Mr. King to Mr. Seward.
Sir: In my despatch, No. 71, of December 10th, I mentioned the arrival in Rome of envoys despatched by Victor Emanuel to open negotiations with the Papal government. As yet very little progress has been made, although Signor Tonello has enjoyed several interviews with Cardinal Antonelli and one audience with the Pope. His Holiness, it is said, listens quietly to the propositions of the Italian envoy, but makes no counter ones. The prevailing opinion still is that no common basis can be found for treating between the two courts.
Meantime everything remains perfectly tranquil in Rome. The withdrawal of the French troops, and the substitution of the Papal for the French flag, were accomplished without the slightest difficulty or disturbance. On the surface, indeed, the city never seemed more quiet than now, and at least the tide of travel is setting strongly in this direction. The probabilities now seem to be that the winter will pass away without any change in the existing order of things. * * * * * * * *
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.