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Full text of "The diary and letters of Gouverneur Morris, minister of the United States to France, member of the Constitutional Convention. Edited by Anne Cary Morris"

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THE DIARY AND LETTERS 

OF 

GOUVERNEUR MORRIS 



H 




\From the Jraintitig at Old Morrisania.] 



n^W^ 



THE 

DIARY AND LETTERS 



OF 



GOUVERNEUR MORRIS 

Minister of the United States to France; Member 
of the Constitutional Convention, etc. 



EDITED BY 

ANNE GARY MORRIS 
Vol. II. 

WITH PORTRAITS 




LONDON 

KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, & CO., i, PATERNOSTER SQUARE 

MDCCCLXXXIX 






\. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XXVn. 

Ddajs in tlie iutnctioas fnm Amenca. Manias |wni<ii» ( 

Short entries in the diaiy. Letter to C i fifhtL Letter to Short oa 
the Laf^ette sobjecL Letter to Miditr de Lalayettc. MomskeeiB 
open house. The kii^ bcfove the AswHy. Letter to JcSedoo. 
The Jacobin QoIil Trial of the kiae. Letter to Haimhim. Letter 
to Robot Morns. Letter to WiThinfitiw F to p o sa l to sead the lane 
and his f amilj to America. Letter to the Coutess AlbsBi. Geaet 
a|ipointed MinkH'r to the United State% . . .1 



CHAPTER XXVllL 

Letter to Washii^;taa ooaocmag M. GeaeL Mioais «|wUin a t his alal- 
ity. Qew to sone ■jsteu e * of Ac Revolatiaa. MEonis vged to 
leave Paris. Puis a daageroas leadenoc. He < V«fiwiafA to stMj. 
Letter in veise to La^ .Sthnhmd. Trial of Loos Shrtwafli. 
Letter to JcSoaoa. The kin^fs nrratina. His dipnfied Baaaer. 
War with Ei^laad nievitable. Letter to Washii^toa. Freach pros- 
pects dreadfoL Parties pass a«^ like shadows. Monis reported a 
victim a£ the goiUotiae. Letter to Robert Monis. Letter to JcAer- 
soa. Scara^ of men in Fcaaoe. The Rcrohrtkoaiy Trib^al ta^aa 
iaed. Monis arrested ia the street. Letter to JeSecna. Growing 
treachery to dke gniriamfnl A majiailjp m the C uawatiu a ia bcrnx^ 
of loyalty. Monis bajs a o uaati y place: Leaves ftzis. ^eads 
the suamer at Saii4Mi^ a^ 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Monis aware tibal his recall is desired. Difc allif i of At miiiiiina. Let- 
ters ddi^ed ia tiaasit to aad from America. Soaroe of peak aaaoy- 



IV CONTENTS. 

ance. Insecurity of letters in France. Description of his life at Sain- 
port. Distracted condition of France. Returns to Paris in October. 
Letter to Washington. At Sainport during the summer of 1794. 
Letter to Robert Morris. Changes hourly take place in the govern- 
n:ent. Difficulty of doing business. Letter to Washington. The 
probable event of the opening campaign not favorable to the Repub- 
lic. Letter to Washington. Fall of Danton. Executions still go on 
at Paris. Acknowledges a letter from Washington over a year in its 
passage. Concerning the Lafayettes. New minister arrives in Au- 
gust. His advent a relief. Morris determines to stay abroad, . 47 



CHAPTER XXX. 

Morris leaves Paris and France. Resumes his diary. Thinks Monroe 
takes a wrong tone. Journey through France. Switzerland. Coppet. 
Madame de Stael. M. Necker. Malet du Pin. Berne. Basle. 
Hospitality of friends. Incidents en route. Scraps of news. Ham- 
burg. Glad to have left his position in France. Letter to Washing- 
ton. Extremely cold weather. Princess of Wales goes to England. 
Madame de Flahaut. Treaty between Prussia and France published, 
April, 1795. Morris becomes surety for the Duke of Orleans. Verses 
to Mesdames de Beaurepaire and de Flahaut. Riots at Paris. Mor- 
ris helps his friends among the imigris. History of M. d'Angivilliers's 
silver plate. Power of the Jacobins broken. Distress in France. 
Letter to Washington, . . . . . . . .68 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

Morris goes to England. Account of the voyage from Hamburg. The 
Thames scenery. Mr. Pinckney. Count Woronzow. M. de Mous- 
tier. Dinner at the Marquis de Spinola's. Conversation with 
Lord Grenville. He apprehends a bad disposition on the part of 
the American Government. Morris asks to be presented at Court. 
The Duke of Queensberry. Mademoiselle Faniani. Conversation 
with Moustier. Manifesto by the new King of France drafted by 
Morris. Riots in London. Dines with Pitt. Lord Grenville and 
Chatham. Long interview with Pitt, 90 

CHAPTER XXXIL 

Morris makes a journey through part of England. Portsmouth. Plym- 
outh, Charmed with the beauties of England. Visit to Blenheim. 



CONTENTS. V 

Lady Sutherland. Back in London. Letter to Washijigton. Mr. 
Jay's treaty. Journey through England and Scotland. Letter to 
Lady Sutherland. Pictures at Burleigh House. Edinburgh. Dines 
with friends. Pleasant reception by the Duke and Duchess of Athol. 
Taymouth — Lord Breadalbane's place. Entertained by the Duke of 
Argyll. Loch Lomond. Conversation with the Duke of Montrose. 
Glasgow. The English lake region. The Bishop of LlandafI, . 105 



CHAPTER XXXHL 

Examines the Liverpool docks. The king attacked on his way to Par- 
liament. Stratford-upon-Avon. Letter to Lady Sutherland from 
Warwick. London. Presented to George IIL Conversation with 
His Majesty. The House of Commons. Fox speaks. French af- 
fairs. Conversation with Lord Chatham. Count Woronzow. A 
great City dinner. Congratulates the Imperial envoy on the Austrian 
victories. Dines with Lord Grenville. Long conversation with him. 
Letter to Washington about Adams. Meets Canning dining at Lady 
Sutherland's, 131 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Morris passes the winter of 1796 in London. News of the armistice on the 
Rhine. Letter to Washington. Chosen honorary member of the 
Highland Society. Dines with the Duke of Argyll. The King's 
drawing-room. Goes to the House of Commons. The Princess of 
Wales. Mr. Adams. Pitt speaks in the House of Commons. Fox. 
Sheridan. Letter to Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton. 
Mrs. Montague's drawing-room. The Queen's drawing-room. French 
victory in Italy. View of St. Paul's. Dines with Pitt at Lord Gow- 
er's. The House of Lords. Dines with Mrs. Vassal, . , 148 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

Morris goes to Switzerland in June, 1796. Lord Grenville provides him 
with letters. Altona. The Duke of Orleans. Journey to Berlin. 
Berlin. Count de Haugwitz. Conversation with M. Kalitchoff. 
Dines with Prince Ferdinand. Introduced to the Princess Dowager of 
Hesse. Dines with Count Haugwitz. First of a series of letters to 
Lord Grenville, Dines with the Russian minister. Long conversa- 
tion. Madame de Nadaillac. Letter to Lady Sutherland. Letter 



VI CONTENTS. 

to Lord Grenville. Dinner at Lord Elgin's. An announcement of a 
victory of the French at Brescia. An evening at Prince Ferdinand's. 
Dines with Marshal Von Mollendorf, Leaves Berlin, . . 169 



CHAPTER XXXVL 

Dresden. French emigrants fill the streets. Letter to Lady Sutherland. 
Manners and customs of Dresden. Goes to Court. Dines with 
the Duchess of Cumberland. Countess Loos. Leaves Dresden. 
Vienna. Baron Thugut. Sir Morton Eden. Is presented to the 
Emperor. News from the army. Letter to Lord Grenville. The 
Duke of WUrtemberg. Is presented to the Archduchess. Madame 
of France. M. Rassoomousky. An evening at Madame Pergin's. 
The French Directory answers Lord Malmesbury. Affairs in Italy. 
Death of the Empress of Russia. Accounts of the event. Conversa- 
tion with Baron Thugut. Letter to Lord Grenville apropos of La- 
fayette's release. Morris's arrival at Dresden occasions inquiry, 
Madame de Colorath's assembly. A little prince's observations. 
Musicale at Mrs. Peploe's. The levee. Prince Esterhazy. Tea with 
Sir Morton Eden. ......... 202 



CHAPTER XXXVIL 

Morris returns to Dresden. Rhyming letter written en route. Letter to 
Lady Sutherland. Sir Gilbert Elliot. Keeps Lord Grenville in- 
formed of his conversations with public men. The Duchess of Cum- 
berland's drawing-room. Takes leave of the Electoral family. 
Goes to Leipsic. Berlin. Madame Cesar. Presented at Court. 
Countess Lichtenau. Madame Crayen. Ball at the Prince Royal's. 
Baron Munchausen. Dines with the Queen. Conversation at Baron 
de Haugwitz's. Presented to Bischofswerder. Confidential conver- 
sation with Count Schmittau. Leaves Berlin for Brunswick. Pre- 
sented at Court. Dines with the Duchess of Brunswick. Plays whist 
with the sister of the great Frederick, 252 



CHAPTER XXXVIIL 

Morris goes to Hamburg. An armistice signed, April, 1797. Letter to 
Lord Grenville. Letter to Lady Sutherland, Prince Zubow. In- 
formation about Russia. Lafayette released. Dines at Neusteden. 
Lafayette means to avoid all interference in French affairs. Intends 



CONTENTS. vii 

to go to America. Conversation with Duchess of Cumberland at 
Frankfort. Prince de Reusse. Fete at Offenbach. Mr. Crauford. 
The Duchess of Cumberland in a contradictory mood. Baron de 
Beaulieu. Mr. Wickham. Leaves Frankfort for Ratisbon. En- 
petite social at the Princesse de la Tour et Taxis' s. General Werneck. 
Dinner at the Prince Bishop's. Communications of M. Aujard, 288 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

Morris sees the society of various towns on the Continent. Count Rum- 
ford. Conversation with him. The Elector of Bavaria. Presented 
at Court. Ratisbon. Affairs of Switzerland. Stuttgart. Frank- 
fort. Conversation with Mr. Crauford. A drive with Count d'Aspre. 
Movements of the armies. M. de GOrtz and the citizen Treilhard. 
Mr. Crauford's interesting communications. Riot in Vienna. Gen- 
eral Holtze. Bonaparte goes to Rastadt. Cobenzel made Austrian 
Minister of State. Count Cobenzel goes to Rastadt to negotiate for 
peace with Bonaparte. Information received from Prince de Reusse, 
Conversation with the Elector. Dines with the Duchess of Cumber- 
land. Ukase of the Russian Emperor. Mr. Crauford's history of 
how he became acquainted with Simolin. Affairs in Paris in 1792 of 
which Crauford was cognizant, 332 



CHAPTER XL. 

Morris bids farewell to his friends in Europe. Returns to America. 
Difficulties of the voyage. Rebuilds his house at Morrisania. 
Pressed by friends once more to enter public life. Hamilton espe- 
cially solicitous that he should do so. Death of Washington. Morris 
pronounces his funeral oration. Elected United States Senator in 
April. Journey to Northern New York. Niagara. Letter to James 
Parish. Enthusiastic description of the climate and prospects of 
America, 370 



CHAPTER XLL 

Morris goes to Washington. Sits in the Senate. Presidential election. 
Treaty with France. Letter to Hamilton. Letter to James Leray. 
Jefferson elected President. Disconcerting proposition from Lafa- 
yette in regard to a loan. Letter to M. Labarte, A most unpleasant 
episode with the Lafayettes, . 393 



Vlll CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XLIL 

Yellow fever at New York. Morris describes his home life to Count- 
ess Hohenthal. Letter to Parish on public affairs. Washington. 
The Senate opposes a motion to repeal the law respecting the Judi- 
ciary. Cannot support the Administration. Letter to Alexander 
Hamilton. Letter to Robert Livingston. Work in the Senate. Let- 
ter to the Princesse de la Tour et Taxis. Strictures on the Jefferson 
administration 413 



CHAPTER XLIIL 

Morris resumes his duties at Washington. Letter to Parish. Opinion of 
the appointment of Monroe to France and Spain. Question of the 
purchase of Louisiana, Letter to Necker. Morris describes his 
quiet life at Morrisania. Letter to Livingston, Minister at Paris. 
Journey to the Northern lakes, 430 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

Morris appealed to for political advice. Question of the constitutionality 
of the Louisiana purchase. Letter to Robert Livingston. Letter to 
James Parish. Letter to Mr. Tracy. Discusses the cession of Loui- 
siana. Entertains M. and Madame Jerome Bonaparte. Duel between 
Burr and Hamilton. Goes to Hamilton's death-bed. Stays with him 
until he expires. The duel occasions much excitement in New York. 
Morris pronounces the funeral oration, ..... 441 



CHAPTER XLV. 

Letter to Mr. Parish. Reflections on Bonaparte's intervention in Ger- 
many. Ideas on the re-election of Jefferson. Letter to John Penn, 
of London. The political world of America. Takes no active part 
in politics. Letter to Aaron Ogden. Believes the Constitution has 
received a mortal wound. Letter to the Duke of Orleans. Gives 
his opinion on the chances of the Bourbon restoration. Comments 
on European affairs, . . 4^1 



CONTENTS. IX 



CHAPTER XLVL 

The summer of l8o6. Letter to Samuel Hunt. Morris fears war. Con- 
duct of the administration. Letter to Madame de Stael. General 
Moreau. Letter to Chief Justice Marshall. Washington's character. 
Details relative to Lafayette's liberation in 1796. Waiting for Euro- 
pean news. Begs Madame de Stael to come to Morrisania. Napo- 
leon's victory at Friedland. Letter to Madame Foucault. Letter to 
the Marquis of Stafford, ........ 486 



CHAPTER XLVn. 

Long interview with General Moreau. The first steam-boat on the Hudson 
River. Convinced that war is imminent. Distrusts the administra- 
tion. Letter to Madame de Stael. Letter to Madame de Damas. 
Autumn in the woods of New York. Marriage with Miss Randolph. 
Letter to Timothy Pickering. Journey to inspect the country for the 
Erie Canal. Niagara. Writes on public topics. Horror of war. 
Discusses the Constitution, ....... 506 



CHAPTER XLVIIL 

Morris makes his report on inland navigation. Is one of the commission- 
ers to lay out New York. Travels by steam-boat to Albany. Goes to 
Washington. The memorable year of 1812. Delivers an oration at 
the funeral of Mr. Clinton. War declared. Letter to Mr. Hare. Con- 
siders the declaration of war as little short of madness. Letters on 
the subject. Opinion of the course to be pursued in relation to Great 
Britain. No faith in the proposed loan. Letter to Otis. Alarm at 
the extent of the domain of the United States, .... 532 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

Letter to L. B. Sturges. Conclusions drawn from Lord Castlereagh's cor- 
respondence. Suggests calling a convention to consult on the state 
of the nation. The coast blockaded. America has no ships. Eu- 
ropean peace. Morris pronounces an oration to celebrate the restora- 
tion of the Bourbons. Commissioners at Ghent British treaty. The 



CONTENTS. 

finances. Letter to Rufus King on the negotiations with Great Brit- 
ain. Alarming prospect of increased taxation. Letter to Timothy 
Pickering, 555 



CHAPTER L. 

Scheme for a bank. Letter to Rufus King on the subject. The Hartford 
Convention. Letter to Moss Kent. Laments the existing troubles 
and fears more misery. Peace proclaimed. Suggests laws to protect 
game. Letter to Senator Wells. Expresses his opinion of the peace. 
Napoleon's escape from Elba. Letter to a friend commenting on the 
manifesto of the combined powers, . . . . . -577 



CHAPTER LI, 

The summer of 18 15. The last year of Morris's life. He opposes the 
heavy tariff. His sixty-fourth birthday. Letter to Rufus King. 
The ratified Convention. Disapproves of direct taxation. Letter to 
Moss Kent. Writes of the exhausted commercial state of the 
country. Elected President of the New York Historical Society. 
Letter to the federal party. Dies at Morrisania, . . . 591 



THE DIARY AND LETTERS 



GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 



Delays in the instructions from America. Morris's position embarrassing. 
Short entries in the diary. Letter to Carmichael. Letter to Short on 
the Lafayette subject Letter to Madame de Lafayette. Morris keeps 
open house. The king before the Assembly. Letter to Jefferson. 
The Jacobin Club. Trial of the king. Letter to Hamilton. Letter 
to Robert Morris. letter to Washington. Proposal to send the king 
and his family to America. Letter to the Countess AlbanL Genet 
appointed Minister to the United States. 

THE delay in receiving instructions from his govern- 
ment, during the autumn of 1792, caused Morris 
infinite annoyance, and placed him in a most equivocal 
position toward the French Government ; and it was not 
until the end of November that he received a letter from 
the Secretary of the Treasury committing to his manage- 
ment such part of the business relating to the debt due to 
France as was to be transacted in Paris, which consisted 
in payment of interest due thereon. November 14th he 
had written to Mr. Short, then at the Hague, informing 
him of the difficulties he had encountered with the French 
ministry, in the following letter : 

"The ministry had taken up the idea that the manage- 
ment of what relates to the debt was in my hands, and that 
you acted in consequence of directions from me. They 
wished me to do things which were by no means in my 
Vol. IL— I 



2 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII, 

power. I endeavored to undeceive them, but in vain. 
Every step I took in relation to it, however indifferent, 
was considered as a proof of their hypothesis, and they 
treated refusal as a disavowal of the late revolution. I 
assured them that I could neither adopt nor reject it, being 
merely an agent, etc. But this answered little purpose, 
and the whole council are personally my enemies. You 
may say that they are unreasonable, and the like, but that 
does not alter the thing. This inconvenience, however, is 
no small one, under the circumstances in which I have 
lived for the last three months, and has, I know, excited 
representations in America to my disadvantage." 

From the middle of November, and, indeed, dating back 
to the September massacres, in the entries in his diary 
Morris confined himself almost entirely to records of 
the weather, with brief non-committal notices of rumors 
of the successes or reverses of the armies, and to contra- 
dictions and confirmations of those rumors. Very occa- 
sionally he says, "To-day everything is quiet ;" but, as he 
wrote to his friend Carmichael at Madrid, on the 5th of 
November, there were no "satisfactory or flattering ac- 
counts to give." "True it is," he continued, "that the 
French arms are crowned with great success. Towns fall 
before them without a blow, and the Declaration of Rights, 
produces an effect equal at least to the trumpets of Joshua. 
But as, on the one hand, I never questioned the force of 
France if united, and her natural enthusiasm, warmed by 
the ardor of new-born freedom, so, on the other, I was 
always apprehensive that they would be deficient in that 
cool reflection which appears needful to consolidate a free 
government. "We read in the history of man, as it is de- 
veloped in the great book of nature, that empires do by 
no means depend on their success in arms, but on their 
civil, religious, and political constitutions, and that in the 



1792.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 3 

framing of these it is a useless question, ' What kind are 
best in themselves ?' the more so as good and bad in most 
things here below, but especially in that which we now 
contemplate, are mere relative terms. The true object of 
a great statesman is to give to any particular nation the 
kind of laws which are suitable to them, and the best con- 
stitution which they are capable of. All here is in a state 
of uncertainty. Time will disclose the events with which 
he is charged in their due season. Some of them will, I 
think, be of sable hue." 

Morris was hardly in a position to take any active 
measures for the relief of his old friend M. de Lafayette, 
although he wrote to Mr. Short in November that he was 
" very sorry to perceive that the unhappy prisoners at 
Weszel are rigorously treated. I wish, at your leisure, to 
be informed pretty fully what has passed on their subject, 
and whether there be any ground to hope that we may by 
and by obtain their liberation, and particularly that of our 
fellow-citizen." Hoping to aid Madame de Lafayette in 
her trouble, he enclosed in a letter to her the draft of a 
supplicatory address to be presented to the King of 
Prussia ; but, unfortunately, there is nowhere any men- 
tion of Madame de Lafayette having made use of this 
letter. 

" My Dear Madame : I need not tell you why the en- 
closed paper is transmitted to you. I know not the titles 
of the King of Prussia. These should be properly placed, 
you know, because monarchs are very sensible on that 
subject. If report say true, His Majesty is more likely to 
listen to a woman than to a man, and this is favorable ; 
but what would be still more advantageous would be to 
have your letter presented by the favorite of the day, a 
lady, I think Madame de Guisne ; but certainly the daugh- 



4 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

ter of Madame de Polignac is said to have made an im- 
pression on His Majesty, who is, it seems, very susceptible 
of violent though not of lasting affection. This young 
lady is said to have been ill-treated by her mother and 
others, who are among the principal emigrants, and to have 
used her influences with the King to avenge the slight of 
her countrymen and relations. I am told that Madame 
de Guisne has lately received his adorations. If you were 
to plead your cause in a court of justice it might be well 
to insist on the rights of our unfortunate friend ; but as 
the person to whom you address yourself is both judge 
and party, the matter of right must be touched with great 
gentleness. Be of good courage, for sooner or later the 
present clouds will be dissipated. All human things are 
liable to change. You may remember that I used to in- 
culcate that maxim when circumstances were smiling. It 
was then true, and it is still true. But then it was un- 
pleasant, but now it will afford consolation. Farewell, 
my dear madame. It will give me sincere pleasure to be 
useful to you and yours." 

The enclosed letter, which was written at the urgent 
request of Madame de Lafayette's mother, is as follows : 

" Madame de Lafayette au Rot de Prusse. 

" Sire : Permettez k une malheureuse de se jeter aux 
pieds de Votre Majeste. C'est la femme de Lafayette, 
Sire, qui s'adresse k votre clemence ; elle ose esperer que 
la generosite du Roi de Prusse brisera les chaines de son 
mari. 

"Je ne pretends pas, Sire, agiter les hautes questions 
qui s'elevent sur la detention de M. de Lafayette, car il 
est permis k une femme de n'etre pas versee dans le droit 
des gens ; d'ailleurs, Votre Majesty attache un trop grand 



1792.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 5 

prix a sa propre gloire pour ne pas observer avec exacti- 
tude cette loi supreme. Mais elle daignera ecouter les 
prieres d'une femme, a qui la revolution franfaise a fait 
verser les larmes les plus ameres. 

