The correspondence of prince talleyrand and king louis xviii. During the congress of

Feb 2013
1,702
French Republic
#1
LETTER XXXVI.
No. 19.

Vienna, 4th January, 1815.

SIRE,

I have received the letter of the 23rd of last month, with which your Majesty has deigned to honor me.

On the 21st of the present month, the anniversary of a day of horror and eternal mourning, a solemn expiatory service will be celebrated in one of the principal churches of Vienna. I am having the preparations made; and, in giving orders for them I have acted not only on the impulse of my feelings, but from a sense that it becomes the ambassadors of your Majesty, while acting as the interpreters of the sorrow of France, to proclaim that sorrow aloud in a foreign land and before the eyes of assembled Europe. All, in this sad ceremony, must bear proportion to the grandeur of its object, the splendor of the Crown of France, and the quality of those who are to witness it. All the members of the Congress will be invited, and I am assured that they will come. 1 The Emperor of Austria has had me informed that he will be present, and no doubt his example will be followed by the other Sovereigns. All that is most distinguished in Vienna, of both sexes, will feel it a duty to attend on the occasion. I do not yet know what it will cost, but the expense is a necessary one.

The news of the signature of peace between England and the United States of America was announced to me on New Year's Day by a note from Lord Castlereagh. I hastened to offer him my congratulations, and I also congratulated myself on the event, feeling that it may influence both the disposition of the minister and the resolutions of those with whose pretensions we have hitherto had to contend. Lord Castlereagh showed me the treaty. It does not affront the honor of either of the two parties concerned, and consequently it will satisfy both.

This happy intelligence was only the precursor of a still more fortunate event.

The spirit of the coalition and the coalition itself had survived the Peace of Paris. My correspondence has, up to the present time, supplied your Majesty with repeated proofs of this. If the plans which, on arriving here, I found had been formed, had been carried into execution. France might have stood alone in Europe without being in good relations with any one single Power for half a century to come. All my efforts were directed to the prevention of so great a misfortune, but my most ardent hopes did not reach the height of a complete success.

Now, Sire, the coalition is dissolved, and for ever. Not only does France no longer stand alone in Europe, but your Majesty already has a federate system such as it seemed that fifty years of negotiation could not have procured for her. France is in concert with two of the greatest Powers, and three States of the second order, and will soon be in concert with all the States which are guided by other than revolutionary principles and maxims. Your Majesty will be in reality the head and the soul of that union, formed for the defence of the principles which your Majesty has been the first to proclaim.

So great and happy a change is only to be attributed to that special favor of Providence, which was so visibly marked by the restoration of your Majesty.

Under God, the efficient causes of this change have been --
My letters to M. de Metternich and Lord Castlereagh, and the impression which they have produced;
The suggestions which I gave Lord Castlereagh, relative to a union with France, and of which I gave your Majesty an account in my last letter;
The pains I have taken to lull his distrust by exhibiting perfect disinterestedness in the name of France;
The peace with America, which, by releasing him from difficulty on that side, has left him more liberty of action, and given him greater courage
 

Similar History Discussions