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On our part, in order to know, at any time, what
the British government will do, we have only to find out what they ought
not to do, and this last will be their conduct. Forever changing and
forever wrong; too distant from America to improve in circumstances, and
too unwise to foresee them; scheming without principle, and executing
without probability, their whole line of management has hitherto been
blunder and baseness. Every campaign has added to their loss, and every
year to their disgrace; till unable to go on, and ashamed to go back,
their politics have come to a halt, and all their fine prospects to a
halter.

Could our affections forgive, or humanity forget the wounds of an
injured country--we might, under the influence of a momentary oblivion,
stand still and laugh. But they are engraven where no amusement can
conceal them, and of a kind for which there is no recompense. Can ye
restore to us the beloved dead? Can ye say to the grave, give up the
murdered? Can ye obliterate from our memories those who are no more?
Think not then to tamper with our feelings by an insidious contrivance,
nor suffocate our humanity by seducing us to dishonor.

In March 1780, I published part of the Crisis, No. VIII., in the
newspapers, but did not conclude it in the following papers, and the
remainder has lain by me till the present day. There appeared about
that time some disposition in the British cabinet to cease the further
prosecution of the war, and as I had formed my opinion that whenever
such a design should take place, it would be accompanied by a
dishonorable proposition to America, respecting France, I had suppressed
the remainder of that number, not to expose the baseness of any such
proposition. But the arrival of the next news from England, declared her
determination to go on with the war, and consequently as the political
object I had then in view was not become a subject, it was unnecessary
in me to bring it forward, which is the reason it was never published.
The matter which I allude to in the unpublished part, I shall now make a
quotation of, and apply it as the more enlarged state of things, at this
day, shall make convenient or necessary. It was as follows:

"By the speeches which have appeared from the British Parliament, it is
easy to perceive to what impolitic and imprudent excesses their passions
and prejudices have, in every instance, carried them during the present
war. Provoked at the upright and honorable treaty between America and
France, they imagined that nothing more was necessary to be done to
prevent its final ratification, than to promise, through the agency of
their commissioners (Carlisle, Eden, and Johnstone) a repeal of their
once offensive acts of Parliament. The vanity of the conceit, was as
unpardonable as the experiment was impolitic. And so convinced am I of
their wrong ideas of America, that I shall not wonder, if, in their last
stage of political frenzy, they propose to her to break her alliance
with France, and enter into one with them. Such a proposition, should
it ever be made, and it has been already more than once hinted at in
Parliament, would discover such a disposition to perfidiousness, and
such disregard of honor and morals, as would add the finishing vice to
national corruption.--I do not mention this to put America on the watch,
but to put England on her guard, that she do not, in the looseness of
her heart, envelop in disgrace every fragment of reputation."--Thus far
the quotation.

By the complection of some part of the news which has transpired through
the New York papers, it seems probable that this insidious era in the
British politics is beginning to make its appearance. I wish it may
not; for that which is a disgrace to human nature, throws something of a
shade over all the human character, and each individual feels his share
of the wound that is given to the whole. The policy of Britain has ever
been to divide America in some way or other. In the beginning of the
dispute, she practised every art to prevent or destroy the union of the
states, well knowing that could she once get them to stand singly, she
could conquer them unconditionally. Failing in this project in America,
she renewed it in Europe; and, after the alliance had taken place, she
made secret offers to France to induce her to give up America; and what
is still more extraordinary, she at the same time made propositions to
Dr. Franklin, then in Paris, the very court to which she was secretly
applying, to draw off America from France. But this is not all. On the
14th of September, 1778, the British court, through their secretary,
Lord Weymouth, made application to the Marquis d'Almadovar, the Spanish
ambassador at London, to "ask the mediation," for these were the words,
of the court of Spain, for the purpose of negotiating a peace with
France, leaving America (as I shall hereafter show) out of the question.
Spain readily offered her mediation, and likewise the city of Madrid as
the place of conference, but withal, proposed, that the United States of
America should be invited to the treaty, and considered as independent
during the time the business was negotiating. But this was not the
view of England. She wanted to draw France from the war, that she might
uninterruptedly pour out all her force and fury upon America; and being
disappointed in this plan, as well through the open and generous conduct
of Spain, as the determination of France, she refused the mediation
which she had solicited. I shall now give some extracts from the
justifying memorial of the Spanish court, in which she has set the
conduct and character of Britain, with respect to America, in a clear
and striking point of light.