" Sire, celui en faveur duquel j'emploie la clemence de 
Votre Majesty, n'a jamais connu le crime. Fidele a son 
roi, des qu'il ne pouvait plus lui etre utile, il s'eloignait de 
la France. Au moment ou il a ete fait prisonnier, il 
traversait les Pays-Bas pour se refugior en Amerique ; il 
se croyait sous la protection du droit des gens, et il s'y 
fiait avec d'autant plus de confiance, que les sentiments 
genereux de Votre Majeste ne lui ^taient point inconnus ; 
il salt qu'elle se conduit dans toutes ses demarches d'apres 
les principes de I'honneur et de la justice. 

" Sire, je m'aveugle, peut-etre, sur la conduite d'un epoux 
cher, mais je ne me trompe pas quand je me persuade 
que Votre Majeste exaucera les prieres d'une malheu- 
reuse." * 



* Translation of the above Letter. — Sire: Permit an unfortunate 
woman to throw herself at the feet of Your Majesty. It is the wife of Lafay- 
ette who invokes your clemency ; she dares to hope that the generosity of the 
King of Prussia will break the chains of her husband. 

I shall not attempt. Sire, to discuss the high problems which have arisen 
concerning the imprisonment of Lafayette, for it is allowed that women be 
not too well versed in the law of nations ; but Your Majesty attaches too 
great a price to your own glory not to observe with exactitude this supreme 
law. And Your Majesty will deign to listen to the supplications of a woman 
whom the French Revolution has caused to shed the bitterest tears. 

Sire, he in whose favor I implore the clemency of Your Majesty has 
never known crime. Faithful to his king, he left France as soon as he 
saw his devotion useless. At the very moment when he was taken into 
custody, he was crossing the Netherlands on his way to America. He be- 
lieved himself to be under the protection of international law, and trusted 
in it all the more because the generous feelings of Your Majesty were not 
unknown to him. He knows that Your Majesty conducts all your undertak- 
ings in accordance with the principles of honor and justice. 

Sire, I may be blind concerning the conduct of a beloved husband, but I 
do not deceive myself in feeling convinced that Your Majesty will grant the 
prayers of an unfortunate wife. 



6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

Morris occasionally mentions the fact of dining out 
with some friend during those months of the autumn of 
1792 — on one occasion, with Madame de Narbonne ; but 
he more frequently stayed at home and hospitably enter- 
tained those who were homeless and miserable among his 
friends. On the 22d of November, he says : " I go to- 
day by appointment to M. Lebrun's office and urge an 
exception in the law against emigrants favorable to those 
who are in the United States. The papers discovered in 
the Tuileries affect several persons who supposed them- 
selves safe. I give a dinner to French people this day." 

" Cold weather [December 2d]. Dine with the Comte 
de Segur, who gives us a Greek wine after oysters, and, 
by mistake as a second bottle of the same, some of the 
best Tokay I ever tasted. I drink the greater part of it, 
praising always his Greek wine, till his brother-in-law, 
astonished at my choice, tastes it, and then all is discov- 
ered." 

To Lord Wycombe Morris wrote, November 22d, thank- 
ing him for his letter and for his "kind congratulations 
on the success of French arms. The enemies of the Revo- 
lution attribute to numbers the great success which has 
been experienced, but they must at the same time allow 
that the appearance of those numbers in the field at their 
country's call is itself a proof of the wonders which free- 
dom performs. They flatter themselves, however, that 
famine and bankruptcy will tie up, next campaign, the 
swords of the valorous Franks. They may perhaps find 
themselves mistaken. The ivishes which your lordship 
expresses respecting Britain are patriotic, if wealth were 
the only index of national felicity ; but as man liveth not 
by bread alone, so the societies of men are not content 
with mere plenty but must pursue luxuries, among which 
the greatest is, to use an expression of one of my country- 



1792] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 7 

men, the luxury of being free. And you must not imag- 
ine that we will avariciously confine to our own limits this 
gratifying enjoyment. No, we declare that all who wish 
to partake thereof will find in us (ye French) a sure and 
certain ally. We will chase tyranny, and, above all, aris- 
tocracy, off the theatre of the Universe. Mark that, my 
lord. The declaration was unnecessary, for all clear- 
sighted men were convinced, a year ago, that such was the 
natural result of our endeavors. We begin, as your lord- 
ship observes, by establishing free commerce on the bosom 
of the Scheldt, by opening the long-shut gates of Antwerp, 
and bidding Wealth revisit, with his sister Liberty, their 
ancient temple. In comparison with these sublime efforts 
to increase the sum of human felicity, how cold and flat 
are all the little calculations of policy. Adieu, my lord. 
I heartily wish you well, but I think you must prepare for 
hard struggles, either at home or abroad. The theatre is 
perhaps still left to your choice, but certainly not the 
thing." 

" The Convention this day [December 3d] determine to 
try the King. It grows every day more probable that 
England will declare war. Success continues to crown 
the French arms, but we must not judge from success. 
The enemies of those who now reign treat them as they 
did their predecessors, and as their successors will be 
treated." 

" Since I have been in this country," wrote Morris to 
Thomas Pinckney, December 3d, "I have seen the wor- 
ship of many idols, and but little of the true God ; I have 
seen many of those idols broken, and some of them 
beaten to dust. I have seen the late Constitution, in one 
short year, admired as a stupendous monument of human 
wisdom and ridiculed as an egregious production of folly 
and vice. I wish much, very much, the happiness of this 



8 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

inconstant people. I love them. I feel grateful for their 
efforts in our cause, and I consider the establishment of a 
good constitution here as a principal means, under Divine 
Providence, of extending the blessings of freedom to the 
many millions of my fellow-men who groan in bondage 
on the Continent of Europe. But I do not greatly indulge 
the flattering illusions of hope, because I do not yet per- 
ceive that reformation of morals without which liberty is 
but an empty sound. My heart has many sinister bodings, 
and reason would strive in vain to dispel the gloom which 
always thickens where she exerts her sway." 

On the nth of December the king was questioned be- 
fore the Assembly. "He answered well," Morris men- 
tions in the diary. "Some who saw him conducted tell 
me that the people seemed rather sorrowful than tri- 
umphant." 

"I am told this day [December 12th] that the commit- 
tee think they have been pushed too far against the King, 
by the Orleans faction. The Convention banish the Bour- 
bon family." 

"To-day [December 19th] all accounts from England 
show a design to engage in the war. Dine with some of 
the deputies. The decree against the Bourbons is sus- 
pended. Several Americans dine with me. Paine looks 
a little down at the news from England ; he has been 
burned in effigy." 

Writing to Mr. Jefferson, under date of December 21st, 
Morris says : 

"You will have seen that the Jacobin Club is as much at 
war with the present government as it was with the 
preceding. Victory or death is the word with both 
parties. Hitherto the majority of the Convention have 
had rather the advantage, although they frequently decree 
what they do not wish. The ministers, possessing far 



1792] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 9 

more patronage than any monarch since Louis the Four- 
teenth, secured by that means the influence of the major- 
ity, their friends and the Jacobins, who, backed by the 
Parisian populace, have been several times within an inch 
of ruin. Luckily for them their adversaries are many of 
them timid, while the Jacobin leaders are daring and de- 
termined. A late circumstance brought forward a show 
of forces, and, though it is rather anticipating a different 
subject, I must state it here. The Brissotines, finding 
themselves hard pushed towards killing the King, and ap- 
prehensive, not without reason, that this might be a sig- 
nal for their own destruction, determined on a measure 
not a little hazardous, but decisive. This was the expul- 
sion of the Bourbons, a blow originally levelled at the 
Duke of Orleans. The motion was carried, but the Con- 
vention have been obliged to suspend the decree, and 
that is, I think, equivalent to a repeal. Many members 
have talked of leaving Paris, but the same fear which con- 
trols them while in the city will prevent them from quit- 
ting it ; at least, such is my opinion. I now come to the 
trial of the King and the circumstances connected with it. 
To a person less intimately acquainted than you are with 
the history of human affairs, it would seem strange that 
the mildest monarch who ever filled the French throne, 
one who is precipitated from it precisely because he would 
not adopt the harsh measures of his predecessors, a man 
whom none could charge with a criminal act, should be 
prosecuted as one of the most nefarious tyrants that ever 
disgraced the annals of human nature — that he, Louis the 
Sixteenth, should be prosecuted even to death. Yet such is 
the fact. I think it highly probable that he may suffer, and 
that for the following causes : The majority of the Assem- 
bly found it necessary to raise against this unhappy prince 
the national odium, in order to justify the dethroning him 



lO DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

(which, after what he had suffered, appeared to be neces- 
sary even to their safety) and to induce the ready adoption 
of a republican form of government. Being in possession 
of his papers, and those of his servants, it was easy, if they 
would permit themselves to extract, to comment, to sup- 
press, and to mutilate — it was very easy to create such 
opinions as they might think proper. The rage which 
has been excited was terrible ; and, although it begins 
to subside, the Convention are still in great straits — fear- 
ing to acquit, fearing to condemn, and yet urged to de- 
stroy their captive monarch. The violent party are clam- 
orous against him, for reasons which I will presently state. 
" The monarchic and aristocratic parties wish his death, 
in the belief that such a catastrophe would shock the 
national feelings, awaken their hereditary attachment, and 
turn into the channels of loyalty the impetuous tide of 
opinion. Thus he has become the common object of 
hatred to all parties, because he has never been the 
decided patron of any one. If he is saved, it will be by 
the justice of his cause, which will have some little effect, 
and by the pity which is universally felt (though none 
dare to express it openly) for the very harsh treatment 
which he has endured. I come now to the motives of 
the violent party. You will see that Louvet, whose 
pamphlet, with many others, I send you, has charged on 
this party the design to restore royalty in the person of 
the Duke of Orleans. This man's character and conduct 
give but too much room to suspect him of criminal inten- 
tions. I have many particular circumstances which lead 
me to believe that he has from the beginning played a 
deep and doubtful game ; but I believe, also, that on the 
present occasion, as on the preceding, he is the dupe. 
Shortly after the loth of August I had information, on 
which you may rely, that the plan of Danton was to 



1792] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. II 

obtain the resignation of the King and get himself ap- 
pointed Chief of a Council of Regency, composed of his 
creatures, during the minority of tlie Dauphin. This idea 
has never, I believe, been wholly abandoned. The Corde- 
liers (or privy council which directs the Jacobin move- 
ments) know well the design of interverting the order of 
succession. They know how to appreciate the fluctuating 
opinions of their countrymen, and, though they are very 
willing to employ the Duke of Orleans in their work, I 
am much mistaken if they will consent to elevate him to 
the throne. So that, for his share of the guilt, he may 
probably be rewarded with the shame of it, and the morti- 
fying reflection that, after all the conflicts of his political 
warfare, he has gained no victory but over his own con- 
science. It is worthy of remark that, although the Con- 
vention has been now near four months in session, no 
plan of a constitution is yet produced. Nevertheless, the 
special authority committed to them by the people, and the 
only authority, perhaps, which cannot be contested, was to 
prepare such a plan. On the conduct likely to be pursued 
by Great Britain I shall not permit myself to hazard 
much conjecture. I have already troubled you with some 
ideas respecting the interior state of Great Britain, and I 
add here my opinion that, sooner or later, they must go 
into war. As to Spain, I think the Court is too corrupt 
and too profligate to make any considerable efforts. 
Bankrupt almost in full peace, with the mines of Mexico 
and Peru at their disposal, what would war produce ? 
Russia menaces, but the state of her finances, and the 
great distance, must make her efforts fall short of her 
wishes. Every art is used on each side to influence the 
Turk, and I own to you that I rather apprehend that 
England and the Imperial Court combined will prove 
successful, especially as M. de Choiseul Gouffier is no'w 



12 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

openly active there on the part of the emigrant princes. 
Austria and Prussia are making their utmost efforts, and 
the Prince of Hesse, who (strange as it may seem) is 
adored by his subjects, will second those efforts to the ut- 
most of his ability. 

" Such, my dear sir, is the foreign storm lowering over 
this country, in which you will see that my predictions 
respecting corn have been hitherto exactly verified. How 
they are to obtain supplies from abroad, in the face of the 
maritime powers, I am myself at a loss to conjecture. It 
is nevertheless in this awful moment, and immediately 
after expediting the orders to recruit their army to six 
hundred thousand effectives in order to sustain the land- 
war, that they affect to wish Britain would declare war 
against them, and actually menace, as you see, the gov- 
ernment with an appeal to the nation. There are cases in 
which events must decide on the quality of actions, which 
are bold or rash according to the success. If I may venture 
to judge from appearances, there is now in the wind a 
storm not unlike that of the 2d of September. Whether 
it will burst or blow over it is impossible to determine." 

"You will have seen from the public prints," Morris 
wrote to Alexander Hamilton, December 24th, "the won- 
derful success of the French arms, arising from the fol- 
lowing causes : ist. That the enemy, deceived by the emi- 
grants, counted too highly on the opposition he was to 
meet with. 2d. That from like misinformation, instead of 
attacking on the northern frontier, backed by the resources 
of Flanders and those which the ocean could supply, they 
came across the Ardennes to that part of Champagne nick- 
named * the lousy,' from its barrenness and misery. 3d. 
That in this expedition, where the difficulty of the roads, 
transportation, and communication was the greatest they 
expected, it so happened that the season, usually dry and 



1792] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 3 

fair (when those bad roads are at the best), was one con- 
tinued rain for two months ; so that at length they were 
nearly stuck fast, and had as much as they could do to drag 
back their cannon through the mud. Lastly, that France 
brought into the field, and has kept up until very lately, 
the immense number of 600,000 troops. This has been 
done at an average expense of about five millions sterling 
per month beyond their resources, and yet they have or- 
dered a like army for the next campaign, and talk boldly 
of meeting Great Britain also upon her element. What 
say you to that. Monsieur le Financier? But I will tell 
you in your ear that, in spite of that blustering, they will 
do much to avoid a war with Britain, if the people will let 
them. But truth is, that the populace of Paris influence, 
in a great degree, the public counsels. I think they will 
have quite as many men as they can maintain ; but what 
that may amount to is hard to determine. The ministers 
here are a most extraordinary people ; they make nothing 
of difficulties, as you shall judge by a simple trait of M. 
Pache,* the Minister at War. He had sent Beuernonville 
to occupy the Moselle River down to Coblentz, taking 
Treves and other places in his way. Now this way lies 
through a very difficult, mountainous country, in which 
the snow is already very deep ; therefore Beuernonville, 
having got a little neck of land between the Saar and the 
Moselle, puts his troops into winter-quarters, pleading 
their nakedness as an excuse. The minister has sent him 
a brace of commissioners, who have power to impress in 

* Jean Nicholas Pache, son of the Marshal de Castries's Swiss porter, re- 
ceived a liberal education. He connected himself with Brissot, and was am- 
bitious to become a minister. In 1792 he succeeded Servan in the War De- 
partment. Madame Roland, in her memoirs, speaks of the peculation and 
profuse expenditure of Pache's administration as horrible. He was made 
Mayor of Paris in 1793, survived the Reign of Terror, contrived to escape 
prosecution for his various misdeeds, left Paris in 1797, and lived in ob- 
scurity. 



14 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

the neighborhood whatever may be needful for the troops 
and then (their wants supplied) summon him to obey his 
orders. If I may venture to judge from appearances, 
there is now in the wind a storm not unlike that of Sep- 
tember. Whether it will burst or blow over it is impos- 
sible to determine. It has occurred to me that I never 
yet assigned a reason why the completion of the payment 
of 6,ooo,ooof,, which at Mr. Short's request I had stipu- 
lated for with the government lately abolished, appeared 
to me desirable. In effect, I left this, as I do many other 
things, to the sense of x\\q gentle reader ; but as readers are 
sometimes ungentle, it is not amiss to communicate that 
reason to a friend. I saw that the new government would 
be hungry, and would urge us for money, in the double 
view of obtaining an acknowledgment of them as well 
as of supplying their wants. It was therefore, I thought, 
right to take a position where we might say there is nothing 
due. This would leave open a question which it would be 
very delicate to answer either way as things appeared 
then, and as they are, now that appearances have changed. 
You will have seen the manoeuvres to force me in that in- 
trenchment, but at last, \\kQ your friend General Lee, I was 
quit, at the worst, for a retrograde manceuvre. But I con- 
cluded that supplies of money to support the Colony of 
Santo Domingo would, in all events, have been considered 
as a good and effectual payment on our part, and, had my offer 
of recommending such supplies been accepted, I could, 
on that ground, have proposed the measure which, antici- 
pating the next instalment, would have still kept open the 
main point as long as you should think proper. And thus 
my apparent retreat was, in effect, a mode of more perma- 
nent defence ; and this is more, I believe, than poor Lee 
could say for himself." 

Writing to Robert Morris, on December 24th, Morris 



1792.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 5 

spoke more fully than usual of the horrors he had seen 
enacted about him. " You will long ere this have learnt," 
he says, " that the scenes which have passed in this coun- 
try, and particularly in this city, have been horrible. They 
were more so than you can imagine. Some days ago a 
man applied to the Convention for damages done to his 
quarry. The quarries are deep pits, dug through several 
feet of earth into the bed of stone, and then extended 
along the bed of stone under the surface. The damage 
done to him was by the number of dead bodies thrown 
into his pit, and which choked it up so that he could not 
get men to work at it. Think of the destruction of hun- 
dreds who had long been the best people of a country, 
without form of trial, and their bodies thrown like dead 
dogs into the first hole that offered. At least two hun- 
dred of these unhappy victims had committed no other 
crime than that of being ecclesiastics of irreproachable 
lives, who were conscientiously scrupulous of taking an 
oath prescribed to them. I am much mistaken if we do 
not experience similar scenes before the present Revolu- 
tion is finished. Adieu, my dear friend. I heartily pre- 
sent to you and yours the compliments of this, which is 
with you a very festive season. I write from a place de- 
serted by its former inhabitants, where in almost every 
countenance you can mark the traces of present woe and 
of dismal forebodings." 

" Since the date of my last letter, the 23d of October," 
Morris wrote to Washington, December 28th, " the ex- 
terior affairs of this country have put on a more steady 
appearance. My letter of .the 21st inst. to Mr. Jefferson 
will communicate my view of things, to which I could add 
but little at this day. I have not mentioned to him the 
appointment of M. Genet as Minister to the United States ; 
in fact, this appointment has never been announced to 



1 6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

me. Perhaps the ministry think it is a trait of republican- 
ism to omit those forms which were anciently used to ex- 
press good-will. In the letter which is addressed to you 
is a strain of adulation which your good sense will easily 
expound. The fact is, that they begin to open their eyes 
to their true situation, and, besides, they wish to bring for- 
ward into act our guarantee of their islands, if the war 
with Britain should actually take place. A propos of the 
war, I am told that the British ultimatum is as follows : 
France shall deliver the royal family to such branch of 
the Bourbons as the King may choose, and shall recall her 
troops from the countries they now occupy. In this event 
Britain will send hither a minister and acknowledge the 
Republic, and mediate a peace with the Emperor and King 
of Prussia. I have several reasons to believe that this in- 
formation is not far from the truth, and that if the minis- 
ters felt themselves at liberty to act they would agree to 
the terms. These terms are, it is said, consequential to 
the sentiments delivered by the Opposition in the British 
Parliament, which is, as you will see, become quite insig- 
nificant ; but it was thought best to place them in a ne- 
cessity of supporting the measures of administration. I 
consider these terms (or something very like them) in a 
different point of view. If the French retire (and conse- 
quently eat up again their high-toned declarations in favor 
of the people and denunciations against kings), they will 
at the next attempt find as many enemies as there are men 
in the neighboring countries, and, of course, the itiediator 
will prescribe such terms as she may think proper. Sec- 
ondly, as it is (almost) evident that the Republic must be 
torn to pieces by contending factions, even without any 
foreign interference, her population, wealth, and resources, 
above all, her marine, must dwindle away. And, as much of 
her intelligence and industry, with the greater part of her 



1793-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. IJ 

money capital, must in this hypothesis seek the protection 
of law and government on the other side of the channel, 
her rival will increase both in positive and relative power. 
Thirdly, an exiled monarch on the other side of the Pyre- 
nees (for it is at Madrid that he would probably take ref- 
uge) would enable Britain at any moment to distract the 
French affairs and involve tlie Republic in a war with Spain. 
Lastly, it seems an almost necessary conclusion that if 
France (in some years of convulsive misery) should escape 
dismemberment, she would sink under severe and single 
despotism, and when relieved therefrom (by the King and 
his descendants or relatives), she would live in a state of 
wretchedness for at least one generation. I understand 
that the French, in the consciousness that their principles 
have ruined their colonies, are willing to pay them as the 
price of peace, but, on the other hand, Mr. Pitt has, I am 
told, refused the offers which the colonists have made to 
him ; partly because he does not wish to excite alarm, and 
partly because the only useful part of the colonies — their 
commerce — will, he conceives, naturally fall to Britain, in 
proportion to their interior ruin, which has already made 
great ravages in this country. If the terms offered by 
Britain, whatever they may be, are not accepted, I think a 
declaration will nol suddenly follow, but only an increase 
of preparations, because time must be given for the co- 
operators (Spain and Holland), who are both of them slow. 
Besides, it will be necessary that a body of Prussian troops 
should be collected through Westphalia, in the neighbor- 
hood of Flanders, to be joined by Dutch, Hanoverian, and, 
perhaps, British troops. The more the French advance 
the more they expose themselves to this danger, and you 
may rely that if a large body of troops be thrown into 
Flanders, that country will join them eagerly to expel or 
destroy the French. I think it possible that in case war 
Vol. IL— 2 



l8 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

should break out there may be a treaty of partition, in 
which the Elector Palatine may have Alsace and Lorraine 
in lieu of Bavaria, and that the Low Countries may be 
given by the Emperor, in exchange for Bavaria, to the 
Duke and Duchess of York. This would suit everybody 
but France, and she will not, in such case, be consulted. 
I have not yet seen M. Genet, but Mr. Paine is to intro- 
duce him to me. In the meantime I have inquired a little 
what kind of person he is, and I find that he is a man of 
good parts and very good education, brother to the 
Queen's first woman, from whence his fortune originates. 
He was, through the Queen's influence, appointed Charge 
d'Aflfaires at Petersburg, and when there, in consequence 
of despatches from M. de Montmorin, written in the sense 
of the Revolution, and which he interpreted too literally, 
he made some representations in a much higher tone than 
was wished or expected. It was not convenient either to 
approve or disapprove of his conduct under the then cir- 
cumstances, and his despatches lay unnoticed. This, to a 
young man of ardent temper, and who, feeling genius and 
talents, may perhaps have rated himself a little too high, 
was mortifying in the extreme. He felt himself insulted, 
and wrote in a style of petulance to his chief, believing 
always that if the royal party prevailed his sister would 
easily make fair weather for him at court, which I doubt 
not. At the overturn of the monarchy these letters were 
so many credentials in his favor to the new government, 
and the dearth of men has opened his way to whatever he 
might wish. He chose America, as being the best harbor 
during the storm, and, if my informant be right, he will 
not put to sea again until it is fair weather, let what will 
happen. In addition to what I have said respecting the 
King to Mr. Jefferson, it is well to mention to you that 
the majority have it in contemplation not only to refer the 



1792.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I9 

judgment to the electors of France, that is, to her people, 
but also to send him and his family to America, which 
Paine is to move for. He mentioned this to me in confi- 
dence, but I have since heard it from another quarter. 
Adieu, my dear sir ; I wish you many and happy years." 

