« PrécédentContinuer »
so that peace, on her fide, actually resembled war ; and, on his, not a troop had been moved, nor a single tent pitched :-the King thought it high time to break filence, at least. That accordingly he directed M. Klinggrafe, his Plenipotentiary at the Imperial Court, to demand of the Empress-Queen, whether all those great preparations of war, which were making on the frontiers of Silefia, were designed againit the King, or what were the intentions of her Imperial Majesty? That her answer, in express terms, was, That, in the present conjuncture, the had found it neces. “ fary to make arınaments, as well for her own defence, as for " that of her allies; and which did not tend to the prejudice of
So vague an anfwer requiring explanations, M. Kling. grafe, in conformity to further intructions, farther represented to che Empress. That tho' the King lad diffembled, as long as his safety, and his glory would permit; the bad designs imputed to the Empress, would no longer suffer him to do so : That he was acquainted with the offensive projects of the two Courts, to attack him together, unexpectedly, the Emprefs-Queen with 80,000 men, the Empress of Ruffia with 120,000s which were to have been
put in execution in the spring of the current year, but had been deferred till the next, because the Russian troops
wanted recruits, their ships seamen, and Livonia corn for their fubfillence : That the King left the Empress the choice of peace or war : that if she chose peace, all he asked, was, a positive assurance, that she had no intention to attack the King, either this year or the next; but that he should consider any ambiguous answer, as a declaration of war; in which case, he should call Heaven and Earth to witness, that all the całanities resulting from it, were to be placed to her account:
That the answer given by the Court of Vienna, was more haughty, and less fatisfactory, than the former; which was both recapitulated and juftified in it, as clear, reasonable, and satisfactory, and what she might have declined giving at all, if the had fo thought proper ; seeing, that all Europe knew the mili- · tary preparations she was making in her own dominions, had not been resolved on, till the military difpofitions of the King of Prussia himself, had first fet her the example: That being accustomed to receive, as well practise, the attentions which So. vereigns owe to each other, she could not hear, without as much astonishment as sensibility, the contents of M. Klinggrafe's Memorial, which were of such a kind, both for matter, and manner of expression, that were she to answer the whole, she could not avoid trespassing on the bounds of moderation she had
preo scribed to herself: That the informations his Prussian Majesty
had received, concerning an offensive alliance between her Mai jesty and the Empress of Russia, and all the circumstances and
ftipulations relating to it, were abfolately false and groundless ; that no such treaty did exist, or ever had existed ; and thac this declaration would enable all Europe to judge of what weight
and quality the dreadful events are, which Mr. Klinggrafe's Memo. rial announced, and that they could in no sense be imputed to her.
What follows next in this Exposition, is called a short Recapitulation to shew the insufficiency, and incongruity of this Reply. And first, concerning the military dispositions of the King of Prussia, said to be known to all Europe; it farther afferts, That upon the Russian arınaments, in the month of June, the King caused four regiments to pass out of his electorate into Pomera. nia; and ordered his fortresses to be put into a state of defence ; of which the Emprefs-Queen, glad of any pretence to palliate her ill intentions, was pleased to avail herself, as a fufficient excuse for assembling an army of 80,000 men in Bohemia and Moravia : that when this army had been so assembled, the King ordered three regiments, which had been quartered in Westphalia, towards Haberstadt ; but, to avoid giving umbrage, did not send a single regiment into Silesia ; his troops remaining quiet in their garrisons, without even horses, and the other necessaries for an army, which was either to encamp, or invade : that, on the contrary, the Court of Vienna, while using the language of peace, actually took the most serious measures for war; causing another camp to be marked out near Hotzenplots, which, thoa place belonging thereto, lay directly between the two fortreffes of Neisse and Cofel ; and, moreover, being then preparing to occupy the camp of Jaromitz, within two miles of Silesia:
That, upon these advices, the King thought it time to make the proper dispositions, that he might not be at the mercy of a Court so well-intentioned to his interests, as that of Vienna was ; That if he had had any formed design against the Empress, he might have put it in execution, with
ease, two months sooner : That, however, he was negociating while his enemies were arming : That he had only followed the measures of the Austrians ; and that, consequently, the very article on which they lay fo much stress, only serves to set their ill designs in broad day-light.
