to hold the stoutest language : to declare that even without him
the war will be carried on ; to clench treaties for succour more
binding with England ; and, in short, to look only to war. Upon
this policy they are now acting. How it will answer is in the womb
of time. His Imperial Majesty, Francis, does not see things so
advantageously as is desirable, and when it is pointed out to
him that a movement in Bonaparte's rear with the Austrian
force would annihilate his son-in-law, he rather looks to his
reigning in those limits which peaceable arrangements may bring
Count Stadion declared yesterday that the Emperor Francis
had positively refused a meeting with Bonaparte, which the
latter had urged. If this is the case the visits of the Russian
Emperor and the King of Prussia will be equally declined. . . .
The arrival of the news of the armistice at Leipsic was very mal
apropos. A great victory would have been gained then by Woron-
zoff. When it was received the Prussian officers were so indig-
nant that they tore off their pelisses and trampled them under
foot. Count Stadion received reports yesterday from Count
Bubna at Dresden which positively assert that the loss of the
French army since the opening of the campaign amounts at
least to 60,000 men. Bonaparte is anxious to have it believed
that it only depends on him to negotiate separately with Russia.
In my official despatches you will see the progress and conclusion
1 Lives of Castlereagh and Stewart. I., 667.
* The Hanoverian Minister, brother to the Prussian Chancellor.
* The Prussian Minister and the Chancellor Hardenberg 's principal
7 o BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
of our treaties. I shall always lament the dilatory proceedings
attending their completion. They should have been finished
at Dresden or Grossberg, and we could then have done it without
difficulty, and should have been then free from the accompanying
explanations. But this I could not rectify. Although you may
not now carry us through our signatures, still, if we had not con-
cluded, the alternative would have been an incapacity in Prussia
to continue her preparations, the direct loss of Austria, and
Russia looking to her own frontier. As it is, we have the hope
Bonaparte will spurn the propositions made. We could not
wait for orders from home. We give our game the last chance,
and if the worst happen we need never be a party to the pacific
negotiations ; and if we are left in the lurch, it is not without
having done our utmost. The loss of a part of our subsidy need
With regard to the numbers to be kept up by the Allies, Prussia
to the last would have inserted 100,000, and Russia alone prevented
this. It may be said that Prussia was engaged by her former
treaty with Russia to furnish 80,000 men, and that we get no more
by our subsidy. But the fact is that it would be quite impossible
for Prussia to make good the losses she has sustained since the
commencement of hostilities, and to bring up her effective in the
field to 80,000 men without England's aid. But with what has
been given I am sure she will be brought up to the very utmost
mark. I cannot conceal from you that Lord C.'s [Cathcart]
extraordinary partiality to Russia will never let him see a greater
exertion in another quarter than he can accomplish, therefore
the lower number was inserted in the treaty even after the higher
had been three times inserted. I was obliged to be obedient as
to 80,000, as Russia would not go higher. I fear you will be much
disappointed, but I act under orders. I hope my Hussar
proceedings as to an advance will not electrify you. The fact is
Prussia cannot go on just now without a lift ; the machine is really
at a stand for want of oil.
It may be right to put you in possession of the arguments
that are used by those who do not press Austria so much forward
as we would desire. It is said the positive refusal of England to
give any subsidy has created in Metternich great dissatisfaction ;
that even the name of a small subsidy, in the event of their acting,
would be of immense importance. The non-interfrrence also
of Sweden, up to the present time, upon whom they say we have
STEWART CORRESPONDENCE, 1813 71
expended our millions, and her suffering Hamburg to fall, is
urged as a reason for Austria keeping back, she having originally
stipulated, as one of the conditions that would induce her to take
a part, the employment of a large Swedish army on the lower
XXXVIII. [F. O. Prussia 87].
Stewart to Castlereagh. (No. 40.)
Reichenbach, June 22nd, 1813.
[Hardenberg returned yesterday from an interview with Metter-
nich at Gitschin concerning the conference. Russia or Prussia
having previously refused to send Plenipotentiaries with full
Powers to communicate direct with the French authorities, it
was arranged that Negotiators should be appointed. The dis-
tinction appears to be a nice one.]
