Mr. Motley to Mr. Seward.

No. 163.]

Sir: I send a postscript, via Queenstown, to my despatch of yesterday, to say that the Prussian answer to the Austrian despatch of 7th April was handed to Count Mensdorff yesterday, and to give you authentic information, in a few words, as to its tone and purport.

The note insists once more upon the fact of the Austrian military preparations, notwithstanding the repeated denials of the Vienna cabinet repels the severe censures against the Prussian government contained in the note of the 7th April, and indulges in recriminations. In this part of the despatch the language is acrimonious.

No direct reply is given to the demands of the Austrian government upon that of Prussia to countermand the mobilization orders, but an indirect answer is contained in an intimation that if Austria is not desirous of war it is for her to take the initiative in disarming.

On the whole, the language of the paper is more moderate than was expected by this government, and the door is not definitely closed against further negotiation.

The great matter in dispute, Prussia’s avowed determination to annex the duchies, peaceably if possible, forcibly if necessary, is not touched upon, and the principal effect of this new communication will probably be to postpone for a time the decision.

I have the honor to remain, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.