To William Short June 22, 1790
From the original letter at the Library of Congress.
London June 22, 1790
The paper No. 1 is the beginning of the letter which I mentioned in the few lines which I wrote you by Mr. Hushinson - I now send it because it contains some soft reproaches to the M. de la Fayette which I wish him to know of.
But the principal subject of that letter I have thrown into another form and it contained in the Paper No. 2 - my design in doing this is that it may be translated into French and published. It will make a little pamphlet such as they sell for three or four Sous in Paris - When it is published in French it may be published here as a translation - but you will see by the purport of it that it cannot come out here as an English production -but I wish you first to take it to the M. de la Fayette and closet yourself for half an hour with him and read and talk over the contents - and do not forget to tell him at the same time that I have appointed you my Minister Plenipo to reproach him for his inattention to me for the letters I have written to him, which were merely for his service and not for my own -
I know the character of this Country so well that nothing but carrying a high-hand can manage them -yet they are the greatest Cowards on Earth as all Bullies are; if you impress them rightly - Unaccustomed to wars at home or on their own Coast, they have no Idea of a War but at a distance, and that they are only to read the accounts of it in the news-paper - of this sort of war they make a mere Trade and ever will -
If the present dispute is in negociation or is to be negociated it will be of use to impress them with what France & Spain can do for the Ministry here have committed themselves so fully that unless more reasons can be shewn than what the Ministry will like to give out themselves, they will be surely afraid to close the business, and on the other hand if they intend a war the contents of the enclosed will operate to detain their fleets at home, for such will be the fears and clamours of the John Bulls that the Coast must be guarded at the risk of all other enterprises - and whether their views are to the Baltic, the West Indies or else where the same event will follow, that is, the fleet must keep at home - If France could now have the combined fleets in the Channel and Paul Jones in the North Sea frightened the Bulls last war, she would know at once how to manage this perverse Country —
As the Bulls never talk but of one thing at a time, the whole talk now is Electionering - when that is over - they will talk again about Peace & War. I believe the utmost force that this Country could now put to Sea is not 20 Ships of the line, and which has no Land Troops on Board worth mentioning - she cannot man her fleet but under a great length of time - because the greatest part of her seamen are abroad. Therefore France and Spain gain nothing by delay -
Last Sunday Evening I was at the Marquis de la Lucerne’s and I shall dine there on Thursday next. M. le Portier, who is a great Revolutionist and who lived in M. Noailles family when ambassador here and is a great Champion for the Marquis de la Fayette, is uneasy for consequences on the 14 of July - He hears all that passes among the Duke of Luxemburgh who, he says, is an outrageous Aristocrat and the rest of that Tribe - The Duke’s Sons had gone to Falmouth to take the Packet for Lisbon but were recalled and returned to London - He tells me they are all set off again, he knows not where, and he is afraid they have mischief in their hearts -
If on consultation it should be concluded to translate and publish the enclosed I must desire you to send me some of the publications and also the original which I shall publish here as a translation for I have no time to make a copy, it being now near five o’clock and it goes off at Six - but you must put these under Cover to me and send in M. Lucerne’s dispatches. The Porter will take care that they come safe to me -
The American Papers mention that the Exports of Flour, Grain, Rice, Corn last year was 15 Millions of Dollars — The clearances from Philadelphia last year was 1258 Tail, it never amounted to 800 before the revolution. This is great encouragement to promote the principle of Revolution.