It appears next that the propositions made by Austria and
modified by the Allies (as explained in the letter to Jacobi) have
not yet been communicated to Bonaparte. Count Metternich's
policy seems to be to draw from Bonaparte the basis on which
he will make peace before he communicates to him the ultimatum
of Austria and the Allies. The Chancellor Hardenberg pressed
Count Metternich to open to Bonaparte the original conditions
of the 1 6th of May 1 as proposed by the Allies ; Count Metternich
begged to use his discretion on this subject ; he stated his know-
ledge of Bonaparte's anxiety to receive them, but he believed his
object was only to publish them to the French nation as the grounds
of the absolute necessity of continuing the war. Count Metter-
nich also seemed of opinion that it was advisable to protect
the issue of the negotiations and the important subject under
discussion until a very short period before the rupture of the
armistice in order to give Bonaparte as little time for exercising
his talents of throwing difficulties in the way as possible.
Count Metternich insinuated his conviction of Bonaparte's desire
for the general Congress, and this object he had reason to apprehend
would be very much pressed (if only to gain more time by a pro-
longation of the armistice). It is to be hoped, however, this will
be stoutly resisted. Count Metternich expressed his opinion
decidedly that war would be ultimately the issue of these events,
which is an exhilarating circumstance. He was to proceed imme-
" See VI. Note 1.
72 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
diately to Dresden to see Bonaparte, after which interview more
important circumstances will be known. . . .
Having received the intimation above detailed previous to
seeing the Chancellor Hardenberg, I deemed it my duty to have
an immediate conference with him, in which I begged to know
what had passed with Count Metternich, and strongly observed
on our Treaty, which pledges Prussia not to act separately from
Great Britain. I put to him the question how he justified the
proceedings going to the length they are doing without England's
participation, and I also urged him to explain the difference he
understood between negotiators and plenipotentiaries with full
The Chancellor Hardenberg, in reply, gave me the fullest
assurances that Prussia was regulated in her proceedings solely
with the anxious hope of carrying Austria forwards by acting
according to her ideas in the scene that is now passing. His
Excellency did not conceive Prussia was departing from her
Treaty in sending negotiators to communicate with Count Metter-
nich, and he pledged himself to me, in the presence of two wit-
nesses, that the Prussian negotiator should on no account have
any communication direct with the French authorities. His
Excellency repeated pretty much the substance of what I have
above written, and declared his confidence in Count Metternich 's
good intentions to make any modification of the Articles she had
proposed, which, however, he thought the French Emperor would
never consent to.
XXXIX. [F. O. Prussia 88.]
Jackson 1 to Stewart.
Reichenbach, July 27th, 181 3.
... War now considered certain between Austria and
I have further to inform you that the Russian and Prussian
Plenipotentiaries (in contemplation of Bonaparte's suddenly
breaking the armistice under pretext of the differences which had
occurred at Newmarck) received from the Austrian minister a
written assurance that the Emperor, his master, would consider
1 Stewart having gone to the North of Germany to inspect the Frussicn
and Swedish forces there, Jackson was left to report proceedings at Head-
quarters. His dispatches, nominally addressed to his superior, Stewart, were
intended for the information of the Home Government.
STEWART CORRESPONDENCE, 1813 73
such a measure as a declaration of general war , and that the Allies
might in such a case not only rely upon the full aid and resources
of his Empire, but also, in case of necessity, march their troops
into his provinces.
I have the greatest satisfaction in reporting to you, Sir, the
above intelligence, so much more favourable than circumstances
had hitherto allowed us to hope for. In looking for the cause of
this change, and apparently sudden maturity of the Austrian
Councils, it is impossible not to feel that the late brilliant and
glorious successes 1 of Field Marshal Wellington have had a very
great share in producing them. Bonaparte's own conduct has
happily come in aid of this ; it would have been difficult for his most
mortal enemy to have dictated a line of conduct better calculated
to bring this about than that which his own blind passions have
led him to pursue for these last three or four weeks.
His obstinate silence ; his delay in sending a plenipotentiary ;
the chicane which, on his part, marked the discussions relative
to the prolongation of the Armistice ; the indecent and insulting
tone of Marshal Berthier's letter to the Commissioners at New-
marck, in a word, everything he has done, or, rather, everything
he has not done, has, at last, forced Austria to open her eyes to
his real designs, and, I hope and trust, finally convinced her that
it is in vain to hope to bring him to reason but by force of arms.
