dinsdag, november 23, 2010

Diplomatieke ruzies

Interessante tekst over een ruzie tussen twee diplomaten op het congres van Cambrai in 1725. De brief is opgesteld door Marchmont en Whitworth, de Britse afgevaardigden (George I). De Penterriedter die rood aanloopt en een paar minuten nodig heeft om op zijn positieven te komen, verdedigt de belangen van Keizer Karel VI. De Franse koning is de net meerderjarige Louis XV, die wordt vertegenwoordigd door graaf Rottembourg, die op zijn beurt in verbinding staat met Secrétaire d'État des Affaires Étrangères Morville. Mr Walpole is Horatio Walpole (1678-1757), ambassadeur in Parijs en broer van George's eerste minister Robert Walpole. Santistevan (1682-1748) verdedigt de kleuren van Filips V van Spanje. De dode Tsaar is natuurlijk Peter de Grote.

De ruzie is relevant, omdat het congres in mei 1725 uiteen zal spatten. Spanje en Oostenrijk, die in Cambrai verzoend moeten worden, sluiten dan achter de rug van bemiddelaars Frankrijk en Engeland een apart verdrag af in Wenen. De rood aanlopende Penterriedter is een mooi anekdotisch symbool voor de Keizerlijke ergernis met de manoeuvres van de bemiddelaars. Het huwelijk waarvan sprake, is een noodzaak sinds de hertog van Bourbon, eerste minister, besloten heeft om de Spaanse infante Anna Maria Victoria, nog te jong om kinderen te baren, terug te sturen naar Madrid. Tegen de achtergrond van deze instabiele situatie valt plots Peter de Grote weg. Rusland, dat op vinkenslag lag om zich te moeien met (Oost-)Duitse aangelegenheden, lijkt terug in een gebruikelijk chaotisch intermezzo te zijn beland.

Cambray the 25th Febry/8th March 1724.5

My Lord,

In our Letter of the 25th past N.S. We
had the honour to acquaint your Grace, that we were
not willing to trouble you with every particular
circumstance which contributed to our Suspicions
that some negotiation was carrying on underhand
between the Emperor and Spain; But one incident
having given occasion to some orders from France,
We take leave to mention it for your information.
Last week baron Penterriedter attack'd
me, Whitworth, in a rallying manner at a publick
Assemby, asking if I had heard the great news,
That the Project of a new marriage between the
French King and a Princess of Portugal having
been blown up by the present misunderstanding
about the ceremonial betwixt those two courts, the
French had now turn'd their thoughts to obtain
a Princess of England for their young Monarch;
adding, what will your Friends the Spaniards
say to this; We now see what is the reason
that you leave us here so long without speaking


of any Business; I asked him in return in the
same manner, If it was then certain that a
negotiation of marriage was the real occasion of
our present inaction at the Congress, looking at
him pretty steadfastly; The colour flush'd up
into his Face at his having laid himself so open,
and thô I took my Eyes off to give him time to
recover, and to leave him in the uncertainty
whether we suspected any thing of their private
Intrigues, it was two or three minutes before
he could come to himself; the next morning he
made a visit to Count Rottembourg, thô he had been
with him the day before, and affected to tell him the
Raillery he had used to me, but took not the least
notice of my answer, which confirmed us in our
The French Ministers having reported this
passage to their court, count Morville had acquainted
them in his answer of the 3d instant; that it
was not proper for the Mediators to let the
Imperialists think any longer they walked in
a cloud; but that it was time to endeavour


to pierce to the Bottom of this affair; for which
end he proposed, that they should employ some
person of Confidence to spread the news of this
secret Negotiation, with the most material
Circumstances, publickly in Cambray, without
appearing in it themselves, which might give us
occasion to observe the countenance of the Imperial
and Spanish ministers upon it, and to sound
them further by our discourses; but all
circumstances being considered, it was thought
this might most properly be done by getting such
an article privately put in one of the Hollands
Gazettes, which would give matter enough for
publick conversation; The French have offer'd
this Expedient to their Court and wait for Orders,
and they chose to defer it so much the rather
since we received advice on the 4th Inst from
His Excy Mr Walpole, that their Informations
from Vienna left them no further room to
doubt of the Reality of such a Negotiation;
which might perhaps occasion some change in
their instructions.


Count Rottembourg in discoursing some
days ago with Count Santistevan on the News of
the Czar's Death, and saying it was a great loss for
the King of Spain, Since the Czar would in all
appearance have joyn'd with the Protestant Princes
of the Empire in the affair of Thorn; which might
probably have cut out so much work for the Emperor,
as would have mad ehim more tractable in other
Points; Count Santistevan said, he did not see how
the Czar's Death could be any Disadvantage to them,
since they were assured by their advices from
Holland, that they would be able to do their Business
much better by the Catholicks, than by the
Protestants; Count Rottembourg endeavoured to
make him sensible how ill grounded such
opinions were; but this is sufficient to show
what strange notions the Spanish court are
hankering after at present.
On the 2d Instant monsr Vincenti the
Resident of Venice received an Express from their
Ambassador at Paris, with advice that he had
been chosen Chancellor of the Republick, and


orders to return immediately to Venice to take
Possession of that honourable Employment. He
designs to set out in four or five days; but we
don't learn that any one is named to succeed him
On the 3d instant the marquis de Fenelon
the French Ambassador to the States General
came hither in his way to Holland; But he only
saw the French Ministers, and continued his
Journey without stopping; His Lady followed
him the same evening, and went forward on.
The 6th Instant.

We are, My Lord
with the greatest Respect.

Your Grace's
Most obedient and
Most humble Servants


P.S. Crew the Messenger brought
us this morning the honour of your
Grace's letter of the 22d past OS
for which we return our most
humble acknowledgements, having
nothing to add at present to what
we have above written.

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