Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

me? On my part, I intreat you to assure their High Mightinesses, that as well from my being authorised by his Ma. jesty, as from my being personally disposed, after a residence in this country of twenty-seven years, their High Mightineffes will find in me every readiness to attend to their complaints, and regard for their welfare ; and I flatter myself, that in the course of the conference I shall convince them,

that whatever forced and affected turn may have been given 4 to the conduct of my court, it has been founded on the

justice, moderation, and the necessity of our situation. In expectation of the decision of their High Mightinesses on what I have laid before them, I trust that

their known equity and friendship towards his Majesty, agreeable to their recent affurances by their envoy, will prove fufficient not to authosise their subjects to carry naval stores, under convoy, to France, as being the most dangerous objects to the security of Great Britain."

[ocr errors]

Copy of a Memorial presented by Sir Joseph Yorke to the States

General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries, on the 22d of July, 1779.

“ High and Mighty Lords, “ Since France, by the declaration made at London on the 13th of March last year, fully discovered the vast and dangerous defigns which the family compact had before announced to Europe, this part of the world must bear witness to the wisdom and moderation of the King of Great Britain, who endeavoured to ward off the calainities of war, avoiding, as much as possible, engaging his neighbours and allies.

" A conduct like this, founded in the most pointed mode. ration, seemed so much to embolden the court of Versailles, that after perfidiously encouraging of rebel subjects, under the mask of liberty, commerce, and independence, to plunge a poignard into the heart of their mother country; France, not contented with so hoftile a proceeding, has, without any national quarrel, drawn Spain into its views, and, without any plausible reasons to colour the design, is making every preparation that an imperious disposition can dictate to invade the British islands.

“On the news of these extraordinary and great preparations, your High Mightinesses cannot but justify the preffing and reiterated inftances which the King of Great Britain could not but make to you, relative to the naval armament;

and

and the notorious danger of England will, no doubt, convince all the fubjects of these provinces, who have hitherto spoke against it, of the necessity of this request of my court.

“ But those motives, which are only palliatives to prevent an evil, are now out of season; the danger is become imminent, and the remedy must be speedy. The ftipulations of a treaty, founded on the interests of trade only, must give way to those founded on the deareft interests of the two nations. The moment is come to decide, whether Great Britain, who has spilt so much blood, and expended so much treasure to succour others, and to maintain liberty and religion, is to have no other refources against the malice and envy of her enemies, than her own courage, and her own strength; whether fhe is to be abandoned by her most ancient friends and allies, to the most ambitious views of the House of Bourbon, which would cruth all, to reigo over all; and whether Europe in general, and your High Mightinesses in particular, wilt with

indifference fee a fyftem established, which will evidently destroy that equilibrium which is the only guarantee of your commerce, liberty, and even existence itself.

“ The King, high and mighty Lords, has too high an opinion of the understanding, the good faith, and the wisdom of the Republic, to doubt a moment of the sentiments of your High Mightinesses on this occasion. A nation whose hiftory contains scarce any thing but the detail of the dangers which the ambition of France successively created, whofe beft days began with their union with England. In short, a nation aecustomed to exact the literal execution of a hard treaty, has too much generosity not to fulfil thofc which have united the interests of the two nations upwards of a. century.

“ It is in this persuasion, joined to all that is held moft sacred among men, that the under-written ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary from the King of Great Britain, has, by express order, the honour to notify to your High Mightipesses, that the danger which threatens his kingdoms, neceflitates his Majesty to reclaim, without loss of time, the fuccours ftipulated in the treaties of 1678, and others, and of which the cafus fæderis is so fully explained in the separate article of 1716. His Majefty expects the same with confidence from a neighbour, who has never failed in his enagagements; and for the rest confides in the divine benediction on the juftness of his cause, and on the fidelity and valour of his fubje&ts. VOL. XVIII.

Tt

66 The

a

“ The onderwritten waits with the greatest impatience for a juft, speedy, and favourable answer, and is ready to con fer with the deputies of your High Mightinesses on what fteps are farther neceflary to be taken. (Signed)

Joseph YORKE." Haguc, July 22, 1779. Translation of a Memorial presented by Sir Joseph Yorke, to the

States General, the 26th November, 1779.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ High and Mighty Lords, “ THE King cannot see without furprize the filence which has been observed towards him, upon the memorial, which by order of his Majesty, the under written had the honour to present to your High Mightinesses, more than four months ago, to demand the succours ftipulated by treaties.

si His Majesty would not have called for the assistance of his allies, if he had not been fully authorised thereto by the threats, the preparations, and even the attacks of his enemies, and if he had not thought your High Mightinesses as much interested in the safety of Great Britain as in your own prelervation.

" The spirit and the letter of the treaties, equally bear testimony to this truth. Your High Mightinesses are too wife and too just to elude the oblervance of them, especially after having yourselves solicited the addition of the separate article of 1716, in which the cafus fædoris is ftipulaed in a clear and inconteftible manner.

