Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.
Sir: * * * * * * * Since my last despatches with reference to that [the North Schleswig question] matter there has been much discussion and interest in relation to the subject throughout Europe. I have not deemed it necessary to repeat to you all the mere reports upon the subject, but I may now say that it appears tolerably certain that France took the initiative of diplomatic representation and interference in behalf of Denmark by insisting upon the execution of the fifth article of the treaty of Prague, it having been inserted into the preliminaries of Nicholsbourg at the instance of the Emperor. This movement from Paris has been promptly and energetically repelled by the cabinet of Berlin, upon the ground that Prussia can submit to no interference by any other power in the relations between Prussia and German affairs. It seems nearly as plain that Austria has declined the invitation of France to make a joint representation to the cabinet of Berlin, and that Russia, without a formal representation, has contrived to make her opinions known and to throw her influence in favor of Denmark. It seems that England has done nothing except to indicate a tolerably plain intention to do nothing.
If it is a matter of any interest to the government of Berlin to know the opinions and wishes of other governments in Europe, it is now sufficiently clear that the course pursued on the subject is distinctly condemned by some, and regretted by all. But this may in the end injure Denmark by misleading her. It is the opinion of some of my colleagues that Denmark counts too much and unreasonably upon the active and efficient aid of other powers, and that this expectation may make her more unyielding than good policy would indicate. No nation is going to war about the Schleswig question. It may be used as one pretext for war when France and Prussia fight, but its real use and importance will be to enable France to draw Denmark into an alliance; and that was the object of the late preliminary representation. It was known beforehand precisely what fate it would meet with.
* * * * * * *
By invitation, about a dozen French journalists and members of the assembly are on a visit to Copenhagen. They are such as have shown most interest in behalf of Denmark, and are the guests of the citizens. French and Danish flags are flying side by side on private and public buildings. The invitation and the visit, at this juncture, have made their natural suggestions to the German mind.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.