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The conversation continued for nearly two hours; and the public and private advance of money-was pressed and repressed in a variety of forms. At length M. X. said that he did not blame us; that our determination was certainly proper, if we could keep it ; but he showed decidedly his opinion to be, that we could not keep it. He said that he would communicate, as nearly as he could, our conversation to the ininister, or to M. Y. to be given by him to the minister; we are not certain which. We then separated. On the 22d of O&toter, M. Z. a French gentleman of respectable character, informed Mr. Gerry, that M. Talleyrand, minister of foreign relations, who professed to be well disposed towards the United States, had expected to have seen the American ministers frequently in their private capacities; and to have conferred with them individually on the objects of their mission; and had authorized M. Z. to make this communication to Mr. 'Gerry. The latter sent for his colleagues, and a conference was held with M. Z. on the subject, in which General Pinckney and General Marshall exprelled their opinions, that, not being acquainted with M. Talleyrand, they could not with propriety call on him ; but that, according to the custom of France, he might expect this of Mr. Gerry, from a previous acquaintance in America. This Mr. Gerry reluctantly complied with on the 23d, and with M.Z. called on M.Talleyrand, who, not being then at his office, appointed the 28th for the interview. After the first introduction, M. Tal. legrand began the conference. He said, that the Directory had paffed an arrête, which he offered for perusal, in which they had demanded of the envoys an explanation of some parts, and a repa. ration for others, of the President's speech to Congress of the 16th. of May last: he was fenfible, he said, that difficulties would exist on the part of the envoys, relative to the demand ; but that by their offering money he thought he could prevent the effect of the arrête. M. Z. at the request of Mr. Gerry, having stated that The envoys have no such powers, M. Talleyrand replied, they can in such cafe take a power on themfelves, and propofeď that they fhould make a loan. Mr. Gerry then addressed M. Talleyrand diftinctly in English, which he said he understood, and ftated, that the uneasiness of the Directory, resulting from the President's speech, was a subject unconnected with the objects of the million; that M. Barras, in his speech to Mr. Monroe, on his recall, had expressed himself in a manner displeasing to the government and citizens of the United States; that the President, as the envoys conceived, had made such observations on M. Barras's speech as were necessary to vindicate the honour of the United States; that this was not considered by our government as a subject of difpute between the two nations; that having no inftru&ions respecting it, we could not make any explanations or reparations relating to it, and that M. Talleyrand himself was sufficiently acquainted
with the constitution of the United States to be convinced of the eruth of these observations.
Mr. Gerry further stated, that the powers of the envoys, as they conceived, were adequate to the discussion and adjustment of all points of real difference between the two nations ; that they could alter and amend the treaty, or, if necessary, form a new one ; that the United States were anxiously desirous of reinoving all causes of complaint between themselves and France, and of renewing their former friendship and intercourse on terms which would be mutually honourable and beneficial to the two nations, but not on any other terms; that as to a loan, we had no powers whatever to make one ; that if we were to attempt it, we should deceive himself and the Directory likewise, which as inen of honour we could not do ; but that we could send one of our number for instructions on this proposition, if deemed expedient, provided that the other objects of the negotiation could be discussed and adjusted ; that as he had expressed a desire to confer with the envoys individually, it was the wish of Mr. Gerry that such a conference tould take place, and their opinions thus be ascertained, which he conceived corresponded with his own in the particulars mentioned. M. Talleyrand, in answer, faid, he Thould be glad to confer with the other envoys individually, but that this inaiter about the money must be settled directly, without sending to America; that he would not communicate the arrête for a week ; and that if we could adjust the difficulty respecting the speech, an application would nevertheless go to the United States for a loan. A courier arrived at this moment from Italy, and M. Talleyrand appearing impatient to read the letters, Mr. Gerry took leave of him immediately. He followed to the door,' and desired M. Z. to repeat to Mr. Gerry what he, M. Talleyrand, had said to him. Mr. Gerry then returned to his quarters with M.Z. took down the particulars of this interview as before stated, sent for Generals Pinckney and Marshall, and read it to them in the presence of M. Z. who confirmed it. Generals Pinckney and Marshall then desired M. Z. to inform M. Talleyrand that they had nothing to add to this conference, and did not with that the arrête might be delayed on their account.
view a guarters with ind, had said to:
Answer of M. Barras, President of the Executive Directory, to the
Speech of Mr. Monroe, on taking leave, to which the 'Speech of the President of the United States refers. “Mr. Minister Plenipotentiary of the
United States of America, " BY presenting to-day your letters of recall to the Executive Directory, you give to Europe a very strange spectacle. " France, rich in her liberty, surrounded by a crowd of vi&tories, strong in the esteem of her allies, will not abafé herfelf by calcu. Jating the consequences of the condescenfion of the American go. vernment to the suggestions of her former tyrants.-Moreover, the French republic hopes, that the successors of Columbus, Ramhiph *, and Penn, always proud of their liberty, will never forget that they owe it to France. They will weigh-in their wisdom the magnanimous benevolence of the French people with the crafty caresses of certain perfidious perfons, who meditate bringing them back to their former slavery. Affure the good American people, Sir; that, like them, we adore liberty; that they will always have our esteem, and that they will find in the French people republican generosity, which knows how to grant peace as it does to cause its sovereignty to be respected. ;
« As to you, Mr. Minister Plenipotentiary, you have combated for principles, you have known the true interests of your country. Depart with our regret. In you we give up a representative to America, and retain the remembrance of the citizen whose perfonal qualities did honour to that title."
