Danmarks Breve

BREV TIL: Charles Grey FRA: Carsten Tank Anker (1814-08-25)

37.

Under d. 25. Ang. tilskriver C. A. Lord Grey et længere Brev med Oplysninger om Forholdene i Norge, men de af disse Oplysninger, der findes i andre Skrivelser i denne Bog, medtages ikke her paany. Derimod skal her mi gjengives, hvad der forttælles om de HerrerJ.<2^; Christie og Rosenkildes Sendelse til England samt om Stormagternes Kommissærer.

Knowing or presuming — skriver C. A. — that the British Ministers considered me as not impartial on account of my personal attachment to the King, and supposing that the Swedish mission could not be believed in whatever they started concerning Norway, His Majesty took the resolution to send three Deputies of the Diet to this Country for the purpose of giving the Government the most positive and impartial informations with respect to the real disposition and firm determination of the people of Norway. His Majesty conceived, that thorough knowledge of the existing circumstances, though not welcome, might be desirable and redeem him from the repeated accusations of harbouring ambitious views and of having excited the people to resistance. His intentions were pure though much mistaken with regard to the inflexible principles, which here have been adopted as to the affairs of Norway.

Had I been consulted, I would have ventured to advice the King to desist from the measure; it was of little use even if s. 500 the Deputation had been admitted and detrimental in the public opinion with us in case of refusal, which was but too probable, nay — which I foresaw.

The King must have communicated this intention to Mr. Morier for he allowed the Deputies to take their passage in an English, armed ship at his disposal. It however so happened, that they did not arrive in time at the rendezvous, and the Captain was obliged to proceed for England without them. They then adressed themselves to a Captain on the blockading station, who immediately gave them permission to go onboard an armed ship, returning to Leith.

We must suppose, that these Gentlemen were not uninformed of the real sentiment of their Government. Eacilitating the Deputies voyage, as they both did, it must undoubtedly have led to suppose, that they would be admitted as least as private Gentlemen. Of this I am very certain that had Mr. Morier communicated any argument or opinion for the contrary, the King would have dropt the Idea. The King, if not encouraged, has surely not been dissuaded by Mr. Morier.

At their arrival at Leith, the Deputies are told by the Inspector of the Customhouse, that an order of Council had just been received stating that they were not to proceed any farther nntil fresh orders were enacted in consequence of the report of their arrive.

Of this I was uninformed and on receiving letters from them, that they were disembarked, I immediately prevailed on the Danish Consul to apply to the Alien-Office for passports, but foreseeing, that they never would be granted to them as Deputies, I told him to mention their names as private Gentlemen and Merchants, which two of them in fact were, and with whom the Danish Consul had commercial connexions.

The passports were granted and sent off for Leith from the Alien-Office. Fresh, untoward circumstances occurred for an order in council to send off the Deputies as soon as possible, arrived in the afternoon, and the next day at noon the mail brings passports for them to come up to London. It was very natural for the Customhouseofficer to suppose, that Ministers s. 501 had changed their minds. A recent order of course invalidates an anterior.

Off they go for the Metropolis, thinking all the while, that I was a man of influence or that political circumstances had in that moment changed in our favour. I would not tire Your Lordship with the trifling particulars, but for the unpleasant consequences attending them.

Ministers beeng informed of the Deputies coming up to London nothwithstanding their orders for the contrary a greater degree of anger and precipitation was manifested upon the occasion, than I should think becoming. The Danish Consul was fetched and was told in very harsh terms, that he had let Government into an error and deserved to be sent out of the Country, having applied for passports for the Deputies not mentioning them as such but as private Grentlemen. This was very unjust, for neither he nor myself had any notion of the prohibitivorder in Council, nor were the Deputies apprized of such an order, when they did write to me, mentioning their arrival and requesting passports.

The fault lies with the respective Departements. The AlienOffice had no communication of the order in Council.

The Danish Consul when reproved, was told, that the Deputies at their arrival in town should leave it within an hour, without speaking with anybody. This was in my humble opinion another irregularity. What authority and means had the Danish Consul to carry such an order in execution. When and where did they alight. How are the Travellors to be informed of this imperious command? But I forbear from sentiments of delicacy to make any further remarks.

