Slike strani
PDF
ePub

us to negociate, as well in our own name as in that of tfie Germanic body, the preliminaries of peace. We were very well disposed to act agreeably to these desires; but the sequel proved that the foi disant cominittee of Public Safety, by which the foreign affairs of France then were governed, had very different views from coming to an amicable understanding with the empire, for the purpose of putting an end to a war into which the empire had been forced, and thus to reconcile themselves with fuffering humanity by facrificing to peace their paflion of conquest.

All Germany has seen the anfwer of the committee of Public Safety, the contents of which were ordered to be published by our decree of the zoth of November last. This piece contains the most manifett proofs of the decided repugnance of France to listen to the pacific overtures desired by the empire, and of the clear determination of this power not to engage in immediate nes gociations, iill finding herself in a situation imperiously to dictate the conditions of peace to the empire, she could, to the eternal fhaine of the German name, leave her no other part in this meafure but a pallive subscription of the treaty. The empire being thus convinced of the refusal of the French government to make a suitable return to the overtures which had been made, it had no other resource left but that foreseen by the resolution of the 22d of December, 1774, but to allume an attitude which fhould oblige the enemy to grant that peace defired by the head and by the inembers of the Germanic body, under the conditions announced in the resolutions of the diet.

The Directory, however, which has succeeded the committee of Public Safety in the management of foreign affairs, has not adopted more moderate sentiments. We find, on the contrary, in all their actions, and all the public papers which they have illued, the marks of the inflexible obstinacy of a conqueror inflamed with pride by the fortune of his arms. Upon this point we refer to the note addressed by the French ambassador to the plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty, upon the 26th of May, this year. We remark, with regret, in this note, how much the spirit in which it is drawn up, the nature and extent of the demands which it contains, and the manner in which they are announced, are remote from a reciprocal defire of peace. We are not mistaken even in considering this very note as a new proof of the aversion of the French government to enter into negociations with the empire united under its conftitutional head, since, in effect, if we compare that note with the above-mentioned answer of the committee of Public Safety, we find that both absolutely announce the fame political maxims; to which we must like. wise add, that the note of the Directory demands, as an invaria. ble preliminary of peace, a fatus quo relatively to the countries

con

conquered by the enemy, and united in virtue of its decree, which cannot in any way be reconciled with thie basis of peace laid down by the diet.

To divide, to conquer, and to rule, is the spirit of the egotist policy of France. But every division infers a diminution of strength in the measures of resistance of the whole, and which must necessarily lead to the disinemberment, to the devastation, to the dependance, to the subjection, and, in fine, more or less rapidly, to the decomposition of our respectable constitution. Concord, on the contrary, firmness, the love of our country, and the faithful observance of the laws, are the first duties of society; the dearest and more sacred duties of every vallal of the empire, when our common country is menaced, in the most eminent and essential object of all political societies, its safety and preservation. Such is the object of the fundamental constitution of the German empire, which renders all the individual means of resistance poffeffed by the states of the empire subordinate to the direction of one supreme authority, and prohibits in the most forcible manner the conclusion of a separate peace during a general war of the empire. But, independently of this consideration, it is not less certain that it is to act against all experience to reckon upon the very rare instance of the generosity of the enemy, and to expect only, from their magnanimity and love of justice, a peace that can be accepted, instead of constraining them to grant it by force of arms. In fine, we find a manifest contradiğion in not ceasing to desire an object, and yet failing to proportion the means by which it is to be attained to the magnitude of the dangers interposed. The example of the invincible conftancy and vigour with which the enemy exert themselves to execute their plans, ought to afford to the citizens of Germany a fufficient motive of emulation to excite them to the most obstinate resistance, and to the defence of their political and religious conftitution.

After this faithful disclosure of circumstances we put it to your judgment to decide, whether, however much we are difposed to restore peace to the empire, as soon as it can be established on an honourable and folid basis, it depends entirely upon us to grant this blessing to Germany; whether it consists with our authority as chief of the empire to fanction a peace upon whatever terms separately concluded with the enemy of the empire? In fine, whether at a moment when we have to choose between the dismemberment and the union of the empire, between the dissolution and the establishment of the constitution, between honour and shame, whether, in this critical situation, we are not rather warranted to require, in the name of the country and the constitution, in the name of all the states which have been pillaged and laid waste, in virtue of oaths still fubfisting, and promises freVOL. V.

T

quently

quently and solemnly renewed by the electors, princes, and states of the empire; in fine, by our own examples and the facrifices which we have made for the public intereft, whether, we say, we are not warranted justly to require the undivided co-operation of all and every of the states of the empire in the defence of a cause so just, and for accelerating that peace which is so earnestly defired by the Germanic states?

