Imatges de pÓgina

specified, towards fuch of the allies on the other fide as fhall accede to


The periods or terms to be fixed for the commencement of the armiftice, in the different quarters of the world, as with refpect to each of the faid allies, are to be regulated in conformity to the ftipulations contained in the 3d article of this convention as between Great Britain and France; and the faid periods or terms are to be reckoned from the day on which the acceffion of fuch power to the armistice fhall have been duly notified by fuch power to the party with whom it is at war. Such notification, duly authenticated by the government on whofe part it is made, may either be tranfmitted directly by couriers or flags of truce, or through the channel of the two contracting parties, to each other reciprocally. The naval ports and arfenals of the allies of France are, during fuch armistice, to be placed on the fame footing with thofe of France; and the notices which are to precede the renewal of hoftilities, as well as all other matters relating to fuch armistice, are to be regulated according to the terms of this


Art. VII. This convention fhall be ratified, and the ratifications fhall be exchanged within the term of ten days, or sooner, if the fame be practicable.

No. 26.

Hereford-Street, 21 Fruc. 8. MY LORD, (Sept. 8, 1800.) I received yesterday, at eleven o'clock at night, the note and the Counter-projet which your excellency did me the honour to addrefs to me. The principles contained in these two pieces are, in feveral refpects, fo little analogous to the

propofals which I have been directed to make, and the object of which was to compenfate by a British armiftice the inconveniencies which might refult to France from the eventual prolongation of the German armistice, that I cannot take upon myself to admit them without previously receiving farther inftructions. I have therefore complied with your excellency's intentions by tranfinitting to my government thofe two pieces with as little delay as poffible. I have the honour to be, with the most respectful confideration, &c. Отто.


No. 27.

Hereford-Street, Sept. 16, 1800. MY LORD, (29 Fruc. 8.) I have the honour to address to your excellency the anfwer which my government has directed me to make to the note which you did me the honour to address to me,

The first conful hoping that it is ftill poffible to approximate the interefts of the two governments, and their wishes for a speedy and folid peace, and being willing to give, on his part, a fresh proof of his pacific difpofitions, has difpatched orders for deferring, for fome days longer, the attack which the French army had been directed to make upon the whole line.

I fhall give verbally either to your excellency yourself, or to fuch perfon as you fhall judge proper to appoint for that purpose, fatisfactory explanations refpecting the principal objections contained in your note of the 7th of this month; and I flatter myself that they will produce the effect which your excellency had in view by making known to me the intentions of his majefty.The high importance of thofe communications authorifes me to entreat that

that you would give them every facility in your power. I have the honour to be, with the most refpectful confideration, my lord, your excellency's moft obedient and moft humble fervant, (Signed) OTTO.

No. 28.-NOTE.

The undersigned has tranfmitted to his government the note of his excellency lord Grenville, dated the 7th of September. The counterprojet which accompanied it having been laid before the first conful, he has obferved that the armiftice. fuch as it was propofed, did not offer any advantage to the French republic, and confequently could not compenfate to it for the ferious inconveniencies which would refult to it from the continuance of the continental armistice: hence it follows, that the counter-projet could be admitted inafmuch only as the queftion might fimply be to fettle the preliminaries of a particular arrangement between France and England by a truce alike particular to the two ftates; but the effect of the propofed maritime truce being intended to ferve as a compenfation to the French republic for the continental truce, the former ought to afford to it advantages equal to the inconveniencies which it experiences from the latter.

The undersigned is therefore directed to make two propofals, of which his Britannic majefty may choose that which may appear to him most consonant to the intereft of his dominions or to his continental relations.

The first is, that the projet for an armistice be drawn up and admitted in terms analogous to thofe which have been propofed by the miniftry of his Britannic majefty, but folely under the fuppofition that this armiftice should be independent

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And with this view the comparifon may be easily settled.

By the continental armistice the court of Vienna acquires the means of re-organising its armies, of converting into men, arms, ammunition of every kind, the fubfidies paid to it by England; of fortifying and victualling its places of the fecond and third line which were in a bad ftate, in confequence of the rapid march of the French armies having not been foreseen. Thus Afoppo, Palmanova, Venice, Verona, and Lintz, had been neglected; every day their fortifications are repairing. Ulm, Ingolftadt, although blockaded, are improving their means of defence; and it is the armiftice which procures to them this advantage; for at the moment when thofe places were invested, the enemy thought only of befieging ours, and confequently their own were not prepared for fo early an attack.

By the continental armistice, the impreffion made by the victories of the French armies diminish, their effects are weakened. Six months of repofe would fuffice to reftore the moral and physical strength of the Auftrian armies; to allow the conquered to recover from the im preffion of afcendancy acquired by the conquerors, and to make it neceffary once more to regain that


contingent fuperiority fo well earned by the republic.


It would alfo follow as a confequence of the continental armiftice, that the kingdom of Naples, now a prey to every kind of calamity, and containing all the feeds of infurrection, might be re-organifed, and furnish fresh refources to the enemies of France. It is by means of the armistice, in a word, that men are raising in Tufcany, and in the marshes of Ancona; that Auftria is every where preparing new means of defence; that every where he is ameliorating her pofition, which perhaps was defperate, whilft the advantages of the republic are diminishing or disappearing.

