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The duke de Richelieu was no sooner informed of these particulars, than he sent a letter to prince Ferdinand, specifying, "That although for some days he had perceived the Hanoverian troops in motion, in order to form themselves into a body, he could not imagine the object of these movements was to infringe the convention of neutrality which had been established between the duke of Cumberland and himself, as French general; that he was blinded so far by his confidence in the good faith of the elector of Hanover, who had signed that convention, as to believe the troops were assembled for no other purpose than to be distributed into winter-quarters, which had been assigned them by the agreement; but his eyes were at last opened by repeated advices which he had received from all quarters, importing, that the Hanoverians intended to infringe those articles which ought to be sacred and inviolable; he affirmed, the king his master was still willing to give fresh proofs of his moderation, and his desire to spare the effusion of human blood: with that view he declared to his serene highness, in the name of his most christian majesty, that he persisted in his resolution of fulfilling exactly all the points of the convention, provided that they should be equally observed by the Hanoverian army; but he could not help apprising his serene highness, that if this army should take any equivocal step, and, still more, should it commit any act of hostility, he would then push matters to the last extremity, looking upon himself as authorized so to do by the rules of war: that he would set fire to all palaces, houses, and gardens; sack all the towns and villages, without sparing the most inconsiderable cottage, and subject the country to all the horrors of war and devastation.