If a difference of sentiment manifested in your letter of the end of last month was the cause to us of considerable anxiety, it was not long before our tranquillity was restored, by the news that when the dangers of war approached your states, you did not allow yourselves to be betrayed by fear, nor by the dictates of a deceitful policy, into any unconftitutional measures ; but that, on the contrary, animated by sentiments of honour, and by a courage worthy of a German prince, you opposed the danger with which you were threatened with the most effectual means of resistance, both by sending against the common enemy a great part of the garrison of Stutgard and Louisburg, and by giving instant orders to put the militia of Wirtemberg immediately in motion, who made a body of 12,000 men, in general well difciplined. Accept upon this subject the assurances of our Imperial satisfaction and sincere regard. These difpofitions, so worthy of you, inspire us with the confidence that no consideration will fhake your sentiments, and that, weighing conscientiously the duties which, as a state of the empire, you have to discharge to us and to the law, you will perfilt in your patriotic resolution to continue, till the re-establishment of a general peace for the empire, to support the common caufe with all your force. By these means you will not only render essential fervice to Germany, but to the immortal honour of your house : you will deserve to have your name enrolled in the annals of Germany among those princes who have most contributed to its lustre.

Declaration of the Eleftor of Hanover to the Diet of Ratisbon, upon

the Subject of the Imperial Refcript of the 17th of October, 1796, (26th Vendemiaire) concerning the Roman Months. THE Hanoverian minister declared to M. de Hengel, the Im

perial commiffary, that the Imperial minister has dire&ly requested his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, elector of Hanover, to furnish a fresh and marked proof of his attachment to the Germanic conflitution, by giving a great example, and by labouring efficacioully at the diet of Ratisbon, not only to fix on a fufficient quantity of Roman months, but to pay immediately

his quota.

There

There has been declared at the same time, that it was necessary that the Roman months fhall exceed one hundred. His Britannic Majesty has replied confidentially to his Imperial Majesty, that he would not, nor could anticipate the resolutions of his coestates, and that he was about to be placed in circumstances which did not permit him to accede to what was demanded of him; that since the last Roman months were granted the System of war. had absolutely changed; the different states of the empire had made a separate peace, to avoid the total ruin with which their country was menaced; that others had embraced a neutrality, in order to protect their subjects; and that the prosperity which the latter enjoyed proved that they had obtained a salutary end; that the whole face of affairs had totally changed; and that the relations of his Britannic Majesty, in his quality of elector and prince of the empire, were known, and opposed the Iinperial demands; that he could not in consequence consent to the furnishing of new Roman months for the continuation of this calamitous war, much less to contribute directly, because the negociations begun at Paris, which promised a happy termination for the tranquillity of Europe, and which were known to his Imperial Majesty, would oblige his Britannic Majesty to avoid any step that might cast an unfavourable colour upon his personal character.

Decree published at Modena on the 18th of October. 1. EV

VERY species of feudal jurisdiction is from this moment

abolished. II. The feudal officers of every kind and rank shall be confirmed until the new order of the committee of government, who shall preserve them or suppress them after information taken upon them.

III. All feudal rights and revenues received under the ancient government, or to be received, shall remain until the new order in the national treasury.

IV. With respect to the odious privileges of hunting and fishing, the committee will immediately publish a proclamation to fatisfy the general impatience to see them fuppreffed.

V. The allodial rights shall remain to the founders in absolute property.

VI. Whatever concerns the immediate abolition of fiefs, and of every feudal jurisdiction, Ihall extend to infeoffments made under a burthensome title.

[blocks in formation]

1

Report made on the 27th Vendemiaire (Ozt. 18), to the Council of

Elders, by Lafond de Ladebat, upon the State of the National Treasury, and upon the Amount of the Receipts and Expenses of the Fourth Year, ds given in Roederer's Journal of the 29th of October.

Livres.

£.Sterling 1. ON the 5th - Brumaire,

the æra of the organization of the conftitutional government, there were, in the public coffers, of effective value

22,238,165

926,590 In assignats

664,579,912

29,690,829 2. Since that period there has

been lodged in the treasury, in cash

36,264,490 1,511,020 In assignats, including the fabrications

25,867,467,790 1,077,811,175 In mandats created

2,400,000,000 100,000,000 In mandats proceeding

from the contributions 69,885,587 291,191 In provisions, valued in quintals, at

92,712,322 In Bavarian rescriptions 100,000,000

4,166,666 Contributions from Italy 30,000,000 12,500,000 Contributions from Ger

many are not valued. 3.

The expense since the same
period amounts, in cash, to 65,000,000
In mandats,

2,400,000,000 100,000,coa
of which are 500,000,000
for the exchange of af-
signats.

In Batavian rescriptions 20,000,000 833,333 4. There remains to the trea

sury, in cash, or Batavian rescriptions

83,000,000 3,458,333 In assignats

20,000,000

833,333 In mandats

26,000,000 1,083,333 5. The minister valued at 150,000,000 in each (6,250,000l.

sterling), the amount of the arrears of the contributions and public revenues, and at 150,000,000 national property, which may still be disposed of, belides the milliard destined for the

defenders of the country. 6. The whole of the quotas of the forced loan amounts to a fum

of 432,893,884 franks (18,037,2451. sterling), upon which there are still due 231,1729252 franks (9,632,1771. Iterling

2,708,333

[ocr errors]
« PrejšnjaNaprej »