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hiding places, whence they might sally out upon poor old John Bull, as their great predecessor did upon the beeves of Hercules; then he began to foam and sacré dieu against the libertécide government, for “ neutralizing the zeal of the citizens, “ and punishing the generous children of liberty, “ for flying to the relief of their mother, when she was upon
the point of violation by a horde of crowned monsters.”
As Citizen Adet seems to have been furnished with memorandums concerning the conduct of all the state governments, with respect to the vessels of the belligerent nations ; as he must be in possession of the French_archives, those everlasting records of poor Mr. Randolph's precious confessions, and of the services of all those who have deserved well of the terrible Republic, it was rather ungrateful of him, to overlook the alertness of that vigilant and virtuous and chaste and incorruptible republican, Governor MiMin, at the time of laying the embargo. That venerable old deinocrat, the father-in-law of Citizen Genet, who has happily given place to a better man, might also have merited encomium on the same account. With what care did they watch ! With what zeal did they call out the militia, and man whale boats, and run and bustle about, to prevent the escape of vessels bound to British ports! Their diligence in the discharge of this part of their duty was not a whit inferior to that of those useful auxiliaries of jnstice, which the rudeness of these latter times has styled thief-catchers; while the vessels bound to the land of Messidor and Floréal and Vendémiaire, &c. slipped off “in a dark night;” and while, in another quarter, a whole fleet sailed for this land of starvation, though the embargo had been laid ten days before. Had the British minister complained of a breach of neutrality here, he might
-Well, you may be as sulky as you please : I be
have been heard with patience ; but, if even he had had the assurance to make use of the word in. sidious, he would have merited a peremptory order to pack up.
The only breach of neutrality with which the federal government can possibly be charged, is, the liquidation of the French debt. This favour, as beneficial to France as it was apparently hazardous to the United States, would have been acknowleged by Citizen Adet and his masters, had they not been as ignorant of the law of nations as of the Jaws of politeness and decency. Citizen Genet, when he opened the negotiation, promised that every
farthing of the debt, if liquidated, should be expended in tlie country, and, for once, I beliere, contrary to the German proverb, the Frenchman kepe his word; for, except what was retained for the unavoidable daily hire of Poor Richard, and some few other items, I believe every single sous of it went among the Flour Merchants. What think you, Mr. Dallas? Come now, dan it, tell the truth for once in your life. Be frank with your countryman, and we'll make up all old grievances.
lieve it ; or your friend Fauchet never would have stood, like a bilked cully, with his pocket turned inside out, when he could have purchased a delicious civil war with a few thousand dollars. It is an old saying, and all old sayings are true; that what is got over the devil's back is spent under his belly; and so it happened with this debt. The givers and the receivers were just of a stamp, and one had just as mucir right to the money as the other.
But, to return to my subject : whether this liquidation were a breach of neutrality, in a rigorous sense, or not, every real friend of America IrIust rejoice at its being effected. It was one et
fort towards shaking off a dependance that yet hangs about our necks like a millstone. One of our poets has called a dun “a horrid monster, hated of gods “'and men.” Exactly such was Genet, when he first arrived, and such would have been his successors, had not the clamourous creditors (or rather claimants) been silenced by a discharge of the debt. This the government undoubtedly foresaw, and therefore wisely resolved to relieve us from their importunities. But there is another debt of enormous magnitude, that still remains; I mean the debt of gratitude due from this country to the regenerated French. This we shall never liquidate, while there is a Frenchman left to ask, or an American to give. It is incalculable in its amount, and eternal in its duration ; we will therefore leave it to pass down the stream of time along with the insidious neutrality.
“3. The Government, by its chicaneries, abandon“ ed French privateers to its courts of Justice.”
This is, I tremblingly presume, the “terrible” style, and is therefore looked upon as sufferable in a minister from a «:errible nation;" but I am pretty confident, it would be suffered with impunity in no other. Some writer on the belles lettres, I believe it is Burke, observes, that terror is a property of the sublime, and I am sure that insolence is a property of the terrible. I know not precisely what punishment the law of nations has awarded for such language, but I should imagine it can be nothing short of breaking of bones. A good Irish sheeleley or Devonshire quarter-staff seems much better calculated for answering a charge like this than a pen.-The chicaneries of the
government ! - Abandoning privateers to courts of Justice !-If this does not deserve a rib-roasting, I do not know what does. If this goes off so, then
I say there is no such thing as justice on this side the grave. Why, I have seen many as good a man as Citizen Adet, aye and as faithful to his king too, flogged till the blood ran into his shoes, for giving language a hundred times less insolent than this, to a lance corporal.
Does the general government of America then act by chicane ? Does General Washington, whose integrity, whose inflexible firmness and whose undaunted bravery have been acknowledged and admired as far as his name has reached, merit to be put on a level with a miserable pettifogger? And is a cause abandoned, because it is submitted to an American court of judicature? Are both judges and juries in this country so very, very corrupt, that no justice can be expected from their decisions ? Are we so nearly like Sodom and Gomorrah that twelve honest men are not to be found among us?
An accusation may be so cohipletely absurd and impudent, that no one can attempt to refute it, without sinking, in some degree, towards a level with the accuser ; and, as I have no inclination to do this, I leave the present one to be answered by the indignation of the reader.
" 4. The Government eluded ihe amicable media15 tion of the French Republic for breaking the chains “ of the American citizens in Algiers.”
Every one who recollects the anxiety which the President has ever expressed on the subject of a treaty with Algiers, the innumerable obstacles he had to surmount, and the enormous expense by means of which it was at last effected, need not be told that this charge is as ill-founded as the preceding ones. But, as it is intended to bring forward to the people a proof of the friendship of France, at the moment her hatred and hostility are evident to every eye, in this point of view it may be
worth while to hear what the Citizen has to say in support of it.
He tells us (Diplomatic Blunderbuss, page 66), that “ the French government, zealous of giving “ to the United States proofs of its attachment, had s commenced negotiations with the regency of Al
giers, in order to put an end to the war which that
power was making on the commerce of the United 56 States.” That the minister for foreign affairs instructed Fauchet (the very Faucher who expressed his regret that the Western rebellion did not succeed) to communicate tothe Federal Government the steps which that of France had taken in this respect, which he did in the following terms; on the 4th of June, 1794.
" I have already lad the pleasure, Sir, to in" form you, verbally, of the interest which the " committee of public safety of the National Con“ vention had early taken in the truly unhappy si. “ tuation of your comınerce in the Mediter
ranean. " I now fulfil the duty imposed on me by the
government, by calling to your recollection in “ writing, the steps which are to be taken by our « agent with the dey of Algiers, for repressing " this new inanæuvre of the British administration, “ which has put the finishing stroke to its proofs “ of malevolence towards free people. The disa “ patch of the minister communicating this mea. “ sure to me, is dated the 5th January, 1794, and “ did not come to my h:inds till fifteen days ago; “ I do not yet know by what route ; I could have " wished it had been less tardy in coming to me, “ that I might sooner have fulfilled the agreea“ ble task of proving to you by facts,. the “ protestations of friendship of which I have so “ often spoken in the name of the Republic of “ France.