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grand saloon, seemed violently agitated, and appeared to be conversing with his attendants, or, rather, thinking aloud, for the following words, pronounced in a very audible voice, were heard by all the persons in the audience chamber :ance will fall on that power which will be the cause of the war.” He approached the British ambassador, Lord Whitworth, and said—“you know, my lord, that a terrible storm has arisen between England and France.”
Lord Whitworth said—“it was to be hoped, that this storm would be dissipated without any serious consequences.” Buonaparte replied—“it will be dissipated when England should have evacuated Malta ; if not, the cloud would burst, and the bolt must fall. The King of England had promised, by treaty, to evacuate that place, and who was to violate the faith of treaties ?"
The above account is taken from a communication, published in the Hibernian Magazine, of April, 1803, furnished by a person who professes to speak from a personal knowledge of the circumstances related.
Of the interview referred to, Lord Whitworth, in communication to the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated the 14th of March, 1803, says—“ At court which was held at the Tuilleries, on that day, Sunday, he (the First Consul) accosted me, evidently under very considerable agitation. He began by asking me if I had any news from England. I told him I had received letters from your lordship two days ago. He immediately said, ' And so you are determined to go to war ?' 'No,' I replied, “we are too sensible of the advantages of peace. He said, 'we have now been at war for fifteen years. As he seemed to wait for an answer, I observed only, * That certainly, is having too much of it.' But,' said he, 'you wish to carry it on for fifteen years more and you are forcing me into it. I told him that was very far from his Majesty's intentions. He then proceeded to Count Marcow, and Chevalier Azara, who were standing together at a little distance from me, and said to them, “The English will have war, but if they be the first to draw the sword, I shall be the last to sheath it again. They respect no treaties Henceforth they must be covered with black crape. He then went his round. In a few minutes he came back to me, and resumed the conversation, if such it may be called, by something
personally civil to me ; and after some observations about the armaments in England, he said, in reply to Lord Whitworth's remark, that England desired to live, ‘En bonne intelligence avec elle (la France). Il faut donc respecter les Traites, malheur a ceux qui ne respectent pas les Traites, ils en seront responsable a tout l'Europe.? » *
The manifesto of the French republic, at the appearance of hostilities, bearing the signature of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. Talleyrand, was issued on the 15th of May. In this document it is stated, that the British Minister, on the 7th of April, manifested an intention to violate the treaty, and to refuse to evacuate Malta. The intimation was not listened to. Two new projects of convention followed ; one that Malta should continue under the sovereignty of England, and England would consent to recognize every thing that had taken place in Europe, since the treaty of Amiens. To which proposal M. Talleyrand replied that no change had taken place in Europe since the treaty was made, except the organization of the German empire, in which the King of England had concurred, as Elector of Hanover, by his vote—a necessary consequence of the treaty of Luneville, which existed long before the treaty of Amiens ; that the events in Piedmont, Etruria, and the Italian and Ligurean republics, had their date previous to the treaty of Amiens ; that with respect to the Batavian republic, it had been recognized by the King of England, and that by treaty between that republic and France, the last division of the French troops would evacuate Holland, on the complete execution of the treaty of Amiens. With respect to Malta, the independence of the order of its knights, and of the island, was provided for by an especial article of the treaty of Amiens. The independence of the island had been guaranteed by the Emperor of Germany ; the independence of the knights had been guaranteed by the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia, in consequence of the conjoint solicitation of England and France. When Lord Whitworth demanded his passports, France, anxious still for peace, had consented that Malta should be guaranteed by one of the guaranteeing powers, Austria, Russia, or Prussia. Lord Whitworth suspended his departure, and referred the proposal to his government. On the 11th of May, Lord Whitworth
* Woodfall's London Chronicle, p. 478. May 17th, 18th, 1803.
returned the answer of his government, stating that Russia had refused the request made to her on that subject. Talleyrand affirms there was not time for the application to have been made to Russia and replied to. A courier, however, had arrived at Paris from Russia, with despatches from the Emperor, manifesting the greatest concern at the intelligence of the intention of England to retain possession of Malta, renewing the assurances of his guarantee, and announcing his compliance with the request of the First Consul, to become the mediator between the two powers, with their consent. This communication was made known to Lord Whitworth, on the 12th of May. On the same day his lordship informed Mons. Talleyrand that he had orders to depart in 36 hours after the delivery of his last note. The manifesto terminates with " repetition of the proposition to place Malta in the hands of one of the three guaranteeing powers ; and for all other objects foreign to the treaty of Amiens, renews its declaration to open a negotiation with respect to them.”
On the 15th of May, 1803, his Britannic Majesty sent a message to parliament announcing the recall of the British ambassador from Paris, and the departure of the French ambassador from London. The declaration of hostilities with France was published in the Gazette of May 18, 1803.
