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on was watched with the intensest curiosity by every court from Moscow to Madrid, and its progress was well understood; but no foreign influence whatever, not even that of the king of Prussia, however desirous he might have been of rendering ill offices to England, had any share in determining the empress. The decision was founded on her own judgment and that of her ministers, on the necessities of her position and the state of her dominions. For a short time a report prevailed through western Europe, that the English request was to be granted; but Vergennes rejected it as incredible, and wrote to the French envoy at Moscow: I cannot reconcile Catharine's elevation of soul with the dishonorable idea of trafficking in the blood of her subjects. On the last day of October, the French minister asked Panin of the truth of the rumors, and Panin answered: People have said so, but it is physically impossible; besides, it is not consistent with the dig- Chap. L.} 1775. Oct. nity of Engl
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (search for this): chapter 10
. Sept. America to his mind in every possible aspect. He found it difficult to believe, that the mistakes, absurdity, and passion of the British ministers could be so great as they really were; otherwise he never erred in his judgment. He received hints of negotiations for Russian troops; but yet he held it impossible that the king of England should be willing to send foreign mercenaries against his own subjects. Henry the Fourth would not have accepted the aid of foreign troops to reduce Paris; their employment would render it in any event impossible to restore affectionate relations between the parent state and the colonies. But Vergennes had not penetrated the character of the British government of his day, which, in the management of domestic affairs, was tempered by a popular influence, but which, in its foreign policy, consulted only the interests or the pride of the oligarchy, and was less capable of a generous impulse than that of France. The ministry did not scruple to e
Catharine (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 10
ion as the best mode of suppressing a re- Chap. L.} 1775 Sept. bellion. Late on the twenty fourth, the first British courier reached Moscow a few hours after Catharine's departure for some days of religious seclusion in the monastery at Voskresensk, for she was scrupulous in her observance of the forms and usages of the Greek cpportunity to begin reading it to Panin, and was willing to come down in his demand to ten thousand men; but the chancellor, interrupting him, put into his hands Catharine's answer, and declined all further discussion. The letter seemed to the British envoy in some passages exceptionable, and he was in doubt whether it was fit t western Europe, that the English request was to be granted; but Vergennes rejected it as incredible, and wrote to the French envoy at Moscow: I cannot reconcile Catharine's elevation of soul with the dishonorable idea of trafficking in the blood of her subjects. On the last day of October, the French minister asked Panin of the
Voskresensk (Russia) (search for this): chapter 10
nt has not yet found its way into his majesty's councils. But Catharine only repeated her wishes for a speedy and a peaceful end to the difference; thus reading the king of England a lesson in humanity, and citing her own example of lenity and concession as the best mode of suppressing a re- Chap. L.} 1775 Sept. bellion. Late on the twenty fourth, the first British courier reached Moscow a few hours after Catharine's departure for some days of religious seclusion in the monastery at Voskresensk, for she was scrupulous in her observance of the forms and usages of the Greek church. As no time was to be lost, Gunning went to Panin, who received him cordially, heard his communication without any sign of emotion, and consented to forward to the empress in her retirement a copy of the king's letter. It was the policy of the empire to preserve amicable relations with George the Third; the vice chancellor Ostermann, therefore, calmly explained the impossibility of conceding his reques
England (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 10
get the definitive promise by the twenty third of October, in season to announce it at the opening of parliament; and early in September Lord Dartmouth and his secretary hurried off messages to Howe and to Carleton, that the empress had given the most ample assurances of letting them have any number of infantry that might be wanted. On the eighth, Suffolk despatched a second courier to Gunning, with a project of a treaty for taking a body of Russian troops into the pay and service of Great Britain. The treaty was to continue for two years, within which the king and his ministers were confident of crushing the insurrection. The levy money for the troops might be seven pounds sterling a man, payable one half in cash and the other half on embarkation. A subsidy was not to be refused. I will not conceal from you, wrote Suffolk to Gunning, Chap. L.} 1775. Sept. that this accession of force being very earnestly desired, expense is not so much an object as in ordinary cases. Sca