Late in the evening the Deputies arrive at a tavern in my neighbourhood and proceed forthwith to my lodgings. Though I could not help being astonished at the unusual rigour, so unbecoming for high and sedate Characters and so unmerited by foreigners of respectability, I however instantaneously acquainted the Danish Consul of their arrival. He came as soon as he possible could, but indeed not within the prescribed hour and produced an official note couched in calmer terms and though s. 502 I always look up with respect to the Authorities of every Country, where I am, I plainly saw from the terms of that note, that I without any risk would make them stay till the following morning.

The next day, Mr. Musgrave from The Alien-Office called, and stated to me in the most civil terms the wish of the Ministers, that the Deputies without delay would set out for Yarmouth where a ship should be ready to take them to Norway;, of course this was complied with, and at 12 o'clock the carriages were at the door and Mr. Musgrave had the pleasure to witness their departure.

Thus was the mission received and thus despatched. It was however in the interim agreed upon, that the Deputies should go no farther that evening, than to the next stage and there await an answer to a memorial, they had drawn up, asking for permission to remain a few weeks in London on account of their private concerns. Mr. Musgrave received at the same time the letters, the Deputies had in charge from the King to H. R. H. the Prince Regent and to Lord Castlereagh.

The following day a messenger was despatched to the Deputies with an official note stating, that they could not be allowed to return to London and to remain there as requested, but that they forthwith were to repair for Yarmouth. The above mentioned letters were returned unopened.

Your Lordship will be surprised to hear, that the orders, which the messenger brought for providing a ship and for sending them immediately home, were directed to an Admiral, who two months before was entirely out of activity and that not a single ship was to be found in the harbour at the Governments disposal.

Hurry is not always Expedition.

Having remained a week at Yarmouth they went off, and I have letters stating their arrival in our poor, abandoned country. A couple of days after their departure, I had a conversation with an official gentleman, intimating that if I wished for it s. 503 my said countrymen might return and return in London for their private concerns, provided they arrived over Holland. Je my perds!

I now leave the Norwegian Deputies for the commissioners of the allied powers and the transactions to which their presence in Norway gave rise.

Their pretensions were amply and nobly these: that the King should immediately resigne the Crown, return to Copenhagen, admit Swedish troops and all the Inhabitants submit to the Swedish Government.

The English and Prussian Commissioners, 1 as I understand, were the most positive, and in theirs manner least reconciliating. Several notes and conferences took place and having received a verbatim report of all that passed, I can but admire, the Kings moderation and perspiciency.

The ultimatum of his proposals was: An armistice and the raising of the blockade during the sitting of the Diet, which should immediately be convocated. Instead of Swedish troops, which the Commissioners insisted, upon the King proposed that the two fortresses of Fredriksstad and Fredrikshald should be garrisoned by troops belonging to the allied powers. In return he insisted upon a garanti of the said powers, that the armistice on part of the Swedes should not be broken.

Though the commissioners notes remonstrate against these terms, yet they have more or less personally approved of them as reasonable, promising to do their best endeavours for to make the Crown-Prince consent. Your Lordship will have learnt by the public papers, that all was in vain. He insisted on the Kings instant resignation and departure, and the Swedish troops to be received in the fortresses. When these points were fulfilled, he would allow the Diet to deliberate; and spoke equivocally of raising the blockade. Of course the commissioners on returning with this ultimatum, were dismissed by the King, s. 504 though in the most civil manner and the next day the Swedish naval force appeared on the coast of Norway to commence hostilities, a circumstance, which plainly proves the unsincerety of Berndotte1 s offer.

The Prussian commissioner, Baron Martens, in the last audience allowed himself a remark, which in my opinion indicates, that the annexation of Norway to Sweden forms but a part of an immence scheme relative to whole Europe. Speaking to the King he said: „Vous bouleversez le systèe du Nord", to wich the King gave him a noble and conclusive answer.

As far as I can judge, the King of Norway must have gained considerably by these transactions in the opinions of the commissioners by His steady and sensible conduct, preferring the honor, the happiness and the security of the people, who had placed their confidence in him, to every personal avantage and ambition.

