Count Wydenbruck to Mr. Seward.

Sir: The imperial government of Austria having become acquainted through the daily press with a circular of General Marmora’s, which endeavors to represent the government of the King, Victor Emanuel, as obliged to take measures of defence against the threatening projects of Austria, the imperial government has addressed to its representatives in Paris, London, and St. Petersburg a despatch demonstrating the futility of these accusations.

My government has deemed it advisable to transmit to its missions a copy of this despatch, with instructions to communicate the same to the governments to whom they have the honor to be accredited. In compliance with this order, I beg leave to transmit to you, sir, a copy of the said despatch in the enclosure.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with the highest consideration, your obedient obedient servant,


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


I have the honor to transmit, annexed, copy of the despatch to Count Karolyi, the sending of which I announced to you by telegram yesterday.

We have given too many pledges of our pacific intentions; it is too evident that neither the policy of the imperial government nor the interests of Austria are in accord with aggressive projects to admit of doubt in Europe of the sincerity of our language. In face of preparations making in Italy on a vast scale, and when the conquest of one of our provinces has long been an avowed aim of the policy pursued by the government of King Victor Emanuel, there would need be inconceivable blindness on our part were we not to take precautions indispensable to our defence. Besides our land frontier, we have on the side of Italy a long stretch of coast to protect. Our troops, distributed as they were throughout the interior of the empire, and reduced to their minimum, would not suffice to cover all the exposed points, which often are separated by long distances. In abandoning ourselves to a false security, we should only invite attack on our dismantled frontiers. We have, therefore, ordered various movements of troops, and the replacing of our army in Italy on a complete footing.

These measures, I repeat, are only of most strictly defensive character, and it does not enter the thought of the imperial government to provoke a war with any power.

You can renew this assurance in the most formal manner; but we regard it at the same time to be an imperative duty to neglect nothing to place ourselves in a condition to repel armed invasion.

No cabinet, I believe, would take upon itself the responsibility of advising us to act otherwise, for none could be willing, in the actual condition of things, to guarantee the inviolability of our frontiers.

Receive, sir, &c.