The last entry in the diary for 1792, of any length, was 
made on the 25th of December, and is the mention of a 
report that " General Custine and his army are taken 
prisoners. I doubt this. Count d'Estaing told me this 
morning that a majority of the Convention would give Mr. 
Pitt the French West Indies to keep him quiet. He also 
spoke to me on a subject which Paine had communicated 
confidentially." 

The following letter to Madame la Comtesse d'Albani, 
who had fled from Paris leaving all her belongings at the 
mercy of the new government, is of interest as showing 
the efforts Morris made to assist the unfortunate fugitives 
and the encouragement he tried to give them. 

"La lettre que vous aviez la bonte de m'adresser de 
Bruxelles, Madame la Comtesse, ne m'est parvenue qu'a- 
pres le delai d'un mois, c'est k dire, en octobre. Ce delai 
est provenu des mouvements militaires, mais il en est re- 
sulte que je ne vous ai pas adresse ma reponse k Stutt- 
gart, ni ailleurs, parceque, vu les circonstances, je m'im- 
aginai bien que vous aviez dii changer souvent et votre 
route et vos projets. Je viens de recevoir celle du 30 no- 
vembre, qui m'annonce votre arriv^e k Florence. Je me 
suis transport^ chez vous, mais votre maitre d'hotel n'y 
etant pas, je I'ai fait venir chez moi hier matin. II me dit 
que vous aviez du recevoir plusieurs de ses lettres avant 
cette epoque, que les scell^s ont 6t6 mis chez vous, et 
qu'ils n'ont ete leves que depuis un mois ; qu'a present 
tout est bien et en bon ordre ; qu'il a dispose (en cadeaux 



20 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

de trois de vos chevaux d'apres les ordres que vous lui 
aviez donnes ; que le quatrieme est mort. II en reste huit, 
qui ont tous bon appetit. II pense, et je suis decidement 
de son avis, qu'il serait sage de les vendre. lis se vendront 

bien a present, et d'ici au mois de ils vous auront 

cout^ plus que la difference de prix entre la vente et I'a- 
chat ; si toutefois vous vous decidez k revenir au printemps. 

" Ensuite il me parait que la Republique pourrait bien 
s'en servir, en cas de besoin, malgre les bonnes dispositions 
de ses chefs, parce que nous sommes encore loin d'un 
gouvernement regie. II arrive, comme dans le fort de 
toutes les revolutions, qu'on est oblige de laisser faire. 
Quant k vos meubles, je crois que si vous vous decidez k 
ne plus revenir en France il faudra les faire emballer et 
descendre la Seine jusqu'd Rouen, pour etre embarques 
k Rouen sur un b^timent, /ou/ exprh, et ensuite trans- 
portes au port le plus voisin de votre habitation. La 
vente des biens des Emigres a r^duit k tres peu de chose 
le prix des meubles, et ensuite le change vous ote un bon 
tiers de la vente telle quelle. 

'■^ Notre amie a voyag^ depuis votre depart, mais je I'at- 
tends sous peu, ou plutot j'espere que sous peu elle revi- 
endra. M. de St. Andr^ est a Paris. M. et Madame de 
Trudaine sont a Rouen. 

"Vous me demandez une id^e de I'etat des choses ici, 
et vous avez bien fait de dire : * Si vous pouvez.* Rien de 
plus difficile que cela. L'objet principal du jour, c'est le 
proces du roi. II a tres bien r^pondu quand on I'a mis 
sur la sellette, mais je crains qu'il ne soit immol^. Je 
crois que la majeure partie de I'Assembl^e ne desire pas sa 
mort. En effet, cela serait non seulement inutile, mais nui- 
sible, puisque ses freres seraient des lors reconnus (par- 
tout) comme Regents ; mais on a tant fait pour echauffer le 
peuple, afin de faire adopter la Republique, qu'il present 



1792] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 21 

ils n'en sont plus les maitres. lis ne me paraissent pas, 
au reste, s'apercevoir que le supplice du roi n'est que le 
preliminaire de leur propre destruction. Voila, pourtant, 
ce qui me parait demontre, et voila. aussi, il me semble, 
une des causes de I'acharnement contre ce malheureux 
prince. Vous aurez vu par les gazettes, si en effet les 
gazettes peuvent vous parvenir, que les chefs des constitu- 
ents sont tous en fort mauvaise odeur ici. La roue im- 
mense a laquelle est attache le sort de cet empire, ecrase 
dans sa marche ceux qui I'ont fait mouvoir. Personne 
n'est assez forte pour I'arreter, quoique chacun se flatte de 
pouvoir la faire aller k son gre ; mais ils se trompent tous. 
L'histoire nous a toujours presente les aveugles humains 
creusant, avec une Industrie fatale, leurs propres tom- 
beaux, qt Shakespeare a fait dire par le tyran Macbeth, a 
la fin de sa carriere : * Helas ! il est toujours demontre que 
nous ne faisons que de donner aux autres des lefons de sang, 
qui, aussitot qu'elles sont apprises, reviennent tourmenter 
ceux qui les ont inventees. La justice, avec une main egale 
et severe, nous fait boire de la coupe que nous avons em- 
poisonnee.' Mais ne dites pas, madame, que la vie est une 
triste chose. Sans revers, elle deviendrait bien ennuyeuse, 
et nous voyons toujours que les mortels les plus heureux 
sont ceux qui ont appris, par une triste experience, la juste 
valeur des objets de ce monde, II faut en gouter avec mo- 
deration, sans trop s'y livrer. II faut se souvenir, que le 
bonheur et I'infortune sont egalement passagers, et il ne 
nous en reste, bientot, que les traces de leur passage. Vou- 
loir le bien, eviter le mal, un peu de severity pour nous, 
un peu d'indulgence pour les autres, voila, je crois, les 
moyens de tirer bon parti de notre chetive existence. 
Aimer ses amis, en etre aim^, voilzL le moyen de Tembellir. 
Je suis persuade que vous avez tous les droits au bonheur 
que pent vous donner un bon coeur, et que, par consequent, 



22 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

vous serez heureuse. VoiU I'horoscope que j'aime k 
vous tirer, et je vous prie de croire que personne n'a, plus 
que moi, le desir de le realiser. Adieu, madame, faites 
mille complimens, je vous prie, au Comte Alfi^ri, et comp- 
tez toujours sur les sentiments d'estime que vous m'avez 
inspires, pour la vie." * 

* Translation of the Above.—" Madame la Comtesse, the letter yon 
kindly sent to me from Brussels only reached me a month later, i.e., in Octo- 
ber. The delay was caused by the military movements ; and it prevented my 
sending you an answer to Stuttgart, or anywhere else, as I supposed that cir- 
cumstances must have induced you to change often your itinerary and your 
projects. I have just received your letter of November 30th, announcing 
your arrival in Florence. I presented myself at your city house, but your 
butler being out at the time, I had him come to me yesterday morning. He 
told me that you must have received several of his letters before this time ; 
that the seals had been placed everywhere in your house, and removed only a 
month ago ; that everything, at present, is all right and in perfect order ; 
that he has disposed of [en cadeaux] three of your horses according to your 
instructions ; that a fourth horse is dead. Eight remain still, all of good 
appetite. He thinks, and I think myself, that it would be wise to sell them. 

They will sell well at present, and from now until the month of they 

will have cost you more than the difference between the selling and the buy- 
ing prices — should you decide on coming back here next spring. 

" Moreover, it appears as if the Republic might make use of these horses, 
in case of need, and that in spite of the kind dispositions of its chiefs, for we 
are yet very far from a well-regulated government. It now happens, as is 
always the case in the heat of revolutions, that one has to let things take their 
course. As for your furniture, I think that, if you decide not to come back 
to France, it ought to be packed up and sent down the Seine as far as Rouen, 
where it could be placed on board a ship freighted on purpose, to land in the 
harbor nearest your present residence. The sale of the property of imigris 
has reduced to nearly nothing the salable value of furniture, and, besides, 
the rate of exchange diminishes the value another third. 

" Our friend has travelled, since you left, but I expect her very soon, or, 
rather, I hope that she may come back. M. de Saint-Andre is in Paris. M. 
and Madame de Trudaine are in Rouen. 

"You ask me to give you an idea of the state of things here, and you 
very wisely add, ' If you can," for nothing is harder to do than that. The 
principal interest of the day is the trial of the King. He answered very 
well when cross questioned ; but I fear that he will be sacrificed. I think 
the majority in the Assembly do not desire his death, for it would not 
only be useless, but damaging, as his brothers would be recognized every- 
where as Regents. But so much has been done to excite the nation so 
as to have the Republic accepted, that they have lost control of their fol- 
lowing. It does not appear to me, moreover, that they understand that 



I793J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 23 

"All accounts from England seem to announce war," 
Morris wrote to M. de Monciel, then in London, Janu- 
ary I, 1793. "En effet, tout decele une disposition, de 
leur part, d'etablir en France un despotisme militaire. . . 
Helas, monsieur, si, com me vous, tout le monde avait 
voulu le bien de la France, ce serait, en ce moment, le 
pays le plus libre et le plus heureux de I'univers. Je n'ai 
point de liaisons avec les ministres de I'Angleterre ; je 
suis trop bon Frangais pour cela.* Les circonstances du 
moment sont bien facheuses." f 

the death of the king is but the forerunner of their own destruction. All 
that is perfectly clear to me, and seems to be one of the causes of their un- 
relenting animosity against this unfortunate prince. You must have seen 
in the papers — if the papers ever reached you — that the chiefs of the Con- 
stituent party are all in pretty bad odor here. The gigantic wheel upon 
which is attached the fate of this empire crushes, as it turns, those who gave 
it the first start. No one is strong enough to stop it, although many boast of 
their ability to govern it at their will ; but they are all mistaken. History has 
always showed us blind human beings, digging, with a fatal cleverness, their 
own tombs, and Shakespeare puts these words in the mouth of the tyrant 
Macbeth, at the end of his career : ' Alas ! it has always been proved that we 
go on giving to others bloody lessons, which, when learned, come back to 
torment their originators. Justice, with an even and severe hand, gives us 
to drink out of the very cup we have poisoned.' But do not say, however, 
madame, that life is a sad thing. Without reverses it would soon become 
insipid, and we find that the happiest mortals are those who have been 
taught, through some sad experience, the value of this world's goods. We 
need to remember that happiness and misfortune are both transitory, and 
leave us but the faint traces of their passage. To try to do good, to avoid 
evil, a little severity for one's self, a little indulgence for others — this is the 
means to obtain some good result out of our poor existence. To love one's 
friends, to be beloved by them — this is the means to brighten it. I am per- 
suaded that you are entitled to all the happiness your kind heart can give— 
and that you will surely be happy. Such is the horoscope which I delight in 
drawing for you, and I beg you to believe that no one wishes for its realiza- 
tion more than I do. Adieu, madame ; present, if you please, a thousand 
regards to Count Alfieri, and trust always in the feelings of esteem with 
which you have inspired me for life." 

* This was doubtless an allusion to the assertion made in the columns of 
the Aurora, in America, that Morris had an illicit connection with the 
British Government, for which assertion he prosecuted the editor of the 
paper. 

t " Everything points, in fact, to a disposition, on their part, to establish 



24 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVII. 

"M, Genet, who is appointed Minister to the United 
States, dines with me," says the diary for January 3d. 
"Mr. Short calls in the evening, and I give him his pass- 
port. The weather is soft." 

" Mr. Short, the Marechal de S^ur, M. Grefeuille, and 
the Chevalier de Tremblai dine with me [January 4th]. 
The weather grows colder." 

" I go out this morning [January 5th], but am glad to 
get home. The streets are a glare of ice, horses tumbling 
down, and some killed ; mine come off tolerably. The 
situation of things is such that to continue this journal 
would compromise many people, unless I go on in the 
way I have done since the end of August, in which case 
it must be insipid and useless. I prefer, therefore, the 
more simple measure of putting an end to it." 

Mr. Morris's letters must carry on the history of his life 
in France for the subsequent twenty-one months of his 
stewardship in that distracted country, and but for his 
indefatigable energy in keeping copies of his letters, the 
editor of these papers would be forced to abandon the 
work at this most interesting period. 

a military despotism. . . . Alas ! sir, if everyone had desired — as you did 
— the happiness of France, it would be now the most free and most blessed 
country in the world. I have no intercourse with the English ministers ; I 
am too good a Frenchman for that. The present circumstances are indeed 
very painful. " 



1793] GOU VERNE UR MORRIS. 2$ 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

Letter to Washington concerning M. Genet. Morris questions his abil- 
ity. Clew to some mysteries of the Revolution. Morris urged to 
leave Paris. Paris a dangerous residence. He determines to stay. 
Letter in verse to Lady Sutherland. Trial of Louis Sixteenth. 
Letter to Jefferson. The king's execution. His dignified manner. 
War with England inevitable. Letter to Washington. French pros- 
pects dreadful. Parties pass away like shadows. Morris reported a 
victim of the guillotine. Letter to Robert Morris. Letter to Jeffer- 
son. Scarcity of men in France. The Revolutionary Tribunal organ- 
ized. Morris arrested in the street. Letter to Jefferson. Growing 
treachery to the government A majority in the Convention in favor 
of royalty. Morris buys a country place. Leaves Paris. Spends 
the summer at Sainport. 

ON the 6th of January, 1793, Morris wrote to Wash- 
ington concerning M. Genet, the new Minister 
from France to the United States. Morris says : 

" I have seen M. Genet, and he has dined with me since 
I had the pleasure of writing to you on the 28th of last 
month. He has, I think, more of genius than ability, and 
you will see in him at first blush the manner and look of 
an upstart. My friend, the Marechal de Segur, had told 
me that M. Genet was a clerk at ^50 per annum in his 
oflfice while Secretary of War. I turned the conversation, 
therefore, on the marechal, and M. Genet told me that he 
knew him very well, having been in the ministry with him. 
After dinner he entered into dispute with a merchant who 
came in, and, as the question turned chiefly on facts, the 
merchant was rather an overmatch for the minister. I 
think that in the business he is charged with he will talk 
Vol. IL— 9 



26 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

SO much as to furnish sufficient matter for putting him on 
one side of his object, should tiiat be convenient. 

" I have endeavored to show him that this is the worst 
possible season to put to sea for America. If he delays, 
there is some room to suppose that events may happen 
to prevent the mission ; perhaps a British ship may inter- 
cept that which takes him out, and I incline to think that 
until matters are more steady here you would be as well 
content with some delay as with remarkable despatch. 
. . . As I have good reason to believe that this letter 
will go safely, I shall mention some things which may 
serve as a clew to lead through mysteries. Those who 
planned the revolution which took place on the loth of 
August sought a person to head the attack, and found a 
M. Westermann,* whose morals were far from exemplary. 
He has no pretensions to science or to depth of thought, 
but he is fertile in resources and imbued with the most 
daring intrepidity. Like Caesar, he believes in his fort- 
une. When the business drew towards a point the con- 
spirators trembled, but Westermann declared they should 
go on. They obeyed, because they had trusted him too 
far. On that important day his personal conduct decid- 
ed, in a great measure, his success. Rewards were due, 
and military rank, with opportunities to enrich himself, 
granted. You know something of Dumouriez. The Coun- 
cil distrusted hini. Westermann was commissioned to de- 
stroy him should he falter. This commission was shown 
to the general. It became the bond of union between 
him and Westermann. Dumouriez opened treaty with the 
King of Prussia. The principal emigrants, confident of 

* Francois Joseph Westermann, a native of Alsace, and one of the princi- 
pal instigators of the Jacobins to revolution in Alsace. He was also one of 
the leaders of the riots of August loth, at Paris. He and his friend Dantcn 
were executed together in April, 1794, 



1793-3 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. ^ 2/ 

force and breathing vengeance, shut the royal ear. Thion- 
ville was defended, because a member of the Constituent 
Assembly saw in Lafayette's fate his own. Metz was not 
delivered up, because nobody asked for the keys, and be- 
cause the same apprehensions were felt which influenced 
in Thionville. The King of Prussia waited for these evi- 
dences of loyalty until his provisions were consumed. He 
then found it necessary to bargain for a retreat. It was 
worth to Westermann about ten thousand pounds. The 
Council, being convinced that he had betrayed their 
bloody secret, have excited a bloody prosecution against 
him for old affairs of no higher rank than petit larceny. 
He has desired a trial by court-martial. You will judge 
whether cordial union can subsist between the Council and 
their generals. Vergniaud,* Guadet, etc., are now, I am 
told, the intimates of Dumouriez, and that the present ad- 
ministration is to be overturned, beginning with Pache, 
the Minister of War. You will have seen a denunciation 
against these members of Assembly for a letter they wrote 
to Thierry, the King's valet de chambre. This affair needs 
explanation, but it can be of no present use. The King's 
fate is to be decided next Monday, the 14th. That un- 
happy man, conversing with one of his council on his 
own fate, calmly summed up the motives of every kind, 
and concluded that a majority of the Council would vote 
for referring his case to the people, and that in conse- 
quence he should be massacred. I think he must die or 
reign." 

Mr. Morris's friends, as well as members of his family, 
had by this time become apprehensive for his life, and 



* Pierre Vicorin Vergniaud, one of the chiefs of the Girondin party, the 
most eloquent speaker of the party, and one of the greatest orators of the As- 
sembly. Bom at Limoges in 1759, he died, at thirty-five years of age, after a 
brilliant but stormy career, being guillotined October 31, 1793. 



28 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

earnestly urged him to abandon Paris and seek some less 
perilous place. In reply to this wish he wrote, January 
14th, to his brother, General Morris, then at London, as 
follows : 

" The date of this letter will show you that I did not, as 
you hoped, abandon my post, whi^ch is not always a very 
proper conduct. It is true that continuing here was, 
on many accounts, unpleasant, but we must take the 
world as it goes. You are right in the idea that Paris is a 
dangerous residence. But it is better that my friends 
should wonder why I stay than my enemies inquire why 
I went away. I will do what is right, to the best of my 
judgment. I perfectly agree with you that a small sum 
on my farm, with contentment, is better than anything in 
a situation like that in which I am now placed ; but the 
first of all enjoyments is that which results from doing our 
duty. An opportunity presents itself which enables me 
to give you the desired certificate that as yet I exist. 
Such an existence, however, is very far from pleasant, so 
I should be very glad to pass the coming summer at Mor- 
risania, for, if it be possible to judge of the future by the 
past, it will exhibit new scenes of horror." 

The many " scenes of horror " through which he had 
passed had not destroyed his spirit or rendered his pen 
less facile, as the following rhyming letter to Lady Suth- 
erland testifies : 

" The science of politics," he wrote, " is at the best a 
dry one. The French, therefore, discuss it with the la- 
dies ; and, indeed, the presence of a fine woman is so pleas- 
ant that it diffuses general gladness. In this view of the 
subject, I am now about to converse with one of the love- 
liest I know, and thus begins our conversation : 

When Brunswick hither came express to 
Restore the king, his manifesto, 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 29 

Denouncing widely war and vengeance, 

Was one of those destructive engines 
Which, if we do not safely choose them. 
Prove hurtful to the men who use them. 

No wonder, then, he missed his aim. 

" Here you reply : 

An easy task it is to blame. 
And when a general's measures fail, 
The world is privileged to rail ; 

But would you, whilst men wound and curse you. 

Present them naught but Christian mercy ? 
/ Mildness to those abandoned wretches ! 

The men of Paris without breeches, 

With due submission to your meekness. 

" Now 'tis my turn : 

I grant you that the sans culottes, 

Who please themselves by cutting throats, 

Might well expect, if times should alter, 

To be rewarded with a halter ; 
But they who loved the Constitution — 

" You come in here pat : 

. Prepared the second Revolution ; 

'Twas they who led their hapless nation 

Out of the road of her salvation. 
To follow that fantastic scheme, 
The rights of man ; a boyish dream 

Where words of vague, ambiguous sense 

Conduct to bloodiest consequence. 
They pulled unhappy Louis down. 
Then mock'd him with a paper crown 

Which any breath might blow away 

And leave him bare. In short, 'twas they 
Who, with a rage perverse and blind, 
• Would fain have ruined all mankind. 



30 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIIL 

" To this I answer : 

Admitting what you say were true, 
Yet punishments most justly due 

May be deferr'd, when hasty zeal 

Would rather lead to woe than weal. 
Those who contend against a foe 
Of great resources strive to sow 

Dissension in his state ; make friends, 

Who may contribute to their ends; 
And, easier conquests to obtain. 
Adopt the rule — divide and reign. 

If Brunswick had this line pursued. 

He had not now his fortune rued ; 
For this you surely may rely on. 
He would have taken town of Thion 

Without a stroke, as well as Metz. 

But when the fall of Lafayette's 
Companions was proclaimed here. 
Each bosom was appall' d with fear. 

The Constitutionals, elate 

Before, in his, beheld their fate. 
And found in arms 't was better die 
Than to surrender, or to fly. 

Thus Brunswick was oblig'd to fight. 

Both with the party Jacobite 
And with the Feuillantins their foes, 
Who but for him had come to blows 

Before this hour ; and thus the nation, 

United by his proclamation, 
Displayed at once uncommon force. 
But had he ta'en a different course 

He would have found a numerous party 

Who in the royal cause were hearty. 
And wish'd sincerely to restore 
The power they destroyed before. 

** And hereon, charming lady, I greet you ; and I would 
have you to consider that all this rhyme is not without 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 3 1 

some reason. So pray ask your lord to give the gentle- 
man who bears this letter an interview, and sometimes, 
when you have nothing else to do, think of a lone man 
who thinks very often of you, and never without wishing 
you were again established in Paris. Adieu, yours." 

