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ceed no further in this direction, but that they will respect the neutrality of Denmark. -With regard to Holstein, it would not only be a vain endeavour to urge this country to other measures of defence than those they have already adopted; but there are no measures of a nature purely military, which could now be taken in concert with other countries, to second the efforts of the Army which is there established, if it should be brought into immediate action. What I have now principally to submit to your lordship, is accordingly meant to apply only to the case of hostilities being actually commenced by France against Denmark, in the dutchy of Holstein.-Nothing, I imagine, need be urged to prove, that if the French troops succeed in occupying that part of Denmark, the sole purpose cannot be the shutting of the ports of Tonningen and Husum against the British Flag; there must also exist the intention of seizing these islands, and of directing their resources against the interests of Great Britain and Russia.-The conduct of the Danish government, if Holstein and the Peninsula should fall, must, I suppose, be that which has been so often insisted on, namely, a perseverance in the firmest resolution to resist the enemy; and, as count Bernstorff informed me this morning, the immediate arming of the fleet for the defence of this and the adjacent Islands.-But having said this, it is my duty not to conceal from your lordship how much my apprehensions increase with respect to the persons in high though not in the first offices, to whom great confidence will be shewn in the hour of danger, and who must have considerable influence in the direction of the public opinion, and of the means of repelling the enemy.-The character and bias of these individuals (many of whom I know personally) were undoubted before the present continental war took place. Their language in all the changes which occur, leave nothing but a formal declaration of their principles, to convince me of what may be expected from them when the enemy is in possession of Holstein. They will represent the danger to be less than it is, in order to prevent the activity of others, and will exaggerate it with the chance of securing and extending their own authority. These persons will then be capable of imputing as a crime, that more effectual means were not concerted for the defence of the country; and will recommend an accommodation with France, VOL. X.
through the voice of the populace, not as an avowal of their choice, but as a measure of the necessity to which they have been reduced. The danger of a war with Great Britain, which, in such circumstances, is already foreseen by the thinking part of the country, would not overrule those who are guided only by their prejudices and their ambition; or if that danger were attended to in the general tumult, it would be only as a reason for arming and stationing whatever could be found in the arsenals of this place, assisted by the supplies of the Mecklenburg and Pomeranian coasts, for purposes of which France would assume the direction.-These are not idle surmises. I do not pretend to describe by what gradations they will be realized; but I cannot observe the confidence and listlessness of some, with the activity and growing hopes of others, or attend to the conversation of this place for a day, without being this day more than the preceding, justified in pointing to the most melancholy results, not as a determination of the government, but as a consequence of the confusion of late measures against an active enemy, amidst undecided and misguided friends.-The contrary too may take place. The activity, firmness, spirit, and popularity of the prince royal, may have the fullest effect against all internal impediments of whatever nature. In the possibility of one or the other course of these events, I would submit to your lordship the two following considerations: 1st, How far, after the attack or possession of Holstein by the French troops, it may be proper to reduce his majesty's offer of assistance to some specific shape, especially of a maritime nature, for the defence of this and the neighbouring islands. The Danish government will continue to be so totally unprepared for a defence of this nature, as possibly not to be able to bring it forward on a very sudden emergency. 2d, Whether it may not be proper, on such opportunities as without formal declaration, or menace, to give it to be understood, or even finally to announce, that such an arrangement with the French government, as may be attempted in the circumstances I have described, will infallibly lead to open and active war on the part of Great Britain.have seen count Bernstorff since I wrote the above. He expresses himself without any alarin from the presence of the French troops at Hamburgh or Lubeck.--I understand from him clearly, that the Danish troops are reSD
tiring from the frontiers; and I make no doubt that this has been done at the desire of the French emperor. I beg leave to transmit, as nearly as I can, the very phrases he made use of, in this unasked-for intelligence. "Loin de nous alarmer sur ce qui vient d'arriver, le prince Royal a cru devoir retirer une partie des Roupes rassemblées sur la frontiere du Holstein. C'est à dire qu'elles ne resteront pas aussi concentrées qu'elles ont été depuis quelque temps. En effet nous n'avons par les mêmes motifs pour les y tenir. Ni les Prussiens ni les Suedois ne s'y trouvant plus, il n'est plus aussi probable que les Hostilités s'engagent sur notre propre territoire; de sorte que la plupart des régimens avaient réçu l'orde de se retirer du coté de Sleswick avant l'occupation.de Hamburg; et nous ne voyons point dans cet évenement qu'il y ait lieu à le contremander. Mais le quartier géneral sera toujours a Kiel." The Danish army then, except the small garrisons of Gluckstadt, Kiel, and Ploen, and an advanced guard under general Evald, may be considered as having retreated to the Dutchy of Sleswick behind the Eyder. The French minister at Hamburg, and M. de Mortier, have conveyed the most positive assurances to this government of the respect which will be shewn to its neutrality; and as a proof of it, have insisted on the precautions taken in the march of the troops from Bergedorff to Hamburg, to avoid a portion of Danish territory, which lies more conveniently for the road between the two places. I have, &c. B. GARLIKE. No. VII.-Extract of a Dispatch from Benj. Garlike, esq. to visc. Howick, dated Copenhagen, 29th Nov. 1806. -Received 11th Dec.