Ostober 2015. M. X. again called on us. He faid M. Talleyrand was extremely anxious to be of service to us, and had requested that one more effort should be made to induce ús to enable -him to be so. A great deal of the same conversation which had passed at our former interviews was repeated. The power and the haughtiness of France was again displayed to us. We were told, that the destruction of England was inevitable; and that the wealth and arts of that nation would naturally pass over to America, if that event should find us in peace. To this observation we replied, that France would probably forbid America to receive them, in like manner as she had forbid Switzerland to permit the residence in its country of a British minister. We told him also, that we were sensible of the value of peace, and therefore fought it up remitingly, but that it was real peace we fought for, and real peace only which could be desirable.
The sum of his proposition was, that if we would pay, by way of fees (that was his expression), the sum of money demanded for private use, the Directory would not receive us; but would permit us to remain in Paris as we now were ; aud we should be received by M. Talleyrand, until one of us could go to America and con. sult our government on the subject of the loan. These were the circumstances, he said, under which the minister of Portugal lad treated. We asked him if, in the mean time, the Directory would order the American property not yet passed into the hands of the privateersmen, to be restored. He said explicitly, that they would not. We asked him, whether they would suspend further * Probably intended for Raleigh.
depredations depredarions on our commerce ? He said they would not but M. Talleyrand observed, that on this subject we could not fustain much additional injury, because the winter season was approacha ing, when few'additional captures would be made. We told him that France had taken violently from America more than fifty 'millions of dollars, and treated us in every respect as enemies, in return of the friendship we had manifested for her ; that we had come to endeavour to restore harmony to the two nations, and to obtain compensation for the injuries our countrymen sustained; and that in lieu of this compenfation, we were told that if we would pay twelve hundred thousand livres, we might be permitted to remain in Paris, which would only give us the benefit of seeing the plays and operas of Paris for the winter, that we might have time to ask from our country to exhaust her resources for France, whose depredations would be continued. He again stated, that by this procedure we thould fufpend a war; and that, perhaps, in five or lix months, power might change hands. 3 3
We told him that what we wilhed to see in France was a temper sincerely friendly to the United States, and really disposed to do us justice; that if we could perceive this, we might not so much regard a little money, such as he stated to be usual, although we thould hazard ourselves by giving it; but that we saw only evidences of the most extreme hostility towards us: war was made upon us so far as France could make it in the present state of things ; and it was not even proposed, that on receiving our money this war should cease: we had no reason to believe that a pof. fible benefit could result froin it; and we desired him to say, that we would not give a shilling, unless American property unjuftly captured was previously restored, and further hoftilities suspended ; and that uuless this was done, we did not conceive that we could even consult our government concerning a loan : that if the Directory would receive us and commence negotiations, and any thing occurred which rendered a consultation of the government necessary, one of us would return to America for that pur. pofe. He said, that without this money we should be obliged to quit Paris ; and that we ought to consider the consequences: the property of the Americans would be confiscated, and their vessels in port embargoed. We told him, that unless there was a hope of a reconciliation, these evils could not be prevented by us; and the little delay we might obtain would only increase them ; that our million had induced many of our countrymen to trust their vessels into the ports of France, and that if we remained in Paris, that very circumftance would increase the number ; and consequently the injury which our countrymen would sustain, if France could permit herself so to violate her own engagements and the laws of nations, 'He expressed a with that M. Y. Thould see us once more. We told him that a visit from M. Y. as a private gentleman, VOL.VII. Dd
would always be agreeable to us; but if he came only with the ex. pećtation that we should ftipulate advances of money, without previously, establishing a solid and permanent reconciliation, he might save himself the trouble of the application, because it was a subject we had considered maturely, and on which we were immoveable. He parted with us, saying, if that was the case it would not be worth while for M. Y. to come. In the evening, while General Pinckney and General Marshall were absent, M. Y. and M. X. called, and were invited by Mr. Gerry to breakfast with us the next inorning. • Oktober 30. Iminediately after breakfast the subject was resumed. M. Y. spoke without interruption for nicar an hour. He said that he was dcfirous of making a last effort to serve us, by proposing something which might accommodate the differences be(ween the two nations; that what he was now about to mention had not by any means the approbation of the Directory; nor could M. Talleyrand undertake farther than to make from us the proposition to the Directory, and use his influence for its success; ihat last week M. Talleyrand could not have ventured to have of. fered such propositions ; but that his situation had been very materially changed by the peace with Emperor. By that peace he had acquired in an high degree the confidence of the Directory, and now possessed great influence with that body ; that he was also closely connected with Buonaparte and the generals of the army in Italy, and was to be considered as firmly fixed in his post, at least for five or six months ; that under these circumstances he could undertake to offer, in our behalf, propositions which before this increase of influence he could not have hazarded. M. Y. then called our attention to our own situation, and to the force France was capable of bringing'to bear upon us. He said that we were the belt judges of our capacity to resist, so far as depended on our own resources, and ought not to deceive ourselves on so interesting a subject. The fate of Venice was one which might befal the United States. But he proceeded to observe, it was probable we might rely on forming a league with England. If we had such a reliance, it would fail us. The situation of England was such, as to compel Piu to make peace on the terms of France. A variety of causes were in operation, which made such an effect absolutely certain. To lay nothing of the opposition in England to the minister and to the war, an opposition which the fears of the nation would increase; to say nothing of a war against England which was preparing in the North ; an army of one hundred and fifty thousand inen, under the command of Buonaparte, spread upon the coast of France, and aided by all the vast resources of his genius, would most probably be enabled to invade England : in which event their government would be overturned; but should this invalion not be absolutely effected, yet the alarm it would spread