Gambar halaman

and carried to the directory, by whom it was confidered as indubitable proof of the inimical difpofition of the American government to the French republic.

This letter, on a cool perufal, contained however, no hoftile defigns against France. Its contents were chiefly complaints of the arbitrary proceedings of the British miniftry refpecting the trade of the United States. He directed Mr. Morris, who had quitted his embaffy at Paris, and acted as American agent at London, to lay before the English miniftry the imprudence, as well as the unjustifiableness of thofe proceedings, at a time when Great Britain ought to be particularly folicitous to retain the good will of the Americans, in order to induce them to receive favourably the treaty of commerce juft concluded, but which met with a multitude of opponents, on account of the harsh meatures that had been fo unfeafonably taken against the commerce and navigation of the united states. It was with difficulty he had ftemmed the torrent of difcontent and refentment that had arifen on this occafion, and prevented the party,, that favoured the French, from carrying matters to extremities. His own views, in which he was feconded by the better fort, were peace and neutrality. Thefe would, in the course of a few years, raise the United States to a condition of profperity and power, that would render them formidable to all the world, and fecure to them tranquillity at home, and respect from abroad.

Such was the general tenour of this famous letter, the interception of which was looked upon as fo timely an occurrence for the intereft

of France, by, admonishing it to place no confidence in the Americans. But without the medium of this letter, the moft judicious of the French were convinced that the intereft of the Americans would lead them to act a neutral part in the contest between France and England, and that it would be highly impolitic in either of thefe, to infift upon their acting any other.

The French government did not however relinquifh the hope of a future connection with the united ftates. They grounded this expecta tion on the numbers of people there, who teftified an averfion to all political ties with England, and whole republican difpofition inclined them to efpoufe the caufe of all who oppofed the government of kings. They alfo relied on a change of men and measures in the American adminiftration. The prefidency, it was intimated to them by their American partifans, would, on a new election, be filled by another incumbent, lefs averfe to an alliance with France than the prefent. Thefe and other reprefentations of a fimilar tendency, from the fame quarter, induced the French government to diffemble the refentment it bore to the American for its partiality to England, and to extend it no farther than to treat the fubjects of the united states, employed in their commerce and navigation, in the fame manner in which thefe were treated by the English.

Thefe mifunderflandings, between France and the ftates of America, had, in fome degree, been fufpended by the recall of Mr. Morris from his French embafly, and replacing him by a man whofe principles were more conformable to their own, and his perton, therefore, more acceptable.

acts of partiality, amply juftified the meafures taken by the directory. When the United States thought proper to enforce the refpect due to their flag by the English, the French would alfo treat it with the fame degree of refpect.

Thefe remonftrances of the French. refident were answered by stating, to him, that according to the terms of the treaty of 1778, neutral property had been declared fecure in American veffels: but that no fuch ftipulations were contained in the prefent treaty between England and America. But the propriety of this anfwer was pronounced inadmiffible by the French. It was abfurd, they faid, that any state should affent to the continuance of a treaty, when they found it was to be converted into an inftrument of the deepest injury to their interefts. For the Americans to infift on the validity of fuch a treaty was an infult to the underftanding of the French, to which it could not be expected they were either fo unwife, or fo pufillanimous, to fubmit; nor could the Americans reconcile to any principle of juftice, or of honour, the breach of that article in the treaty with France, by which they had bound themfelves to guarantee the French colonies, in the Weft Indies, against the attempts of the English.

The reciprocal jealoufies excited by thefe various tranfactions were greatly heightened by the motives. which were underflood in France to have influenced the recall of Mr. Monroe from his embaffy, and the nomination of Mr. Pinkney in his stead. Thefe were the reputed partiality of the one to the French, and the contrary difpofition of the other. When the former took leave of the directory, they did not omit

ble. This was Mr. Monroe, who was received with great refpect and cordiality. But when this gentleman was recalled, and Mr. Pinkney appointed his fucceffor, which was in November, 1796, the directory refused to admit him in that capacity, and fufpended, at the fame time, their own ambaffador in America, Mr. Adet, who was ordered to lay before that government the complaints of the republic againft its proceedings, and the determination to flue orders to the French fhips of war to act towards the trading vefiels of neutral ftates in the fame manner that thofe ftates permitted themfelves to be treated by the British navy.

In fupport of this determination, the directory alleged the feizure of French property, by the English, on board of American veffels in the very ports of the United States, and through the connivance of their government. Such had been the regard paid to America, by the convention, at the commencement of this war, that while it declared lawfel prize all English property found in neutral veffels, the hipping of the United States was excepted from this declaration. But the condact of the English, in feizing the American fhips laden with provifions on French account, had complied the convention, through mere recollity, to refcind this act of infulgence and to ufe the right of reteliation, by feizing English property in American veffels.

It was farther ftated by Mr. Adet, that American failors were prefied into the fervice of the English, withcat reclamations being made, or even marks of difapprobation being anifefted on the part of the Amean government." Thefe and other

this opportunity of declaring their fentiments on the fituation of affairs between France and America. They affured him, that whatever differences had arisen between the ruling powers of both countries, the French ftill retained their efteem for the people of the United Provinces, of whose warmth and good will to the republic of France they were thoroughly convinced, as well as of their difinclination to coincide with the measures adopted by their government. They were not lefs careful in teftifying their highest regard for his perfonal merit, and their warmeft gratitude for the attachment he had unvariably displayed to the caufe of liberty and the profperity of France.

