but if security is given to her (as appears to be intended) on this
head, and if the other Powers are determined to declare against
Mural", she will, I am persuaded, throw no obstacles in the way
of their operations, and I should not despair of her even joining
in the cause.
It will remain, therefore, to be seen whether he will submit
willingly, or be compelled to submit by the Neapolitans, to the
general voice of Europe declared at Vienna. I shall be sanguine
on this head if a good provision is held out to him, and it must
surely be the interest of the Powers of Europe to get out of such
an embarrassment in such a manner. If he is determined, how-
ever, to risk everything for the purpose of keeping his throne,
the labouring oar of expelling him must rest on France. Spain
can afford little aid ; we might blockade his ports by sea ; Russia
might send a body of troops, or at least threaten it ; and I should
think that with such a combination of external means, the country
itself would be led to declare against him. The English name
has always been, and is still, particularly popular in Naples.
The alarm I entertain is not about Naples, but about other parts
of Italy, where a very different spirit exists, and where Austria
is unfortunately very much disliked.
I have thus given you my sense on this subject, and I should
hope that after talking the matter fully over with Lord Castle-
2 9 o BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
reagh, you may be able to put this very delicate and difficult
question into as satisfactory a course as the nature of it will
CLXV. [C. C. X. 240.J
Liverpool to Castlereagh.
Bath, January 16th, 1815.
. You can have no idea how much ground the Govern-
ment lost in the House of Commons, in the short session before
Christmas ; and the unfortunate circumstance in our present
situation is this -that the debates of most importance which
are likely to occur during the session, must take place before the
beginning of April. The questions of contest will be the ques-
tions of finance, and the political questions will principally be
discussed and brought in as auxiliaries. ... I can assure
you that I feel, in common with my colleagues, the greatest
reluctance in proposing to you to withdraw at this moment
from Vienna. Last year we could spare you ; everything was
quiet in Parliament — everybody waiting for the result — and no
symptom of party-spirit appeared. Now, very few persons give
themselves any anxiety about what is passing at Vienna, except
in as far as it is connected with expense ; and I never have seen
more party animosity than was manifested in November, and,
I understand, still appears at the Clubs and in private societies
CLXVI. [W. S. D. IX. 539.]
Liverpool to Castlereagh.
Bath, January 16th, 1815.
In consequence of a passage in a private letter which I have
received from Cooke, 1 I feel it necessary to trouble you with
a few lines on the subject of Poland.
When we said that we should not object to your agreeing to
the Emperor of Russia's arrangements respecting Poland, pro-
vided the provinces incorporated with Russia since 1792 were
detached from that empire and re-united to the Duchy of Warsaw,
we were desirous of putting the sincerity of His Imperial
1 Cooke to Liverpool, January 4th, 1814. ..." You see how the
Russian projects of a Polish Kingdom have dwindled. I do not see how the
Allies can stipulate to regulate the Emperor's conduct as to the former Polish
incorporations : it would be an attempt ad invidiam, which he has a right to
resist, whatever he may have said." W. S. D. IX. 527.
THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA 291
Majesty's professions to the test, but we did not suppose that
there was much chance of his acceding to any such proposal.
If, however, an arrangement to this effect should be found imprac-
ticable, it becomes of very great importance that you should be
no party to the stipulations respecting Poland ; and though the
manner and degree in which you may think proper to protest
against the Polish arrangement must materially depend upon
circumstances, I am satisfied that some protest will be absolutely
necessary to render the proceeding on the subject palatable in
CLXVII. [F. O. Cont. 6.]
Bathurst to Castlereagh. (No. 5.)
January 18th, 181 5.
I am commanded by H.R.H. to express his entire approbation
of your Lordship's conduct under circumstances very critical
and deeply affecting the tranquillity of Europe.
The spirit with which your Lordship resisted the menacing
language of the Prussian minister, upheld the dignity of the Court
you represent, and was well calculated to check an impetuosity,
from which much might have been apprehended, had it not been
so seasonably rebuked.
