Eylau: An Abstract of the Chronological Exploits of the Grand Army
Fox’s Response to Tallyrand’s Letter of 5 March 1806.
Downing Street, March 26, 1806.
No. III – Sir, the opinion that your Excellence gave me peaceful provisions of your government, induced me to fix particularly the attention this part of the letter of your Excellence to the king.
His Majesty stated more than one once at his Parliament his sincere desire to embrace the first occasion to restore peace on solid basis, which will be able to be reconciled the interests of his people with their permanent security.
His provisions are always peaceful; but it is with a sure and lasting peace that S.M. aims, not with a uncertain truce and there-by creating the same worry, not only for the central parties but for the rest of Europe.
Although the stipulations of the treaty of Amiens could be proposed for the basis of the negotiation, one certainly notices passages that perhaps interpreted in three or four various manners, that consequently would necessitate later explanations, which would not fail to cause a great delays, nevertheless there would not be other objections.
The true basis of such a negotiation between two great powers which also scorn any idea of trickery, should be a mutual recognition on both sides, the following principle: to know that the two parties would have as an aim a peace honorable for both and in combination respected, and at the same time likely to ensure, as much as it is in their capacity, the future peace of Europe.
England can neglect the interests of none of its allies, and it is plain in Russia by our so close ties, that they would not like us to speak of a treaty, much less to conclude that in liaison with the emperor Alexander; but while waiting for the current intervention of a Russian plenipotentiary, one could always discuss and even arrange some of the principal points temporarily.
It could seem that Russia, because of its far distant position, has less immediate interests than the other powers to be discussed with France; but this court, in all connections so sizeable, is highly interested, like England, with all that look at the fate more or less independent of the different princes and States of Europe.
You see, Sir, one who has been willing here to smooth all the difficulties which would be able to delay the discussion. It is not undoubtedly only with the resources that we have, that we had to fear, for what looks at us, the continuation of the war. The English nation is, of all Europe that which suffers least its duration, but we do not feel any less sorry for them than less the evils of others.
Let us do what we can to finish them, and try, if it may be, to reconcile the respective interests and the glory of the two countries with the peace of Europe and the happiness of mankind.
I have the honor to be with the highest consideration, Sir, of your Excellence, the humble one and very your servant, Signed C.T.Fox.
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