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Letter in answer to the Propositions of quitting the Alliance with France.

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Supposed to be to DAVID HARTLEY, Esq.


Passy, Feb. 3, 1779...

I have just received your favour of the 23d past, in which you mention, "that the alliance between France and America is the great stumbling block, in the way of making peace," and you go on to observe, that "whatever engagements America may have entered into, they may, at least by the consent of parties, be relinquished, for the purpose of removing so material an obof stacle to any general treaty of free and unengaged parties." Adding that "if the parties could meet for the sake of peace upon free and open ground, you should think that a very fair proposition to be offered to the people of England, and an equitable proposition in itself." The long, steady, and kind regard you have shewn for the welfare of America by the whole tenor of your conduct in parliament, satisfies me, that this proposition never took its rise with you, but has been suggested from some other quarter; and that your excess of humanity, your love of peace, and your fear for us that the destruction we are threatened with, will certainly be effected, have thrown a mist before your eyes which hindered you from seeing the malignity and mischief of it. We know that your K. hates Whigs and Presbyterians; that he thirsts for our blood; of which he has already drunk large draughts; that weak and unprincipled ministers are ready to execute the wickedest of his orders, and his venal parliament equally ready to vote them just. Not the smallest appearance of a reason can be imagined capable of inducing us to think of relinVOL. 11. C

quishing a solid alliance with one of the most amiable as well as most powerful princes of Europe, for the expectation of unknown terms of peace to be afterwards offered to us by such a government. A government that has already shamefully broken all the compacts it ever made with us. This is worse than advising us to drop the substance for the shadow. The dog after he found his mistake might possibly have recovered his mutton; but we could never hope to be trusted again by France, or indeed by any other nation under heaven, Nor. does there appear any more necessity for dissolving an alliance with France before you can treat with us, than there would of dissolving your alliance with Holland, or your union with Scotland before we could treat with you. Ours is therefore no material obstacle to a treaty as you suppose it to be Had Lord North been the author of such a proposition, all the world would have said it was insidious, and meant only to deceive and divide us from our friends, and then to ruin us: supposing our fears might be strong enough to procure an acceptance of it. But thanks to God that is not the case! We have long since settled all the account in our own minds. We know the worst you can do. to us, if you have your wish, is to confiscate our estates and take our lives, to rob and murder us; and this you have seen we are ready to hazard, rather than come again under your detested government.

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You must observe, my dear friend, that I am a little warm. Excuse me! 'Tis over. Only let me counsel you not to think of being sent hither on so fruitless an errand as that of making such a proposition.

It puts me in mind of the comic farce intitled God-send, or the Wreckers. You may have forgotten it; but I will endeavour to amuse you by recollecting a little of it.

Scene.Mount's Bay. A ship riding at anchor in a "great storm. A lee shore full of rocks, and lined with people, furnished with axes and carriages to cut up wrecks, knock the sailors on the head, and carry off the plunder; according to custom. »t lis gedora yllutsmep

1st Wrecker. This ship rides it out longer than I expected. She must Have good ground fackle. bis 9:

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2d Wrecker. We had better send off a boat to her, and persuade her to take a pilot, who can afterwards run ber "a-shore where we can best come at her vaod isbus nein i


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8d Wrecker. I doubt whether the boat can live in this yea! But if there are any brave fellows willing to hazard themselves for the good of the public, and a doublé share let them say Ayet ai emO Joy diw front blea Several Wrecker's. I, II, Io as viconts of slept The boat goes off, and comes under the ship's stern." b Spokesman. So ho, the ship, ahoați bias svad hiice Captain. Hulloa, basan no mort en obvio bog e Sp. Would you have a pilot set 100 voce ve ?línim. Conc. No, no. 4) or Jack tuŰ

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pret blows hard, and you are in dangerol ovat s svade W Capt. I know it, we woy row and word W

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Sp. Will you buy a better cable? we have one in the boat here. vd Hey all bus

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"Capt. What do you ask for it rollov‚É ven

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Sp. Cut that you have, and then we'll talk about the price of this. 5191 ssh yo noodo seu

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Capt. I shall do no such foolish thing. Thave lived in your parish formerly, and know the heads of ye too well to trust ye: keep off from my cable there; I see you have a mind to cut it yourselves. If you go any nearer to it, I'll fire into you and sink you. YOU! JOY

Sp. It is a damn'd rotten French cable, and will part

of itself in half an hour. Where will you be then, Captain? you had better take our offer. Ver

Capt. You offer nothing, you rogues, but treachery and mischief. My cable is good and strong, and will hold long enough to baulk all your projects.

Sp. You talk unkindly, Captain, to people who came here only for your good.

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Capt. I know you come for all our goods, but, by God's help, you shall have none of them. You shall not serve us as you did the Indiamen.

Sp. Come, my lads, let's be gone. This fellow is not so great a fool as we to took him to be

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d to received your proposition for removing the stumbling-block. Your constant deseof peace ought to endear you to both sides; but this ur position seems to be naturally impracticable. We can never think of quitting a solid alliance made and ratified, in order to be in a state for receiving unknown proposals of peace which may vanish in the discussion. The truth is we have no kind of faith in your government, which ap-. pears to us as insidious and deceitful as it is unjust and cruel. Its character is that of the spider in Thompson, - cunning and fierce,

Mixture abhorr'd!

Besides we cannot see the necessity of our relinquishing our alliance with France in order to a treaty, any more

than of your relinquishing yours with Holland. Lam, very affectionately, yours, f

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N. A.

DEAR SIR, Passy, March 21, 1779. རབ་རྟེ།ལ** ****I received duly yours of the 2d instant. I am sorry you have had so much trouble in the affair of the prisoners. You have been deceived as well as we. No cartel ship has yet appeared, and it is now evident that the delays have been of design, to give more opportunity of seducing the men by promises and hardships to seek their liberty in engaging against their country. For we learn from those who have escaped, that there are persons continually employed in cajoling and menacing them, representing to them that we neglect them, that your government is willing to exchange them, and that it is our fault it is not done that all the news from America is bad on their side; we shall be conquered and they will be hanged, if they do not accept the gracious offer of being pardoned on condition of serving the King, &c. A great part of your prisoners have been kept these six months on board a ship in Brest Road ready to be delivered: where I am afraid they were not so comfortably accommodated as they might have been in the French prisons. They are now ordered on shore. Doctor Bancroft has received your letter here. He did not go to Calais to forg

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2 It had been intended that Dr. Bancroft should proceed to England with a power from Dr. Franklin to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, but some difficulty having arisen, of which Mr. Hartley's letter contained an intimation, that journey did not take place.

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