Recurring then to the answer first given to M. Klinggrafe, faid in the second to be so clear a declaration, the Expositor pronounces, both to be inconclusive and unintelligible : asking who are the allies of the Empress threatened with war? France, or Russia ? and adding, That none but such as were strangely blinded, would suspect him of designing to attack either ; much less with such a force as the four regiments sent into Pomerania.
He also cavils with the Court of Vienna, for saying, they did not mean to attack any body, instead of faying explicitly, they did not mean to attack the King of Prussia. He maintains, that the subject matter of Klinggrafe’s Memorial would not have appeared disagreeable, but to a Court disinclined to give the aflurances demanded: and, passing on to the Russian alliance, he says ; Ic is ealy for the Austrian Ministers to deny this Convention ; but, besides the facts which are published about it, there are circumitances which seem sufficiently to indicare at least a concert.
These circumstances he then enumerates--namely, The approach of the Russian troops, in the beginning of June, towards the frontiers of Prussia : The forming an army of 70,000 men, in Livonia, at the same time that the Austrians were forming another in Bohemia, under the title of an Army of Observation : The return of the Russians, about the middle of that month, into their quarters ; and the adjournment of the Austrian camps till the next year.
After which he proceeds to say, That notwithstanding these fufpicions and indications, the King would have been glad to have accepted a denial of these projects, accompanied with afsurances, that they would not attack the King, either this year or the next: That this was the effential article in Klinggrafe's Memorial, which is precisely the article to which no antwer is given : Asks, If this filence did not sufficiently, Thew, what the designs of the Court of Vienna tended to ? and which of the two Powers withed for war? that Power whose troops were encamped on his neighbour's frontiers, or that whose troops were quiet in their quarters ? Infers, that the Court of Vienna, far from defiring peace, breathed nothing but war; and proposed, by continual artifices, and haughtinesses, to drive the King into it, in order to have a pretext for reclaiming the assistance of its allies, &c.--And then adjoins, That altho this answer left no further doubt about the designs of the Empress. Queen, and laid him under a necessity to take the only part which was consistent with his honour and glory; his Majesty had ftill been pleased to make one last attempt to shake the inflexibility of the Court of Vienna, for the sake of preserving peace : That he had accordingly charged M. Klinggrafe, a third time, to declare, that if the Empress would yet give the positive assurances before required, viz. that she would not attack the King by name, either this year or the next, his Majesty would, in such case, directly withdraw his troops, and reltore things to the state wherein they ought to
But that this having proved as fruitless as the former, his Majefty flattered himself, that all Europe would do him justice, from a conviction, that it was not the King, but the Court of Vienna that would have war.
Here the Expositor, if he had so thought fit, might have laid down his pen : but an over-fondness for his subject, or an overfolicitude to leave nothing unfaid upon it, leads him into repetions of matter, if not of terms, which might have been spared. After which he makes a very proper distinction between the first aggressions and the first hoitilities : Acknowleges the King of Prussia to have commenced hostilities ; but considers the Enipress-Queen as the Aggressor: Infilts, that aggreflions, of which he specifies several kinds, juftify hostilities : Briefly cites several cases in point: Charges the House of Auftria again, with a de. sign to destroy the Liberties of Germany : Declares his Probian Majelty to be their Champion and Defender; and that they shall not be buried, but in :he same grave with Pruslia: Makes ano
ther appeal to Heaven : Says, he is forced to take up arms to diffipate a conspiracy against him ; and concludes in these words: If his Majesty depart from his usual moderation, • it is only becaufe it ceases to be a virtue, when his honour and • his independency, his country, and his crown are at stake.'