It is, however, still possible, perhaps probable, that Bonaparte
may wish, now that he sees the decided tone that Austria is dis-
posed to take, to retrace his steps, and may affect at the opening
of the negotiations a considerable degree of pliancy and a dis-
position to yield on some of the points proposed to him, with the
reserve, however, that it would be impossible to conclude anything
definitely without knowing the sentiments of Great Britain, and
whether any sacrifices he might make would be the means of
obtaining a Maritime peace. Fallacious as such language would
be, especially should the circumstance I had the honour to men-
tion to you in my letter of yesterday prove correct, it is not the
less certain that, a short time since, it might have had the effect
of spinning out the negotiations, and, by prolonging a consequent
state of uncertainty, might have eventually paralysed and weakened
the Concert and efforts of the Allies ; but there is reason to hope
that the moment is passed when he might have played this part
with success, and that Austria, no longer the dupe of such an
artifice, would consider it only as equivalent of war.
1 The Battle of Vittoria, June 21st, 181 3.
74 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
XL. [F. O. Prussia 88.]
Jackson to Stewart.
Reichenbach, August 2nd, 1813.
[Retails the negotiations between Metternich and Caulaincourt
I have thus, Sir, had the honour of detailing to you the state of
affairs as they stood when the last accounts left Prague. They
are certainly more favourable than a very short time ago we could
have ventured to expect, and are alone attributable to the con-
stancy with which our policy relative to the Peninsula has been
followed up, and to the ability and success which have marked
I should not, however, be justifying the trust and confidence
which the Prince Regent's Government have done me the honour
to repose in me if I did not (in contemplation of the possibility
of a Continental peace) call your attention to the situation in
which such an event, however advantageous the conditions of it
might in the first instance appear, would place Great Britain.
Our Allies give us the most solemn assurances, and have sealed
them with positive engagements ; still, however, without in-
tending to call in question their sincerity, I cannot but observe
that a " brilliant " Continental peace, as the preliminary and
necessary forerunner of a Maritime one, is a very favourite idea,
and one which, supposing Bonaparte finally to take the part of
concession, they would with difficulty reject.
I need not expose to you, Sir, the inconveniences which
would result from such a proceeding, even if accompanied by
a formal and solemn engagement, on the part of our Allies,
to recommence hostilities in the event of their failing to effect
a Maritime peace ; but, without such a pledge, is it not
evident that, so far from facilitating that object, it would
only render its accomplishment more remote ? And would not
Great Britain — the Power to whom those of the Continent would
be chiefly indebted for the advantages which had relieved them
from the burden of war — be left to bear the whole weight of it
alone ? How much more forcibly would this apply if the com-
plete freedom of the Peninsula from French dominion did not
form a part of such a Treaty !
I should, perhaps, apologise, Sir, for troubling you with these
observations, but the necessity of being prepared for all events,
STEWART CORRESPONDENCE, 1813 75
and of insisting in case of the worst with our Allies upon some
guarantee on the above subject, strikes my mind so forcibly that
I cannot but mention it to you.
XLI. [F. O. Prussia 88.]
Jackson to Stewart.
Reichenbach, August 7th, 181 3.
[Confirms account of situation at Prague.] The conduct of
the French Minister since his arrival is reported to have been
beyond anything perfidious and insulting. It is now quite clear
that he brought with him no instructions whatever respecting
either the form or the substance of the negotiation : this appears
as well from the silence and uncertain course he has observed as
from some private conversations which Count Metternich has
had with him. M. de Narbonne and himself still persist in their
refusal to adopt the mode proposed by the Austrian Ministers for
the conduct of the negotiations, alleging that, Bonaparte expecting
direct and verbal conferences, they could not concede this point
without further instructions. They have equally objected to
comply with the simple request renewed by M. de Metternich
that they would deliver their full powers into his hands, repeating
their determination not to exhibit them except in a full con-
ference, a sufficient proof, if any were wanting, of the real dis-
positions by which they are actuated, and affording a strong pre-
sumption that the surmise of the mediation of Austria being
disavowed in this instrument is not without foundation.
