Monsieur Rouilie6 very lately wrote to Mr Fox7 by the way of
M A N N 25 J A N U A R Y
Monsieur Rouilie very lately wrote to M r Fox7 by the way of
Monsieur Bonac8 in Holland, to say his master ordered the accompanying memoire to be transmitted to his Britannic Majesty in
person: it is addressed to nobody, but after professing great disposition to peace, and complaining in harsh terms of our brigandages
and pirateries, it says, that if w e will restore their ships, goods, etc.,
they shall then be ready to treat. W e have returned a squab answer,
retorting the infraction of treaties, professing a desire of peace too,
but declare w e cannot determine upon restitution comme preiiminaire.0 If w e do not, the memoire says, they shall look upon it
comme declaration de guerre la plus authentique.10 Yet in m y o w n
opinion they will not declare it, especially since the King of Prussia
has been Russianed11 out of their alliance. T h e y will probably attempt some stroke, I think not succeed in it, and then lie by for an
opportunity when they shall be stronger. They can only go to Holland, attempt these islands, or some great coup in America. Holland
they m a y swallow w h e n they will; yet w h y should they, w h e n w e
don't attempt to hinder them; and it would be madness if w e did.
For coming hither, ourfleetis superior; say, but equal: our army
and preparations greater than ever—if an invasion were still easy,
should w e be yet to conquer, w h e n w e have been so long m u c h more
exposed? In America w e are m u c h stronger than they, and have still
more chances of preventing their performing any action of consequence.
6. Antoine-Louis Rouilie du Coudray
sador to Holland 1751-6. (La Chenaye(ca i68g-i76i), Comte de Jouy, minister of
Desbois xix. 322-3; Granges de Surgeres,
marine 1749-54, of foreign affairs 1754-7
op. cit. iv. 391-2; Repertorium der diplo(Ripertoire . . . de la Gazette de France, matischen Vertreter aller Lander, Vol. II,
ed. de Granges de Surgeres, 1902-6, iv.
ed. Friedrich Hausmann, Zurich, 1950, p.
108-9; Genealog. hist. Nachrichten 1762-3 117).
2d ser. xiii. 536-7).
9. 'Sa Majeste ne saurait accorder la de7. B M Add. M S S 32861, f. 367, includes mande qu'on fait de la restitution prompte
a 'Copie de la lettre de M . de Rouilie du
et entiere de tous les vaisseaux francais
2ime decembre 1755 a M . Fox, cachetee
. . . c o m m e une condition preiiminaire a
le 26 du dit mois a M . Yorke par le
toute negociation' (Mercure historique,
secretaire de M . de Bonac, et recue a
1756, cxl. 162).
Londres le 3 e Janvier 1756.' It is followed
10. 'Mais si, contre toute esperance, le
(ibid.ff.36g-7g) by a copy of the 'memoire' Roi d'Angleterre se refuse a la requisition
with 'observations,' both in French. T h e
que le Roi lui fait, Sa Maj [este] regardera
mimoire without the observations, together ce deni de justice, c o m m e la declaration
with Fox's reply of 13 Jan., is printed in
de guerre la plus authentique' (ibid. cxl.
G M 1756, xxvi. 38 (in translation); Mercure
historique, 1756, cxl. 158-63.
n . George II's treaty with Russia had
8. Francois-Armand d'Usson (1716-78),
been made 'to keep the King of Prussia in
Marquis de Bonac; Lt-Gen.; French ambasawe' (Mem. Geo. II ii. 35).