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They add to this a topographical draught upon the object of the true course of the Rhine, with an explanatory note, which will clearly make known the role principles to be followed upon this occasion.

The isle of Buderich forms another object of the note of the 8th instant. It has not been treated of in writing by the underfigned, except in that same note. In recognising the justice of the application of the acknowledged. principle, they cannot refolve nevertheless to abandon the hope of a complete deference on the part of the Directory to the wish of the King and the whole German Empire, respecting the object of this isle. The deputation of the Empire have decided in a similar case to consent (as an exception to an acknowledged principle) to the teslion of the fortified isle of St. Pierre, notwithstanding the immenfe facrifices they had already made to the love of peace. Every thing thus concurs to induce a hope beforehand, that by a just return, and considering above all that the isle of St. Pierre is infinitely of less importance to the existence of Mentz than the isle of Buderich, with its canal, to the maintenance of the fortress, and to the preservation of the inhabitants of the town of Wesel, the Directory will not helitate to leave this latier ille in the hands of the King and the Empire, to which besides there remains no fortress on the right bank for its defence, whilst the possessions of the republic on the left are defended by a triple chain of impregnable fortreffes. Under all these considerations, the undersigned, with the greatest earnestness, renew their requests, that the ministers plenipotentiary of the republic will no longer hesitate once more to lay before the Directory all their demands, and to that end, that they will, without delay, present to the Directory their note of the 8th of this month, as well as the present one. They flatter themselves, that the Directory, agreeing in that respect with the principles adopted by his Pruisiau Majesty on every negotiation, will never consent that the communications between the plenipotentiaries of Prulia and those of the republic should be obstructed upon any point of respective conferences, before they are definitively acknowledged by the two governments as termi. nated. The undersigned repeat their assurances of their high confideration for the citizens ministers plenipotentiary of the republic. (Signed)

GORTZ. Rafladı, 08. 16, 1798.


Verbal Note of his Imperial Majesty to the Ministers Plenipotentiary

of the French Republic. THE pegotiation for peace between the Empire and France is so far advanced, its basis is so perfectly satisfactory, the desire on

the the part of the Empire is so completely demonstrated by the inva. luable facrifices it has made, that the obstacles which still oppose its accomplishment are neither to be attributed to its dispositions nor to its conduct.

In this state of affairs one cannot but be surprised to see the Commandant General of the French troops on the Rhine continue the blockade of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, and the ministers plenipotentiary of the republic refuse an answer to the reiterated remonstrances which have been made to them relative to the suspension of those menaces, which are not only contrary to the armistice, and the conventions which have followed it, but which are besides absolutely useless, and without any object, except that indeed which cannot be supposed, that the French government has determined to alter the state of possession in the midst of the negotiations, and that too after having received on the part of the Empire every proof imaginable of the good faith with which it has invariably directed them towards their conclu. fion.

If the republic refuses to evacuate the right bank of the Rhine, upon the principle of preserving its advantages until the signing of peace ; if, even after having confented to them, it continues to keep possession of the forts of Kehl and Caffel, the same principle ought to preserve the fort of Ehrenbreitstein to the Empire until the same period, and ought also to guarantee the execution of those conventions, made solely to preserve the possession of it without interruption during the whole course of the negotiations.

The minister plenipotentiary of his Majesty the Emperor would willingly persuade himself that any other mode of proceeding cannot enter into the views of the French republic; and that it would be equally repugnant to the character of its ministers, charged on every occasion to give assurances of its loyalty and uprightness. In fact, nothing can more effectually tend to destroy that confidence, without which the negotiations can never attain their object, peace be concluded, or, if attained, become permanent.

He therefore requires the ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic to explain themselves upon this subject, and in such a manner as to answer to those proofs, as multiplied as evident, which the Empire has not ceased to give of its frankness and incontestable desire to inspire confidence, and to obtain peace, even at the price of the greatest sacrifices.


Count de Metternich Winnebourg Beilstein. Rafiadt, Oit. 14, 1798.

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Abstract of a Conversation which took place between the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Emperor and those of the French Republie, respecting the object of the Verbal Note.