From the 14th till the 20th of January Louis Sixteenth 
stood his trial, and awaited calmly, it would seem, the 
sentence, not doubting what it would be. "Louis Capet 
est coupable de conspiration contre la liberte de la nation 
et attentat de la surete gendrale ;" so the Convention at 
last decided, and for seventy-two hours were in seance to 
vote for his life or death. 

"The 21st of January, at ten o'clock in the morning, 
Louis de Bourbon, XVI. of the name, born at Versailles 
the 23d August, 1754, named Dauphin the 20th Decem- 
ber, 1765, King of France and of Navarre, loth of June, 
1774, consecrated and crowned at Rheims, nth June, 
1776, was guillotined in the Place de la Revolution." On 
the 25th of January Morris wrote of the event to Mr. Jef- 
ferson. "The late King of this country has been publicly 
executed. He died in a manner becoming his dignity. 
Mounting the scaffold, he expressed anew his forgive- 
ness of those who persecuted him, and a prayer that his 
deluded people might be benefited by his death. On the 
scaffold he attempted to speak, but the commanding of- 
ficer, Santerre, ordered the drums to beat. The King 
, made two unavailing efforts, but with the same bad success. 
The executioners threw him down, and were in such haste 
as to let fall the axe before his neck was properly placed, 
so that he was mangled. It would be needless to give 
you an affecting narrative of particulars. I proceed to 
what is more important, having but a few minutes to write 
in by the present good opportunity. The greatest care 
was taken to prevent a concourse of people. This proves 



32 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

a conviction that tiie majority was not favorable to that 
severe measure. In fact, the great mass of the people 
mourned the fate of their unhappy prince. I have seen 
grief, such as for the untimely death of a beloved parent. 
Everything wears an appearance of solemnity which is 
awfully distressing. I have been told by a gentleman 
from the spot that putting the King to death would be a 
signal for disbanding the army in Flanders. I do not be- 
lieve this, but incline to think it will have some effect on 
that army, already perishing by want and mouldering fast 
away. The people of that country, if the French army re- 
treats, will, I am persuaded, take a severe vengeance for 
the injuries they have felt and the insults they have been 
exposed to. Both are great. The war against France is 
become popular in Austria, and is becoming so in Ger- 
many. If my judgment be good, the testament of Louis 
the Sixteenth will be more powerful against the present 
rulers of this country than an army of an hundred thou- 
sand men. You will learn the effect it has in England. I 
believe that the English will be wound up to a pitch of 
enthusiastic horror against France, which their cool and 
steady temper seems to be scarcely susceptible of. I en- 
close you a translation of a letter from Sweden, which I 
have received from Denmark. You will see thereby that 
the Jacobin principles are propagated with zeal in every 
quarter. Whether the Regent of Sweden intends to make 
himself king is a moot point. All the world knows that 
the young prince is not legitimate, although born under 
circumstances which render it, legally speaking, impossible 
to question his legitimacy. I consider a war between 
Britain and France as inevitable. I have not proof, but 
some very leading circumstances. Britain will, I think, 
suspend her blow until she can strike very hard, un- 
less, indeed, they should think it advisable to seize the 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 33 

moment of indignation against late events for a declara- 
tion of war. This is not improbable, because it may be 
coupled with those general declarations against all kings, 
under the name of tyrants, which contain a determination 
to destroy them, and the threat that if the ministers of 
England presume to declare w^ar, an appeal shall be made 
to the people at the head of an invading army. Of course, 
a design may be exhibited of entering into the heart of 
Great Britain, to overturn the Constitution, destroy the 
rights of property, and finally to dethrone and murder 
the King — all which are things the English will neither ap- 
prove of nor submit to." 

Again, in a letter to Mr. Jefferson on the 13th of Feb- 
ruary, Morris says: "Since ni)-^ last, I have had every 
reason to believe that the execution of the King has pro- 
duced on foreign nations the effect which I had imagined. 
The war with England exists, and it is now proper, per- 
haps, to consider its consequences ; to which effect we 
must examine the objects likely to be pursued by Eng- 
land, for in this country, notwithstanding the gasconades, 
a defensive war is prescribed by necessity. Many sup- 
pose that the French colonies will be attacked, but this 
I do not believe. There are higher considerations to be 
attended to. In one shape or another this nation will 
make a bankruptcy. Strange as it may seem, the present 
war is, on the part of France, a war of empire, and if she de- 
fends herself she commands the world. I am persuaded 
that her enemies consider this as the real state of things, 
and will therefore bend their efforts towards a reduction 
of her power : and this may be compassed in two ways — 
either by obliging her to assume a new burden of debt to 
defray the expense they are at on her account, or else 
a dismemberment. The latter appears the more certain 
mode. As to the conduct of the war, I believe it to be on 
Vol. II.— 3 



34 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

the part of the enemy as follows : First, the maritime pow- 
ers will try to cut off all supplies of provisions and take 
France by famine ; that is to say, excite revolt among the 
people by that strong lever. I think I can perceive some 
seeds already sown to produce that fruit. As to the colo- 
nies, I believe that France will not attempt to defend 
them, and their whole commerce falls naturally into the 
lap of America, unless the British prevent it, and I think 
they will find it more convenient to neglect that small 
object to pursue the great ones which open themselves to 
view in this quarter. 

" You had instructed me to endeavor to transfer the ne- 
gotiation for a new treaty to America, and if the revolu- 
tion of the loth of August had not taken place, but in- 
stead thereof the needful power and confidence had been 
restored to the Crown, I should perhaps have obtained 
what you wished as a mark of favor and confidence. A 
change of circumstances rendered it necessary to change 
entirely my conduct, so as to produce in one way what was 
impracticable in another. As I saw clearly, or at least I 
thought I saw, that France and England would at length 
get by the ears, it seemed best to let them alone until they 
should be nearly pitted. When I found this to be the 
case, I asked an interview with the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, and mentioned to him my wish that an exception 
should be made in the decree against emigrants in favor 
of those who were in the United States. I told him, truly, 
that I wished the alliance between the two nations to be 
strictly preserved ; I told him with great frankness that, 
notwithstanding appearances and the flattering accounts 
transmitted by some of his agents, Britain was, in my 
opinion, hostile, and an attempt at an alliance with her 
idle. He assured me he was of the same opinion. I then 
observed to him that, in such case, there would be no 



1793-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 35 

doubt but Mr. Hammond would exert himself to inculcate 
the opinion that our treaty, having been made with the 
King, was void by the Revolution. He said that such an 
opinion was absurd. I told him that my private senti- 
ments were similar to his, but I thought it would be well 
to evince a degree of good-will to America, and had there- 
fore taken the liberty to suggest the exception in favor of 
emigrants to America. Now I know well that some of 
the leaders here who are in the Diplomatic Committee 
hate me cordially, though it would puzzle them to say 
why ; and I was determined rather to turn that disposition 
to account than to change it, because I see some advan- 
tages to result from it. Thus I contributed indirectly to 
the slight put on me by sending M. Genet without men- 
tioning to me a syllable either of his mission or his errand, 
both of which, nevertheless, I was early and sufficiently 
informed of. The pompousness of this embassy could 
not but excite the attention of England, and my continu- 
ance at Paris, notwithstanding the many reasons which 
might have induced me to leave it, would also, I thought, 
excite in some degree their jealousy ; and I have good 
reason to believe that this effect was produced. At any 
rate, the thing you wished for is done and you can treat 
in America if you please. Perhaps you will see that all 
the advantages desired do already exist, that the acts of 
the Constitutional Assembly have in some measure set 
us free from our engagements, and that, increasing daily 
in power, we may make quite as good a bargain some time 
hence as now. 

" It remains to add a few words in reply to what re- 
gards me personally in your letter. I am very happy in- 
deed to find that my conduct, as far as it was known, is 
approved of. This is the summit of my wish, for I can- 
didly acknowledge that the good opinion of the wise and 



36 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

virtuous is what I prize beyond all earthly possessions. I 
have lately debated much within myself what to do. The 
path of life in Paris is no longer strewed with roses, as 
you may well imagine ; indeed, it is extremely painful. I 
have already given my reasons for staying here, but now 
the scene is changed, and I had thoughts of making a 
tour to the different consulates. There are, however, 
some pretty solid objections to that plan for the present. 
The next thing which suggested itself was to hire a coun- 
try-house for the summer season in the neighborhood. 
At length, that my leaving the city might give no offence 
to anybody, I have bought a country-house in an out of 
the way place where it is not likely that any armies will 
pass or repass, even should the enemy penetrate. If I 
lose the money paid for it I will put up with the loss. 
The act in itself shows a disposition friendly to France, 
and as it is between twenty and thirty miles from Paris, I 
shall be at hand should business require my presence. 
Mr. Livingston, my secretary, will continue in town un- 
less driven out by war or famine. In this way I hope to 
avoid those accidents which are almost inseparable from 
the present state of society and government, and which, 
should they light on the head of a public Minister, might 
involve consequences of a disagreeable nature. It is 
more proper also, I conceive, to make arrangements of 
this kind in a moment of tranquillity than when confusion 
is awakened into mischief. In all this my judgment may 
err, but I can truly say that the interest of the United 
States is my sole object. Time alone can tell whether the 
conduct was right, as I know the intention to be." 

To Washington Morris wrote on February 14th as fol- 
lows: 

" I have received yours of the 20th of October, which 
was very long on its way. You will find that events have 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 37 

blackened more and more in this country. Her present 
prospects are dreadful. It is not so much, perhaps, the 
external force, great as that may be, for there are always 
means of defence in so vast a nation. The exhausted 
state of resources might also be borne with, if not reme- 
died ; but the disorganized state of the government seems 
irremediable. The venality is such that if there be no 
traitor, it is because the enemy has not common-sense. 
Without the aid of venality there are not a few who, from 
mistaken zeal and from ignorance, contribute to the suc- 
cess of those powers who are leagued against France. 
Many also, under the garb of patriotism, conceal their 
attachment to the former government. In short, the frag- 
ment of the present system is erected in a quagmire. 
The new constitution has not yet made its appearance, but 
it is easy to conjecture what it will not be. In the mean 
time I learn that the Ministers of War and Marine declare 
it impossible for them to go on. 

** How all this will end God only knows, but I fear it 
will end badly. I will not speak of my own situation. 
You will judge that it is far from pleasant. I could be 
popular, but that would be wrong. The different parties 
pass away like the shadows of a magic lantern, and to be 
well with any one of them would, in a short period, be- 
come cause of unquenchable hatred with the others. 
Happy America, governed by reason, by law, by the man 
she loves, whom she almost adores. It is the pride of my 
life to consider that man as my friend, and I hope long 
to be honored with that title. God bless you, my dear 
sir, and keep and preserve you. Your cool and steady 
temper is now of infinite consequence to our country. 
As soon as I can see the way open to anything decis- 
ive I shall inform you of it. At present I weary myself 
with unavailing reflection, meditation, and conjecture. A 



38 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIIl. 

partition seems the most probable event at present. 
Adieu." 

A month later, rumor and the gazettes having num- 
bered Morris among the victims of the guillotine, he hast- 
ened to inform Robert Morris, and through him his other 
friends, of his well-being. " I am told," he wrote, March 
15th, "that the London gazetteers have killed me, be- 
sides burning my house and other little pleasantries of the 
same kind. Now, as these accounts may be republished, 
I apprise you thereof and pray you to vouch that they 
were not true at the time of publication. You tell me 
that in my place you would resign and come home, but 
this is not quite so easily done as said. I must have leave 
to resign from the President. The very circumstances 
which you mention are strong reasons for abiding, because 
it is not permitted to abandon a post in the hour of diffi- 
culty. I think the late decrees respecting our commerce 
will show you that my continuance here has not been 
without some use to the United States, and as to the rest, 
we must console ourselves with the reflection that what- 
ever is is." 

It was in March that Morris became assured of the fact 
that the Executive Council had sent to America with M. 
Genet blank commissions for privateers. On the 20th 
he communicated his knowledge to Mr. Pinckney, then 
United States Minister at London, as a " fact of which I 
am informed in a way that precludes doubt. The com- 
missions are to be given clandestinely to such persons as 
he might find in America inclined to take them, to prey 
on the British commerce. This appears to me, waiving 
all question of honesty, no very sound measure politically 
speaking, since they may, as a nation, derive greater ad- 
vantage from our neutrality than from our alliance. I 
learn that some seamen have lately been taken by British 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 39 

cruisers who claim to be Americans. I presume that the 
claim will not be admitted, but if the government should 
cause them to be executed as pirates, a knowledge thereof 
would go a great way to prevent our citizens from engag- 
ing in a war contrary to the wishes of our Government. 
I am the more solicitous on this subject in that we may 
well expect a back game of the same kind by Britain, and 
in such case it would be impossible for the French to dis- 
tinguish, among their prisoners, between those who were 
and those who were not English." 

France began now to feel the effects of war and emi- 
gration, not to mention the devastation caused by the 
work of the guillotine, and in a letter to Mr. Jefferson on 
March 7th, Morris refers to this state of things as follows : 

" It now appears that there is a real scarcity of men, and 
that the supposition that this country would procure five 
hundred thousand men required arose from little circum- 
stances of dress and flattery calculated to catch idlers. 
The losses of the last campaign are sensible in the mass 
of population, so that, notwithstanding the numbers 
thrown out of employ by the stagnation of some manu- 
factures and the reduction of private fortunes, the want of 
common laborers is felt throughout the whole country. 
Already they talk of drafting for the service, but if de- 
layed it would not, I believe, go down, and at any rate 
w^ould not produce in season the required force, especially 
if the enemy should have any considerable force ; for you 
must not imagine that the appearances in this country 
are all real, and you must take into your estimation that 
the Convention is falling into contempt because the trib- 
unes govern it imperiously. They try to save appear- 
ances, but the people cannot long be dupes. It is the old 
story of King Log, and how long it may be before Jupiter 
sends them a crane to destroy the frogs and froglings is a 



40 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

matter of uncertainty. Already they begin to cry for a 
dictator. An insurrection also is brewing whose object, I 
am told, is to destroy the faction of the Gironde. I think I 
mentioned to you that the death of the King would be the 
forerunner of their destruction. The majority of the Con- 
vention is clearly at the disposition of their enemies. 

" The consuls will forward to you, and you will see in 
the gazettes, the decree for opening all the ports of this 
nation to our vessels on equal terms with their own. You 
will be so kind as to observe that this was done on a re- 
port of the Committee of Safety. Now you must know 
that the members of this committee, or at least a majority 
of them, are sworn foes to the members of the Diplomatic 
Committee. I have received indirectly a kind of assur- 
ance from the former (which disposes entirely of the Con- 
vention) that they will do anything for the United States 
which I will point out ; but, in fact, I know not anything 
which we ought to ask. Great exertions are making here 
to re-enforce Dumouriez, and still greater to bring about a 
new revolution, whose effect, if successful, would be, I 
think, the destruction of what is called here the faction of 
the Gironde, and which calls itself the republican party, 
qualifying its enemies by the term anarchists. To avoid; 
if possible, the carnage of the 2d to the 8th of last Sep- 
tember, a tribunal called the Revolutionary Tribunal is 
organized, with very large and wide powers. It is one of 
those instruments whose operations are incalculable, and 
on whose direction depends the fate of the country. Opin- 
ion seems to set very strongly against the Convention. 
They are supposed to be incapable of steering the state 
ship in the present rough weather ; but it must blow yet 
a little harder before they are thrown overboard. I be- 
lieve I never mentioned that a constitution was reported, 
but the truth is that it totally escaped me. A paper of 



I793J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 4I 

that sort was read at the Convention, but I learnt the next 
morning that a council had been held on it overnight, by 
which it was condemned ; so I thought no more of it." 

Having his personal liberty interfered with was not at 
all to Morris's taste, and when on the 28th of March he 
was arrested in the street, M. Lebrun was speedily in- 
formed that that sort of thing was not to be quietly borne. 
" Yesterday afternoon," he wrote to the minister, *' I was 
arrested in the street and conducted to the Section de la 
Butte des Moulins because I had not a carte de citoyen. Fort- 
unately a person who knew me, having heard what had 
passed, came to my rescue, and brought me out of the 
affair on his own responsibility. I have the honor to send 
you herewith the copy of the pass given me by the Sec- 
tion. I beg, sir, that you will have the goodness to secure 
me against similar accidents, troublesome in themselves 
and scandalous from the publicity. I pray you, also, to 
grant me protection from domiciliary visits. Armed men 
came into my house yesterday, and although I have 
every reason to be satisfied with their conduct (for they 
went away as soon as I convinced them of the impropriety 
of their proceedings), yet I think that when general orders 
are given for these visits such houses ought to be excepted 
as are under the protection of the law of nations. Will 
you do me the favor also to send me a passport for trav- 
elling into the interior ? In the month of January it hap- 
pened to me to be arrested and sent back to Paris under 
pretence that the passport you gave me was out of date. 
I am in expectation of going forthwith to pass a few days 
at my country-house, and it may be that I shall be again 
stopped. Will you have the goodness, sir, to sign the en- 
closed certificate for the members of my family ? " 

M. Lebrun's reply was as follows : " The affection of 
the French Republic for the United States is too marked 



42 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

to admit the possibility of an unfavorable interpretation 
being given to the accident which befell you on the 28th 
instant. The precautionary measures taken on that day 
extended to all the inhabitants of the city of Paris, and a 
proof that they had no reference to you personally is that 
at the moment your name and rank were known you ob- 
tained the justice due to you. The domiciliary visits were 
an equally general measure, from which no house in Paris 
was exempt. I see with pleasure that the Commissaries 
of the Section who entered your house withdrew after the 
explanation you gave them. The respect which they have 
shown you is proof of the belief of my fellow-citizens that 
the minister of a free nation, an ally of France, is inca- 
pable of receiving into his house disaffected persons. The 
exemption which you claim would have had the pernicious 
effect of affording the ill-disposed a facility for calumni- 
ating your motives, in order to disturb the entire harmony 
which subsists between the two nations." 
- Morris does not again speak of being arrested or of 
any domiciliary visits disturbing his privacy. Shortly 
after this experience he left Paris for Sainport, a modest 
pied-h-terre on the Seine, not far from Paris, which he had 
purchased. Of the growing treachery to the government 
Morris wrote, April 19th, to Mr. Jefferson : 

" There seems to be more of treason in thi« country 
than was imagined, and every day increases suspicion, 
which, whether well or ill founded, has always the effect 
of distracting the public councils. As far as I can judge 
of the public mind, it appears that there is a general state 
of suspense. Success on either side will fix the opinions 
of a very great number, who will then act to show their 
sincerity. Here they hang people for giving their opinion 
in favor of royalty (that is, they cut off their heads), but 
yet I am told that such opinion is'openly avowed and sup- 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 43 

ported in the streets. I am told that there is a majority 
even of the Convention who think a king necessary ; but, 
as they see the loss of their own lives in connection with 
the re-establishment of the throne, it is to be supposed 
that they would not tell such thoughts. Time will show 
that there are among them some false brethren, and cer- 
tainly the most intelligent must be convinced that the 
republican virtues are not yet of Gallic growth. 

" The Duke of Orleans is in the way of reaping the 
fruits of his conduct, being, as you will see, sent a pris- 
oner to Marseilles. The storm thickens all around us, but 
as yet one cannot certainly determine how it will burst. 
The attempts made to excite disturbances in Paris have 
hitherto proved ineffectual, but that stroke seems to be 
reserved for the moment when the deputies, now in com- 
mission in the departments, shall return." 

By the end of May Morris had established himself in 
quiet and comparative safety, " in a neat little house on 
the banks of the Seine at Sainport," he wrote to Robert 
Morris, " with a pretty little garden and some green trees, 
and more grass than my neighbors ; for you will observe 
that we are so scorched by a long drought that, in spite of 
all philosophic notions, we are beginning our processions 
to obtain the favor of the bon Dieu. Were it proper for 
un homme public et protestant to interfere, I should be 
tempted to tell them that mercy is before sacrifice. I 
remember that about a year (or, indeed, eighteen months) 
ago I was desired in a large society to draw the horoscope 
of France, to which I answered that it might be done in 
three words — guerre^ famine, peste. This, which appeared 
to me at the time more than possible, has long been cer- 
tain as to a part, and but too probable for what remains. 

" I have about twenty acres of land, about twenty miles 
from the barrier of Paris in summer (by means of a cross- 



44 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVllI. 

road) ; I have, on the whole, about twenty-seven miles to 
Paris, and from hence to Fontainebleau about fifteen. This 
last will, I imagine, become the seat of government should 
the royal party prevail. But if Monsieur should be regent 
he might reside in his palace at Choisi, about six miles 
from the barrier of Paris, and eighteen from hence. My 
little territory is enclosed by a stone wall about eight feet 
high on the north and east sides, from which last come the 
cold winds of this hemisphere. On the south and west I 
am secured by a ha-ha. The western side, which is my 
greatest length, bounds on the river, from which the ha- 
ha is distant about fifteen yards and the house about 
forty. The river is about the size of the Schuylkill at the 
Tweed's ford, but deeper, being not fordable. Adjoining 
to the north, and separated only by a street, is the village. 

" My prospect is rural and extensive. At a mile and a 
half on the southwest are the ruins of baths which once 
belonged to the fair Gabrielle, favorite mistress to Henry 
the Fourth, and at half that distance in the opposite di- 
rection stands on a high plain the magnificent pavilion 
built by Bouret. He was what is here called un homme de 
finance. He expended on that building and its gardens 
about half a million sterling, and after squandering in the 
whole about two millions sterling he put himself to death 
because he had nothing to live on. I think you will ac- 
knowledge that the objects just mentioned are well calcu- 
lated to show the vanity of human pursuits and posses- 
sions. My time is spent in reading and writing, of which 
last I have not a little. 

" The French privateers employ many of my hours, for 
the masters and agents of the American vessels they take 
apply to me for advice and assistance. The other day I 
w^as desired, on the part of a merchant in London, to 
claim of the ministry some rice and indigo, but I knew 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 45 

neither by whom nor when nor where they were taken, 
nor where they are deposited. Without observing, how- 
ever, on so lame and so strange a request, I desired the 
person who made it to appoint an agent in the port, with 
directions to state a proper claim before the competent 
judicature. I wonder what this person would have thought 
had anybody asked a Secretary of State in England to de- 
liver up goods taken by one of his privateers. I have had 
applications to grant the privileges of the American flag 
to vessels owned by Frenchmen and others. Some of the 
applicants were offended at my refusal of that trifling fa- 
vor. The state of the government here is also a great 
plague, for it is difficult to discover the best mode of com- 
passing an object when the parties who are to decide are 
perpetually changing. Our old Congress was nothing to 
this Convention, and you will form a tolerable idea of 
the nature and extent of that influence which the city of 
Paris exercises from some late events. 

