Mr. King to Mr. Seward

No. 40.]

Sir: Since my despatch of May 13, nothing has transpired in Rome calling for special mention. The discussion to which I referred in my last, as to the result of the pending conference or correspondence between the Pope and Victor Emanuel, is still going on in diplomatic and political circles. It is doubtful, however, whether any material progress has yet been made towards a solution of the different questions involved. The return of M. Vegezzi, the envoy of Victor Emanuel, is daily looked for here, and it is generally supposed that he will bring with him some definite proposals on the part of the King of Italy. The feeling of opposition to any compromise or reconciliation between the Pope and the King does not seem to abate either with the ultra-montane party in the church or the radicals among the people, and the hope of a favorable issue to the negotiations appears to be less strong than it was a fortnight since.

Among the rumors received from America by the last arrival was one which has created some excitement and elicited a variety of comments on this side of the Atlantic. It is that which refers to the proposed “emigration” of many disbanded officers and soldiers of the federal army to Mexico, with the view of taking service under Juarez. The course which Maximilian has pursued towards the church since he ascended the throne of the Montezumas has cost him a large share of the popularity which he enjoyed at Rome a year ago, and there were not a few of the Catholic dignitaries who expressed the hope that the Austrian archduke may speedily find it advisable to return to Europe. Some of the French journals, accepting the rumor as a fact, see in it a threat against France, and seek to hold the federal government responsible for any movement of the kind. In conversing, however, last evening on this subject with the French ambassador, Count Sartiges, I was glad to hear him express the utmost confidence that, so long as the State Department at Washington continued to be guided by the same able hands and wise counsels which had controlled its action during the past four years, there need be no fear of any difficulty or misunderstanding between the United States and France.

* * * * * * *

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.