The firft conful has already made to the love of peace a fufficiently great facrifice of thofe advantages: if he fhould continue to derive no benefit from them, it would no longer be moderation, but weaknefs; it would no longer be the means of arriving at the conclufion of peace, but that of perpetuating the war. Perhaps in the judgment of statesmen the French government may have already too long delayed to avail itself of the contingency which was favourable to it; but it has only done fo upon the pofitive affurances which had been given to it of a speedy and feparate peace.

At this moment, when the two allied courts infift upon a joint negotiation and a general peace, the French government is too well aware that fo complicated a work is not to be accomplished in a few days, and it ought to avoid putting itfelf in a pofition which would be diametrically oppofite to the acceleration of the negotiations, by giving to the inimical powers, and principally to Auftria, a real intereft to prolong the difcuffions, in order daily to acquire the means of ap.

pearing with greater advantage in the field of battle, and confequently with greater pretenfions at the congrefs.

It is with a view of avoiding, in part, fo manifeft an inconvenience, that France requires that the maritin e armistice fhould be stipulated in fuch a manner as to be equivalent to the continental armistice, and as to place England, on its fide, in the fituation of being defirous of the conclufion of peace. The advantages which the republic can and ought to expect from the naval armistice are the free navigation of her fhips, and the facilities neceffary for her communications with the islands of France and Reunion, and with her American colonies; and although fhe fhould make use of it to fend a few thousand men more to Egypt, do not the places belonging to the emperor daily acquire in like manner fresh ftrength upon the continent?

With refpect to the victualling the harbours of the French republic itfelf, internal means of circulation. are not wanting; and this object is but of fmall importance to it.When the British government propofes that the harbours and places blockaded fhould only receive provifions for fourteen days, is it aware that the greater part of those establishments are fill far from wanting provifions? and befides that, the feafon is drawing near which, by rendering a naval blockade almoft always illufory, makes the propofed favour quite ufelefs.

That if, befides, it be confidered how little it is the intereft of Great Britain, if it be fincerely defirous of peace, to prevent France from preferving and confolidating the fmall number which remain to her of foreign fettlements, and how much England, by making new acquifitions of this nature, would aug


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the honour to tranfmit to you is confidered here as going to the full extent of conceffion which can with any colour of reafon be asked by France, or which could be admitted by this country, even in that view in which alone there can be any queftion of naval armistice.

You will there obferve that his majefty is very far from thinking it proper for him to accede to the principle which is again urged in that note as the foundation of a naval armistice.

While this fundamental difference fubfifts, there can be little reafon to hope that any advantage could arife from difcuffing the details of fuch a measure.

The counter-projet which I had

If you are authorised to make any fuch new proposals as fhall be really confiftent with thofe principles which form the only admiffible bafis for fuch a tranfaction, I am confident you will not be unwilling, in a matter of fo much importance, to tranfmit them to me in writing.

Should they then appear to his majefty's government to afford any fufficient grounds for further difcuffion of this point, I fhall very readily receive the king's commands for authorifing a proper perfon to converfe with you on the fubject of thofe communications. I have the honour to be, &c.


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of the interests of Great Britain and France.

This propofal being therefore one which the French government muft have known that his majefty could not accept, the supposed alternative profeffed to be offered to his ma jefty's choice amounts to nothing more than to the fimple renewal of a demand already rejected. No fresh inducement is ftated which fhould now difpofe his majefty to confent to thofe conditions of armiftice for joint negotiation which he had before confidered as wholly inadmiffible.

From information received fince the laft communications on this fubject took place, his majesty has obferved with equal furprife and concern that the orders for giving notice of the termination of the continental armiftice muft actually have been difpatched from Paris at the very time when the continuance of that armistice was proposed to his majefty as the condition and inducement for a maritime truce. And if in addition to this circumftance his majesty were to collect the prefent difpofitions of his enemies from the terms refpecting his conduct and views with which their recent communications with his allies are filled, the conclufion must be extremely unfavourable to the exiftence of any difpofition to concilia


His majefty is however ftill willing to wave all reference to thefe confiderations, and to regulate his conduct by the motives which he has already explained. He ftill looks, therefore, to a naval armiftice on fuitable conditions, as to a facrifice which he may be induced to make in order to prevent the renewal of hoftilities on the continent, and thereby to facilitate thofe joint negotiations for general peace

which might perhaps be accelerated by fuch an arrangement, although they are by no means neceffarily dependent on it.

But when it is required that the extent of the facrifice which his majefty is to make should be regulated neither by any fair standard of equality nor by the ordinary rules which govern fuch tranfactions; when, without any reference to the interefts of his own people, he is called upon to proportion his conceffions to the exaggerated eftimates which his enemies have formed of the benefits derived to his allies from the continental armistice; and when, on fuch grounds as these, conditions are infifted on which even thefe could not warrant, it becomes neceffary to ftate diftinctly that his majesty neither recognifes this principle, nor, if he did, could he agree in this application of it.

His majefty is not, indeed, called upon to appreciate the relative advantages which the prolongation of the continental armistice might really afford to each of the belligerent powers. But even of those circumftances which are enumerated by the French government as exclufively advantageous to Auftria, many are evidently beneficial to both parties, and are fo nearly to an equal extent.

If, during the interval of repofe which has already elapfed, the Auftrian armies have been re-established, recruited, and reinforced, France has not been inattentive to the fame measures. If the fubfidies which his majefty has furnished are applied by his ally to the formation or tranfport of magazines, France has appropriated to fimilar purposes the rigorous contributions exacted from thofe countries which the existence of an armistice has not exempted from that calamity. The places in the

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