It is said still to be the determination of the Cabinet of Vienna
to put an end to all negotiations on the 10th inst. unless — a thing
next to impossible — Preliminaries of Peace should be signed before
that period. The expectation entertained at Prague I understand
to be that Bonaparte immediately on his return to Dresden will
address a solemn note to the Austrian Government, accusing
them of all the delays that have taken place, and proclaiming an
ultimatum, the answer to which it is confidently anticipated will
be a Declaration of War. I am the more inclined to give credit
to this information, which I believe I may venture to assure you,
Sir, rests upon very good authority, as the face of the Austrian
Cabinet has undergone an entire change within the last fortnight.
The Emperor and those about His Imperial Majesty's person
who till very lately acquiesced most reluctantly in the idea of war
have now unreservedly declared themselves in favour of it, as
the only chance, the only alternative left them. . . .
76 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1S15
XLII. [F. O. Prussia 89.]
Jackson to Stewart.
Reichenbach, August 12th, 1813.
With reference to a part of your Dispatch, No. 69, 1 of this day's
date, which, however unintentional as I am convinced it was on
your part, I cannot but consider as casting a degree of reflection
upon me, I trust you will excuse me if I venture to request of you
distinctly to state to His Majesty's Government that, upon his
return from the Conference at Trachenberg, I acquainted His
Majesty's Ambassador at the Court of Russia with my belief that
a convention had been signed between the Allies and Austria.
Immediately before your return I took occasion pointedly to
ask Baron de Hardenberg if any such existed, when His Excel-
lency returned me the same answer I had before received from
Lord Viscount Cathcart, namely, that my supposition was utterly
I trust I need not assure you, Sir, that I have no wish to take
the smallest shadow of credit to myself on this occasion, and that
my sole object is simply to remove the imputation on my zeal and
exertions in the execution of the trust reposed in me, which, had
such a transaction taken place during the interval I had the
honour of being charged with His Majesty's interests at this
Court without my coming to a knowledge of it, could not but have
attached to me.
I will only further trespass upon you, Sir, to explain to you
that if I did not expressly mention the circumstance in my official
correspondence it arose, first, from a conviction that the whole
of the transactions between the Allies and the Court of Austria
had been made known to you by Lord Viscount Cathcart, and
through you to His Majesty's Government ; and, secondly, from
the positive assurance given me officially in writing by the Chan-
cellor Hardenberg that he had communicated them to you. . . .
1 Stewart to Castlereagh. (No. 69). Reichenbach, August 12th, 1813.
. . . " I have discovered since my return to this place that a Treaty
was signed on the 27th of June between Austria, Russia, ar.d Piussia, which
has been kept concealed from Great Britain in consequence of Austria's
requiring this as a stipulation. As things have turned out, this may be excuse-
able, but certainly after the signature of the Treaty of Reichenbach, gcod faith
required nothing of this sort should have been adopted but with our concur-
rence. I have deemed my duty, however, to animadvert most strongly en this
subject to the Chancellor Hardenberg. His Excellency has promised me in
confidence a copy of the Treaty, and defended his not communicating it by
throwing it on Russia." F. O. Prussia 89. For the Treatv of Reichenbach
See VT. Note I.
STEWART CORRESPONDENCE, 1813 77
XLIII. [F. O. Prussia 89.]
Stewart to Castlereagh. (No. 73.)
Landeck, August 15th, 181 3.
[Sends further documents of Prague Congress. Napoleon may
reply to the Austrian declaration, but still war is inevitable.]
It would be in vain to conceal, however, that one point, yielded
by Bonaparte to Austria, would have arrested the fortunate event
we now look to, and so nice and deep has been the political manoeuv-
ring that I believe one false step on the part of the Allies would
have lost everything. The King of Prussia, as well as the
Emperor, deserves the highest credit for his firmness throughout,
and from accurate observation I am persuaded His Majesty only
requires to be in good hands to take the high line in every subject.
If his Majesty had more confidence in himself his interests would
be better attended to ; sensible and aimiable to a degree, he is
timid and reserved, and is too easy with those v/ho surround him.