" It is rather late now to mention Paul Jones. But I 
should have written to you about his death immediately if 
I could have gotten a copy of his will to transmit. I was 
promised from day to day, and at length the matter lay 
over, and since, his relations have been here and have writ- 
ten to you. I drew the heads of his will, poor fellow, 
the day he died, and when his extremities were already 
cold. I called on him in the afternoon, with M. Vicq 
d'Azyr, first physician to the Queen, and he was then a 
corpse. It was somewhat singular that he, who detested 
the French Revolution and all those concerned in it, 
should have been followed to the grave by a deputation 
from the National Assembly, and that I should have had 
in one of your gazettes some very severe reflection on me 
for not paying him due respect ; I, who during his life had 
rendered him all possible service and possessed his confi- 



46 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXVIII. 

dence to the last, so that he wished to name me with you 
for executor. But such is the world, whose mistakes fre- 
quently amuse me, and on more serious occasions. Before 
I quit Paul Jones I must tell you that some people here 
who like rare shows wished him to have a pompous fu- 
neral, and I was applied to on the subject ; but as I had no 
right to spend on such follies either the money of his heirs 
or that of the United States, I desired that he might be 
buried in a private and economical manner. I have since 
had reason to be glad that I did not agree to waste money 
of which he had no great abundance, and for which his 
relatives entertain a tender regard. I promised them to 
entreat your attention to their requests, which will no 
doubt be somewhat troublesome, and consume the mo- 
ments you can badly spare. A preview of this made me 
desire Jones to think of some other executor, but the poor 
fellow was so anxious, telling me that as we alone pos- 
sessed his full confidence he could not think of losing the 
aid of both, etc., and as what he said, besides his natural 
stammering, was interrupted by the strugglings against 
death, I was obliged to quit my opposition. Thus, my 
dear friend, I have given you a history which ought to 
have been communicated long ago. You will probably 
find it somewhat tedious now. . . . 

"The communication with England, and, indeed, with 
all foreign countries, was never in the memory of man so 
difficult and uncertain as in the present moment. I know 
nothing of what passes in London, even as to my own 
afifairs. This is extremely disagreeable. I could indeed 
send a messenger, but to that effect I must ask passports 
as for one carrying my public despatches, and I do not 
choose, even in matters of indifference, to make my public 
character subservient to private purposes." 



1793- ] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 4^ 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Morris aware that his recall is desired. Difficulties of the mission. Let- 
ters delayed in transit to and from America. Source of great annoy- 
ance. Insecurity of letters in France. Description of his life at Sain- 
port. Distracted condition of France. Returns to Paris in October. 
Letter to Washington. At Sainport during the summer of 1794. 
Letter to Robert Morris. Changes hourly take place in the govern- 
ment. Difficulty of doing business. Letter to Washington. The 
probable event of the opening campaign not favorable to the Repub- 
lic. Letter to Washington. Fall of Danton. Executions still go on 
at Paris. Acknowledges a letter from Washington over a year in its 
passage. Concerning the Lafayettes. New minister arrives in Au- 
gust. His advent a relief. Morris determines to stay abroad. 

THAT a desire had been expressed to his Government 
for his recall Morris had known for some time, and on 
the 25th of June he wrote from Sainport to Robert Morris 
telling him that he knew well that orders had been given 
to effect his recall.* "If" he says in this letter, "I did 
not mention this to you at the time, it was out of delicacy 

*As soon as Washington demanded the recall of Genet, the French Gov- 
ernment demanded in return the recall of Morris. Grave charges, in the 
mean time, had been brought against Morris by his enemies, and accusations 
of fomenting a counter-revolution, which so alarmed Washington and Jeffer- 
son that Morris would probably have been recalled but for Edmund Ran- 
dolph, who wrote to Washington, February 22, 1793, as follows: "The 
charges have come in an ambiguous form, half private, half public ; and it 
must be uncertain, until the arrival of the new Minister from France, to what 
extent those charges are to be pressed. To seize so imperfect an opportu- 
nity for dismission might argue an eagerness to get rid of the officer, and be- 
fore such a stroke is given to the reputation of any man, ought he not to be 
heard? " 

Concerning the relations between Morris and Randolph, see Omitted 
Chapters of History, etc. , by Moncure D. Conway. 



48 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

(perhaps ill-judged), for when I alone am concerned I 
leave things to the discussion of my enemies. I suspected 
(but did not say so) that Paine was intriguing against me, 
although he put on a face of attachment. Since that 
period I am confirmed in the idea, for he came to my 
house in company with Colonel Oswald, and, being a lit- 
tle more drunk than usual, behaved extremely ill, and 
through his insolence I discovered clearly his vain am- 
bition. At present, I am told, he is besotted from morn- 
ing till night. He is so completely down that he would 
be punished if he were not despised. 

" I have in a former letter explained to you why I 
could not properly resign. Let me add that if I get 
through this mission honorably it will be a master-piece^ 
and yet nine out of ten will say it was the easiest thing in 
nature. So every school-boy thinks he can write verses 
till he comes to the trial. If \ fail, I shall not be ashamed 
of it, for, to tell you the truth, fortune must be propitious 
or else ... As I suppose the Senate have a com- 
munication of our despatches so far as may suit the De- 
partment of State, you will be able to form some judgment 
of what my situation has been, and I think the President 
will do me justice in his opinion, however political con- 
sideration may sway his conduct, of which I shall never 
complain, for an individual should never be placed in com- 
petition with the public good." 

Added to the difficulties of his position, Morris's pa- 
tience was sorely tried by the length of time his letters 
took to reach America. In a letter to Washington, also 
of June 25th, expressing the vexation of this particular 
circumstance, he says : 

" I am mortified more than I can tell you at the delay 
my letters experience in their passage. I task my mind 
to its utmost bent to discover those events which are 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 49 

most likely to happen in order that (so far, at least, as my 
judgment can be relied on) you may be duly prepared, 
and, after all, you hear of the event before my almanac 
comes out. I trust that long ere this you will have re- 
ceived what I had the honor to write during the last 
winter months. Should the present society be able to 
establish themselves I think M. Genet will have a suc- 
cessor, and if, the Revolution completed, things return to 
the point from whence they started, I am sure M. Genet 
will have a successor. It is my opinion that the members 
of Convention lately arrested will do nothing, for the 
greater part of them have only parole energy ; and if I 
were called on by any urgent motive to act, it should be 
in conformity to that idea. In my letter to Mr. Jefferson 
of this day I tell him that I shall implicitly obey his or- 
ders, but this is in reply to the broad hint that my embar- 
rassments may have arisen from inattention to the princi- 
ples of free government. You may rely, sir, that I shall 
be cautious to commit the United States as little as possi- 
ble to future contingencies. I have never thought that 
three parties could conveniently exist in any one country, 
and therefore it seems to me that one of those into which 
those who call themselves democrats are divided must 
join the royalists. I do not inquire what negotiations 
are carried on to that effect, for I have no desire to med- 
dle with such affairs, directly or indirectly, and I should 
be very sorry to have the appearance of siding with any 
one party or faction whatever, being convinced that I can 
best do the business of the United States by keeping aloof 
from them all." 

During the summer of 1793 Morris kept up a rather 
interrupted correspondence with his friends, although 
he took advantage of every opportunity which prom- 
ised the least safety. " But even after all precautions 
Vol. IL— 4 



50 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

were taken," he says, June 23d, in a letter to Madame 
de Chastellux, then at Vernon, "I know not whether my 
last letter reached you. Indeed, the apprehension that 
other eyes than yours may read what I now write lays me 
under a painful restraint in expressing myself. Still, I 
must entreat you to communicate to your amiable and 
unhappy mistress my sensibility for her cruel situation. 
Her fate is so extremely hard that severe afflictions seem 
yet necessary, not only before she can be restored lopeace^ 
but even for that very restoration. In some respects, 
however, the clouds dispel, and in her children she may 
meet with consolations unexpected. In her virtuous soul 
she will find an unfailing source of bliss which neither 
time nor chance can destroy, which will, I trust, assuage 
her anguish in this world, as it cannot fail to exalt her 
transports in the world to come. I am, and for about two 
months past have been in the country, about eight leagues 
from Paris, but in the opposite direction from Vernon. I 
would have paid my respects to the Duchess but for 
those events which it is needless to mention, any more 
than the reasons resulting from them. I still flatter my- 
self with the hope that all the broken ends of society will 
be again tied together, and then the calm will be so much 
the more pleasant as you have been tossed and tormented 
by the storm. It bellows loudest on the mountain's brow, 
but yet so wasteful and so wide is its range that the sweet 
violet of the humble vale shrinks at the blast. Little 
Alfred is so far happy that he has not yet put forth his 
buds and may hope a milder season for his bloom. That 
fortune may smile on his youth and gratify , with rich 
fruits your maternal affection is, my dear madame, the sin- 
cere wish of your friend." 

Writing at this time to his brother, Lieutenant-General 
Staats Long Morris, in London, for the first time in many 



1793] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. $1 

months, he says : " The applications which I made for 
your liberation, and which, I am told, procured it, have 
on that ground brought me the enclosed letter to be for- 
warded to you. M. de Baas asked me when I wrote to 
you to enclose his letter ; I told him, very truly, that since 
the breaking out of the war I had curtailed very much 
my correspondence, but would nevertheless forward to 
you an open letter. Make my affectionate remembrances 
to my sister. If peace were restored I should press you 
to enjoy a French air on the banks of the Seine in my 
hermitage, where you would be in the neighborhood of 
many objects worth riding to look at, if it were only to 
gain appetite for a bottle of good claret and a slice of 
small mutton." 

The following letter to Mr. Pinckney at London, dated 
August 13th, gives an interesting picture of Morris's iso- 
lated life at Sainport during this summer, and of the 
unhappy state of society in Paris and France. 

" You wish to know the state of this country. There 
exists a tyranny alike cruel and capricious, and restrained 
neither by shame nor principle. The body of the people 
long for the restoration of their former government. The 
exterior is more formidable in show than in substance. 
The real administration is occupied in acquiring wealth. 
As to the news, I might write a dozen pages of newspa- 
per, but you would derive from thence no information. As 
to what passes in our armies we are ignorant. Some, 
therefore, conjecture ; and as the little information ob- 
tained consists of outlines, each fills up the picture ac- 
cording to his fancy, and gives it the coloring of his own 
disposition. Hence it happens that good patriots see 
great victories and small checks where the other party be- 
hold slight skirmishes and dreadful defeats. Who shall 
decide when doctors disagree ? I am retired to the coun- 



52 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

try for the sake of peace and good air. I receive the 
newspapers by accident. I know nothing of what passes 
but by hearsay. I confine my views to the giving pro- 
tection to such of my countrymen as stand in need of 
it, or rather to the asking protection. The great revolu- 
tion wheel rolls on as declivities lead, and the season is 
as dry as it is conveniently possible, so that nature pre- 
sents no cheering view, but drives us back into the moral 
world to shift as we may. My letters, even between 
Paris and Sainport, are delayed. The Comite de Sur- 
veillance have done me the honor to peruse some of 
them." 

To the difficulty of receiving letters and news was 
added the danger of moving about, of which Morris 
spoke in a letter to Mr. Short during September. " By 
the by," he wrote, " such is the distracted condition 
of the times that people experience as much difficulty 
in passing to and fro near the capital as they would 
have formerly been exposed to in going to the territory 
of a power at war. It is also impossible to commit any- 
thing to paper without great risks. 

" One of my countrymen, on his way from Paris hither 
having taken up my letters in Paris (most of them brought 
by the post), was stopped, the letters taken from him, broken 
open, and sent to the Comity de Surveillance. He was 
detained two days, till I could apply for his release. Some 
of my letters were lost, and all received in a mangled con- 
dition. Orders have been given to prevent such accidents 
in future, and I shall not communicate this and other 
little affairs officially because I will not excite resentments 
which I do not feel. I mention this to you that you may 
see why information from this country respecting even 
private business must be very defective. To write in 
cipher is the sure way to have the letter intercepted. It 



1793] GpUVERNEUR MORRIS. .^3 

was not possible to foresee six months ago the many ex- 
traordinary events which we have witnessed in that period, 
and as every day produces something new, no sober man 
will pretend to guess the state of things so far forward as 
only six weeks hence. Therefore writing across the chan- 
nel, much less across the Atlantic, is totally useless. . . . 
Pray tell your French friends not to name anyone- in 
their letters, for they will bring their friends to the guil- 
lotine." 

About the middle of October, and just before the exe- 
cution of the queen, Morris returned to Paris, and on the 
i8th he wrote the following letter to Washington : 

" The present government is evidently a despotism both 
in principle and practice. The Convention now consists 
of only a part of those who were chosen to frame a con- 
stitution. These, after putting under arrest their fellows, 
claim all power, and have delegated the greater part of it 
to a Committee of Safety. You will observe that one of 
the ordinary measures of government is to send out com- 
missioners with unlimited authority. They are invested 
with power to remove officers chosen by the people, and. 
put others in their places. This power, as well as that of 
imprisoning on suspicion, is liberally exercised. The Rev- 
olutionary Tribunal, established here to judge on general 
principles, gives unbounded scope to will. It is an em- 
phatical phrase in fashion among the patriots, that ter- 
ror is the order of the day. Some years have elapsed 
since Montesquieu wrote that the principle of arbitrary 
government \sfear. 

"The Queen was executed the day before yesterday. 
Insulted during her trial and reviled in her last moments, 
she behaved with dignity throughout. This execution 
will, I think, give to future hostilities a deeper dye, and 
unite more intimately the Allied Powers. It will silence 



54 DIARY . AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

the opposition of those who would not listen to the dis- 
memberment of their country, and therefore it may be 
concluded that the blow by which she died was directed 
from a distance. But whatever may be the lot of France 
in remote futurity, and putting aside the military events, 
it seems evident that she must soon be governed by 
a single despot. Whether she will pass to that point 
through the medium of a triumvirate or other small body 
of men seems as yet undetermined. I think it most prob- 
able that she w^ill. A great and awful crisis seems to be 
near at hand. A blow is, I am told, meditated which will 
shroud in grief and horror a guilty land. Already the 
prisons are surcharged with persons who consider them- 
selves as victims. Nature recoils, and yet I hope that 
these ideas are circulated only to inspire fear. . . . The 
plan for the Commissioners, which will probably be car- 
ried into effect, is to charge one of those sent with letters 
of credence, but instructed to conform to the directions of 
the Board. It is probable that the new minister, on being 
presented, will ask you to aid in securing the person and 
papers of the old one. I have favored, or rather excited 
the idea of this procedure, for several reasons. Such a 
public act will place in a contemptible light the faction 
connected with M. Genet. The seizure of his papers, by 
exposing his connections with prime movers, will give a les- 
son to others, and the Commissioners who exercise the high- 
est-handed authority will, on reflection, feel the necessity of 
respecting your government, lest they should meet a simi- 
lar fate. I have insinuated the advantages which might 
result from an early declaration on the part of the new 
minister that, as France has announced her determination 
not to meddle with the interior affairs of other nations, he 
can know only the government of America. In union with 
this idea, I told the minister that I had observed an over- 



I794-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 55 

ruling influence in their afifairs which seemed to come 
from the other side of the channel, and at the same time 
had traced the intention to excite a seditious spirit in 
America ; that it was impossible to be on a friendly foot- 
ing with such persons, but that at present a different spirit 
seemed to prevail, etc. This declaration produced the 
effect I intended. I find that this Commission will en- 
deavor to get hold of the debt from America to France by 
anticipation if no other reason. If you were here you would 
not be surprised that people do not write to their corre- 
spondents. The times are very critical, and innocent ac- 
tions may be misinterpreted. All correspondence with 
foreign countries gives ground of suspicion," 

The next letter to Washington, dated the 5th of Febru- 
ary, 1794, urged the necessity for the Government to ar- 
range for the regular conveyance of despatches. "Six 
packets would be amply sufficient for the service, and if, 
as I believe, small schooners could be safely employed as 
well, the prime cost would not be above three thousand 
pounds sterling, and the annual expense I should suppose 
not more than half that sum. In a newspaper of this day 
I find the translation of your message of the 5th of De- 
cember to Congress, and observe that, after stating the 
violation of the treaty by a decree of the National Con- 
vention, you tell them I have been instructed to make 
representations to them on the subject. Now, my dear 
sir, this is the first I hear and all I know of such instruc- 
tions. I suppose this arises from the difficulty of com- 
munication, but, whatever be the cause, I feel the effect. I 
beg your pardon, my dear sir, for troubling you' with this 
groaning, scheming epistle. I will not say a word of 
news, as in supposable circumstances it might prevent 
this letter from reaching you. 

" P. S. I am sorry to see that your love of retirement 



56 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

Struggles so strongly against a continuance in public life. 
I am afraid the Devil (for it is from him, you know, that 
comes all evil) will put it in your head one day to quit out- 
right, which God in his mercy forbid ; for I tell you, and you 
know me well enough to believe me, it will be a very sad 
day for America. As to yourself, I know that you will be 
more happy at home, and I judge from my own feelings 
how strong must be your desire to get there. Apropos : 
Whenever you think the United States can gain anything 
by giving me a successor, let it be done." 

In the early spring Morris again sought the quiet and 
refreshment of his little home at Sainport, and from there 
he wrote to Robert Morris on March loth, asking for in- 
formation on many subjects. "Neither from the United 
States nor from you," he wrote, " has one line come since 
the month of July, 1793 ; and six months have passed 
since the receipt of public despatches. I hope the new 
Secretary of State, who was formerly an attentive man, 
will contrive to let the servants of the United States in for- 
eign countries hear from time to time whether their let- 
ters are received. I am very disinterested in this hope, 
for different reports from various quarters seem to con- 
cur in the idea that I am to be recalled. On that subject 
I will here express to you my opinion as coolly as if 
I were speaking of a stranger, and concerning a transac- 
tion of the last century. It will not be wise. If the gov- 
ernment here were fixed on any permanent basis, it would 
be proper for America to have here a man agreeable to 
the rulers of the country, provided always that he did not, 
to render himself agreeable, sacrifice the interests intrusted 
to his care. But during the changes which hourly (as it 
were) take place, it is impossible for any man to do the 
business he is called on to perform unless he have the con- 
sciousness of support from home, and unless those who 



1794.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 57 

are here be well convinced that he cannot be removed at 
the will and pleasure of any faction or party in the country 
where he resides. The power to remove is more than 
equivalent to the power of appointing in its influence on 
the mind of the agent, and so it will be found in its exer- 
cise. On the present occasion, it is lighter than a feather. 
I will pursue what I conceive to be the true interest of 
America in spite of faction and calumny in either hemi- 
sphere or in both, saving always my obedience to the in- 
structions I receive. M. Genet's attempts I conjectured 
beforehand, but I should suppose that his channel was 
not the best through which to apply for the appointment 
of a successor to me. Mine on his subject met with every 
attention which could be desired. . . . 

"You are mistaken if you suppose that my habitation 
merits the name of chateau. A chateau was in my offer 
on most eligible terms, but I am not a lover of show or 
magnificence. My house, my humble house, in the neigh- 
borhood of many superb chateaux, exhibits a plentiful, 
plain, wholesome table, and commands a cellar of excellent 
liquors. Temperance and hospitality are the titular dei- 
ties which preside. If I could receive you in it the former 
of these goddesses might chance to be neglected for one 
evening, in the course of which her sister should rule 
alone ; or, rather, I would give them both a holiday, and 
we would together brighten the chain of ancient friendship 
which will, I hope, endure as long as we do. 

"At this moment I look out of my window and see the 
pear- and plum-trees in full bloom. The peaches, apri- 
cots, and almonds are already formed. The apple-trees 
are advanced. We have had hardly any winter, and if 
there comes no frost the season will be wonderful. They 
dread the moon of April, which is called la lune rousse, i.e., 
the red-haired moon. Within these few days past it has 



I 



58 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

been so hot that exercise at noon was very disagreeable. 
This is the best farming country I ever saw, taking it for 
all in all, but it is badly cultivated. Our country is capa- 
ble of producing much better fruits, and with far greater 
certainty. I will not except either grapes or plums ; ex- 
cept the nectarine, I may — and, by the by, it is a beauti- 
ful, bad fruit. 

" You tell me that I can be more useful to the United 
States and to myself in America than here, which I can 
readily believe ; but I hope this does not mean the put- 
ting me in any office. My wish is to pass quietly what 
may remain of my life when I get home, and to close 
my little circle at the spot where it began. I do not mean 
by this to say that if my services were necessary to my 
country they should be withheld, but I hope no such ne- 
cessity will ever exist, and I have modesty enough to be- 
lieve so. I believe that my residence here has been of 
little use, but that is not my fault. If the present Secre- 
tary of State would take the trouble of reading over my 
letters from the beginning he will find that I have given 
regularly for months beforehand an account of what 
would happen. If credit was not given to my predictions, 
it was not my fault. As to my conduct here, I will neither 
praise nor excuse it, but confine myself to the sincere 
wish that my successor, whoever he be, may act with more 
wisdom in a situation less critical. And for the rest, I 
leave it to fortune, which is but another name for Provi- 
dence, knowing that the world judges only from events, 
and, of course, that the general or statesman who gains 
one brilliant affair is more applauded than he who exists, 
with small force or assistance and in a dangerous situa- 
tion, through the course of a long campaign. 

" I am ashamed to have said so much of myself even to 
you. I therefore quit the subject with desiring my aflfec- 



1794] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 59 

donate compliments to Hamilton, and my congratulations 
that he has such violent enemies ; for if it be just to judge 
a private man by his friends, it is not amiss to estimate a 
public man by his foes." 

To Washington Morris again wrote a few days later 
(March 12th) : "Every day confirms what is written in my 
letter of the i8th of last October. But parties are so bal- 
anced, and the impending force from abroad is in such 
threatening attitude, that the present state of things drags 
on its existence rather from surrounding circumstances 
than from internal vigor, and, strange as it may seem, the 
impending changes may arise from a victory, a defeat, or 
from a famine. 