A defensive Alliance for the purpose of maintaining the sound
principles established by the Treaty of Paris, is one, to the forma-
tion of which the British Government cannot object, however
much we may lament that the conduct of those Powers, to whose
splendid exertions that peace is so much indebted, have unfor-
tunately made the Treaty necessary.
I have therefore received the commands of H.R.H. to acquaint
your Lordship that the Treaties of Alliance concluded by you on
the 3rd inst. will be forthwith ratified, and the acts of ratification
will be transmitted to your Lordship as soon as they can be
Your Lordship's dispatch of the 5th 1 inst. leads us to hope that
matters may be amicably adjusted in a manner creditable to the
parties concerned : and your Lordship acts with much commend-
able discretion in providing that the measures taken to restrain
the unjust pretensions should not interfere with the fair claims
of the Prussian Monarchy.
292 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
CLXVIII. [F. O. Cont. 10.]
Castlereagh to Liverpool. (No. 57.)
January 22nd, 181 5.
I stated to your Lordship in my dispatch No. 51 ' that I enter-
tained a strong hope that the question of Saxony might be arranged
without prejudice to the peace of Europe, if Austria and France,
now affairs have assumed a more promising aspect, were as
accommodating in the details of the arrangement, as they had
given me reason to expect, when appearances were more adverse.
I certainly was prepared when I signed the Treaty of Defensive
Alliance on the 3rd to expect that this measure of strength and
union might, if improperly understood, excite in the Austrian
councils a disposition to enterprise anew upon objects of local
policy, instead of turning it, as was intended by me, into the
means of extricating herself with honour and safety, from the
difficulty in which the menace of her opponents had placed her.
I was not, however, deterred by this consideration from adopting
what appeared to me indispensable to check thf intemperance of the
two Northern Powers at a critical moment of the negot ation, whilst
I reserved in my own hands the means of effectually correcting
at a future period any misconception of this nature should it arise.
The inclosed official memoir* presented to the Emperor by
Marshall Prince Schwarzenberg, the Minister at War, will shew
that I was not mistaken in this supposition. I have reason to
believe that similar views prevail amongst other members of the
Austrian Cabinet, particularly Count Stadion, and I have lately
observed Prince Metternich's tone and language to be propor-
tionately changed, indicating a disposition to aim at objects which
before he had considered as unattainable.
Having examined this paper attentively, I thought there was
no time to be lost in having a full explanation with Prince Metter-
nich, both upon its contents, and the attitude in which I felt
myself placed under our recent Treaty and the existing state of
the negotiations. I represented to His Highness that I considered
the principles therein laid down as not sound in themselves,
whilst they were calculated to throw us back in our discussions
and to retard, if not defeat, our hopes of an amicable settlement.
That admitting the facts alleged, namely, that the Eastern
frontier of Germany was menaced by Russia, and that its Western
frontier would be endangered, if the King of Saxony was placed
• Undated, advancing strategic reason* foi reducing Prussia's share of
Saxony. F. O. Cont. 10.
THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA 293
on the left bank of the Rhine, it did not therefore follow, that the
security of Austria depended upon depriving Prussia of Torgau
That if the danger to be provided against was an united attack
from Russia and Prussia, it was not a small fortress on the Elbe
in the hands of a weak Power, or a position like Erfurth that could
enable her to meet it. Such a combination could only be resisted
by a counter-alliance, and it was to France and to Great Britain
she must look for support in such a crisis, and not to a solitary
fortress the more or the less beyond her own frontier.
But this question was different if the hostile attitude was
supposed to exist between Austria and Prussia as single Powers.
In that case it was an exaggeration to describe Torgau and
Erfurth as points offensive and menacing on the part of Prussia
against Austria ; they may, with more truth, be described as
necessary defences to the weaker and extended state of ten
millions of people, against the stronger and concentrated state of
That Saxony in its natural politicks appertained to the system
of the North, preserving, however, an independent existence to a
certain extent between its two powerful neighbours. To endeav-
our to combine it with the Austrian system and to take Torgau
and Erfurth as advanced and menacing points, appeared to me
the surest means of permanently uniting Prussia in close alliance
with either Russia or France, and rendering her return to German
connection hopeless, which I could by no means consider to be
the case, however established the influence of Russia might, for
the moment, appear to be.