Such, however, was their refentment of the connection between the

English and the American govern ments, that they determined to gratify it, by treating the American minifter with rudeness, if not with indignity. Not fatisfied with hav ing denied him the affumption of that character, they would not suffer him to remain at Paris as a private


Herein they were, by many of their own people, feverely cenfured, as having, without neceffity, affronted an individual, come to them on a refpectable miffion, and widened thereby the breach between them and the state which he reprefented. Prudence, it was laid, ought to have enjoined a contrary behaviour. They should have fought to have kept the door of reconcili ation open, instead of striving to fhut it in this arrogant and contemptuous manner.



The Haughtiness of the Directory towards different Nations.-Particularly towards the Dutch, whom they confider, not as Confederates, but a conquered People.-Moderation of the Republic and prepondering Party in the United Provinces.-Batavian Convention.-Its Proceedings-Affairs of Geneva. -Meeting of the National Infiitute of France.-Confidered as an aufpicious Omen of the Return of Peuce and Reign of the Arts.-And Liberty of Thinking and Publishing on all Subjects.—The Alliance between the Church and Monarchy of France, in the End, ruinous to both.-The nete, or confiitutional, Clergy avow their Affent to the Separation of the Church from the State. Yet venture to condemn fome Things fetiled, or approved, by the republican Government. But which they confidered as adverfe to the Dignity and Interests of the ecclefiaftical Order.-The Settlement of ecclefiaftical Affairs confidered by the Generality of the French as a Matter of great Importance.


HE irritable temper of the directory was experienced by other governments befide the American. The court of Stockholm, which had, fince the death of the late king Guftavus, explicitly renounced his projects against the French republic, and manifefted favourable difpofitions to it, had lately undergone an evident alteration. Some attributed this to the intrigues of Ruffia; others to the refentment of the Swedish government at the duplicity of the French, who had paid the fubfidy they owed to Sweden, in drafts upon the Dutch republic, which they were confcious would not be honoured. Another motive of diffatisfaction to the directory was, the recall of baron Stäel, the Swedish ambaffador, a friend to the republic, and the replacing him by Mr. Renhaufen, a gentleman noted for his attachment to the po


litics of Ruffia. The court of Sweden gave the directory to underftand, that were he to be refufed admiffion, the French envoy at Stockholm, would be treated precifely in the fame manner. But the directory ordered him, nevertheless, to quit Paris; not, however, without expreffing, the higheft refpect for the Swedish nation, the good-will of which it ftill fought to retain, notwithfianding this variance with its government. The French envoy at that court was, at the fame time, directed to leave it; his refidence there being no longer confiftent with the honour of France, to the intereft of which that court was become manifeftly inimical, by its fubferviency to Ruf fia, the declared enemy to the French republic.

The king of Sardinia's ambassador had, in like manner, experinced the difpleasure of the directory, for expreffing

[ocr errors]

expreffing his regret at the precipitation with which his mafter had concluded the treaty of peace with France; the terms of which, he faid, would have been much lefs fevere, had he waited for the more favourable opportunities that followed it. For having uttered words of that import, he was ordered to quit the territory of the republic. The Tufcan envoy was difmiffed in the fame manner, on account of the particular zeal he had teftified in behalf of Lewis XVI.'s daughter, when he was permitted to leave France.

The court of Rome, when compelled by the victories of Buonaparte to folicit a fufpenfion of arms, had fent commiflioners to Paris, to negociate a peace: but, in hope that the numerous reinforcements, which were coming from Germany to the Imperial army, would enable it to recover its loffes, and expel the French from Italy, they ftudioully protracted the negociation, on pretence that they were not furnished with fufficient powers to conclude a definitive treaty. It was not till the fucceffes of the French had put an end to thefe hopes, that they appeared detirous, as well as empowered, to come to a conclufion. But the directory, for anfwer, fignified their immediate difmiffion.

Notwithstanding the refolute and decitive conduct adopted by the directory, they found it neceflary to abate of their peremptorinefs with the Dutch; who, though ftrongly determined to remain united in intereft with France, were not the lefs relolved to retain their national independence. The party that favour ed and had called in the French, had done it folely with the view of fecuring their afliftance for the fup


preffion of the ftadtholdership, in which they had been formally pro nifed the concurrence of the French republic. They were, for this mo tive, fo zealous for the fuccefs of its arms, that, during the campaign of 1794, they had projected an infurrection in the principal towns of the Seven United Provinces, while the republican armies fhould advance, with all fpeed, to their fupport. Having communicated their designs to the French government, they doubted not of its readinefs to fe cond them, and prepared according ly to execute the plans which they had formed in virtue of that expectation. But the uninterrupted career of victory, that had given fo decided a fuperiority to the French over all their enemies, had alfo elated them in fuch a manner, that, looking upon the co-operation of their party, in Holland, as no longer of that importance which it had hitherto appeared to be, they now received its applications with a coldnefs, which plainly indicated that they confidered the Dutch as a people that muft fubmit to their own terms, and whom they now propofed to treat rather as being fub dued by the arms of the French, than as confederated in the fame caufe.

Such were the difpofitions of the French towards the Dutch, when they enterred the United Provinces. The arbitrary manner, in which they impofed a multiplicity of heavy contributions upon the Dutch, was highly exafperating to the nation: but they were too prudent to exaf** perate men, who were determined? to act as conquerors, and whom it was impoflible to refift. They fub mitted, therefore, with that phlegme: 1 atic patience, which characterizes



« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »