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H IS TO R Y OF E U R O PE. [75

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In order therefore to imprint the deeper in the minds of those adversaries, whom they had already so much humbled, the terror with which they were already inspired, the heads of the republic judged it expedient to extend the influence of their vićtorious arms, as far as fortune seemed incline to favour them, and to compel their remaining foes to accept of the humiliating terms they had imposed upon the others, by reducing them to the like distress. From idcas of this kind flowed the lofty language spoken upon all occasions, both by the directory and the two councils. As two-thirds of these were precisely the same men who had goverred France under the name of a convention, during the three preceding years, it was not to be expected that their dispositions would alter with their new appellation ; and the other third, though not altogether, so violent in their conduct, were influenced by those republican principles, without which no man could be reputed a true Frenchman, and which, in truth, were indispensible to procure an ...}. esteem or advancement in any post, civil or military. Another view, it may be prefumed, that stimulated the members of the direétory, who were all men of tried parts and courage, was the desire P roving to their countrymen the superiority of individuals placed at the head of the state, purely on account of their abilities, to persons promoted through favour, or the advantitious circumstances of birth and family. But a motive still more cogent, both with them and the nation at large, was the earnest desire to re

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nagement, and the issue of which had been so adorageous to the republic. To this gentleman application was made, on the eighth of March, by Mr. Wickham, the British envoy to the Swiss Cantons, in order to sound the real dispositions of the French government. The object in communicating the propositions directed to the French agent, was, to ascertain, by his answer, whether the directory were defirous to negociate with Great Britain and its allies, on moderate and honourable conditions, and would agree to the meeting of a congress for this purose, and whether, at the same time, it would specify the conditions on which it would treat, or point out any other method of treating. The answer received from M. Barthelemy, in the name of the directory, was, that it felt the fincerest desire to terminate the war on such

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