From Rufus King
London Mar. 9. 1803
I lose no Time in sending you the important Message from the King that was last Evening delivered to the two houses of Parliament.1 Peace has not had the happy Effect of restoring harmony and confidence between England and France, and the Exposition of the Affairs of the latter which the first Consul lately delivered to the Legislature has not failed to produce its natural Effect upon this Country:2 What are the points of discussion to which the Message alludes is not known with certainty, tho’ they are understood to relate to certain Stipulations of the Treaty of Peace.
There can be no doubt that Parliament will act with vigour and unanimity upon this occasion, and it may be expected that not only a fleet of Observation will immediately appear in the Channel but that the Ports of Holland, as well as the french Ports on the Ocean, and in the Mediterranean will be watched. General Victor has not yet sailed, and I should suppose the Expedition he commands must now wait the Result of the Discussions subsisting between this Country and France.
From the Temper on both sides this result cannot be delayed, and I am much inclined to believe that the question of Peace or War will have been decided before this Letter reaches you.
As this is a season when frequent opportunities occur, I shall keep you constantly informed of every important circumstance or change affecting the Duration of Peace. With perfect Respect and Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your ob. & faithful servt.