indifpenfably required, his majefty has pointed out to France
the fureft and speedieft means for the attainment of that great object. But he has declared, in terms equally explicit, and with the fame fincerity, that he entertains no defire to prescribe to a foreign nation the form of its government; that he looks only to the fecurity of his own dominions, and of Europe; and that, whenever that effential object can, in his judgement, be, in any manner whatever, fufficiently provided for, he will eagerly concert with his allies the means of immediate and joint negociation, for the re-establishment of general tranquillity. To thefe declarations his majefty fteadily adheres; and it is only on the grounds thus ftated, that his regard to the fafety of his fubjects will fuffer him to renounce that fyftem of vigorous defence, to which, under the favour of Providence, his kingdoms owe the fecurity of those bleffings which they now enjoy.
Grenville. (Signed) Downing-ftreet, Jan. 20, 1800.
Papers relative to the Commencement
HESE communications are given under forty-feven numbers; many of which relate to mat ters of ceremony, not materially connected with the main object. We therefore commence our felection with
The undersigned having communicated to his government the note dated the 29th of Auguft, forwarded to him by his excellency lord GrenVOL. XLII.
ville, is directed to fubmit to him
Preliminaries of peace had been
The fufpenfion of arms, which had taken place folely in the hope of a fpeedy peace between the emperor and the republic, ought then to ceafe, and will in fact ceafe on the 24th Fructidor (11th September), fince France had facrificed to that hope alone the immenfe advantages which her victories had fecured to her.
The intervention of England renders the queftion of peace fo complicated, that it is impoffible for the French government to prolong farther the armiftice on the continent, unlefs his Britannic majefty will confent to render it common to the three powers.
If then the cabinet of St. James's defires to continue to make a common caufe with Auftria, and if its defire to take part in the negociations be fincere, his Britannic majefty will not hesitate to adopt the propofed armiftice.
But if this armiftice be not concluded before the 24th Fructidor, (11th Sep) hoftilities will be renewed with Auftria, and the first conful will no longer be able to confent, with regard to that power, to any but a separate and complete peace.
In order to afcertain the explanations demanded relative to the armiftice, the undersigned is di rected to acquaint lord Grenville, that the places which it is proposed P
to affimilate to thofe of Germany, are Malta, and the maritime towns of Egypt.
of fo important and extenfive a queftion may be taken with the fulleft knowledge of all the confiderations by which it ought to be governed, that you will fee M. Otto and inquire of him, whether (as his note of the 30th ultimo appears to intimate) he is furnished with a projet of a treaty of naval truce? and, in that cafe, whether he is wil ling to communicate it to you for the information of his majesty's government?
If it be true that a long fufpenfion of arms between France and England would appear unfavourable to his Britannic majefty, it is not lefs fo, that an armiftice prolonged upon the continent would be effentially difadvantageous to the French republic; fo that at the fame time that the naval armiftice would be to the French government a pledge of the zeal which would be employed by England in promoting the re-establishment of peace, the continental armiftice would be one alfo to the British government of the fincerity of the efforts of France; and as the pofition of Auftria would no longer admit of her not diligently feeking for a conclufion, the three powers would have, in their own private interefts, decifive reafons for confenting without delay to the facrifices which may be reciprocally neceflary in order to bring about an early conclufion of a general and folid peace, fuch as may anfwer the with and the hope of the whole Evan Nepean, efq.
You will farther inquire, whether he is empowered and inftructed to include in fuch treaties his majesty's allies?
(Signed) Otto. Hereford-ftreet, 4th Sept. 1800.
It appearing, by a note received this day from M. Otto, that the French government has determined to make the continuance of the armistice between Auftria and France, and the commencement of the negociations for peace, dependent on the conclufion of an armistice with this country; it is judged proper, in order that the ultimate decifion
And, laftly, if his projet should contain no article applicable to the queftion of moving the French and Spanish fhips now in Breft to any other ftation in or out of Europe, you will inquire, whether M. Otto is authorised to enter into negociation for the purpose of including proper ftipulations on that fubject in any treaty of the nature which his government has proposed. I am, &c. (Signed) Grenville.