tral system maintained in this country has been repeatedly declared to be the guarding against every dishonourable proposition that might be recommended to the adoption of the prince royal.-With this recollection on my part, it did not even occur to me, that his r. h. could consent to a concession so much in his abhorrence as that of the abandonment of the duchy of Holstein to the French troops, for the sake of the quiet retreat of those of Denmark to the banks of the Eyder; that is to say, that the richest province of the crown should be gratuitously ceded to the enemy, with increased disadvantage and insecurity to Denmark; and though the cession (of Holstein) would not have included Tonningen and Husum, both being in Sleswick, yet that the French troops should be brought within sight of one of those ports, and within a few English miles of the other.
Your lordship will therefore judge of the earnestness and of the caution with which I brought this subject forward with count Bernstorff, as soon as possible after I had received Mr. Pierrepont's letter, for the purpose of learning if any and what conditions had been stipulated with France on the retreat of the Danish troops to the Sleswick frontier; and I have the satisfaction of assuring your lordship, that, in terms and manner to which I give my perfect confidence, did count Bernstorff endeavour to remove the suspicions (which in truth I had not entertained) by assuring me, that no trausaction whatever had taken place relative to the respective positions of the French and Danish troops, either in the shape of condition or of explanation, or by any communication between the two governments, and even that the retreat of It was perhaps to be expected that as the prince royal, and the assurances of sethe Danish troops had remained on the curity conveyed by M. de Mortier and M. Holstein frontier, when there was no war in de Bourienne, had not depended on each the north of Germany, and had actually other. Count Bernstorff was further earbeen engaged with those of France, their nest that I should understand that the resudden retreat to the Eyder would give treat had not been determined on at the rise to the supposition of some arrange- suggestion of France. But as it may be ment between the Danish and French go- impossible for count Bernstorff himself to vernments. Mr. Pierrepont will have in- explain how a suggestion of this nature formed your lordship of the very unfavour- may have been conveyed or admitted, this able construction of that retreat, which has last circumstance did not so particularly been transmitted to his Swedish majesty, engage my attention. The retreat having and of the strong measures of precaution taken place with the approbation of the which that monarch has judged it proper prince royal, there may be occasion to reto adopt against the new danger that would gret that M. de Mortier and M. de Bouresult to his own interests and to those of rienne were not every way competent to the allies. Your lordship will have borne the assurances in which they have aboundin mind, that the very essence of the neu-ed, that Holstein will not be attacked. The
and Fionia (Fiunen) may require vessels large enough to be able to keep the sea, and small enough to shelter in the common ports of the islands. If these are difficulties, they are to be subdued by the governments themselves. My purpose can only be to advert incessantly to the subject in every direction likely to produce the good understanding and concert, without which Zealand must become the passage for French troops into Sweden, and the seat of every mischievous operation against all the powers interested in the defence of the Baltic.-Hitherto I have not
in a satisfactory discussion of the points in
to Benj. Garlike, esq. dated Downing
danger to which that duchy was exposed, is at best not less than it was; and every account transmitted within these few days to Copenhagen, except those received by the government, encreases, our apprehensions that the attack is not far off.-This possibility is at least now become so familiar to the government as to shew that they place their principal strength and hopes in the defence of the islands; and I have now, for the first time, some reason to believe that measures of precaution begin to be taken for the case of withdrawing the troops from Holstein, and of establishing some points of union and sup-been able to engage the Danish ministers ply. I have not this intelligence from the government. If measures of this nature have been considered as advisable, they will not be pursued without the strictest secrecy, on the ground of not forfeiting by preparations which may invite the enemy, the advantages of the system in which they have persevered so long. I mean that they will not avow any measure of defence respecting the islands, till Holstein be really attacked by France, and certainly not take any of an ostensible description. This disposition of the government makes the difficulty of affording or concerting the assistance of which they may stand in need. It is of that apprehensive nature, as would refuse to admit the most effectual succour that might be sent to the country, before it has been determined to adopt a course of undisguised and active war; and it must be on that occasion the more natural to hope, that however they may veil the attempt, every secret preparation for a sudden display of force will be the daily and earnest labour of the Danish ministers.To this object I have directed my conversation with count Bernstorff. I should hope also, that there is fair ground to urge the courts of Copenhagen and Stockholm to some well concerted common measure of defence of the Danish islands. If the prejudices of the two countries are not insurmountable, Denmark and Sweden have the motives and means of self-defence within themselves. They have local knowledge, and ships of war fitted to the coast; the proximity of Sweden and her actual hostilities may give the readiest assistance; and favour even the timidity with which Denmark may be disposed to come forward.
