January 3 1815: Secret Treaty

“Two days later, on 3 January [1815], Castlereagh, Metternich and Talleyrand signed a secret treaty of alliance between Britain, France and Austria. It was couched in the most anodyne language, and purported to be aimed solely at carrying through the provisions of the Treaty of Paris. But it also stipulated that if any of the three contracting powers were to be attacked or threatened with attack, the other two would immediately come to its assistance with contingents of 150,000 men each. A secret article stated that Hanover, Holland and Bavaria would be invited to accede to the alliance.16 ‘Now, Sire, the coalition is dissolved, and forever,’ a jubilant Talleyrand wrote to Louis XVIII on 4 January. ‘Not only is France no longer isolated in Europe, but Your Majesty has a federative system which fifty years of negotiations would not have given him. Your Majesty is in concert with two of the greatest Powers, three States of the second rank, and soon all the States which follow principles and maxims which are not revolutionary.’ He went on to assure the King that he would soon be ‘the head and the soul of this union, formed in defence of principles which he was the first to proclaim’”

Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna by Adam Zamoyski

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