" The gazettes tell us that Mr. Jefferson is coming to 
Europe — some of them say as my successor ; others say 
it is a secret mission. I have heard it said that he is to 
negotiate a peace among the belligerent powers. For my 
own part, I hold in politics the opinions which prevail in 
physics among some philosophers, viz., that it is proper to 
determine facts before we attempt to discover causes. I 
wait, therefore, patiently the event. Major Jackson, who 
has been here for some time, gave me two successors, 
first Mr. Bingham and then Mr. Pinckney ; giving in the 
latter case Mr. Pinckney's place to Mr. Bingham. So it is 
easy, you see, to fill up vacancies. The probable events 
of the campaign about to open are not favorable to the 
French Republic. It will be extremely difficult for them 
to subsist the armies needful for their defence, and the 
extreme severity exercised by the present government will, 
in case of adverse events, excite an universal insurrection. 
At present the people are restrained by fear from showing 
any sentiment unfavorable to the existent authorities. 
But, as is usual in like circumstances, should that fear be 
removed it will be succeeded by sharp resentment. If, 



60 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

however, the armies of the Republic should prove success- 
ful, they would, in my opinion, be the first to overturn the 
Convention, for such is the usual course of things. A ter- 
rible perspective this, my dear sir, for those who are at 
present in the saddle. No wonder, therefore, if they ride 
hard. It is not the least of their misfortunes to be fully 
sensible of their situation, and it results therefrom that as 
much time is consumed in providing for their defence 
against adverse factions and contingent events as in pre- 
paring for the general defence pf the country ; more, 
perhaps. How different was our situation in America. 
Everyone performed cheerfully his part ; nor had we any- 
thing to apprehend but from the common enemy. Such 
is the immense difference between a country which has 
morals and one which is corrupted. The former has every- 
thing to hope, and the latter everything to fear." 

Again, after the fall of Danton, and under date of April 
i8th, Morris wrote. to Washington of the event, recall- 
ing at the same time to Washington's mind a letter con- 
cerning Danton which he had written some months pre- 
viously : 

" In a letter which I had the honor of writing to you on 
the loth of January, 1793, I gave you some traits respect- 
ing M. Westermann, and, as my public despatches had 
already communicated the plans of M. Danton, you will 
not be surprised at what has lately happened to them. I 
wrote to you on the 25th of June that those who rule the 
roast had just ideas of the value of popular opinion ; also, 
that should they reach a harbor it would be as much by 
good luck as by good management, and that at any rate 
part of the crew would be thrown overboard. Those I 
had then particularly in view were Chabot * and company, 

• Francois Chabot, a Capuchin priest, and the scandal of his native town 
of Rhodez. In 1792 he was appointed deputy to the legislature. He was one 



I794-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 6l 

of which company a part still exists. On the i8th of Octo- 
ber I gave you a short view of the nature of the then gov- 
ernment, and added what seemed to be the probable termi- 
nation. I therein observed that whether France would pass 
to that point through the medium of a triumvirate or other 
small body of men seemed as yet undetermined, but that 
I thought it most probable she would. At that period 
things were wound up very high, and ever since the ut- 
most uncertainty has prevailed as to the stroke which 
would be given. I enclose herein a copy of what I wrote 
you the 12th of last month, since which both the Danton- 
ists and Hebertists are crushed. The fall of Danton seems 
to terminate the idea of a triumvirate. The chief who 
would in such case have been one of his colleagues has 
wisely put out of the way a dangerous competitor. Hence 
it would seem that the high-road nuist be laid through the 
Comite de Salut Public, unless, indeed, the army should 
meddle. But as to the army, no character seems as yet 
to have appeared with any prominent feature; neither is 
there so much discipline as would give an aspiring char- 
acter just ground of hope. It is a wonderful thing, sir, 
that four years of convulsion among four and twenty mill- 
ions of people has brought forth no one, either in civil 
or military life, whose head would fit the cap which for- 
tune has woven. Robespierre has been the most consist- 
ent, if not the only consistent. He is one of those of 
whom Shakespeare's Caesar speaks to his frolicsome com- 
panion, * He loves no plays as thou dost, Antony.' There 
is no imputation against higi for corruption. He is far 
from rich, and still further from appearing so. It is Said 
that his idol is ambition, but I think that the establish- 

of the chief instigators of the events of the loth of August. Robespierre had 
him condemned to death as a partisan of Danton, and he was guillotined in 
April, 1794. 



62 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

ment of the Republic would (all things considered) be 
most suitable to him. Whether he thinks so is another 
question, which I will not pretend to answer, nor how far 
such establishment may appear to him practicable. If it 
be supposed that a man in his situation should absolutely 
despair of the Republic and have so much diffidence, 
either in his abilities or his influence, as to despair also of 
obtaining, much less of preserving, the supreme power, 
then it might be supposed that Danton's plan would be by 
such person carried into execution. Yet all this supposi- 
tion is but conjectural foundation of new conjecture. And 
what are the Allies about ? Forming schemes to be exe- 
cuted, if they should continue to be allies." 

The spring of 1794 was lovely and fruitful. "The 
weather," Morris wrote to Robert Morris on April 25th, 
"continues fine, or, to use a more apposite expression, 
hot — about the temperature of our month of June. Heav- 
en seems to have decided in favor of the Republic against 
those who would by famine deprive]her of freedom. Such 
promise of fruits and of all vegetable productions was 
never seen. It is indeed a miracle in nature, considering 
the latitude, for at this moment all the fruits are formed 
— the strawberries in full blossom, the apples are set, the 
vines, not in blossom, but the future clusters already 
marked. In the lawn under my eye I have grass lodged, 
some of it a yard high. In short, it is difficult to persuade 
one's self that the dates are just. This advance in the 
season will probably save us from the horrors of famine. 
A frost is possible, but there seems to be but little reason 
for apprehending it. 

" Since my last there have been abundant executions 
at Paris, and the guillotine goes on smartly. It was a 
matter of great doubt before the blow was struck which 
party was strongest. Perhaps the victory depended on 



1794.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 63 

the first stroke. Danton, when condemned, or shortly be- 
fore it, told his judges that he had observed in reading 
history that men generally perished by the instruments 
of destruction which they had themselves created. ' I ' 
(says he) 'created the Tribunal R^volutionnaire by which I 
am shortly to be destroyed.' Shakespeare had made Mac- 
beth pronounce the same dreadful sentence on the wick- 
edly ambitious long ago. ' But in these cases we still have 
judgment here ; that we but teach bloody instructions 
which, being taught, return to plague the inventor : this 
even-handed justice commends the ingredients of our 
poisoned chalice to our own lips.' God only knows who 
next is to drink out of the same cup, but, as far as I can 
judge, there is no want of liquor. The rest depends on 
circumstances." 

" Every gazette announces new victories, and gives, of 
course, hope that France may soon enjoy that freedom 
from which she derives her name," Morris wrote, July 
4th, to Leray de Chaumont at Nyon. " Let me ofifer con- 
gratulations on this anniversary of American Indepen- 
dence, our country's natal day. The new Federal city 
(Washington) will be unquestionably one of the first cities 
on earth, and when I get back to America I mean to 
choose a good spot and build a house on it for myself. 
Five hundred dollars would buy a lot. Ships take build- 
ing materials cheap from ports of Europe to Washington ; 
and twenty-five thousand dollars would build a very large 
house in the American way of building, without parquets, 
carving, gilding, and the like costly ornamentations." 

Morris's next letter to Washington, dated July 25th, had 
for its subject the trials of Madame de Lafayette, and 
also was an acknowledgment of a letter of Washington's, 
"which had," he wrote, "been a little more than a year 
in its passage. Before it reached me Madame de Lafa- 



64 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

yette (who, in common with most others of the nobility, had 
been confined in her province) was brought on to Paris, 
where she is now imprisoned. As soon as I heard it, 
which was the day of her arrival, I took the steps which 
appeared to me most proper for preventing the catas- 
trophe which is to be apprehended. Since that period, 
finding that whatever may be the inclination of individu- 
als every one remains silent, for fear of compromising 
himself, I have written to the Commissioner of Exterior 
Relations an unofficial letter, on the 29th of last month, 
to which as yet I have received no answer. I tell him 
that I know not whether she is brought up to be tried or 
only as a safer place of confinement, and that, moreover, 
I do not pretend to meddle with matters foreign to my 
mission, but think it proper to prove on that occasion my 
attachment to the cause in which the French are em- 
barked, etc. I then assure him that my letter (directed 
to him, by the by, as a citizen and not as a commissioner) 
is not official, but amical and dictated by friendly senti- 
ment, etc. After which I state that the family of Lafa- 
yette is beloved in America ; that without examining his 
conduct in this country, which would doubtless be con- 
demned, my fellow-citizens confine themselves to the 
grateful remembrance of the services he has rendered us, 
and therefore the death of his wife might lessen the at- 
tachment of some among them to the French Republic ; 
that it would furnish the partisans of England with means 
of misrepresenting what passes here ; that I cannot but 
think her existence of very little consequence to this gov- 
ernment ; and that I am sure its enemies will rejoice at 
the destruction of anything which bears the name of 
Lafayette. I conclude by the assurance that I have taken 
that step from what I conceive to be the true interest of 
the French Republic. What may be the effect of this 



1794] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 6$ 

application I know not, but if she is preserved for some 
time I shall have hopes — the more so as I conceive the 
present rage for executions must at length terminate. 
The gazettes will give you the details on that subject and 
spare me the pain of dwelling on it. I will here, however, 
mention to you w^hat I have done for this unfortunate 
family of Lafayette. She wrote to me last summer desir- 
ing I would officially pledge the United States as security 
for certain sums due by his estate and which, not being 
exactly within the line marked out for the creditors of 
emigrants, might not be allowed in liquidation, and she 
stated that his honor and hers stood pledged, etc. You 
will readily conceive that I did not comply with that re- 
quest, but at the same time your goodness will feel that a 
flat denial would add sorrow to distress. In this dilemma 
I informed her that it was inconsistent with the dignity 
of governments to appear in such affairs ; moreover, I had 
not any right to dispose of the public property, but, as 
far as my own would go for her relief, she might count on 
every aid in my power. Not to fatigue you with a long 
story, this engagement ended by paying her in Novem- 
ber last one hundred thousand livres when the assignats 
were at par (or, indeed, for silver, under par) and when, 
by the obstacles thrown in the way of all negotiations, it 
became to me an object of very serious inconvenience. 
However, I had taken the engagement, and it was neces- 
sary to keep it or break my word. When she was brought 
up to Paris she sent a person to me to communicate her 
situation and that of her children, and to propose an ad- 
vance of credit to the amount of one hundred and fifty 
thousand livres in order to complete some arrangements 
which they had imagined at Chavagnac. This advance I 
declined, not only because the plan they had formed ap- 
peared to me unwise but because I had not the money to 
Vol. II.— 5 



66 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXIX. 

dispose of. Being hard pressed for an opinion of con- 
solatory nature to those poor children, I authorized the 
person employed to assure them of my conviction Ma/ i^e 
United States would take care of them. This I cannot doubt 
of, and I flatter myself that they may all of them be yet 
united at some future day in our hospitable regions, and 
that they will have cause to speak with gratitude of the 
bounty of America." 

In August the new Minister from the United States to 
France arrived ; his advent was an inexpressible relief 
to Morris, and in the following letter, of August 14th, to 
Robert Morris he gave vent to his feelings on the subject. 

" Presenting my successor, which I did yesterday, to the 
Commissioners, has given me more pleasure than any 
event for many months. As soon as the ceremonial is ad- 
justed for his reception, I shall be relieved from a burden 
which has pressed on my shoulders, and which I am hap- 
pier to be rid of than you can easily conceive. I am pre- 
paring for my departure, but as yet can take no step, as 
there is a kind of interregnum in the government and Mr. 
Monroe is not yet received, at which he grows somewhat 
impatient. The intelligence you give me respecting m)'^- 
self is particularly pleasing. I desired much to be re- 
called, but I would not ask it because I conceived my 
honor concerned in seeing the thing through. My only 
remaining wish is that the measure may be as useful to 
the United States as it is pleasing to me." 

After seeing his successor installed and disposing of 
his house at Paris, Mr. Morris's intention was to return at 
once to America ; and with this object in view he sought, 
and after much difficulty found, a sea-worthy ship to take 
himself and his effects across the Atlantic. But events in 
Europe were so interesting at this moment, and promised 
so much excitement and stir for the future, that he sud- 



179+] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 6^ 

denly changed his plans, and determined to stay at least 
another year in Europe and watch the great play enact- 
ing on that stage. This year lengthened itself into quite 
four years before he embarked for America. 

In October, 1794, however, he sent his steward Brome- 
ling in the ship Superb to New York, "with," as he 
wrote to Mr. Constable, " all my books, liquors, linens, 
furniture, plate, and carriages, which I presume will be 
admitted free of duty." Instructions were sent that the 
" things, when the ship arrived, should be taken from her to 
Morrisania by periaugers," and his overseer was directed 
to take especial care of his liquors and wines. Among 
the latter was a large quantity of Imperial Tokay sealed in 
wax with the double-headed eagle of Austria, the wedding- 
present of Maria Theresa to the unfortunate queen Marie 
Antoinette. This wine Mr. Morris had bought during the 
days of the Terror from a cheap grocery shop, where it 
was exposed for sale at twenty-five cents a bottle. The 
last bottle of it was opened at a wedding-party in New 
York in 1848. 



68 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

Morris leaves Paris and France. Resumes his diary. Thinks Monroe 
takes a wrong tone. Journey through France. Switzerland. Coppet. 
Madame de Stael. M. Necker. Malet du Pin. Berne. Basle. 
Hospitality of friends. Incidents en route. Scraps of news. Ham- 
burg. Glad to have left his position in France. Letter to Washing- 
ton. Extremely cold weather. Princess of Wales goes to England. 
Madame de Flahaut. Treaty between Prussia and France published, 
April, 1795. Morris becomes surety for the Duke of Orleans. Verses 
to Mesdames de Biaurepaire and de Flahaut. Riots at Paris. Mor- 
ris helps his friends among the imigrSs. History of M. d'Angivilliers's 
silver plate. Power of the Jacobins broken. Distress in France. 
Letter to Washington. 

ON Sunday, October 12, 1794, Morris left Paris for 
Sainport to make arrangements for disposing of 
his possessions there, and two days later he bade a final 
farewell to France and journeyed to Hamburg. The 
entries in the diary commence again on October 12th, 
with a description of the journey to Sainport. 

" I left Paris this morning at ten o'clock. Instead of 
four horses I have but three, and my servant mounts be- 
hind the carriage. The postmaster says that all his bidets 
are held at the order of the Comite de Salut Public. This 
I suspect to be untrue. I reach Charenton, where I find 
it next to impossible to find a bidet, and so go on as before. 
The postmaster says it is impossible to procure post-horses ; 
that they are, moreover, very dear and very bad, etc. — all 
which I believe, being the natural result of a system of 
paper money, and, above all, of a war like the present, 
which cannot but exhaust the country exposed to it. 



1794 J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 69 

" At Villeneuve, again, there are difficulties about a bidet. 
I agree to pay three posts for the distance to Sainport, 
which is more than I ought ; but on all such occasions one 
is at the postmaster's mercy — one among many bad con- 
sequences of doing that by exclusive privilege and minute 
regulation which should be left to competition and pri- 
vate interest. In how many different ways reflection and 
experience inculcate the important maxim not to govern 
too much. The state of husbandry in the country through 
which I pass is detestable : no artificial grasses, and but 
little natural meadow ; two years of crop and one of fal- 
low, consequently small crops and very foul with all kinds 
of weeds. The little experiments I have made at Sainport 
during the summer, upon some of the worst land in the 
whole country, convince me that intelligent husbandry 
would almost work miracles here. I am persuaded that 
France ought (for at least two years to come) to renounce 
all idea of colonies and commerce. The culture of her 
soil and the active pursuit of fisheries on her coast would, 
if she were well governed, raise her to a pitch of prosper- 
ity which can hardly be conceived. Corn, wine, oil, silk, . 
flax, and hemp, with a sufficiency of iron, give her the first 
principles of wealth, and the genius of her people in con- 
verting the rude materials into various manufactures would, 
if well directed, accumulate again, in less than half a cen- 
tury, the immense property expended on the present war. 
The amount will not be known until after the close of it, 
but, if I judge rightly, she will be exhausted to a degree 
beyond what would have been conceived to lie within 
the power of any government. Constantly successful in 
the field, she is running to ruin with a rapidity that is as 
yet unknown in the history of human affairs. Before I 
left Paris, Mr. Monroe called on me and explained his 
conduct and his views. He begins to find out that fine 



70 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

words are of little value, and his letters from America 
show me that something more is expected (and justly ex- 
pected) there, for many violences committed against our 
merchants. In my opinion he has taken the wrong tone 
at first, and will find much difficulty in changing it now. 
Time must determine a pretty serious question on that 
subject. So far as I am personally concerned at least, I 
have the consolation to have made no sacrifice either of 
personal or national dignity, and I believe I would have 
obtained everything if the American Government had re- 
fused to recall me. I rejoice that I am no longer in the 
pitiful situation which I have so long endured ; for the 
rest, experience must decide, and I hope that events will 
be favorable to America. At Sainport, I feel relieved and 
rejoiced to be for a day without the torment of attention 
to any sort of affairs, after having been so plagued with a 
variety of them. The weather is mild to-day and threatens 
for to-morrow. I must wish for soft weather, both on ac- 
count of my gout and of my journey. Should it turn cold, 
Mount Jura will prove a tough morsel. I did not reach 
Sainport till a quarter after three ; say, from Paris, five 
hours and a quarter. I used to come with my own horses 
easily in four hours, generally in three and a half." 

"This morning [October 14th] I get off from Sainport 
at ten minutes before eleven. At Pont-sur-Yonne I am 
forced to apply to the officers of justice to settle the ex- 
tortion of the postilion ; and then on again through very 
rich but badly cultivated land, through which the Yonne 
meanders to Vallogne. Here the landlady of the inn is 
in the style of the ancien regime^ and every ' monsieur * 
she utters is worth five sous at least in the bill. Pass Di- 
jon and arrive at Mont-sur-Vaudray, where there are no 
horses, and I must wait till others can be refreshed ; I am 
obliged to subscribe to the terms the postilion was pleased 



1794] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 7 1 

to propose, although the law is in my favor ; but what sig- 
nifies the law in this country at present ? A half-drunk 
and wholly insolent postilion takes me one post, where we 
rise in truth a mountain, but the road is excellent ; there 
is a striking view, which to the approaching traveller is 
terribly beautiful, if he gives the rein to imagination. In 
a valley towards which he goes are thrown a parcel of 
mountains, somewhat resembling cocks of hay but of a 
mass more great as well as more solid, for they are large 
and of rock. In the midst of them, as if intended for theat- 
rical decorations, is one on the side of which the road re- 
sembles a little ribbon, and it hangs over a vast precipice. 
Both the beginning and the end are hidden, one by the 
mountain itself, the other by the base of a brother-moun- 
tain which is nearer to us. After descending into the val- 
ley we turn to the left, and, having wound round that part 
which was concealed, we turn to the right, and gain that 
which was disclosed. Up these roads we go, drawn by 
three horses, the postilion amusing himself as he walks 
behind the carriage, and a horse need only sheer a little 
to throw the carriage and its contents at least a hundred 
fathoms upon the rocks beneath. To show apprehension 
would be only to excite mirth, and induce him to try 
projects, for I observed the fellow looking at me askance 
to discover whether I am terrified, but a very severe coun- 
tenance and not a word spoken induces him to take hold 
of the bridle of his porteur. It was time." 

"Arrived at Morey [October 19th] we are surrounded 
by the commis of the douane. I show my passport and, 
to obviate unnecessary cavil and examination, show them 
also my permission from the Comit^ de Salut Public to ex- 
port four hundred louis, telling them it would have cost 
me only the trouble of asking it to export five times that 
amount This quiets a little the bustle. The mayor ar- 



72 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX, 

rives, bringing in his hands my passport. He observes 
that it is not signed by me, and makes no mention of my 
wooden leg. I show him two or three old passports for 
the interior which I had kept, and these, with the permit 
of the Committee, obviate difficulties. As we leave Les 
Rousses we ascend a little, and soon pass the dividing line 
between the territories of the two nations. It is marked 
by a stone wall which a pig can jump over anywhere. 
Shortly after we get into Switzerland, round the point of 
mountain which shuts in that gap through which we de- 
scend, I perceive before us the Alps, and chief among 
their highnesses — for they at least merit that title — Mont 
Blanc, at whose foot lie the glaciers filled with the accu- 
mulated frost of centuries." 

" Still advancing [October 20th], we see the lake of Ge- 
neva and the Pays de Vaud under our feet ; a fine coup 
d'oeil, but in this season it wants verdure. The Alps are 
majestically grand, but they become more awful as we de- 
scend, and thence I am led to observe that mountains, like 
other great folks, inspire less respect when seen from 
something like their own level. In my route to-day, clam- 
bering up hill, I was reminded of an expression of General 
Putnam respecting Westchester County, which here is 
literally true. * Get,' says he, ' upon the highest hill you 
can find, and you will immediately see another which 
is higher. There are hills here which we cannot get 
upon. We reach Cour, in the neighborhood of Lausanne, 
where M. Chaumont resides, this day and put up at the 
hotel." 

"This morning [October 21st] at twelve set off to see 
the Baron de Coppet, alias M. Necker. He is abroad 
and I am so pressed to remain until his return that I can- 
not avoid it, although I had ordered dinner at home, and 
wished for many reasons to return. He arrives a little 



1794] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 73 

while before dinner, and is truly glad to see me ; so much 
more so than I can account for, that I conclude there is 
something behind. Company come after dinner. The 
French affairs form, of course, the subject of conversa- 
tion. He wishes to speak to me in private, and I find that 
Leray de Chaumont has been dealing with him.* 

"This morning [October 23d] I have a smart touch of 
the gout, in consequence of my yesterday's walk. Go to 
dinner at Madame de Stael's, where I am received with 
great warmth — the more necessary as I have a villainous 
ague. A good appetite at dinner, but the ague comes on 
very strong and then the fever, which is gentle. We have 
much talk, or rather I have, for they are desirous of in- 
formation, both public and private, and I am more in con- 
dition to give it than most others. There is here a little 
French society which live at her expense and are as gay 
as circumstances will permit. The road to her house is 
up hill and execrable, so that I think I shall not go 
again thither. On my return, being much out of sorts, I 
find bed the properest place for me, and my pillow the 
fittest society." 

" This morning [October 24th] I still suffer with the 
gout. M. de Narbonne comes after dinner, but Madame 
de Stael, who was expected, does not appear till later, 
when she comes and gives me much of her history and 
plans of life." 

" Leave Cour [November 5th], and stop on my way to 
see Madame de Tess^, who has quarrelled with Madame 
de Tot, and who complains of persecution, and in conse- 
quence she is about to quit this country and go, with about 
ten to twelve thousand pounds sterling, she knows not 
whither. Advise her to invest in the American three per 
cents." 

