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Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armee

Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


Eylau: An Abstract of the Chronological Exploits of the Grand Army


One can hardly conceive why the English government dared to make so many false allegations towards such highly important and authentic facts.  Shown by the opinion of Europe to have prolonged the war, he wants to now draw aside this odious responsibility; but the acts even of its agents show it, and its assertions are contradicted by the facts.  His majesty does not want, our to answer it, that to produce all the parts of this negotiation, whose its love for peace had made him expect a better result. 

It is false that the French Government made, before the negotiation, any openings or any of the offers that the declaration supposes.  All these assumptions were constantly denied during the course of the negotiation by the ministry of S.M.  It is false that the French Government accepted the basis claimed that were established in the declaration, nor that British S.M. was reserved, before entering into negotiation, to treat only in liaison with its allies. 

It will be easy to be convinced, by the answers of the Minister for the Foreign Relations, has Mr. Fox, and especially by that No. VI, that if the English cabinet had held these reservations, the negotiation could not have opened.  It will even be easy to be convinced by the text of the full credentials of Lord Yarmouth, and more obviously still by the reading of the letter of Lord Lauderdale, No XIII, that before beginning the negotiation, the English cabinet had entirely and irrevocably desisted from the claim to treat jointly with its allies.  How can a government publicly put itself thus in such brazen contradiction with itself? 

The discussion of the facts that one will read is not, like the declaration of English king, a haphazard publication, that must be taken on faith.   It is clear in all the parts of the negotiation and is found printed to the continuation.

In February of this year, he endured a direct negotiation between the two powers– cabinet with cabinet.  It started under favorable auspices; and while referring to that time, one would like to point out, a worthy feature of the noble character of the lost minister of England.  A letter of Mr. Fox to the S.A. prince de Bénévent, that prevented an individual who had come to him and offering to make an attempt on the life of the Emperor.  (See: this letter and the answer of the prince, Nos. II and I). 

The basis of the negotiations were then established in the letters that the two ministers successively wrote; and after this good session of honest and constant discussions in a tone appropriate to the ministers of two great powers, it was agreed that they adopt for basis of the negotiation, the following two principles; Io. that the two States would look for common grounds for peace– for them and their respective allies, and at the same time that it would be likely to ensure, as much as one could it, the future peace of Europe; 2o. that it would be recognized, for one and the other power, that they would have the right to intervention and to guarantee their continental businesses and the maritime businesses.  (See nos.  III and VIII).  It is with these principles that were put forward in the notes of two ministers that the French Government only and persistently referred.       

Lord Yarmouth came to Paris; he presented the full credentials, and the negotiation went towards its goal.  It is not true, as one advances it in the declaration of the British S.M., when with the cabinet of Tuileries, he did not negotiate skillfully, or that the authority was insufficient in the case of Lord Yarmouth.  His manners were the same as that of the capacities of Lord Manchester in 1763, and the authorizations are same but more complete and wider.  (See. nos.  XI and XII).

But the court of London found that progress of the discussion was too fast; it feared the spirit of peace.  To slow everything down, it sent under the same title a second ambassador plenipotentiary; and soon it only left him, prescribing to him to wait in an apparent negotiation, the presumed party who Russia sent to negotiate the treaty and assumed the bother on his behalf. 

One dares to advance in the declaration of British S.M., that Mr. d’ Oubril did not have capacities to negotiate, and that S.M. the Emperor and King had taken in this treaty the same commitments that, if they had been fulfilled, would have brought peace between the two courts.  A reading of the full-credentials and the treaty (See nos.  XXXIX and XL.)  sufficiently demonstrate this false allegation.

France wasn’t wrong to miss committing to a treaty with just Russia; but it fulfilled with too much confidence and precipitation.  Hardly was the peace signed, that it was ordered to cease the competition (privateering) against the Russian house, and to restore all trade with Russia. 

So far all agreed.  Russia and England had dealt separately, and France had as another goal only to simplify the discussions that made possible a durable bringing together, while refusing to admit these two powers to negotiate in concert, and to confuse interests that by their natures were essentially distinct.  The treaty with Russia was made, the negotiation with England approached its turn progressively; this power was seen able to show advantageous conditions for it, since it kept Malta and the Cape of Good-Hope.

Useless moderation of S.M.I. and R..M. Fox fell sick, it ceased attending the council, the enemy faction of peace prevailed and all changed.  Lord Lauderdale came to Paris, the negotiation became complicated at once and took a retrograde walk.  One could not keep from oneself the suspicion, that he had come to break it, and that he had been to act like a friend of Mr. Fox, and to fall upon the partisans of this famous minister leaving only the odious one from the rupture.

Mr. Fox would have easily dissipated this intrigue, but he was going to die.  Lord Lauderdale accustomed to following a chief, did not pretend any more a desire to find one in the contrary party, and to join of them with on principles.  His tone agreed with his new vision:  all his letters, all answers of the government (See. nos.  XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII) prove the point that S.M.I. held with the re-establishment of peace by the long patience with which his ministry suffered so many brusqueness and fits of anger.  He did not want to yield to these indignations if there was even a most distant hope of bringing together the two powers. 

In the mean time, England while following this strange negotiation sought everywhere to create new enemies for him.  It sent a squadron to the Tagus to probe the opinion of Portugal and to seek to involve it; it threatened the Porte Ottoman and its alliance offered to him:  it intrigued in Russia to make change the ministry which had sent Mr. d’ Oubril, and thus prepared the refusal of the ratification of our peace treaty:  it excited Prussia against France while persuading to it that it would lose Hanover, a province which France had let them take, but that it had not guaranteed that as much as Prussia would make common cause with France to oblige England to make peace. 

The instigations of England in Prussia had all success that it had expected.  This power declared the war; Lord Lauderdale asked for his passports and left for London.

Mr. Fox wanted peace.  As long as he directed the businesses, the negotiations were honest and honest; after him, there was only one object in sight, that to break them, elude by all the means due to lie and of the bad faith, the responsibility for the rupture, and to give again with the war more extent, in the hope which a new coalition would be more fatal in France, or which at least the new dangers of England would be diverted on its allies.





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