If the commissioners do act with impartiality and justice, must be supposed, that they have made a report in his favour to their respective Sovereigns. At the first audience He received them collectively in the presence of His Counsellors of State,. and I have been assured, that He displayed on the occasion much dignity and prudence. However it was chiefly in the private audiences to each Commissioner in particular, that He had the opportunity of gaining their esteem and affection.

Considering all the circumstances I really hope, that Your Lordship will admit, that He has done everything, which could reasonably be expected to avoid war. This is now broken with all its horrors and has been carried on with great obstinacy until the armistice was concluded, which certainly has surprised me, but by no means impressed me with despair! It is clear, even from the Swedish Documents, that it is the Crown-Prince, who has proposed the armistice, and is it probable, that he would have condescended to this step, if the situation and the progress of his armies had been so successfull as the Swedish Bulletins — very like the French — pretend?

The official lettres, I just have received, contain news until the 8th. " Then indeed the Swedish troops on account of their s. 505 superiority in number, had gained ground, but with great losses, and independant of these circumstances Your Lordship will perceive by the concluded Conventions, that the Crown-Prince, — who a fortnight ago publicly declared, that the Diet at Eidsvold was unlawfull and their proceedings nullities — is now compelled to acknowledge these proceedings and to treat with the members of that Diet.

The King has surely not resigned, and the main question concerning the union still remains to be discussed, rejected or agreed to. When we except the Swedish garrisons in the two fortresses, the rest of the terms are very the same, which the King proposed. — — — — — — — — — — —■ — — — —

Very few, if any, can ever harbour more gratiful sentiment of esteem and of respectful attachment, than I do for Your Lordship. Oh! that the fate of my poor suffering Country was in Your hands.

"With the greatest sincerety etc. etc.

C. Anker.

[Da Hans Majestæt vidste eller formodede, at de britiske Ministre ikke ansaa mig for at være upartisk paa Grund af min personlige Hengivenhed for Kongen, og da Hs. Majestæt. gik ud fra, at den svenske Legation ikke var at stole paa med Hensyn til, hvad den meddelte om Norge, tog han den Bestemmelse at sende tre Deputerede [Aall, Christie, Rosenkilde] fra Rigsforsamlingen til England for at skaffe Regjeringen der de mest afgjørende og upartiske Oplysninger om det norske Folks virkelige Tilbøieligheder og faste Beslutninger.

Hs. Majestæt forstod, at grundig Kjendskab til de forhaandenværende Forhold — om end ikke velkommen —- dog maatte være ønskelig at erholde, og at det vilde befri ham selv for de gjentagne Beskyldninger, man gjorde ham, om at nære ærgjerrige Planer og om at ophidse Folket til Modstand.

Hans Hensigter var rene, uagtet han i hoi Grad tog Feil af de ubøielige Grundsætninger, som man her i England har fulgt ligeoverfor Norge.

s. 506 If aid jeg var bleven spurgt tilraads, vilde jeg have vovet at raade Kongen til at opgive denne Forholdsregel, der var til liden Nytte, selv om Deputationen var bleven modtaget, og i modsat Fald skadelig for os i den offentlige Mening. Dette var kun altfor sandsynligt; ja, jeg forudsaa det.

Kongen maa have meddelt Hr. Morier sin Hensigt, thi •denne gav de Depnterede Tilladelse til at seile over i et engelsk, armeret Skib,.som stod til hans Raadighed. Men uheldigvis kom de ikke i rette Tid til Mødestedet, og Kapteinen blev nødt til at seile til England uden dem. De henvendte sig da til en ved Blokadestationen ansat Kaptein, som øieblikkelig tillod dem at gaa ombord paa et armeret Skib, der vendte tilbage til Leith.

Vi maa gaa ud fra, at disse Herrer ikke var uvidende om deres Regjerings virkelige Stemning. Da de begge søgte at lette de Depnteredes Overreise, maatte disse upaatvivlelig gaa ud fra, at de vilde blive modtagne i London, iallefald som Privatmænd. Jeg er aldeles vis paa, at ifald Hr. Morier havde fremført noget Argument eller nogen Ytring derimod, vilde Kongen have opgivet denne Tanke. Om Kongen end ikke blev bestyrket i sin Plan at Hr. Morier, har denne vistnok heller ikke fraraadet ham den.

