On November 25 1814, Lord Castlereagh, in Vienna writes to the Earl of Liverpool.
My Lord – I Acquainted your Lordship in my dispatch of the 21st instant with the indisposition of the Emperor of Eussia. The disease proved to be an erysipelas in one of his legs, attended with considerable fever.
This attack suspended all intercourse with His Imperial Majesty on business for some days. He was, however, sufficiently recovered to see both Prince Metternich and Prince Hardenberg the night before last.
I understand from Prince Metternich that the Emperor was very conciliatory in his language, expressed his wish to come to an understanding, &c. The conversation was general, his Highness declining to enter into the discussion of the points at issue, having placed the negotiation in Prince Hardenberg’s hands.
The Prussian Minister had a long conference with His Imperial Majesty on the same evening. For the reasons already stated to your Lordship, it has been my wish to interfere as little as possible in the conduct of this negotiation. I have, therefore, avoided calling myself on the Chancellor, but his Highness desired Count Munsler to inform mo “qu’il a etc tres content d’un entretien qu’il a eu bier ail aoir avec l’Empereur de Eussie. Sa Majeste a ecout^ avec beaucoup de calme le tableau que le Chancelier lui a fait des suites d’une guerre qui ne manquerait pas de se rallumer tot ou tard, au cas que la Eussie ne voudrait reyenir en partie sur ses projets relativement a la Pologne. L’Empereur a persiste qu’il desirait le repos de l’Europe, et qu’il ne doutait pas qu’il s’arrangerait a l’amiable avec ses voisins.”
The Chancellor then stated to the Emperor the terms on which Austria and Prussia would be willing to arrange the question of the Polish frontier, leaving His Imperial Majesty to act politically with respect to his own Polish possessions as he pleased. The Emperor expressed a disposition to treat upon this base, proposing to comprehend in the same negotiation the other principal points in dispute, viz., Saxony and Mayence. His Imperial Majesty promised to give an answer in 2 or 3 days.
Your Lordship will observe from the above that the Emperor has at length, for the first time, submitted to consider this question as a matter of regular negotiation between him and his allies. I wish I could feel myself justified in encouraging you to expect that the liberality with which the neighbouring Powers are disposed to lend themselves, at the risk of their own Polish provinces, to His Imperial Majesty’s political views upon Poland, was likely to be met by a corresponding spirit of accommodation with respect to frontier on the part of Russia. I much fear this will not turn out to be the case; nor can I regard with much confidence, after the experience of many months, these discussions, which are conducted without the intervention of any responsible Minister, and in which Prince Hardenberg, however pure his intentions may be, will have to act under the double disadvantage of treating with a Monarch whose declarations cannot be considered as official, and under the apprehension that, in the event of any serious difference arising, he has every prospect of being disavowed by his own master.
I shall not fail to dispatch another messenger so soon as these important discussions have assumed such a character as may enable me at all to judge of their result. I have, &e.
The Earl of Liverpool. CASTLEREAGH.