« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
of our Allies, in assuming to ourselves the merit of allowing them to treat without us, if we cannot be included on our own terms. Mulgrave has told you that the King in fact knows the proposal about Hanover; but we have thought it best, in the first instance, that he should be supposed not to know it. It is certainly to be wished, if possible, that the negative to the proposal should not reach Prussia till the four weeks are expired at the end of which they are to make their decision; and I am not without hopes you may be able to make a provisional treaty in the first instance, in return only for subsidies, and assurances of our concurrence in the general object of improving the Prussian frontier, reserving the details of territorial arrangements for subsequent discussion. We are impatient to learn how you found things on your first arrival, and the next accounts from you will probably very much abate or confirm our hopes; but we have thought it material to put you in possession as early as possible of our first impression on the present view of things. Under the line we mean to adopt, of consenting, if necessary, to our Allies treating separately, I see no awkwardness which such a proposal can occasion in your remaining at Berlin while the great objects for which you went remain still undecided.
Ever sincerely yours,
The statement in the despatch of to-day announces a considerably larger disposable British force for the spring than was mentioned in your first instructions; but it is the result of a very careful and repeated revision, and is certainly within the truth. Of course it reckons on the total of officers and men (as is done in the statements on the Continent), and not merely on rank and file.
Mr. Pitt to Lord Harrowby.
Downing Street, IDEAR HARROWI5Y, November 29, 1805. 3eing still without mails from the Continent,
I have nothing new to write to you; but Woronzow insists that I should send a letter to you by M. d’Oubril, who sets out this evening. I suppose therefore he means that I should tell you (as I can with great truth) that we have found M. d’Oubril in the best possible principles, and disposed to communicate on every subject with the utmost candour and frankness. I think he appears to be a man of very good information, great zeal and talents for business; and he seems quite delighted with the manner in which you treated him, though he has told me with some pleasantry how you disappointed him of a good supper.
I have also, at Woronzow's desire, written a letter of cordiality and friendship to Novosiltzoff, who I hope is at Berlin. We are counting moments till we hear in what state you found things on your arrival, and what has been Haugwitz's reception at the French headquarters.
I hope you do not suffer materially from the scene of increased perplexity and anxiety.
Downing Street, DEAR HARROWBy, Dec. 5, 1805. I am grieved to learn by your letter of the 24th
that you had been so much persecuted by headaches, and that you had allowed the Secret Article of Potsdam to give you so much uneasiness. You must, I am sure, be satisfied that the way in which you have treated it is the best possible, because it gives no hopes of the thing being consented to, and at the same time avoids the necessity of any formal and official negative.
The great object, I think, is that Prussia should, if possible, decide on the result of Count Haugwitz's mission, without giving to the evil counsellors of the Ring of Prussia the advantage of stating to him that this object is precluded for ever. At the same time we cannot in good faith give the least assurance that it is likely to be ever attainable. Woronzow, who has been in town for ten days, but is gone again, writes to Alopeus that he has received from him the Mémoire Raisonme on the exchange of Hanover, but cannot present it to us till he has orders to do so from his own Court. We are therefore supposed to know nothing more of the matter.
On the whole state of things you will perhaps be angry with me for saying that my hopes are still sanguine. I think I see great chance of Prussia agreeing to co-operate, either for a definite object or a limited time, in return for subsidies and for our assurance (which you know to be a very sincere one) of wishing to procure for them important acquisitions. The question of Hanover may, I think, be kept aloof. As to plans of operations it is almost idle to say anything; but you will have seen that we think the first and essential point is to act, as Prussia seems to intend, with a force sure of success in the rear of the French army in Germany. Still I cannot conceive what can be the military reasons why an attack on Holland should not take place at the same time, or at least should not be prepared so as to be put into execution whenever the effect of any great success of the Allies, or a frost, or an appearance of good disposition in the country, should afford a favourable opening for such an enterprise, the advantages of which in its impression and consequences I need not state to you. We have finally decided with a view to this chance, and for the sake of showing at any rate our readiness to co-operate, to send the 12,000 men which have been prepared to Embden; and if this wind continues, I hope they will sail within three days. Endeavour to make Prussia send under General Kalkreuth (or whoever may be the General they destine for that quarter), not merely 10,000 men, but enough to make such an army as can scarce be resisted. Our force with the Prussians (exclusive of the Swedes, and after allowing for something to Watch Hameln) will be near 40,000. It surely cannot be difficult for Prussia to add 30,000 to that number within a very few weeks, on increased subsidies, beyond the number they now propose, and that without at all impairing the effort against Donaparte's army. As to your stay at Berlin, I can only say that if your health will permit, everything that we value most may depend on your remaining till you have seen the leading points of the negotiation fairly through. As to details with Saxony and Hesse, they cannot be worth your waiting for, if they require any time, which, however, supposing you once to settle with Prussia, they cannot. The important moment seems to be that when the issue of Haugwitz's negotiation shall have been known at Berlin, and time given to communicate with Austria and Russia on the result. Under these circumstances it will, I am afraid, hardly be as pleasant to you as it is to me to know that Parliament will not meet till the 21st of January, and that you have not on that account any reason for your immediate return. If, however (as I most earnestly hope will not be the case), you should really find the fatigue and anxiety too much for you, it is certainly among the things that we value most that you should return, having suffered as little as possible. A frigate will be sent to wait your orders at the Elbe, but I hope you will have no occasion to use it till after you have signed at least a provisional treaty, and seen the Prussians on their march against the enemy.