That in looking to the defence of Prussia against France, the
line of the Elbe was imperfect, if Torgau was denied to that
Power, and that with respect to Erfurth, whilst the Prussian
Monarchy was spread out from the Niemen to the Rhine, and
broke into two masses but slenderly connected in the centre,
such a fortress as Erfurth was essential to cover her extended
line of communication, and to afford a point of appui between
Juliers beyond the Rhine, and the line of the Elbe.
I added that both these fortresses appeared to me indispensable
to give to Prussia under the new territorial arrangement to which
we required her to submit, an independent existence, and if
such an existence was not secured to her, she would always be
driven to seek that independence in a distant and dangerous
support, which she might otherwise be desirous of finding in the
system to which she belonged.
294 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
I hope these representations will have the effect of bringing
back our views to their true standard, namely, to make an arrange-
ment which, by sufficiently saving the honor and interest of all
the principal Powers, may admit of its receiving a general sanction,
and that we should make the best bargain we can for the King of
Saxony, placing him in his own states where he may do some good
and no harm instead of breaking down our whole system of
defence on the left bank of the Rhine by placing him there.
I fully explained to Prince Metternich that, having saved the
general principle, and protected his Court by a decided measure
of support, when Austria was menaced with invasion, if she
refused to acknowledge a new King in Saxony and to transplant
his predecessor to a position the most fatal to our whole system,
that I could not suffer my Government to be involved in hostile
measures upon a mere question of details, to which I now con-
sidered in fact the issue was brought ; and that if he expected my
support, he must not negotiate upon the principles laid down in
Prince Schwarzenberg's memoir — to which I should feel it my
duty to object.
I further represented, if he did not clearly see his way in
contending these points with Prussia and Russia, how much
mischief might result from an ineffectual attempt to do so, if it
had no other consequence than betraying a disunion amongst
those Powers, through whose joint and imposing influence more
moderate sentiments appeared to have been latterly introduced
into our deliberations, the salutary consequence of which it was
not too much to presume would operate not only throughout the
remainder of our discussions at Vienna, but materially contribute,
after their close, to the preservation of peace.
CLXIX. [F. O. Cont. 11.]
Castlereagh to Liverpool. (No. 63.)
January 29th, 181 5.
Having reason to believe, that the party in the Austrian Cabinet
who adhere to Prince Schwarzenberg's views, were employed
in urging their opinions strongly upon the Emperor, I availed
myself of a confidential channel, to intimate to Prince Metternich
that, unless the negotiation was replaced without delay upon the
only grounds that I thought were calculated to lead to peace,
and such as were consistent with the principles upon which the
late Treaty had been brought forward on the part of Great Britain,
I should feel it my duty to present a note explicitly disavowing
THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA 295
all concert in these new measures, and taking my Court out of the
predicament of either being charged with a breach of engagement,
or of being insensibly involved in a system to which I must
decline to be any party. I desired that it might be also under-
stood, that, in that case, I should request an audience to explain
myself to the Emperor.
I received from Prince Metternich that evening an intimation
that His Imperial Majesty desired to see me on the following day.
I found him extremely monte upon the military question, and his
general tone more warlike than on any former occasion. His
Imperial Majesty received, with his usual condescension, how-
ever, my representations of the advantage of exhausting every
expedient to preserve peace, and, if we failed, the indispensable
necessity, if he looked for support from Great Britain, that the
occasion of war should either be founded upon the maintenance
of some principle of clear and indisputable importance, or an
actual attempt by force to disturb the equilibrium of Europe.
The Emperor repeatedly pressed to know whether Great
Britain would support him, 1st, >n refusing Torgau and Erfurth
to Prussia ; 2ndly, in requiring that the former at least should be
razed ; and at the close of our interview, His Imperial Majesty
gave me the enclosed proposition, 1 in his own handwriting, as
what he was ready to agree to. For the reasons already stated,
I felt myself obliged humbly, but most expressly to reply to His
Majesty in the negative on both his demands.