The memorial, speaking of the refusal of the British court to meet in
conference with commissioners from the United States, who were to be
considered as independent during the time of the conference, says,

"It is a thing very extraordinary and even ridiculous, that the court of
London, who treats the colonies as independent, not only in acting, but
of right, during the war, should have a repugnance to treat them as
such only in acting during a truce, or suspension of hostilities.
The convention of Saratoga; the reputing General Burgoyne as a lawful
prisoner, in order to suspend his trial; the exchange and liberation of
other prisoners made from the colonies; the having named commissioners
to go and supplicate the Americans, at their own doors, request peace of
them, and treat with them and the Congress: and, finally, by a thousand
other acts of this sort, authorized by the court of London, which have
been, and are true signs of the acknowledgment of their independence.

"In aggravation of all the foregoing, at the same time the British
cabinet answered the King of Spain in the terms already mentioned, they
were insinuating themselves at the court of France by means of secret
emissaries, and making very great offers to her, to abandon the colonies
and make peace with England. But there is yet more; for at this same
time the English ministry were treating, by means of another certain
emissary, with Dr. Franklin, minister plenipotentiary from the colonies,
residing at Paris, to whom they made various proposals to disunite them
from France, and accommodate matters with England.

"From what has been observed, it evidently follows, that the whole
of the British politics was, to disunite the two courts of Paris and
Madrid, by means of the suggestions and offers which she separately
made to them; and also to separate the colonies from their treaties and
engagements entered into with France, and induce them to arm against the
house of Bourbon, or more probably to oppress them when they found,
from breaking their engagements, that they stood alone and without
protection.

"This, therefore, is the net they laid for the American states; that is
to say, to tempt them with flattering and very magnificent promises to
come to an accommodation with them, exclusive of any intervention of
Spain or France, that the British ministry might always remain the
arbiters of the fate of the colonies. But the Catholic king (the King
of Spain) faithful on the one part of the engagements which bind him
to the Most Christian king (the King of France) his nephew; just and
upright on the other, to his own subjects, whom he ought to protect
and guard against so many insults; and finally, full of humanity and
compassion for the Americans and other individuals who suffer in the
present war; he is determined to pursue and prosecute it, and to make
all the efforts in his power, until he can obtain a solid and permanent
peace, with full and satisfactory securities that it shall be observed."

Thus far the memorial; a translation of which into English, may be seen
in full, under the head of State Papers, in the Annual Register, for
1779.

The extracts I have here given, serve to show the various endeavors
and contrivances of the enemy, to draw France from her connection with
America, and to prevail on her to make a separate peace with England,
leaving America totally out of the question, and at the mercy of a
merciless, unprincipled enemy. The opinion, likewise, which Spain
has formed of the British cabinet's character for meanness and
perfidiousness, is so exactly the opinion of America respecting it,
that the memorial, in this instance, contains our own statements and
language; for people, however remote, who think alike, will unavoidably
speak alike.

Thus we see the insidious use which Britain endeavored to make of the
propositions of peace under the mediation of Spain. I shall now proceed
to the second proposition under the mediation of the Emperor of Germany
and the Empress of Russia; the general outline of which was, that a
congress of the several powers at war should meet at Vienna, in 1781,
to settle preliminaries of peace. I could wish myself at liberty to make
use of all the information which I am possessed of on this subject, but
as there is a delicacy in the matter, I do not conceive it prudent, at
least at present, to make references and quotations in the same manner
as I have done with respect to the mediation of Spain, who published the
whole proceedings herself; and therefore, what comes from me, on this
part of the business, must rest on my own credit with the public,
assuring them, that when the whole proceedings, relative to the proposed
Congress of Vienna shall appear, they will find my account not only
true, but studiously moderate.

We know at the time this mediation was on the carpet, the expectation of
the British king and ministry ran high with respect to the conquest of
America.



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