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subject. M. Y. in answer said, that Mr. Marshall had just heard him, on a subject of this kind; and that we might consider it, as he did, merely as a conversation between ourselves. He then stated, that two measures, which M. Talleyrand proposed, being adopted, a restoration of friendship between the republics, would follow immediately; the one was a gratuity of fifty thousand pounds sterling, the other a purchase of thirty-two millions of the Dutch rescriptions : that, as to the first, M. de Beaumarchais had recovered in a cause depending in Virginia, between that state and himself, one hundred forty-five thousand pounds sterling ; that there was an appeal froin the judgment; that he would sign an act to relinquish forty-five thousand pounds, if the whole should be finally recovered, leaving only one hundred thousand pounds for himself; that the forty-five thousand pounds might accrue to the United States, who would, in that case, lose but a small part of the fifty thousand pounds; that the purchase of sixteen millions of rescriptions, would amount to but one million three hundred thirty-three thousand (pounds ] six shillings and eight-pence sterling, which, with an interest of five per cent, would be certainly paid by the government of Holland, to the United States, and leave them without any loss; that more than half the sum may now be hired in Holland, on the credit of the rescriptions, and an easy arrangement be made for payment by short instalments, which mnight be obtained also by a loan; that it was worthy the attention of the Envoys to consider, whether by so small a sacrifice they would establish a peace with France, or whether they would risk the consequences; that if nothing could be done by the Envoys, arrangement would be made forthwith to ravage the coasts of the United States by frigates from St. Domingo; that small states which had offended France, were suffering by it; that Hamburgh and other cities in that quarter would, within a month or two, have their governmenis changed ; that Switzerland would 'undergo the same operation; and that Portugal would probably be in a worse predicament; that the expedition against England would be certainly pursued; and that the present period was the most favourable, if we wished to adopt any measure for a pacification.-Mr, Gerry, in answer, 'said, that if the French were disposed to pursue with vengeance the United States, they might perhaps ravage their coasts, and injure them in this way,
but they never could subdue them: the measure he thoughé utterly impracticable, even if attempted by France and her allies." To which M. Y. assented. Mr. Gerry ob
served further, that the ravages alluded to, would undoubtedly closely connect the United States, and Great Britain, and prevent the former from returning to the friendship which they have ever had for France ; that as to the propositions, he should express no opinion on them; that his situation, and that of his colleagues, was extremely difficult; that the Directory were exclusively prejudiced against the government of the United States, and considered them as the friends of Great Britain ; that if the Envoys could have an opportunity of being heard, they could remove such impressions, and show that the government were the friends of France, as much as of Great Britain ; but that the Envoys were now in the most painful situation; that they were treated, in the eyes of all Europe, and of the American government and nation, with the utinost contempt, and were submitting to indignities, which they could not reconcile to their feelings, or justify.to their constituents. M. Y. said, that the observations were just : but that the American Envoys had not experienced worse treatinent than other ministers, nor indeed as bad; that the Envoy of Portugal was again ordered to depart; and that but little ceremony was observed to the Envoys in general. M. Y. and Mr. Gerry then took a ride to M. Talleyrand's Bureau, who received them politely: and, after being seated, Mr. Gerry observed to M. Talleyrand, in English, slowly, that M. Y. had stated to him that morning, some propositions as coming from M. Talleyrand, respecting which, Mr. Gerry could give no opinion: that his object at this interview was, to request of him information, whether he would fix a time for taking a dinner with Mr. Gerry, at which he proposed to invite his colleagues; that he wished for more frequent interviews of some kind or other, between himself and the Envoys; conceiving that many imaginary difficulties, which obstructed the negotiation, would vanish by this means; and that those which were real, would be surmounted: that, conceiving the delicate part which the Minister of France had to ačt; at this time, he did not wish M. Talleyrand to accept the invitation, if it would subject him to inconveniences: that he wished to speak on another subject; and it was painful to him to acknowledge, that the precarious situation of the Envoys was such, as to render it impossible for them to take measures for decent arrangements; that a short time since, he had supposed measures were taking a favourable turn; but, that lately, he had received, from various quarters, information of a report made by the minister of the interior, and under the consideration of
the Directory, for sending all Americans from Paris in twenty-four hours; that he could not be responsible for the truth of the information ; but it appeared to him, as well from the various quarters from which it came, as from the intelligence of the person who gave it, to be highly probable; that if this was the case, it was unnecessary for the Directory, as he conceived, to pass any arrété, as it respected the Envoys, for that they would depart from Paris whenever it was hinied as the wish of the Directory; that for his own part he should feel more at ease, until we were received, to reside in a city of some other nation than that of France; and to return to Paris on potice that the Directory were disposed to open the negotiation. M. Talleyrand appeared to be very uneasy at this declaration; but avoided saying a word on it. He said that the information M. Y. had given me was just, and might always be relied on : but that he would reduce to writing his propositions ; which he accordingly did; and after he had shown them to Mr. Gerry, he burnt the paper. The substance was as follows. [See No. 1. below.]
He then said, that he accepted of the invitation ; that he would dine with him the decade after the present, in which he was engaged.
Mr. Gerry did not repeat all that he had said to M. Y. having no doubt he would communicate the whole to M. Talleyrand. And, after expressing a friendship for the French Republic, and a warm desire to renew the former attachment of the two republics, which M. Talleyrand warmly reciprocated, M. Gerry bid M. Talleyrand adieu ; leaving with him M. Y.
(No. 1.), That the Envoys should come forward generally, and say:
“ France has been serviceable to the United States, and now they wish to be serviccable to France ; understanding that the French Republic has sixteen millions of Dutch rescriptions to sell, the United States will purchase them at par, and will give her further assistance when in their power.
“ The first arrangement being made, the French government will take measures for reimbursing the equitable demands of America arising from prizes, and to give free navigation to their ships in future.?
(No. 5.) (No. 5.)
Paris, January 8th, 1798. DEAR SIR, We embrace an unexpected opportunity, to send you the so Redacteur” of the fifth instant, containing the message of the Directory to the Council of Five Hundred, urging the necessity of a law to declare as good prize, all neutral ships having on board merchandizes and commodities, the production of England, or of the English possessions, that the flag, as they term it, may no longer cover the property: -And declaring further that the ports of France, except in case of distress, shall be shut against all neutral ships, which, in the course of their voyage, shall have touched at an English port. A commission has been appointed to report on the message, and it is expected that a decree will be passed in conformity to it.
Nothing new has occurred since our last, in date of the twenty-fourth ultimo. We can only repeat that there exists no hope of our being officially received by this government, or that the objects of our mission will be in any way accomplished.
We have the honour to be,
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY,
Postscript to a triplicate of the Envoys’ Letter, No. 5., received
30th March, 1798. The law above-mentioned has been passed unanimously by the Council of Five Hundred, and we inclose a journal containing the account. There is no doubt, but that it will be adopted, without opposition, by the Council of Ancients.
TRANSLATION. Message to the Council of Five Hundred, of the 15th Nivóse,
year, (4th of Jan. 1798.) CITIZENS REPRESENTATIVES, On this day, the fifteenth of Nivôse, and at the very
hour at which the Executive Directory addresses this message to you, the municipal administrators, the justices of the peace, the commissaries of the directory, and the superintendants of the customs, are proceeding, in all the chief places of the departments, in all the ports, and in all the principal communes of the republic, to seize the English merchandize now in France, or introduced into its territory, in contravention of the law of the tenth Brumaire, fifth year (O2, 31st, 1796).
Such is the first act by which, now that peace is given to the continent, the war declared long since against England, is about to assume the real character which becomes it. The French will not suffer a power, which seeks to found its prosperity upon the misfortune of other nations, to raise its commerce upon the ruin of that of other states, and which, aspiring to the dominion of the seas, wishes to introduce, every where, the articles of its own manufacture, and to receive nothing from foreign industry-any longer to enjoy the fruit of its guilty speculations.
The English government has kept in pay, during the war, the coalesced forces, with the produce of its manufactures. It has violated all the principles of the law of nations, in order to shackle the relations of neutral powers; it has caused to be seized the provisions, corn, and commodities, which it supposed to be destined for France, it has declared contraband every thing which it thought could be useful to the republic; It desired to starve it. All the citizens call for vengeance.
When it had to fear the capture of vessels sailing under its fiag, it corrupted foreign captains to induce them to take on board their vessels English merchandize, and thus to introduce it, by stratagem, by fraud or otherwise, into other states, and especially into the French Republic.
The neutral powers should have perceived, that, by this conduct, their merchants took part in the war, and that they lent assistance to one of the belligerent powers. We
e serve a party, as well when we procure for it the means of augmenting its forces, as when we unite ourselves