The following day, in an interview with Prince Talleyrand,
Prince Metternich renewed his endeavours to urge the same
view of the question, and stated that the Emperor adhered to
his opinion. Prince Talleyrand agreed with the Austrian minis-
ter, but stated his sentiments with moderation. I adhered to
mine and the interview ended by the Austrian minister declaring
his intention of taking the final orders of the Emperor.
There was a good deal of rather warm discussion upon the
impossibility of conceding largely to Prussia in Saxony. Prince
Metternich 's Projet did not go to one third of the whole contents.
I stated that it was a little hard the British minister, who had no
other possible interest in the question than to save the Continental
Powers, and especially Austria, from war, should have the odious
task thrown upon him of urging severe measures towards Saxony,
but that whilst I would do my best to save the Saxony family
1 By which Austria offered to cede a number of " souls " to Russia equivalent
to what Prussia lost in Torgau. Prussia could then recover from Russia or.
the Polish frontier. F. O. Cont. 11.
296 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
from unnecessary rigour, I would not sacrifice the peace of Europe
to preserve to them two or three hundred thousand subjects
more or less.
We then discussed the counter-projet to be given in — and I
agreed, in consequence of the Emperor of Austria having ren-
dered his Polish acquisitions on the side of Tarnapol an object
of negotiation, to frame our first proposition on a scale more
favourable to Saxony, but I declared that I could not be a party
to any counter-projet, which did not assign the fortresses of
Torgau and Erfurth to Prussia.
The following morning Prince Metternich acquainted me, that
notwithstanding the military advice the Emperor had received,
His Imperial Majesty was ready to acquiesce in both Torgau and
Erfurth being Prussian, if the British Minister pronounced it
necessary, to effect an amicable and honourable arrangement ;
but that he expected Prussia to be proportionally moderate and
conciliatory on other points, and especially not to press the session
of Leipsick. Upon this the counter-projet I now inclose, extend-
ing to a certain degree the cessions in Saxony beyond the Austrian
projet, was agreed upon between Prince Metternich, Prince
Talleyrand, and myself, with the reserve, on my part, of its only
being considered as a proposition for discussion, and not as an
ultimatum. In all these deliberations the French minister took,
I think, a fair and not an unreasonable part. The day but one
after was fixed for our conference with the Russian and Prussian
Plenipotentiaries, to deliver in the counter-projet, and I undertook,
;n the meantime, to see the Emperor of Russia and Prince Harden-
berg, and to prepare them for its favourable reception.
My interview with Prince Hardenberg took place first. I
begged him not to give me any opinion, but to hear calmly what
I had to represent, and to reflect upon it. I stated the principles
upon which the counter-projet was framed, both as to numbers,
composition, and locality, and endeavoured to remove the objec-
tions to which I thought the Prussian minister was likely to deem
In representing to His Highness the strong military grounds of
resistance that had been given to Prussia having Torgau and
Erfurth, and the mode in which the Emperor's opposition had
been waived, I told the Prince that, strongly as I had opposed
myself in support of what I deemed to be just and essential for
Prussia to possess in a military point of view, I would oppose
myself with equal energy to any attempt on the part of his Govern-
ment to render the Saxon arrangement either unnecessarily severe
THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA 297
or painful in its detail, to the Powers who were expected to
acquiesce in it, and that I must specially protest against Leipsick
being torn from Saxony.
Prince Hardenberg warmly resisted the idea of parting with
this trophy. That Prussia ought to have at least one of the
Saxon capitals, and that he could not return to Berlin under such
a mortification. I contended that one of the capitals was pre-
cisely what Prussia in sound policy ought not to desire to possess :
that it was her interest not to strive to create two Saxonies ; if
she did, one would be always Austrian and opposed to the other ;
that, on the contrary, the Prussian object should be to render all
her acquisitions as Prussian as possible — to give every possible
unity to the State which was to remain, and to treat it with
kindness, by which means a little sooner or a little later it must
adhere to Prussia, and she would then have the benefit of both.
That Prussia would defeat her own purpose, if she pushed her
demands upon Saxony too far ; she might lose the appui of some
of the great Powers, delay, if not prevent, the King of Saxony's
acceptance, and drive the Saxon nation into a permanent feeling
of hostility against her.
That the sentiments of Berlin were less material than those of
Great Britain, France, Austria, and Germany, and that if the
British Government had listened to a popular sentiment instead
of to considerations of moderation and prudence, we still should
have been at war with America, in pursuit of an object not
essential to our honour, and too dearly purchased, even if accom-
plished, by a protracted war.
On the same evening I was admitted to an audience of the
Emperor of Russia, and presented the outline of the intended
arrangement, in the light which I thought would best serve to
interest him in its favour. Although I begged to be understood
as not asking for an opinion till the plan was regularly before him,
together with His Prussian Majesty's sentiments, it was impossible
not to perceive that the Emperor received it favourably, and
wished Prussia might listen to it.
I represented that much would depend on His Imperial
Majesty, whose sentiments without indelicacy to Prussia on a
point which principally concerned her interest, could not but
have the greatest weight, and that if His Imperial Majesty could
so manage as to transfer a portion of the Austrian acquisitions in
Poland, to Prussia, I did not see how the King could refuse the
298 BRITISH DIPLOMACY, 1813-1815
The Emperor repeated to me the difficulties in which his
promises to the Poles had placed him with respect to any further
cessions -n the Duchy of Warsaw. He said that to him as
sovereign, it would be a matter of perfect indifference to make
the exchange proposed, but that his hands were tied. I urged
that the Poles might be reconciled by a corresponding extension
on the other side of the Vistula joining the Duchy, and that with
this facility His Imperial Majesty had the fate of the arrangement
in his hands.
It is due to the Emperor to state, that he shewed every dis-
position consistent with the delicacy he feels due to Prussia, and
to his Polish entanglements, which already begin to manifest
themselves, as I understand, at Warsaw, to meet my wishes. He
was particularly gracious in his reception of me, and will, I have
no doubt, encourage and not obstruct an arrangement.
The intelligence I have received privately of the reception of
the counter-projet by the Prussian Cabinet is not unfavourable.
Prince Hardenberg has intimated to me, that the King proposes
to see me upon it before he gives an answer.
CLXX. [F. O. Cont. 11.]
Castlereagh to Liverpool. (Private.)
Vienna, January 29th, 181 5.
Since I closed my letter marked private on Sicilian affairs I
have received your letter of the 12th 1 addressed to the Duke of
Wellington. The Prince de Talleyrand having immediately after
renewed his importunities on that subject, this communicat'on
came in time opportunely to relieve me from considerable diffi-
culty ; as I should not otherwise have been enabled to satisfy
the French minister sufficiently on this point, to draw from him
the concurrence we require to bring our German arrangements
to a satisfactory termination.
I explained to him that with respect to engaging in war to
expel Murat, it was a point upon which I could pledge my
Government to nothing, they must be guided by circumstances
now impossible to estimate.
That I was authorized to concert with him and the other
Powers as to the steps most expedient to be taken here in favour
of the Sicilian family.
That we thought the question should not be stirred, till that
of Germany was finished.
THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA 299
That a negotiation was preferable to a declaration, such as he
proposed, which was too unqualified a pledge.
That having been ready to accede to Murat's keeping Naples,
had he acted in the war up to the spirit of his engagements we
could not take the principle of legitimacy so high as his court.
That our position was nearer that of Russia, and perhaps that
a joint intervention on the part of Russia and Great Britain might
be the best channel through which a liberal proposition could be
made to Murat, founded upon the impossibility of the Kingdom
of Naples being tranquilized under his dynasty.
That the Prince Regent was desirous of favouring the return of
the legitimate family and the more so, because the King of France
wished it. That His Royal Highness would do what in prudence
he could to promote it, but that we must be cautious in our
I think Prince Talleyrand was satisfied with my explanation.
It was agreed to say nothing further on the question, till the
German negotiations were closed, and then to confer with the
Emperor of Russia upon the subject.
CLXXI. [C. C.X. 247.]
Castlereagh to Bathurst.
Vienna, January 30th, 181 5.