* Presumably in American lands. 



74 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

" This evening [November 6th] at Berne Messieurs Malet 
du Pin and Mounier call upon me. I see in a den made for 
the purpose one of three bears which are maintained here 
at the public expense. There is a pension of 4,ooof. Swiss, 
or 6,ooof. French, appropriated to the keeping of four 
bears. Malet du Pin tells me that the Austrian Cabinet 
is seriously determined on continuing the war if it can 
be done." 

"At Basle [November nth] I buy the horses of M. 
Diodati, and engage his coachman, who seems to be an 
excellent creature. Dine with M. Diodati and go to the 
concert. There are arrived in town some Prussian offi- 
cers, said to come for the purpose of treating about an 
exchange of prisoners. Two deputies are expected, and 
the idea is that a treaty of peace is in contemplation. It 
is possible enough. Many and many civilities from M. 
and Madame Diodati." 

Morris's journey from Paris to Hamburg was charm- 
ingly diversified by the kind reception of old friends whom 
he met in the different towns he passed through, and also 
by many hospitalities shown him by strangers to whom he 
had letters, who dined and wined him with almost more 
liberality than he cared for. The relief that he experi- 
enced at being once more free he expressed in letters to 
various friends written along the way. To Mr. Isaac 
Parish, of Hamburg, he wrote from Basle, November 12th : 
"The arrival of a successor has at last enabled me to quit 
the irksome place which I occupied, and I am now on my 
way to your city." And to William Short, then at Ma- 
drid, he wrote of the "relief it is to get away from my du- 
ties as Minister. I hope," he adds, "you have so much 
friendship for me as to be heartily glad at my removal 
from the place I lately occupied. . . . As to the polit- 
ical state of France, it is externally as strong as its best 



i 



1794.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 75 

friends could desire, and internally as weak as its worst 
enemies could wish." 

" To-day," says the diary for November 13th, " I set off 
with my own horses, which I see for the first time, having 
bought them at a venture from the Comte Diodati. They 
appear to be excellent, and we jog along over execrable 
roads and I get cheated at the various inns I stop at. The 
best way, however, is to pay with good humor and jog 
patiently on. The art of living consists, I think, in some 
considerable degree in knowing how to be cheated. At 
Hirschfeld this evening, after taking tea and as I am going 
to bed, I receive a message from the Landgravine and an- 
other from the Duchesse de Bouillon, her sister. It is im- 
possible to refuse, so I embark in a voiture de la cour and 
wait on the Duchess ; then go to the Chateau and assist at 
the souper. Madame had known me at the Baron Besen- 
val's five years ago and, hearing my name, was desirous of 
seeing me. Je suis combU de politesses of the right kind, 
and am pressed to stay and dine to-morrow. The gentle- 
men assure me that the spring of my carriage shall be 
mended in the morning. The smith of Monseigneur is to 
do it. It is near twelve when I get to bed, which is not 
right for a traveller." 

" The next morning I am off at ten. At 'Miinden [De- 
cember 2d] I meet a young Austrian officer who dined 
with me, and who is a prisoner on parole, taken at Maes- 
tricht. He tells me that the Dutch troops are detestable, 
and their fortresses wholly unprovided of provisions and 
military stores. At Maestricht he says there were no case- 
mates, and two magazines of powder were blown up by 
the enemy's bombs. He tells me also that in the French 
army there are a great number of very young people, and 
even children of thirteen and fourteen years of age." 

"At Zelle, to-night [December 6th], the Hamburg ga- 



fd DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

zette arrives, which announced the surrender of Luxem- 
bourg to the French. If this be true, there remains only 
Mayence to be taken, and the young Republic is bounded 
by the Rhine. I agree to take a pair of young sorrel 
horses of a man on the road, who is driving them before a 
wagon ; the price, thirty-four louis d'ors, and he is to de- 
liver them at Hamburg for five crowns. The fire in the 
kitchen of the inn where we dine to-day is the first thing 
of the kind I have seen. The kitchen is in the middle of 
the house, half-way between the chambers and the barns 
and stables. It has a square hearth, in the middle of the 
floor nearly, and without any chimney, but a flooring di- 
rectly over it all black with smoke, which is to find a way 
out of the house as well as it can. Against the beams on 
which this floor rests are suspended beef, pork, mutton, and 
split geese, which have been pickled, and are now smoke- 
drying. The dinner consists of a piece of the mutton 
stewed with turnips. One of my servants recommends it 
to me, and I find it very good. My horse-seller gives me 
some white bread (the house not furnishing any), and I 
make one of the heartiest meals of my life. The servant 
who recommended it to me, however, eats still more, and 
the quantity demolished between us is astonishing. What 
is still more aslonishing is that the price for both of us is 
but four gros, or groschen, equal to about two sterling 
groats, or sixteen sous of French money. The hay and 
oats of my horses amount to eighteen-pence sterling for 
four horses. This is cheap living. Last night, in convers- 
ing with my host, I find that the present war is highly un- 
popular in this country ; that the sovereign is much dis- 
liked, and that their connection with Great Britain is ex- 
tremely irksome to them. He tells me that he under- 
stands an attempt is to be made to-morrow to raise re- 
cruits by force, but he thinks the people will not submit 



1794-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 7/ 

to it. The French cause is greatly favored. They are de- 
sirous the French should come among them." 

Morris reached Hamburg early in December, and the 
following letter to Washington, dated December 30th, ex- 
plains the reason of his presence there. 

" My Dear Sir : At this late hour and from this re- 
mote corner, I am to acknowledge your favors of the 19th 
and 25th June. I did not reply from Paris, because I 
wished for a safe conveyance, and although none offers 
itself at present, yet I will write what occurs for commu- 
nication, and take a future chance of transmission. The 
assurances of friendly esteem which your letters convey 
are very pleasing ; but, indeed, I never doubted of the sen- 
timents you express, and even go so far as to flatter my- 
self that the measure in question was not agreeable to 
you. It was highly so to me, and although I am per- 
suaded that you will believe me on my word, I will never- 
theless assign some reasons why a change of situation was 
desirable. And first, you will see from what is now pub- 
licly known respecting those who administer the French 
despotism how painful it must have been to represent our 
virtuous republic to such persons. I had stayed at some 
risk after the loth of August, because I thought the in- 
terests of America required it, and I did not ask my re- 
call at a subsequent period because it would not have 
been honorable to abandon a post which, if no longer un- 
safe, was at least unpleasant. I felt that I was useless, and, 
indeed, that nobody could be useful until some perma- 
nent system should be established. I saw misery and afflic- 
tion every day and all around me, without power to miti- 
gate or means to relieve, and I felt myself degraded by the 
communications I was forced into with the worst of man- 
kind, in order to obtain redress for the injuries sustained 
by my fellow-citizens. During that state of things I was 



78 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

grossly insulted by the arrest of a lady in my house, by 
order of the Committee of General Safety. I could not re- 
sent this as I ought to have done, by quitting the country, 
because a great number of ourcitizens were then detained 
in France, with much of their property, and I knew the vio- 
lences which those who administer the government were 
capable of. Moreover, I saw with regret that the temper 
of America was not such as her best citizens could have 
wished, and the conduct of Britain rendered a temporiz- 
ing conduct with France indispensable. My representa- 
tions obtained a half-apology and promise of satisfaction, 
but occasioned the order to solicit my recall, of which I 
was apprised within four and twenty hours after it was 
given, and might easily have shown whence it originated ; 
but, to tell you the truth, I was inclined to wish that I 
might be removed on their application. I really believe it 
was necessary to my reputation. So long as they believed 
in the success of their demand, they treated my represen- 
tations with indifference and contempt ; but at last, hearing 
nothing from their minister on that subject, or, indeed, on 
any other, they took it into their heads that I was immov- 
able, and made overtures for conciliation. At this time I 
began to apprehend that we should be plunged into a war 
with England, in which case it would have become my 
duty to aid the French as far as my abilities might go. 
But as I knew their temper, I replied to the advances made 
that I was not to be affected by smooth words, so that 
they must begin by complying with the various demands 
I had made, and show me by facts that they were well- 
disposed. Shortly after this I received a volunteer letter 
from the Commissary of Exterior Relations (a poor creat- 
ure who scarce dared wipe his nose without an order from 
the Committee of Safety), assuring me that he had trans- 
mitted my various representations to the Commissary of 



1794.] GOUVtRNEUR MORRIS. 79 

the Marine, and expected soon to give me satisfactory an- 
swers. It was written ten days before the death of Robes- 
pierre, shortly after which Mr. Monroe arrived. He was 
fortunate in not reaching France at an earlier period, for, if 
I may judge by what fell within my observation, he would 
have been a little too well with that party to be viewed in 
a neutral light by their opponents. I hope he may succeed 
in obtaining the redress of those grievances which our 
countrymen labored under, but on the 12th of October, 
when I left Paris, nothing was done. I found my present 
hopes^ however, on Mr. Jay's treaty, for they will now be 
somewhat more cautious respecting us than they have 
been. 

"In reply to what you say about my return to America, 
I must tell you that I could not depart in such season as 
that my communications could be of much importance ; 
and therefore, as I must have exposed myself to the in- 
conveniences of a winter's passage, I deferred my voyage, 
and the rather as I have some affairs in London which I 
wish to wind up. I should have gone thither for that 
purpose direct, but the French would have harbored jeal- 
ousies respecting my journey which for many reasons I 
wish not to excite ; and therefore I came round through 
Switzerland to this city, in which I am now weather- 
bound. So much for my history. 

"As to the state of political affairs, the Polish insurrec- 
tion is, as you know, completely subdued, and of course 
the attention of Europe is all turned to France, which has 
lately triumphed in every quarter by the extreme miscon- 
duct of her enemies. It seems at present that they are 
coming to their senses, and, if I am rightly informed, they 
have at length abandoned the idea of dismemberment and 
mean to pursue simply the establishment of the throne. 
If they act wisely and vigorously in that direction it 



80 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

seems to me that they must succeed, for the French are 
wearied and exhausted by the contest. They detest and 
despise their present rulers, and, as far as I have been able 
to judge, they ardently desire the restoration of their 
Prince. You will ask, perhaps, why, then, do they not re- 
store him ? It is because they dare not act nor even speak, 
so that they do not know each other's opinions, and, of 
course, each individual apprehends from the general mass. 
But everything which has taken place leads them to 
look back with regret to their ancient situation. In judg- 
ing the French we must not recur to the feelings of 
America during the last war. We were in the actual en- 
joyment of freedom, and fought not to obtain but to secure 
its blessing. The people elected their magistrates during 
the continuance of the war. The property of the country 
was engaged in the Revolution, and the oppressions which 
it occasioned were neither great, extensive, nor of long du- 
ration. But in France they have been lured by one idle 
hope after another, until they are plunged in the depth of 
misery and servitude ; so much the more degrading, as 
that they cannot but despise their mastlers. I have long, 
you know, predicted a single despotism, and you have 
seen how near they have been to that catastrophe. 
Chance, or rather the want of mettle in the usurper, has 
alone saved them to the present moment ; but I am still 
convinced that they must end their voyage in that port, 
and they would probably reach it, should they make peace 
with all their foreign enemies, through the channel of a 
civil war." ** The news from Holland," says the diary for 
January 3, 1795, "turn out, as I expected, much less un- 
favorable to the Allies than was expected. The French, 
having failed in one of their attempts to cross the Waal, 
have retired, and with considerable loss. Visit the British 
Minister and see Mr. Lane, who reads to me his letter 



I79S] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 8 1 

from Brunswick communicating the determination of 
Prussia to make peace with France." 

" The weather [j'anuary 23d] is extremely cold ; seldom 
colder, they say, in Russia. The Empress by edict has 
ordered all public amusements to stop when the cold is at 
seventeen degrees, because the men and horses exposed 
to the air must frequently perish. This loss of Holland 
turns people's minds very strongly towards America. I 
observed this day a very strange phenomenon. The sun 
shone very bright, not a cloud to be seen, and yet it 
snowed. Several of our company had noticed the same 
thing, also that it continued to snow this evening with a 
bright starlight, which I had also remarked. Many of the 
guests laugh at the idea, and yet refuse to go out and verify 
it by the evidence of their senses. I dare say that if this were 
recounted anywhere else it would be considered as making 
use of the traveller's privilege. The weather is greatly 
softened this evening, but in the two last days many per- 
sons have been frozen to death. There is no news which 
can be depended on either from France or Holland, and 
tiie communication with England is entirely stopped." 

"The Elbe is opened [March nth], though the season is 
very backward, and the fleet of British frigates is arrived 
at the mouth to convey the Princess of Wales to England. 
By the gazettes it would seem that the system of cruelty 
is going more and more out of fashion in France. The 
Abbe St. Albin tells me of the refusal of the Prince of 
Wales to marry unless they pay his debts, which appear 
twice what he announced, and more than Pitt dare pro- 
pose to the Commons." 

*^We learn from France [April 13th] that Paris is far 

from quiet, and the scarcity of food becomes daily more 

sensible. Yesterday I plucked a violet on the south side 

of a steep hill ; it is the first I have seen. I present it and 

Vol. II.— 6 



8i DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

some other flowers to Madame de Flahaut, who is lodg- 
ing at Altona,* and write at the same time : 

Re^ois les premices que je viens de cueillir ; 

Depuis longtemps tu sais qu'elles te sont consacrees— • 
Mes travaux et mes soins, mes jeux et mon loisir, 

Les fleurs du printemps et les fruits de I'ete. 

Voili I'hiver qui vient, et d'un pas de geant, 
Oil le jour est si triste et la nuit est si bonne ; 

Jouissons au plus vite, jouissons, ch^re enfant, 
Car dej4 je me sens au milieu de I'automne." 

" It is affirmed [April 19th], as announced by five cou- 
riers, that peace is signed between Prussia and France. 
Boyd tells me that Pitt had offered a subsidy to the King' 
of Prussia, but he knows not the conditions." 

" I have company to dine [April 21st] and am told that 
the treaty between Prussia and France is published, and 
that the Prussian possessions beyond the Rhine are pro- 
visoirement to remain in the hands of France. Walk and 
visit Madame de Flahaut. M. Thouvenot has told her 
that a loan can be obtained for the young Duke of Or- 
leans if I will be his surety. I think over the proposition 
for a day and tell Madame de Flahaut that I will become 
surety, etc., and form a joint concern. M. Thouvenot calls 
and takes notes of my proposals. The young man is dis- 
inclined to making great engagements, and I am of his 
opinion. The Princesse de Vaudemont brings the Due de 
Choiseul to dine with me. He is just escaped from Dun- 
kirk, whither he had been carried by a French frigate 
which had taken him on board of a British packet. Call 

* Altona was the most important city of the Duchy of Holstein, and, imme- 
diately adjoining Hamburg, for commercial purposes they were a single town. 
Altona passed with Holstein into the possession of Prussia in 1867. It is a 
free port. 



I79S.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 83 

on the Duke of Orleans, who goes off this evening on a 
journey northward. Madame de Flahaut tells me that 
she is informed that Paris will soon be the scene of great 
commotions. By advices as late as the 27th of last month 
they are reduced to four ounces of bread per day. She 
also told me last evening that Madame de Beaurepaire 
was to call this morning in order to get a cap made, and 
wished me to ask her and her companion, M. de Boursac, 
to dine, which I agreed to, but this morning wrote an 
additional invitation : 

Eh, bon jour, belle faiseuse 

De romans et de bonnets ; 
Parfois vive et paresseuse, 

Bonne et douce et sans appret. 

Quand vous ouvrirez boutique 

Soil de modes ou d'esprit, 
Vous aurez grande pratique ; 

L'amour meme me I'a dit. 

II s'instruit de la conduite 

Que vous tenez nuit et jour ; 
Mais, objet de sa poursuite, 

Avez-vous connu l'amour ? 

C'est celui qui seul inspire 

Les douceurs du sentiment ; 
Vous les savez bien ecrire, 

Je vous crois de son couvent. 

Au milieu de vos travaux 

Litteraires ou bonnitaires, 
Je vous fais de lourds propos, 

Qui ne sont que dinataires. 

Quittez gazes et romans, 

Bel esprit devenu sage ; 
Menez-moi vos deux chalands 

Manger mon petit potage." 



84 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

** I had been informed [May 13th] that Austria negoti- 
ated for peace, but I am told that the Emperor has made 
his solemn declaration at Ratisbon in favor of the contin- 
uance of hostilities ; that the resolutions of the Cabinet of 
Vienna were to that effect. The news of a late date from 
Paris is that they now think of adopting the American 
Constitution and talk of Pichegru and the Abbe Si^yes 
as President. The former has his headquarters at Ver- 
sailles. My landlady tells me there is a rumor in town 
that the young King of France and his sister are escaped 
from the Temple, and that it is supposed they are gone to 
join Charette."* 

"I learn from Madame de Flahaut [June ist] that there 
has been a riot at Paris in which the Jacobins had the advan- 
tage the 22d of May, and the Assembly the 23d was com- 
pletely victorious. It seems that the Jacobins had for some 
time the upper hand, but were finally crushed, and the Con- 
vention was in full train to destroy them. Barere & Co. 
will experience the same fate. Thus the divine justice sin- 
gles out its victims, and each shall perish by the other. The 
famine still rages, and must, I think, destroy the Conven- 
tion sooner or later, for I know not how a people are to 
be restrained who are void of principle, and who perish 
with hunger. M. de Septeuil calls on me this afternoon 
to settle an affair of M. d'Angivilliers, and among other 
things asks me if the King did not deposit with me the 
amount of the Civil List. He understood that they were 
to be transmitted by M. de Monciel. I tell him, which is 
true, that I never saw them." 

* Francois Athanase Charette — of a noble family of Brittany — left France 
in 1790, and joined the emigres at Coblentz. The loth of August, 1792, he 
was in Paris, and attempted to penetrate into the Tuileries. He became a 
lawless character in the insurrections which arose during March, 1793, in I.a 
Vendee, and has been called the most ferocious of all the rebel chiefs. He 
was born, April 11, 1763, and died, March 29, 1796. 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 85 

During this winter, which he passed at Hamburg and 
Altona, Morris spent both time and money endeavor- 
ing to alleviate the distress, and often actual want, of his 
friends among the imigrh. In his letters to them he 
encouraged, while he told them plainly what he foresaw 
they must endure before order could be established in 
their country. To Madame de Nadaillac he wrote : " Je 
suis sensiblement affecte en meditant sur la vicissitude 
des affaires humaines. ... II me semble que votre 
malheureuse patrie doit subir encore plusieurs revolu- 
tions avant qu'on ne puisse compter sur un ordre quel- 
conque." He condoled with her on the great difficulty 
there was for her to receive any remittances, but said : 
" Dans cet embarras, j'ai trouv^ un petit expedient. La 
personne qui vous remettra celle-ci, est chargee de vous 
payer en meme temps cinquante louis. Si la fortune vous 
devient propice, vous me les rembourserez. Si non, 
laissez-moi la consolation de croire que j'ai pu adoucir un 
instant vos malheurs, Soyez aussi persuadee, que si mes 
moyens etaient abondants je ne me bornerais pas a un 
aussi faible secours." * He gave to those among the 
more fortunate, who had a little property, advice as to in- 
vestments, and arranged that the interest on any invest- 
ments he made for them should be paid to him as a sure 
means for them to receive it. 

Not without interest is the little history of the silver 

♦Translation.— I feel strongly affected while meditating upon the vicis- 
situdes of human affairs. ... It appears to me that your unfortunate 
country will have to go through several other revolutions before any settled 
order of things can be hoped for. . . . 

In this trouble, I have found a small expedient. The person who will de- 
liver to you this letter will, at the same time, pay into your hands fifty louis. 
If fortune smile upon you, you will return the money. If not, allow me to 
treasure the consoling thought that I have alleviated your troubles for a 
short period. Kindly believe that if my means were plentiful I should not 
limit my help to so small a sum. 



86 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX. 

plate of M. le Comte d'Angivilliers, which had been placed 
under Morris's care when the excitements of the loth of 
August, 1792, sent the count flying out of Paris. After 
it became known that M. d'Angivilliers had survived the 
storm and was living in Brunswick, Morris wrote him the 
following letter of explanation : 

" II y a longtemps, M. le Comte, que je me suis promis 
I'honneur de vous ^crire sur un objet qui vous int^resse. 
Vous savez comment votre argenterie avait et^ sauvee et 
d^pos^e chez moi. Je la gardai jusqu'au temps de mon 
rappel, c'est k dire, environ deux ann^es. Pendant cette 
^poque je desirais souvent en etre quitte, comme vous 
pouvez bien vous I'imaginer. Mes gens I'avaient vu venir, 
ils savaient qu'elle y restait, j 'avals granderaison de n'avoir 
pas en eux une confiance entiere, Enfin, dans un moment 
un peu critique, je fis chercher quelqu'un de vos gens d'af- 
faires, et j'en trouvai un qui s'appelle, je crois, M. Armet ; 
il s'etait mis alors, comme plusieurs autres, dans une place 
quelconque pour se sauver la vie. Je lui proposal de le 
charger de ce depot, et il en fremit. Sur mes instances, il 
fit deux voyages k Versailles pour prendre les ordres de 
Madame d'Angivilliers, alors gardee a vue chez elle ; il 
obtint difficilement une occasion de lui parler. On vous 
croyait mort. Je lui avais propose de faire convertir en 
louis d'or cette argenterie etde les prendre chez ellequand 
je devrais partir. Elle ^tait remplie de craintes, que d'hor- 
ribles massacres n'ont que trop justifiees. Elle me fit dire 
d'en disposer comme je voudrais, en me priant d'employer 
le produit ati profit du fils de Monsieur votre frere. Je 
proposal alors a ce M. Armet de faire faire la conversion 
en louis et de les prendre chez lui, mais il me repondit qu'il 
y allait de sa vie. Alors je me decldai k le garder encore 
aussi longtemps que possible. Quand je re9us les nou- 
velles de mon rappel, ne pouvant plus m'adresser a Ma- 



17951 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 8/ 

dame d'Angivilliers, qui avait d^fendu qu'on lui parldt de 
rien, de peur d'etre compromise, j'en fis la vente au prix 
courant du jour, qui etait de soixante et seize livres la 
marc ; il y en avait 622, et, par consequent, le produit en 
6tait de 47,272 livres. II n'y avait point alors de change 
avec r^tranger, toute operation de cette espece etant de- 
fendue sous peine de mort. Je fis done des arrangements 
pour que cette somme fut payee k Londres sur le taux de 
la valeur du louis d'or, en prenant d'abord cette valeur en 
assignats et ensuite en argent sterling. La valeur d'alors 
en assignats etait de 60 livres la pi^ce, et, par consequent, 
il vous en revient la valeur de 788 louis d'or en argent 
sterling. 