The Hague (Netherlands) (search for this): chapter 10
o recruit in Holland, and also to obtain of that republic the loan of its so called Scottish brigade, which consisted no longer of Scots, but chiefly of Walloons and deserters. The consent of the house of Orange could easily have been gained; but the dignity, the principles, and the policy of the States General forbade. This is the first attempt of either party to induce Holland to take part in the American war; and its neutrality gave grievous offence in England. Sir Joseph Yorke, at the Hague, was further directed to gain information on the practicability of using the good dispositions of the king's friends upon the continent, and the military force which its princes might be engaged to supply. For England to recruit in Germany was a defiance of the law of the empire; but Yorke reported that recruits might be raised there in any number, and at a tolerably easy rate; and that bodies of troops might be obtained of the princes of Hesse Cassel, Wurtemberg, Saxe Gotha, Darmstadt, a
France (France) (search for this): chapter 10
written denial of Lee's assertion, that the Americans had a certainty of receiving support from France and Spain; but the intimation was evaded, for the king of France would not suffer himself to be France would not suffer himself to be made an instrument to bend the resistance of the Americans. If they should make us any application, said Vergennes, we shall dismiss them politely, and we shall keep their secret. Beaumarchais who encouraged the notion that England might seek to recover her colonies by entering on a war with France, and thus reviving their ancient sympathies. Having become acquainted with Arthur Lee, and haviinterests or the pride of the oligarchy, and was less capable of a generous impulse than that of France. The ministry did not scruple to engage troops wherever they chanced to be in the market. Th nation at her service during the whole war? Did not her majesty, at the risk of a rupture with France and Spain, forbid those powers to molest the Russian fleet which they would otherwise have annih
Russia (Russia) (search for this): chapter 10
the commercial advantages which the Porte would undoubtedly have granted us, could she only have obtained a real neutrality on our part, which our partiality for Russia prevented us from observing. Were not the king's harbors, his subjects, and the credit and influence of the nation at her service during the whole war? Did not nce to the great body of the people of England, who were vehemently opposed to the policy of the king and his ministers. Besides, what motive had the people of Russia to interfere against the armed husbandmen of New England? Why should the oldest monarchy of modern Europe, the connecting link between the world of antiquity andsimply to calm a rebellion which is not supported by any foreign power. Every word of the letter of the king of England Chap. L.} 1775. Oct. to the empress of Russia was in his own hand; she purposely employed her private secretary to write her answer. The second English courier, with the project of a treaty, reached Gunning
Kassel (Hesse, Germany) (search for this): chapter 10
, consulted only the interests or the pride of the oligarchy, and was less capable of a generous impulse than that of France. The ministry did not scruple to engage troops wherever they chanced to be in the market. The hereditary prince of Hesse Cassel, who was already the ruler of the little principality of Hainau, had instinctively scented the wants of England, and written to George the Third: I never cease to make the most ardent vows and prayers for the best of kings; I venture to offer,pply. For England to recruit in Germany was a defiance of the law of the empire; but Yorke reported that recruits might be raised there in any number, and at a tolerably easy rate; and that bodies of troops might be obtained of the princes of Hesse Cassel, Wurtemberg, Saxe Gotha, Darmstadt, and Baden. But for the moment England had in contemplation a larger scheme. Gunning's private and confidential despatch from Moscow was received in London on the first day of September, with elation and
Poland (Poland) (search for this): chapter 10
ove objections, offered to be content with a corps of fifteen thousand men. At court, though it was the grand duke's birthday, he found that the empress would not appear. He returned to the palace in the evening, but the empress, Chap. L.} 1775 Oct. feigning indisposition, excused herself from seeing him. Meantime the subject was debated in council, and objections without end rose up against the proposed traffic in troops, from the condition of the army wasted by wars, the divisions in Poland, the hostile attitude of Sweden, the dignity of the empress, the danger of disturbing her diplomatic relations with other European powers, the grievous discontents it would engender among her own subjects. She asked Panin whether granting the king such assistance would not disgust the British nation; and Ivan Ctzernichew, lately her ambassador at London, now minister of the marine, declared that it would give offence to the great body of the people of England, who were vehemently opposed to
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