The Chancellor Hardenberg, although a most excellent man, is
arrived at an age when neither his powers nor faculties enable him
to go through the weight of business that falls to his lot. Foreign
affairs, finance and war, all are united in one person. Any change
in the minister or dividing his labours would perhaps give an
impression now of a change of politicians, so things are suffered
to go on. But an observer cannot help lamenting that the adminis-
tration and resources of this country are not better regulated.
The assistance afforded by Great Britain and the delay occasioned
by the armistice has enabled Prussia to bring into the field 183,000
men ; she is thus far superior in numbers to either of the other
Powers. . . .
XLIV. [F. O. Prussia 89.]
Stewart to Castlereagh. (No. 78.)
Prague, August 20th, 1813.
In reference to my Dispatch, No. 69, * in which I had the honour
to detail to your Lordship some circumstances that had come to
my knowledge about a Treaty having been signed between Austria,
Russia, and Prussia on the 27th June, which was purposely con-
cealed from Great Britain, I have now the satisfaction of enclosing
to your Lordship in strict confidence a copy of this Treaty ; I
say strict confidence, because the Chancellor Hardenberg assured
me that the communication of it to me was a mark of personal
favour and partiality, which he would have shewn to no other
1 See XLII.
78 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
person ; and your Lordship will easily imagine that if Russia has
not made this communication through Lord Cathcart, or if Count
Lieven has not mentioned it, the confidence from Prussia in the
first instance might lead to unpleasant feelings between those
two Courts. 1
Sweden also has, probably, not been communicated with, and,
above all, I am persuaded your Lordship will see the necessity
(as affairs have turned out so prosperously) of not committing the
Chancellor Hardenberg, as he has, although late, perhaps acted in
a more confidential manner than the Russian Ministers, as far,
at least, as I am informed. . . .
From this Treaty I think it is pretty evident, according to the
impressions I have all along entertained, that if the Allies, before
Lord Wellington's victory, could have got Bonaparte to yield even
four of the six points, much more if he had conceded the six
propositions, that a preliminary peace would have been arranged,
and England, notwithstanding all her gigantic efforts and mag-
nanimous exertions, would have been left alone to prosecute the
war, or to take her own line. Experience has shewn us since that
Bonaparte, if he had not hoped to bully Austria, would ultimately
have yielded the four objects in question. Baron Hardenberg
says the Treaty was entered into to secure the signature of
Austria to some specific articles, as though the result has been as
Baron Hardenberg states in his letter ; still, it has not arisen because
Bonaparte would not yield the points mentioned, but that he held
out from mistaken calculation too long.
This is all right as things are, but that upon the face of a new
1 Hardenberg's letter of the 20th August ran as follows : —
" Mon cher General,
Je remplis ma promesse en vous communiquant sous lc sceau de secret la
convention du 27 Juin entre la Prusse la Russie et l\Autriche dont vous con-
noissiez l'^xistence, me fiant entierement a la parole que vous m'avez donn^e
de n'en faire part a qui que ce soit, excepte a monsieur votre frere, My lord
Castlereagh. Vous trouverez dans cette piece, l'article par lequel l'Autriche
a expressement stipule" que ce Traits ne seroit point communique" aux Allies.
Nous avons du nous soumettre a cette condition parcequ'il <hait essentiel avant
toute chose, de s'assurer de la Cour de Vienne. Elle ne vouloit se prater a
£tablir comme conditions sine qua non que les 4 qui sont £nonc£es dans le Traite\
Nous nous sommes bien gardes d'y accdder et nous avons declare" positivement,
que ces conditions ne pouvoient nous suffire, ni pour nous, ni pour nos Allids, mais
il valoit sans doute mieux avoir une base sure pour la cooperation de l'Autriche,
que de n'en avoir aucune et nous pouvions pre\oir avec certitude comme
l'eff£t l'a prouvd, que Napoleon n'accepteroit pas meme ces quatre points.
Nous croyons avoir rendu un tres grand service a la cause conmmune, en ayant
saisi le seul moyen de ranger decidement la Cour de Vienne de notre cote.
Maintenant elle est astreinte a toutes les conditions contenues dans notre Note
du 16 de Mai que vous connoissez et qui r£pond a tous les desires que votre
Gouvernemcnt peut former." . . .
STEWART CORRESPONDENCE, 1813 79
Treaty an express article should be framed to keep it concealed