Yed deres Ankomst til Leith fik de Deputerede af Toldinspektøren dersteds at vide, at der netop var indløben en ministeriel Ordre, der gik ud paa, at de Deputerede ikke maatte reise videre, førend nye Ordres var udgaaede som en Følge af den indkomne Melding1 om deres Ankomst.

Herom var jeg uvidende; men da jeg fik Brev fra dem, at de var kommet i Land, formaaede jeg straks den danske Konsul til at henvende sis' til Fremmedkontoret !for at erholde Pas til dem. Men da jeg forudsaa. at disse Pas aldrig vilde blive dem tilstaaede i deres Egenskab af Deputerede, bad jeg ham opføre dem som Privatfolk og Kjobmænd, hvilket to af dem i Virkeligheden var, og med hvem den danske Konsul havde Handelsforbindelser.

Passene bevilgedes og blev fra Premmedkontoret sendt til Leith.

s. 507 Nye uforudsete Omstaendigheder indtraf og bevirkede en ministeriel Ordre om at sende de Deputerede afsted igjen saa snart som muligt. Denne Ordre kom om Eftermiddagen. Men næste Dag bragte Posten dem Passene for London. Det var meget naturligt, at Toldinspektøren gik ud fra, at Ministrene havde forandret deres Mening, thi en ny Ordre ophæver følgelig en ældre.

De begiver sig da afsted til Hovedstaden, idet de hele Tiden troede, at jeg var en indflydelsesrig Person, eller at politiske Omstændigheder i det Øieblik havde forandret sig til vor Fordel.

Jeg vilde ikke trætte Deres Herlighed med disse Ubetydeligheder, hvis de ikke havde havt ubehagelige Følger:

Da Ministrene erfarede, at de Deputerede var paa Vei til London, trods Ministrenes Ordre om det modsatte, lagde de i den Anledning en høiere Grad af Vrede og Hastverk for Dagen, ■end jeg skulde tro var passende. Den danske Konsul blev hentet, og der blev sagt ham i meget haarde Udtryk, at han havde vildledet Regjeringen, og at han fortjente at blive sendt ud af Landet, fordi han havde anholdt om Pas til de Deputerede uden at betegne dem som saadanne men kun som Privatmænd. Dette var meget uretfærdigt, thi hverken han eller jeg havde mindste Anelse om det ministerielle Forbud, heller ikke var de Deputerede bleven underrettet derom, dengang de skrev til mig og bad om Pas.

Feilen ligger hos vedkommende Departementer. Fremmedkontoret havde heller ikke faaet nogen Meddelelse om den ministerielle Ordre.

Da den danske Konsul modtog ovennævnte Bebreidelse, blev det ogsaa sagt ham, at de Deputerede ved deres Ankomst til Byen skulde forlade den inden en Time uden at tale med nogensomhelst. Dette var efter min ringe Mening en ny Uregelmæssighed. Hvilken Myndighed og hvilke Midler besad den danske Konsul til at udføre en saadan Ordre? Naar og hvor skulde de tage ind? Paa hvilken Maade skulde de Reisende blive underrettet om denne strenge Befaling? Men af Hensynsfuldhed vil jeg undlade at fremkomme med yderligere Bemerkninger.

32

s. 508 Sent om Aftenen kommer de Deputerede til et Gjestgiversted i mit Nabolag og begiver sig straks til min Bolig.

Uagtet jeg ikke kunde lade være at forbauses over den udviste, usedvanlige Strenghed, der var saa uværdig for store og ædle Karakterer og saa ufortjent ligeoverfor agtværdige Reisencle, gjorde jeg straks den danske Konsul bekjendt med deres Ankomst. Han kom til mig saa hurtigt, han vel kunde, dog ikke inden det fastsatte Klokkeslet, og fremlagde en i roligere Ordelag affattet officiel Note. Men uagtet jeg altid med Agtelse ser op til Myndighederne i det Land, hvori jeg opholder mig, fremgik det dog klart af de i Noten benyttede Udtryk, at jeg uden Resiko kunde lade de Reisende blive over til næste Morgen.