I am aware that the approaching season may render the operations of a fleet neither safe nor practicable; and that the main passage to be defended between Zealand
Sir; The apprehension entertained here, at the time of writing my last dispatch, of the entrance of the French troops into Holstein, I am happy to find, was unfounded. But I cannot regard the respect which has hitherto been paid by the enemy to the neutrality of the Danish territory as any thing more than the effect of a policy which for the moment is more convenient to themselves.-It would be madness to trust to any assurances which may have been received from the French government on this point, so far as to neglect a timely preparation of those means of defence which to be effectual must not be left to be sought for in a moment of immediate and pressing danger.-I have urged the necessity of precautionary measures, which might be so conducted as neither to provoke nor to afford a pretext of hostilities on the part of the French, in the strongest manner to Mr. Rist. Above all, it is necessary that no time should be lost in concerting measures of common defence with the court of Sweden, to which so good an opportunity has been offered by the prompt and generous offer of his Swedish majesty.-You will continue therefore to request from the court of Denmark a frank communication of its views, and to urge their immediate attention to the important objects above stated. I have, &c.
No. IX. Dispatch from Benj. Garlike, esq. to viscount Howick, dated Copenhagen, 20th Dec. 1806.-Received 7th Jan. 1807.
tained to raise it by extraordinary means.It occurred to me before this last conference took place, how little the probability was that the measure thus recommended by his maj. would meet with the success My lord, I deferred the honour of writ- it deserved. I therefore previously preing to your lordship on my communica- pared myself for endeavouring to derive tion to count Bernstorff of the principal from it at least the next and very importpoints of your dispatch of the 3d December ant advantage, that of familiarizing the Datill I had an opportunity of seeing that mi- nish minister with the prospect of sincere nister again, after he had submitted them co-operation on the part of Sweden, and of to the cabinet ministers. I advert first, to impressing them with the notion that, whatthe proposal of his Swedish majesty for the ever be the fate of the Swedish overture, co-operation of 25,000 Swedish troops with the ground-work is thereby laid of a real those of his Danish majesty in Holstein. I good understanding between the two councannot yet say in what manner this over- tries.-Count Bernstorff acknowledged that ture has been made to the prince royal; his Swedish majesty's desire to have an inbut on both the occasions which I have had terview with the prince royal, and the comof discussing the subject here, I have found munication of the present overture, would it attended with the most undisguised aver- be felt by the entire government ; and he sion; as incongruous at this moment from assured me, that if Holstein were attacked, a power at war to a power at peace; inap- the concert between Denmark and Sweden, plicable with respect to time, if relied on G. Britain and Russia, would be de facto when the attack of Holstein is no longer a established, and that this country would be problem; unseasonable when no new cir- most willing to add every resource of the cumstance has occurred, except the repeti- monarchy to the assistance the allies could tion of friendly assurances on the part of furnish.returned to Co-France; and dangerous above all, as in- penhagen a few days ago. I saw him the viting, or rather immediately committing, next day. He was more than usually the country to unavoidable war. I endea- prompt and clear as to the necessity of voured in the gentlest manner possible to maintaining the present system. He was rescue the Swedish proposal from the averse to the admission of a Swedish army weight of objections, which thus tend to into Holstein, but was persuaded of the adenervate every wise and provident scheme vantage of an unreserved intercourse with of self-defence, and carried one degree Sweden. He acknowledged, I may say, further, must leave the country prostrate the propriety of not defending Holstein to no good-will, but that of the enemy. I (that is, the peninsula,) and as proof of his think it natural to suppose, that the Danish sincerity in this opinion, remarked that the minister urged his objections in this instance abandonnent of those provinces would exwith more than usual quickness, from his pose his own estates to the ravages of the consciousness that the resolution is already French army. He thought the nature of taken to withdraw the Danish troops from the embarrassments of Denmark called for Holstein, I felt the conversation clogged the utmost frankness towards enemies as on my side with the knowledge of that re- well as friends, and believed that as little solution; but it was not openly noticed on remains to be explained to France as to any either. Count Bernstorff than asked me, other country. He appeared on all these if I believed the king of Sweden could points to speak as of so many fresh decispare from his own dominions any number sions of council, and desirous I should so of men, which approached that of 25,000? understand then.—I make no doubt that This was not a question for me to answer; the withdrawing of the troops sent to Holbut I pressed the Danish minister to consi- stein last year will be completely effected, der, as exceedingly probable, that when his (Count Bernstorff, however, always speaks Swedish majesty resolved on making the of a cordon that will remain,) and that the offer, he was alarmed for the safety of the government is sincere in the determination Danish peninsula; and that if such a force to oppose every thing to France, if she could not well be spared from Sweden, abuse the extreme condescension to which nothing could be a stronger proof of his the prince royal has been brought. Swedish majesty's friendship, than the glanced of his own accord to the conseprompt desire which he must have enter-quences of a contrary line of conduct, and
