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If he did not
immediately complain of these slanders in his letters of the 6th and
8th [July], it is because he wished to use at first a certain degree of
caution, and, if it were possible, to stifle intestine troubles at
their birth. He wished to reopen the way to peaceful negotiations to be
conducted with good faith and justice.

The arguments of the Secretary of State on the rights of the supreme
administration of the United States are peremptory; but the observations
of Monroe on the hidden causes of his recall are touching; they come
from the heart; they are characteristic of an excellent citizen. If he
does more than complain of his unjust recall as a man of feeling would;
if he proudly asks for proofs of a grave accusation, it is after he has
tried in vain every honest and straightforward means. He will not suffer
that a government, sold to the enemies of freedom, should discharge upon
him its shame, its crimes, its ingratitude, and all the odium of its
unjust dealings.

Were Monroe to find himself an object of public hatred, the Republican
party in the United States, that party which is the sincere ally
of France, would be annihilated, and this is the aim of the English
government.

Imagine the triumph of Pitt, if Monroe and the other friends of freedom
in America, should be unjustly attacked in France!

Monroe does not lay his cause before the Senate since the Senate
itself ratified the unconstitutional treaty; he appeals to the house of
Representatives, and at the same time lays his cause before the upright
tribunal of the American nation.




XXXI. PRIVATE LETTER TO PRESIDENT JEFFERSON.


Paris, October 1, 1800.

Dear Sir,--I wrote to you from Havre by the ship Dublin Packet in the
year 1797. It was then my intention to return to America; but there were
so many British frigates cruising in sight of the port, and which after
a few days knew that I was at Havre waiting to go to America, that I did
not think it best to trust myself to their discretion, and the more so,
as I had no confidence in the captain of the Dublin Packet (Clay).(1) I
mentioned to you in that letter, which I believe you received thro'
the hands of Colonel [Aaron] Burr, that I was glad since you were not
President that you had accepted the nomination of Vice President.

The Commissioners Ellsworth & Co.(2) have been here about eight months,
and three more useless mortals never came upon public business. Their
presence appears to me to have been rather an injury than a benefit.
They set themselves up for a faction as soon as they arrived. I was then
in Belgia.(3) Upon my return to Paris I learnt they had made a point of
not returning the visits of Mr. Skipwith and Barlow, because, they said,
they had not the confidence of the executive. Every known republican was
treated in the same manner. I learned from Mr. Miller of Philadelphia,
who had occasion to see them upon business, that they did not intend
to return my visit, if I made one. This, I supposed, it was intended I
should know, that I might not make one. It had the contrary effect. I
went to see Mr. Ellsworth. I told him, I did not come to see him as a
commissioner, nor to congratulate him upon his mission; that I came to
see him because I had formerly known him in Congress. "I mean not,"
said I, "to press you with any questions, or to engage you in
any conversation upon the business you are come upon, but I will
nevertheless candidly say that I know not what expectations the
Government or the people of America may have of your mission, or what
expectations you may have yourselves, but I believe you will find you
can do but little. The treaty with England lies at the threshold of all
your business. The American Government never did two more foolish things
than when it signed that Treaty and recalled Mr. Monroe, who was the
only man could do them any service." Mr. Ellsworth put on the dull
gravity of a Judge, and was silent. I added, "You may perhaps make a
treaty like that you have made with England, which is a surrender of the
rights of the American flag; for the principle that neutral ships make
neutral property must be general or not at all." I then changed the
subject, for I had all the talk to myself upon this topic, and enquired
after Samuel Adams, (I asked nothing about John,) Mr. Jefferson, Mr.
Monroe, and others of my friends; and the melancholy case of the yellow
fever,--of which he gave me as circumstantial an account as if he had
been summing up a case to a Jury. Here my visit ended, and had Mr.
Ellsworth been as cunning as a statesman, or as wise as a Judge, he
would have returned my visit that he might appear insensible of the
intention of mine.

