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government than a mere cold refusal to comply with the demand. The prospect that includes in itself insult upon justice, honor, and honesty, is not in my view adequately met by mere rejection. I had understood it as your direction in a former letter, that Mr. de Neuville was to be told that there must at least be no more discussion of that proposal between him and me; but I find that the paragraph to that effect is among those excluded by the amendments.
The character of all the transactions involved in this affair exhibits the abuse of positive regulation on one side, against truth, justice, and national rights on the other; and I thought that in the answer to the Baron's note the contrast of these qualities could not be placed in too strong relief. I acquiesce, however, very cheerfully in your calmer and perhaps firmer consideration of the subject, so far as to suppress all manifestation of resentful feelings, and even all exposure of the intrinsic depravity of principle in the Baron's letter. But I cannot, without permitting compliance to encroach upon sincerity, admit even in imagination that Edou was ignorant of the criminality of his own conduct, or allow in the most distant manner the propriety of de Neuville's supporting him in it.
I submit to you further that these admissions would exceedingly weaken our cause. Clarke's letters prove to demonstration a foul conspiracy against the laws of the Union. Edou was the first and a most willing instrument to carry it into effect. His own declaration proves that he acted by falsehood, fraud, and violence (for he threatened to blow out the brains of our officers). He left this country with threats and defiance against us. His wrong is the main pillar of the solid justice of our cause. Neuville is not less wrong in supporting him as he does. Now an admission that Edou might be only deceived, and
And the Baron de
a profession of complacency for the interest which the Baron takes in his favor, would take from us much of the best ground upon which we stand.
The other passage which I shall omit is that which says, it was understood that the government of France and of other powers approved of the suppression of the adventurers at Amelia Island. The Baron might perhaps contest the fact.
I now enclose the declaration of Edou transmitted to me by the Baron himself, and which I believe you have never seen. I entreat you in reading it to compare the tone of its language with the narrative of facts, and to bring both to the touchstone, not of mid-river boundaries and customhouse cockets, but of justice, truth and the rights of our country. If you then think it would become me to volunteer an apology for Edou's conduct, or to show anything like deference for de Neuville's support of it, I will recur to my unqualified consciousness of your superior judgment. I will insert the paragraph and sign the paper.
I remain, etc.
TO ALEXANDER HILL EVERETT
Department of State, WASHINGTON, 25 July, 1821.
After the failure of the negotiation for a new commercial treaty with the Netherlands in 1817, it has never been the intention of this government to renew the conferences, without some special new inducement for it. The disappointment in the result of that negotiation, after the anticipation of success which had been encouraged at its commencement, was a warning against making a second attempt, without
some security that it would not again prove abortive. There was some reason for surmising that the difficulties which then prevented the conclusion of the treaty were not the only ones which operated upon the issue. A disposition has been manifested to remould one or more of the articles of the existing treaty in a manner less favorable to neutral rights; and an influence other than that of the Netherlands was perceived, or suspected, of raising obstructions to the agreement of the commissioners, the existence of which subsequent events have not tended to invalidate. Since that time the Netherlands have become parties to a treaty sanctioning so far as their example can go, the principle that the merchant vessels of one nation, even under convoy of ships of war of their own, may be visited, examined, and seized by the armed vessels of another. The object of the two articles upon which the plenipotentiaries in 1817 disagreed, has been since obtained on both sides by municipal regulation, without treaty; and as the act of Congress of 3 March, 1815, authorizing the reciprocal equalization of duties, is now limited in its operation to the 1st of January, 1824, there might be some inconvenience in contracting engagements liable to interfere with the views which may be taken of it by Congress at that time. . . .
MY DEAR SIR:
TO ROBERT WALSH, JR.
WASHINGTON, 27 July, 1821.
Mr. Brent has been kind enough to show me your letter to him, and I desired him to say something to you from me in answer to that part of it which concerns myself. Upon reflection I have concluded to add something of my own. There is a pleasure in communing with a mind like yours,
and the more pleasure for its occasional collisions with my own. Idem velle et idem nolle, id demum est amicitia. I think this is a sentiment of Catiline, or Cethegus, for I do not remember which, but it is not mine. That is not friendship. It is dulness, or it is flattery. It is neither friendship nor truth.
I desired Mr. Brent to say that I was satisfied with your notice of my address on the whole, though I could answer part at least of your censure, and though you have not placed my defence upon the grounds on which I should have placed it myself. I repeat that I am well satisfied with your remarks considered as the review of an impartial and not unfriendly critic. But there are among them some observations which a positively friendly critic, if he thought them, would rather have made privately to myself, and left for others to make to the public. When in your introductory paragraph you pitch Mr. Pinkney, Mr. Wirt and myself, into one truckle-bed, to indulge yourself and treat your readers with a laugh at the expense of our taste, I certainly for one could take no exception to the company with which you have coupled me; but I think neither could take as a friendly office that which you were performing, and I as a critic upon the criticism charge it upon you as a lumping censure, without any of your discriminating acuteness, and, if just as respects myself, hardly fair towards Messrs. Pinkney and Wirt, who were not then, as I was, at your bar.
Your sentence upon the address as a literary composition, though generalized in its terms and qualified by an admission. that it has considerable merits, I understand to be unfavorable. You hasten away from this part of your decree as if it set irksomely upon your mind, and as if you felt more than you were willing to express.
I have long known that there is a radical difference between
your theory of composition and mine. Our principles of style are different. I do not mean to say that I disapprove your style. On the contrary I admire it. But if you should use it in the composition of a fourth of July oration, I should probably desiderate in the work precisely those qualities which you blame for being in mine - vehemence, boldness of imagery, swelling, copious, and even redundant periods. Now if the error in this case is mine, it is an error of the first concoction. I think I could not write an oration in the style of which you would approve, and with this impression I pass to the account of your good will that you have let me off so easy upon this score. I was not surprised that the style failed of pleasing you; but I was very agreeably so, when I saw you quote as a beauty what my own judgment had hesitated to pronounce, because I thought it the most verbose passage of the whole address. I mean the passage about Palestine and Scandinavia. You except to a few incidental passages on the score of temper and of doctrine. If I rightly understand the meaning of the term doctrine there, we need no discussion of it. Where the defect on the score of temper is you do not explain, and I am at some loss to discover, because you have strenuously defended that which has been, as from my former letter you perceived I was aware it would be, much censured by others. I mean the general tone of temper towards Great Britain. You "hesitate to dislike" of the passage having reference to George the Third. You declare you do not relish the figure, you admit that the sentiment was harsh, but you think the alluding to his illness might be excused because it was historical fact.
This opinion from one whose judgment I so highly respect has convinced me that there is something at least ambiguous or obscure in the passage, conveying ideas other than those