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mean to recommend the most prudent means for producing it. But, as an apxious lover of peace, I feel terrors which dismay me, and I consider the dangers which may obstruct a general peace, arising from the pride and prejudices of nations, wbich are not to be controlled in their heat by arguments of reason or philosophy. Can any mau in reason and philosophy tell me, why any two nations in the world are called natural enemies, as if it were the ordinance of God and nature ? 1 fear it is too deeply engraved in the passions of man, and for that reason I would elude and evade the contest with such passions. I would strew the road to peace with flowers, and not with thorns. Haughty, and dictating, and commands, are no words of mine; I abhor them, and I fear them. I would elude their force by gentle means, and step by step. In article eight, there are the following words : '“ By the treaty of treaties that shall terminate the war." Let us have one treaty begun, and I think the rest would follow. I fear when contending passions are raised lest we should lose all by grasping at too much.

January 25. I have just seen Mr. Alexander, and have talked the matter over with him. I send you a copy of his sentiments upon it, which, for the sake of avoiding farther mistakes, he committed to paper, and which, I think, justify me in saying that I understood from him that France was disposed to give their consent, as he explained it to me, and as I explained it to the minister. He did not say, nor did I understand him to say, that he was authorised by the French ministry, or by any one else, to declare that France had bound herself to consent, or that any such requisition had been made to her ; but that it was his opinion that France would consent, and that I might proceed upon that presumption, so far as to recommend overtures of negociation. Accordingly the phrase of my letter to you is, that he explained to me,

that their allies were disposed to consent. You see what his opinion is on this day; and as you have not told me that France will not consent, the reasonable probability which still remains with me, for the hopes of opening an amicable treaty, remains as it did, I could not delay saying thus, by the very first mail, upon a point equally delicate to me, as well as to yourself. My dear friend, I beg of you not to think, either that you can be considered as capable of entertaining, or that I should be capable of suggesting, any unworthy or dishonorable propositions. If there has been any misunderstanding, it is now cleared up; and the ground for negociation remains open as before. I therefore still entertain my hopes. I am ever your affectionate, D, H.

Explanatory Letter of Mr. ALEXANDER to Mr. HARTLEY,

referred to in the preceding. DEAR SIR,

As I had not the opportunity of seeing your correspondence at the time, I was unable to prevent the misunderstanding that seems to have arisen. There is no proposition of which I am more convinced, than that “ Nothing can be done without the concurrence of allies.” But, as the chief obstruction towards an accommodation seemed to me to lie in the personal character of some who have great weight in this matter, and as the object of the war (the independence of America) seems, in the opinion of all men, to be secured, my own opinion was and still is, that there was so much wisdom and moderation where prejudice prevents us from seeing it, that, provided the ends of the war are accomplished to the satisfaction of all parties, they will be very ready to let us out of it, in the most gentle manner, by consenting equally that the business shall go on in one, two, or three separate deeds, as shall be most palatable here: and to doubt that our friends are desirous of finishing the contest, with the approbation of their allies, is to doubt their understanding. I am, with the greatest esteem, yours, &c.

W. ALEXANDER. London, Jan. 25, 1782.

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London, Feb. 1, 1782. write to you one line by this mail only to tell you that I have seen the minister since I last wrote to you, and that he never did entertain the idea one moment of

any propositions being thrown out on your part in the least degree inconsistent with the strictest. honor and faith to the allies. I had no occasion to guard against or to explain any such thought, having at all times conveyed the contrary to him in the most explicit terms. I transmit this to you for your full satisfaction. We have had much conversation on the subject of peace, which you may be sure I have most zealously endeavored to enforce. I should not do him justice if I did not add that I believe his wishes are for peace, and that he gives the most serious attention to every argument, and to the suggestion of every practicable means on that subject. I have stated many things for his consideration, and for consultation with others, after which I shall see him again. I heartily wish the result may be favorable to the prospect of peace. I am ever, your affectionate


To Dayid HARTLEY, Es g. M.P. Dear Sir,

Passy, Feb. 16, 1782. I received your favor of the 24th past. You have taken pains to rectify a mistake of mine relating to the aim of your letters. I accept kindly your replication, and I hope you will excuse my error, when you reflect that I knew of no consent given by France to our treating separately of peace, and that there has been mixed in some of your conversations and letters various reasonings, to show that if France should require something of us that was unreasonable we then should not be obliged by our treaty to join with her in continuing the war. As there never had been such requisition, what could I think of such discourses ? ' I thought as I "suppose an honest woman would think, if a gallant should entertain her with suppositions of cases in which infidelity to her husband would be justifiable. Would not she naturally imagine, seeing no other foundation or motive for such conversation, that if he could once get her to admit the general principle, his intended next step would be to persuade her that such a case actually existed? Thus knowing your dislike of France, and your strong desire of recovering America to England, I was impressed with the idea that such an infidelity on our part would not be disagreeable to you ; and that you were therefore aiming to lessen in my mind the horTor I conceived at the idea of it. But we will finish here by mutually agreeing that neither you were capable of proposing nor I of acting on such principles. : į

I cannot however forbear endeavoring to give a little possible utility to this letter, by saying something on your case of Dunkirk. You do not see why two nations should be deemed natural enemies to each other. Nor do I, unless one or both of them are naturally mischievous and insolent. But I can see how enmities long continued, even during a peace, tend to shorten that peace, and to rekindle a war. That is when either party, having an advantage in war, shall exact conditions in the treaty of peace, that are goading and constantly mortifying to the other. I take this to be the case of your “commissioner at Dunkirk.” What would be your feeling, if France should take and hold possession of Portsmouth, or Spain of Plymouth, after a peace, as you formerly held Calais, and now hold Gibraltar? or, on restoring your ports, should insist on having an insolent commissioner stationed there, to forbid your placing one stone upon another by way of fortification? You would probably not be very easy under such a stipulation. If therefore you desire a peace that may be firm and durable, think no more of such extravagant deniands. It is not necessary to give my opinion farther on that point; yet I may add frankly, as this is mere private conversation between you and me, that I do think a faithful ally, especially when under obligations for such great and generous assistance as we have received, should fight as long as he is able, to prevent (as far as his continuing to fight may prevent) his friends being compelled again to suffer such an insult. My dear friend, the true pains you are taking to restore peace, whatever may be the success, entitle you to the esteem of all good men. If your ministers really desire peace, methinks they would do well to empower some person to make propositions for that purpose, One or other of the parties at war must take the first step. To do this belongs properly to the wisest. America, being a novice in such affairs, has no pretence to that character, and indeed after the answer given

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