Mr. Pitt made his appearance in the House of Commons on the 23d of May, when an amendment of Mr. Grey's, in the address to his Majesty, pledging the house to support his Majesty in the prosecution of the war, came to be discussed in that house. During the continuance of peace Mr. Pitt was ill-ill at ease, and ill pleased at the unsuccessful result of all his efforts to maintain his war policy. His indisposition suffered him only to indulge in rural and military recreationsin learning the musket and broad sword exercise, by way of bracing his nerves, and seeing his regiment of volunteers put through their facings, with the view of enlivening the dulness of his retirement. But like the worthy cardinal who had waxed sickly and infirm before the Pope's election. Mr. Pitt before the question came to be discussed, of peace or war, was a political invalid, rumoured to be unable to attend to his parliamentary duties, and so broken down with the labours of his past career as to excite general apprehensions for his safety. But the night of the 23d Mr. Pitt was found in his place in
parliament, and it is hardly necessary to add, that his "voice was still for war.” Perhaps greater vigour of mind or body was never exhibited by him than on that occasion. The exminister was himself again—war was about to be let loose on the world, and all the principles of evil seemed concentrated in the unholy exultation with which the prospect of war was hailed on this occasion. In the madness of hate, and the inebrity of eloquence itself, he spoke of the First Consul as "a sea of liquid fire which destroyed everything which was unfortunate enough to come in contact with it.” It now only remained for hon. members to express a hope that "the only man in the empire qualified to conduct the war to a successful issue,” should be recalled to the councils of his sovereign. Mr. Pitt played his part to perfection, and there is nothing more wonderful than the impunity which his duplicity and mischievous artifice on that occasion met with at the hands of the Whig party.
The result of these negotiations was war, a new devastation of the fairest portion of Europe for the space of eleven years -a further carnage of some millions of the human race--an increased burden of public debt, to the extent of some hundreds of millions of pounds sterling in Great Britain.*
Divesting these negotiations of all their concomitant feints and fencings, wiles and ambushes, mysticisms of meaning and hiding of purposes, these skilful skirmishes, criminations and recriminations, avowals of fair intentions, and imputations of bad faith, we come to the bare bone of contention--an island in the Mediterranean, and a colony in Africa, which belonged to neither of the parties in dispute.
France wanted a navy, which it would require ten years to equip. England wanted Malta and the Cape of Good Hope, which she was then in a condition to retain, but was not in so good a condition to maintain when the treaty of Amiens was entered into. Buonaparte was well aware of these facts, and his political morality did not stand in the way of his state interests. He regarded the treaty of Amiens as a truce, believ
* The National Debt in 1803, was £601,411,080 sterling. In 1814, at the end of the war, it was £943,195,951, having been increased by these eleven years of war, upwards of £341,000,000.-Colquhoun's Wealth and Resources of the British Empire.
ing it was so regarded by his new ally, yet willing to maintain it as long as possible, for the sake of its bearings on his interests, not on account of its obligations on his honour, and desirous, whenever it was broken, that the ostensible cause of the rupture should be a violation of an important article of that treaty on the part of the wary ally, he never ceased to account, and, perhaps, with reason, a watchful enemy.
The consideration of this subject is not foreign to the subject of the unfortunate enterprise of Robert Emmet. Its origin and failure were unquestionably connected with the expected result of those negotiations, and the preparations for that result which had been already begun in the northern sea ports of France when he set out on his fatal mission. Previous to his departure he had an interview with Buonaparte, the nature of it was such as to leave no doubt on his mind that peace was destined to be of short continuance, that hostilities would commence before the month of August, 1803, and that the invasion of England would take place in the course of that month.
He told one of his most intimate friends in Ireland, a gentleman whose veracity can be relied on, that his interview had left an unfavourable impression on his mind of the character of the First Consul ; that he had been referred by Buonaparte to Talleyrand, and had several interviews with the latter, of whose intentions towards Ireland he thought not more favourably than of those of his master, and of whose knowledge of the state of things there he could say but little to its advantage. He thought, however, that Talleyrand rather desired the establishment of an independent republic in Ireland, and that Buonaparte did not. His only object was to aggrandize France, and to damage England, and so far as that object went, to wish well to any effort in Ireland that might be ancillary to his purpose. He thought, however, that Buonaparte, seeing that war was inevitable, was sincere in the purpose he expressed of making a descent on England the earliest possible moment after war had been declared, and that event he was led to believe was likely to take place within eight or nine months.
Both countries, from the middle of March, 1803, were busily engaged in preparations for war. It was not, however, till the 10th of May that acts of hostility were committed on the