AFTER having explained to the ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic the points contained in the verbal note which the Count de Metternich had just read, the minister Bonnier ad. dressed himself, and observed, that they, the ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic, expected, in the first place, the official answer of the deputation, according to the establihed custoin. The Count de Metternich easily perceived, that the minister Bonnier wished by this means to avoid a detailed discus. fion upon the principal object of the conference. He further thought that this answer of the ininister Bonnier tended to destroy the principle which gave the minister plenipotentiary of the Emperor the power of concluding the negotiations with respect to ihose objeěts, the basis of which had been considered by the deputation, and sanctioned by him. It was important to establish this incontestable right in the minister plenipotentiary, and not to have it supposed by the minister of the republic that such a proceeding could be di&tated by secondary views. The Couni de Metternich then observed to the ininifter Bonnier, that all he had had the honour of presenting on this subject was the result of those principles and bases which had been adopted, though they had not been so detailed in the preceding notes ; that furthermore, the minister plenipotentiary of the Empire did not wish to dis. guise the real state of affairs; and that he would not fail to inform the deputation of the result of the conference, reserving also to himself to transmit to the ministers plenipotentiary of the republic an official note in the course of the week. The minister Bon. nier replied, by observing, that the demand of the Count de Metternich could only proceed from a conviction that the deputation had only to accelerate the conclusion of peace, and that then the object relative to Ehrenbreitstein would be accomplished. The Count de Metternich replied, that this observation was unan. swerable; but that his object for the moment was to establish the principle which declared that the status quo, and the actual posTeslion, should not be altered; that France had cautiously ftipulated for the possession of the forts of Kehl and Cassel, until ihe conclusion of peace; and therefore that the Germanic Empire could not renounce the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein as a fortress upon the principle of perfect reciprocity ; that, besides, he did not argue for new ftipulations, but only proposed to carry into complete execution the convention concluded between the respective generals at the armistice; and that the effect of such convention was, that there should be no obstacle to the restoration of Eh. senbreitstein ; that the French government would act contrary to


the principles of justice and equity, if they opposed the restora. tion of that place at the certain prospect of conciliation, and at a time when the negotiations were near a conclusion. The minilter Bunnier replied, that the state of things was exactly what the Count de Metiernich required, inasmuch as the republic was in possession of the forts of Kehl and Caflel, and Germany of Ehrenbreitstein ; therefore, that they were upon an equal footing. To this strange observation it was replied, that certainly such was the ftate of things at the time; but was it to be supposed that a place, after having been vigorously maintained from the commencement of the war, would necessarily surrender at the end of it, espe. cially when the means of repairing it were considered ? that the proposition they had made was inapplicable to the present time, but was referable to a future period ; and that it was important to give effect to a principle, the justice, equiry, and perfect reciprocity of which had been demonstrated by evidence. Citizen Bonnier added, that the Empire should make peace, and then the basis agreed upon would be fully executed ; that the French government would furnish proofs of its good intentions, and of the loyalty of its conduct ; that orders were given for the retrograde march of the French troops on the right bank of the Rhine ; that every step would be taken to restore comfort to the country; and that all depended on the restoration of peace. He concludes by saying, that the republic had made great facrifices to attain this object, but that it was necessary to maintain its dignity and politia cal consequence, principles from which it never departed.

The Count de Metternich replied, that the same principle was common to all governments; and he could not avoid frankly observing, that it was particularly upon the faith of treaties and conventions that the political consequence of a government depended; and it was upon this consideration he claimed the restoration of Ehrenbreitstein.

The minister Bonnier then warmly infifted upon all he had ad. vanced, giving reiterated assurances of the pacific intentions of the French government, and expressing his wishes that the first answer of the deputation should tend to the definitive attainment of peace, without entering into discussions of too extensive a nature, the French government being already fatigued, and not wishing to make new concessions. He further desired that the period should be stated when an answer might be expected.

Citizens Jean Debry and Roberjot from time to time took part in this conversation, but merely to support the assertions and answers of their colleague Bonnier. Count Metternich put an end to the conversation, by saying that he flattered himself he should in a few days have it in his power to transmit them the result of the latest deliberations of the deputation of the Empire, in which, doubtless, the objects relative to Ehrenbreitstein would be fully detailed.


Rastadt, 08. 14, 1798.

Substance of the Vote of Austria in the Sitting of the Deputation of

the Empire of the 11th of Oétober. A SINCERE love of peace makes it impossible to for bear remarking that it was much to be wished that, in a diplomatic and official act that ought to accelerate peace, and tend, in all probability, towards its conclufion, there should nothing have appeared to betray even the appearance of a menace of introducing French principles; an attempt which is contrary to particular declarations that have hitherto been made, and in which was manifested a determination to steer clear of any such design.

This very threat already stamps a character on the thing itself, and it ought to excite the attention of every state, and consequently compel them to adopt corresponding measures. The French constitution itself ordains respect to the forms of government that differ from its own; and menaces serve only to propagate eternal seeds of distrust. The happiness of the people in and under every government, is the first law; and in a state where they maintain their authority, where justice admits no distinction of ranks, of dignities, or of fortune, the people may enjoy a durable welfare and a genuine liberty, which can leave no other desire ungratified.

There is also too much confidence reposed in the French government, to perinit the possibility of imagining that it thould entertain the delign of giving further disturbance on that fcore to the tranquillity of Germany, or of retarding the coming and near approaching hope of

peace. Such a threat would also insinuate that advantage might be taken and acted on, of the declaration of nations who find themfelves placed under a mild government, who labour under no violence, or who may themselves be forced to accept a form of government, though the voice of the people exists in every state, and though it be properly what is called the will of the public.

Eliance of the Conclusum of the Deputation of the Empire,

15th of Oslober. THE deputation of the Empire resolve, that the following an{wer shall be returned, in conjunctinn with the Imperial minister plenipotentiary, to the note of the French legation of the 3d of October


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