“The hostile declaration made at London, by the Mar. quis of Noailles, the attack of the island of Jersey, the fiege of Gibraltar, and all the other equally notorious enterprizes, are so many proofs of open and direct aggression. Befides your High Mightinesses have seen during the last sumıner, the combined forces of the House of Bourbon, evidently directed to the attack of his Majesty's kingdoms, and although the king's vigorous measures, the zeal and patriotic efforts of the English nation, accompanied by the divine blessing, have happily averted hitherto thele ambitious defigns; yet the danger ftill exists, and our enemies continue to announce with the same parade and confidence, formidable descents and invasions under the protection of their whole naval 'force.

“ The King can never imagine, that the wisdom of your High Mightinesses can suffer you to be indifferent when such folid interests, and common to both countries are at stake, and ftill less can the King imagine, that you are not convinced of the justice of the motives which have determined his Majesty to claim the fuccours that are due on so many accounts. His Majesty inclines to believe, that your High Mightinesses having come to a resolution to auginent your navy, had from prudence delayed your answer till you were in a fitter situation to furnish the fuccours required.

“ It is for this reason, that I have orders in renewving the strongest instances upon this subject, to demand of your High Mightinesses, in the most friendly manner, not to defer the concerting the means of fulfilling your engagements in this respect. The decision of your High Mightinesses is so necessary and-so important in its consequences, that the King would thiok he was want ng to himself, to his subjects, and to those of the Republic, if his Majesty did not seriously recommend this affair to the full, but (peedy deliberation of your High Mightinesses. It is of infinite import to the King, that he should be clearly informed upon so effential an object by a precise and immediate answer.

“ His Majesty hopes, from the equity of your High Mightinesses, that your answer will be conformable to treaties and to the sentiments of friendship, which he has always entertained towards the Republic, and it will be according to the resolution of your High Mightinesses, that his Majesty will take such farther measures as he shall judge to be best adapted to the circumstances, and most fitting for the security of his state, the welfare of his people, and the dignity of his crown. Done at the Hague, 26th Nov. 1779. (Signed)

JOSEPH Yorke. Copy of a Declaration presented by Sir Joseph Yorke to the States General, the 10th of November, 1780, and Translation.

" High and Mighty Lords, " THE King, my Master, has, during the whole course of his reign, manifefted the strongest desire of maintaining the union that has fubfifted for above a century between him and this Republic. This union refts on the firm bafis

reciprocal intereit; and, as it ever was known to contribute greatly to the advantage of both nations, their natural enemy has set to work all the engines of politics to destroy it. or some time such attempts have inet with but 100 great a T! 2

luccess, fuccess, being countenanced by a fa&tion that wishes to rule over the whole Republic, and is ever ready to facrifice the public good to its own private views. His Majesty fees, with no less surprize than concern, the little regard that has been hitherto paid to his reiterated claim of the affiftance ftipulated by treaties, and to the remonftrances made by his ambassador, on the daily infractions of the most folemn engagements.

“ The King's moderation has induced his Majesty to look upon the conduct of your High Mightinesses, as the working of a predominant cabal, and is still persuaded that your wisdom and justice will dire&t you to fulfil your engagements towards him, and to shew by all the tenour of your future conduct, that you are deterinined to pursue with vigour, the plan set on foot by the wisdom of your ancestors; the only one that cạn secure the safety and glory of the Republic.

“ The anfwer your High Mightinesses will be pleased to return to the following declaration, which the underwritten now presents by express command of his court, will prove the touchstone of your intentions and sentiments towards his Majesty.

" For a long tiine paft his Majesty has had numberless surmises of the dangerous designs hatched by an unbridled faction; but the papers of the Sieur Laurens, calling himself president of the pretended Congress, have led to the difcovery of a plot unprecedented in the annals of the Republic, It appears by the papers alluded to, that the States of Amsterdam have entered into a clandeftine correspondence with the

American rebels, so early as the month of August, 1778; that instructions and powers have been given by them, for the purpose of entering into a treaty of indissoluble friendship with the faid rebels, natural subjects of a sovereign to whom the Republic is joined by the stricteft ties of friendship. The authors of this plot do not pretend to deny it. They, on the contrary, avow and labour, though in vain, to justify it. In these circumstances, the King, relying on the equity of your High Mightinesses, requires that so irregular a conduct may be formally disavowed, as it is no less contrary to your moft facred engagements, than repugnant to the Dutch constitution, The King farther infifts on speedy fatisfa&tion, adequate to the offence, and the exemplary punishment of the pensionary Van Berkel and his accomplices, as difturbers of the public peace, and violators of the rights of nations, His Majesty flatters himself that the answer of your High Mightineffes will be speedy, and to the purpose in every re

fpe&t;

a

« AnteriorContinua »