Den følgende Dag besøgte Hr. Musgrave fra Fremmedkontoret mig og meddelte mig i de høfligste Udtryk Regjeringens Ønske, at de Deputerede uopholdelig havde at begive sig til Yarmouth, hvor et Skib skulde ligge klart til at føre dem tilbage til Norge. Dette gik vi selvfølgelig ind paa-, Kl. 12 holdt Vognen for Døren, og Hr. Musgrave havde den Dornøielse at være Vidne til deres Afreise.

Saaledes blev de Udsendte modtagne, og saaledes blev de tilbagesendte.

Man var imidlertid bleven enig om, at de Deputerede ikke skulde reise længer den Aften end til næste Station og der afvente Svar paa en Henvendelse, de liavde indsendt for at erholde Tilladelse til at forblive nogle faa Uger i London i privateAnliggender. Hr. Musgrave tog imod de Breve, som de Deputerede havde med sig fra Norge til H. K. H. Prinsregenten og til Lord Castlereagh.

Næste Dag modtog de Deputerede et Sendebud med den offlcielle Underretning, at det ikke kunde tillades dem at vende tilbage til London og blive der, som de havde fremsat Ønske om, men at de uopholdelig skulde begive sig til Yarmouth. De nysnævnte Breve fik de uaabnede tilbage!

Deres Herlighed vil blive overrasket ved at høre, at de Ordres, som blev sendt med Budet om at tilveiebringe et Skib og om straks at hjemsende de Deputerede, var stilet til en s. 509 Admiral, som allerede for to Maaneder siden var fulclstændig ude af aktiv Tjeneste, samt at ikke et eneste Skib fandtes i Havnen til Regjeringens Raadighed.

Hastverk er ikke altid det samme som god Ekspedition.

Efter en Uges Ophold i Yarmouth reiste de, og jeg har faaet Brev om deres Ankomst til vort stakkels, forladte Land.

Et Par Dage efter deres Afreise havde jeg en Samtale med en offentlig ansat Person, der oplyste, at om det ønskedes, kunde mine ovennævnte Landsmænd vende tilbage til London i private Anliggender paa Betingelse af, at de kom over Holland.

Det hele er mig ubegribeligt!

Jeg forlader mi de norske Deputerede for at tale om de allierede Magters Kommissærer og om de Forhandlinger, som deres Nærværelse i Norge bevirkede. Deres Fordringer var sandelig fyldige, nemlig:

At Kongen straks skulde give Afkald paa Kronen, vende tilbage til Kjøbenhavn, tillade svenske Tropper at komme ind i Landet og sætte alle Landets Indbyggere under svensk Regimente.

Saavidt jeg forstaar, var den engelske og den preussiske Kommissær de to mest bestemte og mindst forsonlige. Noter udveksledes, og nogle Møder fandt Sted; men efterat jeg nu har modtaget en ordret Beretning om alt, hvad der foregik, kan jeg blot beundre Kongens Maadehold og Skarpsyn.

Hans Ultimatum var: En Vaabenstilstand og Blokadens Ophævelse, saalænge den Rigsforsamling, der øieblikkelig skulde sammenkaldes, var i Virksomhed. Kongen foreslog, at Fæstningerne Fredriksstad og Fredrikshald skulde erholde Garnisoner fra de allierede Magters Tropper istedetfor af svenske Tropper, hvilket Kommissærerne vilde have. Til Gjengjæld fordrede han en Garanti fra de nævnte Magter for, at Vaabenstilstanden ikke skulde blive brudt fra svensk Side. Uagtet Kommissærerne i sine Noter gjorde Indvendinger mod disse Betingelser, havde de dog personlig gaaet mere eller mindre ind paa dem som rimelige, idet de lovede at gjøre sit bedste for at faa Kronprinsens s. 510 Samtykke. Deres Herlighed vil af de offentlige Blade have seet, at alt var forgjæves. Kronprinsen fastholdt Kongens øieblikkelige Nedlæggelse af Regjeringen, hans Afreise, og at de svenske Tropper skulde modtages i Fæstningerne. Naar disse Betingelser var opfyldte, vilde han tillade den nye Rigsforsamling at træde sammen, hvorhos han udtalte sig tvetydigt om Blokadens Opliævelse.

