Mr. King to Mr. Seward
Sir: * * * * * The relations between the French and papal courts continue to engross attention in Europe, and many rumors are circulated as to the conversation between his Holiness and Count Sartiges, to which I adverted in my last communication. From what I can learn, I am inclined to believe that the French ambassador simply called the Pope’s attention to the fact that the Emperor intended to carry out the Franco-Italian treaty, by withdrawing his troops from the Roman states, and suggested the advisability of organizing a sufficient force to preserve the peace and to maintain the papal authority. It is generally believed that the Pope, in reply, declined to increase the number of his troops, as not warranted by the resources at his command, or [Page 155] by the necessities of the case. I adhere to the opinion, heretofore expressed, that notwithstanding the treaty, in the possible event of the Pope’s authority being threatened in Rome, there will be no lack of French bayonets to sustain it, and no transfer of the military protectorate to any other European power.
The recent intelligence from the United States has wrought a marked change in the public opinion of Europe. The belief that the war is nearly ended and peace, liberty, and union assured to our country is becoming very general. The idea of any foreign intervention in behalf of the so-called Confederate States is well nigh abandoned.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.