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allow the sans-culotte General Moreau to be Burgoyned, and the ruffian Bonaparte and his wolfish comrades to leave their lank carcasses in Ital', which I hope and believe will be allowed. Had he complained, that they allowed it to rain, to snow and to thunder, his complaint would not have been more absurd than it now is.
But, the government also allowed the Ame“ rican citizens to be interdicted the right of “ trading to these colonies." -As to the power of preventing this, the same may be said as of the prohibitions above supposed ; and as to the rigbt of preventing it, if the power had existed, nothing can be said, unless we knew the exact state of the blockades, to which the Citizen alludes, but of which his Blunderbuss gives no particular account.
When a place, or an island, is actually invested in such manner as to enable the besieger to prevent neutrals from entering, he has a right, according to the immemorially established law of nations, not only to exercise this power of prevention, but to seize on, and confiscate, both goods and vessels; and even to inflict corporal punishment on all those who transgress his prohibition. That the British have sometimes declared places in a state of siege, which were not really invested, has often been asserted, but never proved; but it is well known, on the other hand, that they never went to the rigour of the law of nations with those who had the temerity to disregard their prohibitions, in attempting to enter places which were completely blockaded.
Numerous complaints of captures, made at the entrance of the ports of an island, amount to a pretty strong presumptive proof, that the captor has formed an actual investiture. If he has done this, he certainly has a right to declare it, and it follows of course, that no neutral power has a right to take offence at his declaration. When one of
the neutral captains complained, that the British intercepted, and seized on, every vessel that attempted to enter the port of St. Pierre's, and, in the very same letter, inveighed against the illegality of their declaring the place in a state of blockade, he talked like a good honest tar; and when we hear a public minister echoing the complaint, we may pardon his ignorance, but we cannot help wishing, at the same time, that he had been sent to hand, reef and steer, stew up lobscous, or swab the deck, rather than to pester us with his boorish grumbling and tarpauling logic.
Where a merchant, or a mariner, through love to the besieged, or hatred to the besieger, through avarice or through indiscretion, has lost his property by an endeavour to elude the prohibition of trading to a blockaded place, it is very natural, and therefore perhaps excusable, in him to be vociferous in complaint against the injustice of the captor; but it is not quite so natural or excusable in his government to participate in his resentment, and plunge the nation into a war to avenge him. Were the harmony of nations to be disturbed by the passions of individuals, peace must take her flight to heaven, for she would never find a resting place on the face of the earth.
It is, however, certain, that very many of the captures, made by the British cruizers, were contrary to the law of nations, and therefore called for the interposition of the general government. And has not that government interposed ? Yes; and so effectually too, that a mode of indemnification, as equitable and as honourable as either party could wish for, has been firmly settled on. Supposing, then, for a moment, that France had a right to make inquiries on the subject, what more does she want? Strange as it may seem, to those who are inattentive to the intrigues of this at once volatile,
ferocious, and artful republic, it is the success of the negotiation, by which this very indemnification was obtained, that has occasioned the charge now preferred by her minister! The French, or rather the French usurpers, rejoiced at the Britisha depredations on the commerce of this country : nothing was farther from their wishes than to see the sufferers indemnified. They were in hopes of a rupture being produced between Britain and America, and they are now foaming at their disappointment.
To this charge respecting blockades and the seizure of American vessels, may be added that which Citizen Adet makes with regard to the inpressment of seamen from on board of those and other vessels.
The complaint against British impressmerits has so often been the subject of public debate sind private animadversion, that it would seem un'jecessary to dwell on it here; yet, as I do not recollect ever having seen it placed in a fair point of view, to attempt doing it at this time can be productive of no harm.
The impressed seamen were of two descriptions; British subjects and American subjects, or (if my readers like the term better) American citizens *. This distinction is a very important one, because on it totally depends the legality or illegality of the impressment.
* Every man belonging to a free state, whether moriarchical or republican, onay be called a citizen, as a member of the suje ciety ; but it is never improper to call him a subject, when wie speak of him as under subjection to the laws of the state.
lin the present constitution of Massachuseti's, the people are son etimes called subjects, and at others, citizens; and who is fool enough to believe, or impudent enough to say, that they are less free than the people of the other states?
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 the amicable media" tion of the French Republic for breaking the chains
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 " 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 * States.” That the minister for foreign affairs instructed Fauchet (the very Fauchet 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 had 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 cominerce in the Mediter
“ I now fulfil the duty imposed on me by the
government, by calling to your recollection in “ writing, the steps wilich are to be taken by our
agent with the dey of Algiers, for repressing “ this new manæuvre of the British administration, 6. 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 hands till fifteen days ago; “ I do not yet know by what route; I could have o 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.