of further compliance towards the French government, and did not scruple to declare, that the effects alone of a war with England must destroy the Danish monarchy in a couple of years.-According, then, to this language, matters have advanced to an epoch in the neutrality of Denmark. Holstein will be deprived of its main defence; it is foreseen that it may be occupied by the troops of France; Denmark will then be in a state of war with France, and will openly concert with G. Britain and Russia, and possibly with Sweden, for the defence of the Danish islands and the Baltic. To these, the only measures that remain, the different parties may be desirous of directing their own views, and encouraging each other; but I have not scrupled, in conversation with the proper persons here, to speak of this position as fallacious and insecure, because weak in its nature, and liable to be surprised by the arts and activity of the enemy, and by the events which will arise. If, however, the Danish navy is in the state of forwardness which has been represented, and nothing intervene to disturb the good intelligence of G. Britain and Russia with Denmark, it may still be hoped that every effort of France will fail against the power and resources of the Danish islands. I have not failed to repeat to this government his majesty's most gracious and friendly offer of assistance and support, if Denmark should ultimately be forced into a war with France for the preservation of her own independence; and I have the pleasure of informing your lordship, that the assurances of this constant disposition on the part of his majesty have been received with every expression that can interpret the fullest sense of the obligations and thankfulness of the Danish goI have, &c.
B. GARLIKE. No. X.-Extract of a Dispatch from visc. Howick to Benj. Garlike, esq. dated Downing Street, Jan 9th, 1807. His majesty has received with satisfaction the assurances that the court of Denmark is determined to resist the demands of France, if pushed to a point that should be inconsistent with the honour and independence of that power. Of the sincerity and constancy of this determination his majesty's government will not allow itself to doubt. But it is necessary to repeat, that to make such determination effectual, timely measures should be taken.-An immediate junction of a Swedish force to the
army of Denmark might, as has been stated by count Bernstorff, put an end at once to the neutrality which the latter government still wishes to preserve. But a previous and confidential explanation aud concert with Sweden on the measures necessary for the common defence of the two powers, could not have this effect, and is evidently necessary to render the co-operation offered by Sweden of any advantage, whenever the time shall arrive at which the court of Denmark may find itself desirous of availing itself of this offer.-Upon the best means of defence it is impossible for this government to pretend to form a satisfactory opinion. It may be true that the peninsula affords no position in which the force of Denmark could hope to withstand the power of France; and it may be advisable, therefore, to withdraw the troops for the defence of the islands.
No. XI.-Extract of a Dispatch from
My lord; In your lordship's dispatch of the 3d Dec. the passage relative to the possible sacrifice of a part of the Danish navy to the French, concludes with these words: "Should any question of this sort arise, you will at once state, distinctly, and unequivocally, the feelings of this government upon it."-I have presumed, that this passage gave me some latitude to judge of the propriety, as to time, of making the declaration which the chance of such a transaction would necessarily call for. It is therefore important that I should inform your Idp. that I have not communicated that part of the dispatch to the Danish government. The ground on which I have ventured on such discretionary reserve is the strong belief, I trust.I am justified in entertaining, not only that no proposition of the nature in question has as yet been submitted to the prince royal; but that the military progress of the French arms is not yet such as to suggest an arrangement so incompatible with the sentiments and principles which are known to predominate in that prince's character.-Without, therefore, some new and describable appearance to engage my attention, different from those which had possibly been conveyed to England when the dispatch was written, I hum bly trust it is consonant to the feelings of his majesty's government towards that of Denmark, not to have taken a step, which might at this moment only wound the prin