Da Komrnissærerne koni tilbage med dette Ultimatum, blev de naturligvis afviste af Kongen, men paa den høfligste Maade. Den næste Dag viste den svenske Søstyrke sig paa de norske Kyster for at begynde Fiendtlighederne, et Forhold, der tydelig viser Upaalideligheden af Bernadottes Tilbud.

Den preussiske Kommissær, Baron Martens, tillod sig under den sidste Andients en Bemerkning som efter min Mening tilkjendegiver, at Norges Forening med Sverige kun udgjør en Del af en stor europæisk Plan. Han sagde til Kongen:, .Deres Majestæt omstyrter Systemet i Norden," hvortil Kongen gav ham et ædelt og afgjørende Svar.

Saavidt jeg forstaar, maa Kongen af Norge ved disse Underhandlinger have vundet betydelig i Kommissærenes Øine paa paa Grund af sin faste og forstaaelsesfulde Adfærd, idet han foretrak sit Folks Ære, Lykke og Sikkerhed, dette Folk, der havde skjænket ham sin Tillid, fremfor enhver personlig Fordel og Ærgjerrighed.

Ifald Kommissærerne optræder med Upartiskhed og Retfærdighed, maa man antage, at de har aflagt en for Kongen fordelagtig Beretning til deres respektive Suveræner.

Under den første Audients modtog han dem samlet i Nærværelse af sine Statsraader, og man har forsikret mig, at han ved denne Leilighed udfoldede megen Værdighed og Forsigtighed. Forresten var det hovedsagelig i de særlige Audientser til hver af Kommissærerne, at han fandt Leilighed til at vinde deres Agtelse og Hengivenhed.

Naar alt kommer til alt, haaber jeg virkelig, at han har gjort alt, hvad der fornuftigvis kunde ventes for at undgaa Krig. Denne er nn kommen med alle sine Rædsler og er med stor Haardnakkenhed bleven ført, indtil Vaabenstilstanden blev slut- s. 511 tet, hvilket vistnok overraskede mig, men ingenhunde gjorde mig fortvivlet. Det fremgaar klart, ogsaa af det svenske Dokunient, at det var Kronprinsen, der foreslog Vaabenstilstanden, og er det sandsynligt, at han vilde have nedladt sig hertil, dersom hans Armes Stilling havde været saa heldig som de svenske Bulletiner, der ligner de franske meget, paastaar?

De ofiicielle Breve, jeg netop har modtaget, indeholder Nyheder til d. 8. ds. Da havde virkelig de svenske Tropper paa Grund af deres Overlegenhed i Antal vunclet Terræn, men med stort Tab. Bortseet herfra vil Deres Herlighed af de sluttede Overenskomster se, at Kronprinsen, der for en Uge siden offentlig erklærede, at Forsamlingen paa Eidsvold var ulovlig og dens Virksomhed ngyldig, nu er tvungen til at anerkjende dens Virksomhed og til at underhandle med den samme Forsamlings Medlemmer.

Kongen har visselig ikke takket af, og Hovedspørgsmaalet om Unionen maa endnu drøftes, afvises eller vedtages. Naar man undtager de svenske Garnisoner i de to Fæstninger, saa er de øvrige Betingelser omtrent de samme, som Kongen foreslog.

Meget faa, om nogen, kan nogensinde huse en taknemmeligere Følelse af Agtelse og Hengivenhed end den, jeg nærer for Deres Herlighed.

Grid blot mit stakkels, lidende Fædrelands Skjæbne var i Deres Hænder.

Med den største Oprigtighed er jeg osv.

C. Anker.)

Selv efterat C. A. havde faaet Rede paa, at Hvaløerne og Fredriksstad var faldt i de Svenskes Hænder, holdt han Modet oppe. Følgende friske Skrivelse til Grev Hardenberg indtages derfor ordret.