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Memoirs of Napoleon - Volume 07

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When the misunderstanding took place, France and England might have mutually reproached each other, but justice was apparently on the side of France. It was evident that England, by refusing to evacuate Malta, was guilty of a palpable infraction of the treaty of Amiens, while England could only institute against France what in the French law language is called a suit or process of tendency. But it must be confessed that this tendency on the part of France to augment her territory was very evident, for the Consular decrees made conquests more promptly than the sword. The union of Piedmont with France had changed the state of Europe. This union, it is true, was effected previously to the treaty of Amiens; but it was not so with the states of Parma and Piacenza, Bonaparte having by his sole authority constituted himself the heir of the Grand Duke, recently deceased. It may therefore be easily imagined how great was England's uneasiness at the internal prosperity of France and the insatiable ambition of her ruler; but it is no less certain that, with respect to Malta, England acted with decidedly bad faith; and this bad faith appeared in its worst light from the following circumstance:- It had been stipulated that England should withdraw her troops from Malta three months after the signing of the treaty, yet more than a year had elapsed, and the troops were still there