1 The packet was indeed searched for Paine by a British
cruiser.--_Editor._

2 Oliver Ellsworth (Chief Justice), W. V. Murray, and W. R.
Davie, were sent by President Adams to France to negotiate a
treaty. In this they failed, but a convention was signed
September 30, 1800, which terminated the treaty of 1778,
which had become a source of discord, and prepared the way
for the negotiations of Livingston and Monroe in 1803.--
_Editor._

3 Paine had visited his room-mate in Luxembourg prison,
Vanhuele, who was now Mayor of Bruges.--_Editor._.

I now come to the affairs of this country and of Europe. You will, I
suppose, have heard before this arrives to you, of the battle of
Marengo in Italy, where the Austrians were defeated--of the armistice
in consequence thereof, and the surrender of Milan, Genoa etc. to
the french--of the successes of the french Army in Germany--and the
extension of the armistice in that quarter--of the preliminaries of
Peace signed at Paris--of the refusal of the Emperor [of Austria] to
ratify these preliminaries--of the breaking of the armistice by the
french Government in consequence of that refusal--of the "gallant"
expedition of the Emperor to put himself at the head of his Army--of his
pompous arrival there--of his having made his will--of prayers being put
in all his churches for the preservation of the life of this Hero--of
General Moreau announcing to him, immediately on his arrival at the
Army, that hostilities would commence the day after the next at sunrise
unless he signed the treaty or gave security that he would sign within
45 days--of his surrendering up three of the principal keys of Germany
(Ulm, Philipsbourg, and Ingolstadt) as security that he would sign them.
This is the state things are now in, at the time of writing this letter;
but it is proper to add that the refusal of the Emperor to sign the
preliminaries was motived upon a note from the King of England to be
admitted to the Congress for negociating Peace, which was consented to
by the french upon the condition of an armistice at Sea, which England,
before knowing of the surrender the Emperor had made, had refused. From
all which it appears to me, judging from circumstances, that the Emperor
is now so compleatly in the hands of the french, that he has no way of
getting out but by a peace. The Congress for the peace is to be held
at LunÚville, a town in France. Since the affair of Rastadt the French
commissioners will not trust themselves within the Emperor's territory.

I now come to domestic Affairs. I know not what the Commissioners have
done, but from a paper I enclose to you, which appears to have
some authority, it is not much. The paper as you will perceive is
considerably prior to this letter. I know that the Commissioners before
this piece appeared intended setting off. It is therefore probable that
what they have done is conformable to what this paper mentions, which
certainly will not atone for the expence their mission has incurred,
neither are they, by all the accounts I hear of them, men fitted for the
business.

But independently of these matters there appears to be a state of
circumstances rising, which if it goes on, will render all partial
treaties unnecessary. In the first place I doubt if any peace will be
made with England; and in the second place, I should not wonder to see a
coalition formed against her, to compel her to abandon her insolence on
the seas. This brings me to speak of the manuscripts I send you.

The piece No. I, without any title, was written in consequence of a
question put to me by Bonaparte. As he supposed I knew England and
English Politics he sent a person to me to ask, that in case of
negociating a Peace with Austria, whether it would be proper to include
England. This was when Count St. Julian was in Paris, on the part of the
Emperor negociating the preliminaries:--which as I have before said the
Emperor refused to sign on the pretence of admitting England.

The piece No. 2, entitled _On the Jacobinism of the English at sea_, was
written when the English made their insolent and impolitic expedition to
Denmark, and is also an auxiliary to the politic of No. I. I shewed it
to a friend [Bonneville] who had it translated into french, and printed
in the form of a Pamphlet, and distributed gratis among the foreign
Ministers, and persons in the Government. It was immediately copied
into several of the french Journals, and into the official Paper, the
Moniteur. It appeared in this paper one day before the last dispatch
arrived from Egypt; which agreed perfectly with what I had said
respecting Egypt. It hit the two cases of Denmark and Egypt in the exact
proper moment.

The Piece No. 3, entitled _Compact Maritime_, is the sequel of No. 2,
digested in form. It is translating at the time I write this letter,
and I am to have a meeting with the Senator Garat upon the subject.
The pieces 2 and 3 go off in manuscript to England, by a confidential
person, where they will be published.(1)

1 The substance of most of these "pieces" are embodied in
Paine's Seventh Letter to the People of the United States
(infra p. 420).--_Editor._

By all the news we get from the North there appears to be something
meditating against England. It is now given for certain that Paul has
embargoed all the English vessels and English property in Russia till
some principle be established for protecting the Rights of neutral
Nations, and securing the liberty of the Seas.



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