This is a sketch of the remarkable piece which is the basis of the Leyden Letter ; and the drift of that Letter is to illustrate more at large the diftinction above specified and admitted, between Aggressions and Hostilities ; as also to prove, that a Prince is, in every light, juftifiable, who, apprised of an injurious design upon his dominions, proceeds against his adversary by way of prevention. The arguments made use of, are drawn from the first law of Self-preservation: The right of Princes, (who acknowleging no fuperior, are in a state of nature with regard to each other) to the benefit of this law, in common with all other individuals: The right of Princes to appeal to the sword, in every such cause as would warrant a subject to appeal to the Courts of law and Justice : The proofs of aggression, by any overt-act or acts, whether by military preparations, adverse alliances, &c. which are, in fact, fo many hoftilities, tho' distinguished by a different name: The tacit avowal of such aggressions, by repeated refufals of the requifite explanations, again and again demanded : The obligations incumbent on a Prince, as the father and protector of his subjects, to prevent the calamities preparing for them by his and their enemies ; And the authorities of all the eminent Civilians to warrant their proceeding accordingly.
Coming to application, he says, "The King of Prussia, • in the last war, sufficiently made good his claims from the • House of Austria, -and acquired as good a title to Silesia, as a • private person, who, in any instance, having gained his fuit, has
to poffefs what was adjudged to him.-If then the Queen of • Hungary endeavours to recover that province, the meditates
an unjuft design, and the war by which the King of Prullia en• deavours to overthrow the measures the has taken for that pùr• pose, is ftrictly defensive.'
The remainder of this piece will be called by fome, an Invec. twe against the Houfe of Austria ; as bringing a pretty home charge against it, of unreasonable ambition, rapaciousness, and other eminent princely qualities, and the conclusion is seconded with a frong citation from a Latin work of the laft age, which, for the sake of rhewing how well England has paid her court to the other powers of the continent, by the incredible efforts the has made for the aggrandizement of that ungrateful House, we shall here subjoin, as follows:
“ The House of Austria having always governed the Empire “ with a view to its own private interest, it were to be wished, “ that the Electors would agree to perform what some authors “ say they concluded upon, in the time of Lewis of Bavaria ; " which was, That the House of Austria should for ever be de
• prived “ prived of the Imperial Crown. This example was imitated
by the Poles, who, after being fully convinced of the ambi« tion of this House, concluded in one of the diets, That no “ person should dare, under the pain of infamy, to propose a « Prince of the House of Austria to be King of Poland, or give “ him his fuffrage for that purpose. The Electors not having
repealed this ancient convention of their predecessors, putting “ the case that it has existed, the House of Austria has raised
a flame in the Empire, which can scarcely be extinguished “ without the entire ruin of that House."
III. Four Pieces, containing a full Vindication of his Pruffian Majesty's Conduct in the present Juncture. 4to. 35. E. Owen.
The firft of these is a Memorial from the Prussian Minister to the States-General, in answer to the Memorial of the Saxon Re. fident at the Hague ; for which reason it will be, in some fort, necessary to give a sketch of the one, which has also been officie ously printed here, before we proceed to the other : and if we should also happen to recollect as we go, that the outside of all this cabinet-work is ever rendered as specious as possible, we shall understand none of them the worse for it. These, however, which follow, are so many facts which cannot be disputed, viz. The Pruffians formally demand a free passage through Saxony; the Saxon Court does not refuse it, but requires time to make the proper adjustments; with a resolution, however, to obftruct them by force of arms, when properly supported : and his Prussian Majesty fore-seeing, or fore-knowing this, never waits the issue of his own requisition, but enters on the premisses, in a way that sufficiently shewed, what kind of authority he relied on most, when he first ventured on this hardy enterprize.
The Saxon Memorialist, then, sets out with calling it, not only an Invasion, but an attack on the Law of Nations ; in the preservation of which every Power was interested ;--an invasion in the time of the profoundest peace, and when the King, his august Master, had not only avoided, with the greatest care, every measure that might possibly give umbrage to his neighbours, but, from the first glimpse of a misunderstanding between the Courts of Vienna and Berlin, had enjoined his Minifters at all the Courts of Europe, to declare his firm resolution, to observe the strictest Neutrality.
He further aggravates the horrors of this invasion, by an enemy, under the masque of friendship, who, without alleging the least complaint, or any pretext whatsoever, but his own conveniency, made himself master of the whole country, capital and all; fortifies, dismantles, difarms, seizes the revenue, raises contributions, exacts hoftages, empties arsenals, forces the archieves of state from the custody of the Queen of Poland herself, by the dint of menaces and violence; and inftead of the legitimate go