"Avant de savoir que vous existiez encore, mon pro- 
jet etait de placer cette somme dans les fonds publics 
des ]&tats-Unis d'Amerique, au nom de Monsieur votre 
neveu, dans ce que nous appellons la dette differee, c'est 
'k dire, une creance dont les interets ne commenceront a 
courir qu'a la fin du siecle ou nous sommes, et qui, par 
consequent, se vend d'autant meilleur marche qu'elle ne 
donne aucune rente. A present, je n'ai qu'a me confirmer 
a vos ordres." * 

* Translation. — It is a long time, M. le Comte, since I promised my- 
self the honor of writing concerning something of interest to you. You know 
how your silver plate was saved and deposited at my house. I kept it until I 
was recalled by my government about two years ago. During that period you 
may imagine how often I wi.shed to be relieved of the trust. My servants had 
seen the plate brought in, they knew that it was still in the house, and I had 
many reasons not to trust them implicitly. Finally, at a somewhat critical 
time, I sent for one of your men of business, called, I think, M. Armet ; he 
was occupying then, so as to save his life, some kind of public office. I pro- 
posed to him to take charge of the deposit, but he shuddered at the idea. 
Upon my entreaties he made two trips to Versailles to receive the orders 
of Madame d'Angivilliers, at that time kept under surveillance in her own 
house ; he managed with great difficulty to have a talk with her. They all 
thought you dead, so I suggested that the plate be melted and transformed 
into louis d'or, which she could take care of herself when I should leave. She 
was filled with fears, which the horrible massacres have since but too 



88 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX, 

The diary records the settlement of this affair on June 
5th. "This morning I settle with M. Septeuil for M. d'An- 
givilliers's plate. By the gazettes of Leyden it appears that 
the question between the Jacobins and the Convention 
was long in contest before the complete superiority of 
the former was ascertained. But a further struggle may 
yet take place, though perhaps under a different banner. 
The destruction of those who meditated a new revolution 
will have checked for a time the spirit of insurrection, but 
I know not any means to repress a people who are perish- 
ing with hunger. It was easy to foresee what has hap- 
pened, and thus, as I think, little difficulty in finishing the 
gloomy picture for months to come. Let little politicians 
play over as they please their peddling parts, a strong chain 
of events binds them fast to their fate, and then strong, 
manly sense will appear, as it ought, superior to fleeting 
incident, avouched by truth and warranted by experi- 
ence." 

On June 5th, and just before leaving Altona, Morris 

strongly justified. She sent word to me to dispose of the plate as I thought 
best, and to use the money for the benefit of your brother's son. I then pro- 
posed to M. Armet that he should have the conversion into louis d'or 
made, and take the money in his charge. But he answered that it might 
cost him his life. Then I decided to keep it as long as I could. When I 
received notice of my recall, unable to apply to Madame d'Angivilliers, 
who had forbidden the subject to be mentioned to her, for fear of being 
compromised, I sold the whole at the market rate of the day, which was 
seventy-six livres per marc, so that the total amount was 47,272 livres. 
There was at the time no money exchange with foreign countries, all 
operations of the kind being forbidden under penalty of death. So I had 
to make arrangements to have the sum paid in London, at the market value 
of the louis d'or, taking it first in assignats and then in sterling money. 
In assignats the value was sixty livres per louis, and you are entitled thus 
to the equivalent of 788 louis d'or in sterling money. Before learning 
that you were still alive, my plan was to invest that sum in the public funds 
of the United States of America, in what we call the deferred debt, so desig- 
nated because it will only bear interest at the end of the present century ; 
it sells cheapei;, as it brings in no revenue. For the present I have nothing 
left to do but to execute your orders. 



I795J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 89 

wrote to Washington and informed him of his intended 
departure for London. " I shall," he said, "take the liber- 
ty of writing to you from that city on the state of things as 
they shall appear. I can say nothing better on the peace 
with Prussia than what a French valet de chambre wrote 
from Paris to his master in this country. ' It was neces- 
sary that His Prussian Majesty should make haste to save 
our dignity, for in three months we should have been on 
our knees to beg peace from the Allies on any terms they 
might prescribe.' I long since gave you an idea of the 
Cabinet in that country. I omitted, perhaps, the word cor- 
ruption, and if so you may write it in capitals. But the 
half-way talents of Prince Henry may be considered as 
one cause of that measure, which will, I think, tend in its 
consequences to melt down the colossus raised by the 
great Frederick. I consider Holland as a ruined country, 
more especially if the war should continue for two years 
longer, and Britain will suck up that commerce which for- 
merly flowed through so many channels to Amsterdam. 
It seems probable, also, that the war will ere long be 
felt in this quarter of Europe. But I suspend all further 
observations for the present, and the rather as I am re- 
turned from a tour through this Duchy and am packing 
up for my departure." 



90 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXL 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

Morris goes to England. Account of the voyage from Hamburg. The 
Thames scenery. Mr. Pinckney. Count Woronzow. M. de Mous- 
tier. Dinner at the Marquis de Spinola's. Conversation with 
Lord Grenville. He apprehends a bad disposition on the part of 
the American Government. Morris asks to be presented at Court. 
The Duke of Queensberry. Mademoiselle Faniani. Conversation 
with Moustier. Manifesto by the new King of France drafted by 
Morris. Riots in London. Dines with Pitt Lord Grenville and 
Chatham. Long interview with Pitt. 

ON the 7th of June Morris left Altona early in the 
morning, and, as soon as the gates were opened, 
entered Hamburg to embark for London. 

"We got under way this morning at six," he says, "but 
are obliged to come to an anchor below Altona from the 
want of wind. Start again on Monday. On Tuesday 
the current is so strong we cannot make head against it, 
and we anchor. On Thursday the morning is very hazy. 
We tacked last night at twelve, and continued with our 
larboard tacks aboard till seven. We cast over a troll net 
and lay to. Later the wind comes more round to the 
northward, and we get up the net, in which we have a good 
many fish. On Friday, June 12th, we are directly before 
the wind since midnight with a pretty rough sea, so that 
the ship rolls considerably. Early this evening we see 
Lowestoft, and come to anchor about ten under the lee 
of Orfordness in Horsley Ba)' ; the wind fresh, and the 
weather cold. I remark that in the Elbe a great portion 
of the shipping is American. We come through a fleet of 
colliers at anchor." 



I795-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. S^l 

"We heave our anchor this morning [June 13th], with 
a smart gale from the northeast. Get into the Downs 
about eight o'clock, where there is a fleet of eight sail of 
the line, besides frigates and many merchant-vessels. The 
wind continues to blow hard, and, the tide being with us, 
we run up rapidly. At length we are obliged to come to 
with the ebb in a reach of the ri^er which brought the 
wind too much on our starboard bow. Getting under- 
way again we are moored opposite to the Tower at eight 
o'clock. The sides of the river are beautiful beyond all 
description, and extremely well worth seeing. In effect, 
this voyage from Hamburg is one of the most agreeable 
which can be made in. fine weather, but we have it ex- 
tremely cold." 

"This morning [June 14th] I go on shore and take up 
my quarters at the Great Hotel, Covent Garden. In the 
course of the day I learn that Mr. Pinckney is gone to 
Spain and has taken his children to Paris, which is, I 
think, ill-judged, and must excite the jealousy of this 
Court. The British are taking our provision-vessels bound 
to France, which excites an apprehension that the treaty 
may not be confirmed in America. I presume it will be 
confirmed by a feeble majority, but it will, I imagine, hang 
about Mr. Jay's neck like a millstone in his political voy- 
ages ; the more so as I see, (I think) from conversation 
with Mr. Days, Mr. Pinckney's secretary, that he is not at 
all satisfied. I explain to Mr. Days a little the situation 
of France, and express my apprehension that Mr. Pinck- 
ney's conduct maybe disagreeable to this Court. He says 
that he thinks not, but that Mr. Pinckney's attachment to 
the French Revolution is not unknown to them. The 
Chevalier de Graave calls, and gives me a convincing proof 
of the misconduct of M. de Monciel to me." 

"Call [June 21st] at Count Woronzow's, who receives 



92 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXI. 

me with open arms. We have much conversation. He 
shows me a letter from the Russian Minister at Copenha- 
gen to him, and his consequent application to Lord Gren- 
ville. It seems that the stoppage of Danish vessels laden 
with grain will be compromised, and it seems that the 
Danish Minister, Berenstoff, disapproves highly the con- 
duct of Sweden in regard to France. He gives me some 
additional proofs that the latter power has no more money 
left. Respecting Prussia, he seems decided that it ought 
to be added to Poland, and that Austria ought to recover 
Silesia and be permitted to possess herself of Bavaria ; 
but he seems to think that Britain ought not to have 
Flanders. He wishes me to see Lord Grenville, and I 
tell him that if his lordship wishes it I will see him. He 
thinks I ought to go to Court as being a public man, and 
that otherwise it would look like hostility. He wishes I 
could replace Mr. Pinckney, whom he speaks of as a Jaco- 
bin, and adds that he was prudent enough to conceal his 
sentiments, whereas the person he has left behind him 
speaks out openly. He also expresses a wish and a hope 
that I may be appointed Minister to this Court. I tell 
him that it is my wish to pass my days in the tranquillity 
of private life. He tells me that the French have cor- 
rupted the southern part of America." 

"Dine [June 24th] at Mr. Boyd's in the country, where 
I see the Marquis de Spinola, an able man, formerly one 
of my diplomatic brethren in France. He tells me that he 
has been employed here very assiduously in trying to pre- 
vent the government of this country from ruining their 
own affairs in his country — Genoa ; that the bane of par- 
liamentary influence forces them to the nomination of im- 
proper men, of which he gives me some striking instances. 
Indeed, this evil runs through the whole contexture of their 
civil and military life, so that if, on the one hand, it secures 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 93 

the domestic freedom and prosperity of the country (which 
seems, by the by, to be questioned) it does certainly, on the 
other, diminish its exterior influence, splendor, and even 
its security. There is nothing perfect in this world, and 
we must therefore take things as we find themi I find 
that Mr. Jay was universally liked here, and that Mr. 
Pinckney is not approved of among the government peo- 
ple. The new^s in town from the West Indies are bad, 
and Admiral Cornwallis has been driven into port by a 
French fleet. Qu.: Whether Admiral Lord Bridport has 
not a chance of falling in with them, for in that case he 
will probably obtain, with superior force, equipment, and 
skill, a decided as well as an easy victory." 

" Dine with Count Woronzow [June 27th]. M. de 
Spinola dines with us, and Mr. Burgess, Under-Secretary 
for Foreign Affairs, who has the American department. 
I have a long conversation with him after dinner, and he 
repeatedly expresses his wish that I would see Lord 
Grenville. I tell him that if his lordship wishes it I will 
wait upon him. I tell him the apprehensions expressed 
to me by men in the city respecting the capture of our 
provision-vessels (by the by, Hankey mentioned it this 
morning in terms too strong to be repeated). He tells 
me that those apprehensions have been excited by Mr. 
Deas, and from the tenor of his conversation on that chap- 
ter I see clearly that this Government are by no means 
satisfied with the present mission. I say all I can consist- 
ently to smooth difficulties. Admiral Lord Bridport has 
fallen in with the French fleet and driven them into Port 
L'Orient, after taking three ships of the line. He remains 
at sea, where he rides triumphant, and, of course, has many 
naval means of facilitating the debarkation of the troops 
destined to act in that quarter." 

"This morning [June 29th] the Comte de Moustier calls 



94 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXI. 

on me, and we have a long conversation. He is working 
to place himself as one of the new King of France's minis- 
ters, if I can judge of his views by his conversation. He 
tells me that the King will be well disposed to conciliate 
with all parties. I mention the Duke of Orleans, but he 
thinks that may encounter some difficulties. While he is 
here, Mr. Burgess comes in. He gives me a rendezvous at 
Lord Grenville's, and* descants on the rights of ci-devant 
Monsieur to be acknowledged as King of France, whence 
I conjecture that the administration here lean to that 
idea. While he is here Mr. Beckford comes in, and he, 
having an estate in Jamaica, sees the necessity of being 
well with America, as their granary and natural protector. 
Go after dinner to th^ Marquis de Spinola's. The conver- 
sation here, where our company consists of aristocrats of 
the first feather, turns on French affairs. They at first 
agree that union among the French is necessary, but, 
when they come to particulars, they fiy off and are mad. 
Madame Spinola would send the Duke of Orleans to Si- 
beria. An abb^, a young man, talks much, and loud, to 
show his esprit^ and, to hear them, one would suppose that 
they were quite at their ease in ^ petit souper de Paris. Our 
little abbe tells us that the leaders of the French, finding 
how strong is the disposition of the people towards mon- 
archy, will place the Duke of Orleans on the throne, and 
he, finding it impossible to gain the good opinion of the 
gentlemen of France, must at length accept. I ask him 
if it be wise to place him in that predicament ; he says, 
whether wise or not, the King will not be able to prevent his 
followers from insulting him. There is, I fear, too much 
truth in this. His connection with Montesquiou is men- 
tioned as a sad blot on his escutcheon. Yet Montesquiou 
(whatever may be his heart) is certainly one of their best 
heads, and they have not too many people of understand- 



I79S] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 95 

ing among them. Burgess spoke of them this morning 
with much contempt, and, indeed, their conduct is not 
calculated to inspire respect 

"M. de Puisignieu calls upon me and enters into a long 
conversation on his affairs and those of his country. He 
tells me that the Comte d'Artois is much changed. He is 
grown wiser by adversity and more moderate in his opin- 
ions. He is going to La Vendee, and Puisignieu is going 
with him — but this is a secret." 

"Go to Count Woronzow's [June 30th], who tells me 
he has seen Burgess, who is delighted at the conversation 
which he had with me. I suppose it was the last, because 
in that I merely assented to his ideas. The Count desires 
me to call on him to-morrow, when he will show me a 
despatch to his Court on the subject of an acknowledg- 
ment by this government of the French King. He says 
the ministers are strongly inclined to it, but fear the effect 
of that measure in the country." 

"Go to Count Woronzow's [July ist], who shows me a 
despatch to his Court containing the argument he used 
to Lord Grenville to persuade to an acknowledgment of 
the new King of France ; his lordship's reply ; the plans 
in contemplation, etc. He is convinced that if Spain and 
Austria be not soon bound down by a recognition of the 
new King, they will make peace with the Convention. I 
believe he is right. He gives me some light as to this 
Cabinet, and by his account Lord Grenville is the strong- 
est man in it. Dine at the Piazza and then come home, 
take tea, and read the newspapers." 

" This morning [July 2d], at eleven, wait by appoint- 
ment on Lord Grenville, and stay till half-past twelve. 
We have a long conversation on general politics, the line 
to be adopted by Great Britain in the present moment, 
and the ruin of acknowledging the French King. I men- 



g6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXI. 

tion the acquisition of Flanders by this country, and the 
advantages to be expected from it. His lordship seems 
very attentive to this idea. I tell him my opinion of 
Prussia and the relations in which it stands to this coun- 
try, in which he seems to agree. I state to him what I 
conceive as practicable respecting Austria and Russia in 
the present moment, and show him how far it would affect 
France by pushing the King of Prussia to extremity ; this 
also strikes him forcibly. I state the various advantages 
which might result from acknowledging the French King: 
the treaties which might be formed with him, the differ- 
ence between appearing as auxiliaries and invaders, etc. 
State to him, further, the necessity of a moderate line of 
conduct on the part of the new King, so as to lessen, if 
not destroy, opposition to him. Touch on the means of 
keeping Spain, etc., steady. Observe to him that Sardinia 
must ever be the ally of France and the enemy of Austria. 
All this makes an impression. I notice the state of Italy 
and the utter indifference to Great Britain whether that 
country continue in its present political form or put on 
any other. He wishes to know the state of France. I 
observe to him that half a dozen different people going 
through that country will give each a different account of 
it, and that he can, in his cabinet, form a better opinion 
on principles which I explain, and then add correspondent 
information. I take up what might be the feelings of the 
country on the step proposed, and cite the conduct of Queen 
Elizabeth as an authority which they would be little in- 
clined to question, whatever may be its intrinsic merit. 
Having gone far into that affair, I then mention, as a busi- 
ness which I have no right to meddle in but which, from its 
importance, presses itself upon me — the taking of our ships 
and the ill blood which might thereby be excited ; how 
useful it would be to give immediate relief ; the very bad 



17951 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 97 

consequences of delay to the party interested and its re- 
sulting effects on national feelings. He says he believes 
everything is done which can be done to give despatch, 
general assurances — and was inclined to think the price 
allowed would render the capture rather usefuf than 
injurious to the owners. He then mentions a declaration 
by Mr. Innis to the Governor of Kentucky, that the influ- 
ence of the British Cabinet has been used to prevent our 
success in negotiation for the free use of the Mississippi, 
and how injurious this is, as they are really desirous we 
should have it. He apprehends that the American Gov- 
ernment are not so well disposed towards Great Britain as 
he had been led to imagine. I say everything which ap- 
pears to me proper for removing that impression, and sug- 
gest a confidential application by the British minister. He 
states the danger of publicity from the nature of our gov- 
ernment, and its consequent effects, on which I suggest a 
verbal communication to the President ; to this also he is 
disinclined, as not coinciding with their habits of business, 
but wishes I would write a private letter on the subject, 
which I promise. At coming away he expresses the wish 
to see me again before I leave town ; also that Mr. Pitt 
wishes to see me. I will wait on them, etc. — and then 
recollect the being presented to His Majesty, which I will 
ask on the ground of respect, but would rather avoid, un- 
less his lordship should think it would be taken ill. He 
says that, considering the place I have filled, he thinks it 
would be most proper ; upon which I desire him to pre- 
sent me, and to let me know the time and place, etc. I 
call (at his request) on Mr. Windham. He is just going to 
Court, is under restraint, wishes to commence an interest- 
ing conversation which there is no time to pursue, so I 
avoid it and leave him. Dine at M. de Ciricello's, the 
Neapolitan minister. The Due d'Harcourt, who is here. 
Vol. II.— 7 



98 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXI. 

speaks to me, first respecting the Duke of Orleans, and 
afterwards generally on French affairs. He has much the 
idea of re-establishing the parlements. I recommend on 
the part of the new King such general declarations as will 
bind him down to nothing except a general oblivion of 
the past, with very few exceptions. Try to convince him 
that re-establishing the parlements will be in the first in- 
stance attended with much diflSculty on the part of the 
people, and in the second will occasion much opposition 
by them to his measures." 

" I visit Mr. Burgess [July 3d] at the Secretary's office, 
and, speaking of what Lord Grenville had said yesterday 
respecting the spirit of our Government, from what Mr. 
Innis had said to the Governor of Kentucky, he tells me 
that he thinks much stronger ground is given by Mr. Ran- 
dolph, the Secretary of State, in his intercourse with Mr. 
Hammond, to whom he had refused a sight of the treaty, 
and to whom he holds the same or even severer language 
than before. I tell him of Mr. Jay's arrival, which he is 
much rejoiced at." 

On the 3d of July Morris wrote a private letter to 
Washington, and enclosing it to Lord Grenville requested 
" that he would be so kind as to note anything that 
might appear inaccurate in it." In this letter to Wash- 
ington he begged to suggest that it seemed " most con- 
sistent, not only with the prudence but the dignity of 
Government, to prevent as much as possible these hot 
speeches, lest we should fall into the state described by 
Butler : 

When hard words, jealousies, and fears, 
Set folks together by the ears. 

" His lordship was particular in mentioning that these 
things do not excite irritation, but apprehension. This 
distinction consists with His Majesty's dignity, but the 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 99 

ultimate object is the same, since either must lead to dis- 
agreeable consequences. Now there is every reason to 
believe that the governments mean well and fairly to each 
other ; it would therefore be particularly unfortunate that 
misunderstandings should arise, especially at the present 
moment, and on ground the most foreign to your temper 
and disposition." 

"To-day [July 4th] I go to Madame de Tremouille's, 
and make her, what she had asked for, a long visit. The 
Duke of Queensberry, who comes in while I am there, de- 
sires Mademoiselle Faniani to invite me to dine with the 
Duchess de la Tremouille at his house, which I cannot do. 
This Mademoiselle Faniani is an extraordinary person. 
She bears the name of the husband of her mother. George 
Selwyn, of famous memory, left her his fortune in the per- 
suasion that she was his child, and the Duke of Queens- 
berry looks upon her as the issue of his loins, treats her 
with the tenderness of a parent, and will, it is supposed, 
bequeath a great part of his fortune to her. Scandal, in 
the mean time, says that she is already a mother by un- 
known aid. She has fine eyes and an intelligent counte- 
nance. Dine at the Piazza coffee-house with a host of 
Americans to celebrate this day, but I leave them early, 
very early. Mr. Mitchell, of Philadelphia, who sat near me 
at dinner, tells me that the ministry here are very fair in 
their conduct respecting the vessels lately taken with pro- 
visions on board, and acknowledges that it will be much 
better for him that all others in which he is concerned 
should also be taken." 

" The weather is fine this morning [July Sth]. M. de 
Bonnet calls upon me, and sits a long time. He urges me 
to prepare a manifesto for the new King of France, which 
I decline, but he returns so often to the charge that I 
promise at last to write something, if my time will permit. 



100 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXI. 

Hence to dinner with M. de Spinola. The Baron de Bre- 
teuil is here, and takes possession of me in the afternoon. 
Spinola tells me that the British ministry will probably 
acknowledge the French King ; also that a good proclama- 
tion will be made as soon as they get footing in La Ven- 
dee." 

" I sit down [July 7th] to write, but O'Connel comes in, 
and is desirous of information respecting France, and so 
solicitous to obtain my sentiments as to future conduct, 
and my opinions of the success, that I am obliged to give 
him some time, which I very much regret. He has just 
left me, when the Chevalier de Graave comes in, and quite 
wearies me and almost vexes me. Having been one of 
the ministres ephimdres of the unfortunate Louis Seize, he 
talks of having enjoyed His Majesty's confidence, etc., as 
if he had really been an efficient Cabinet Minister. And 
then his wild ideas respecting the succession to the throne ! 
He is truly a bore." 

" This morning [July 8th], dress and go to Lord Gren- 
ville's. He is not disengaged till after two, when we go 
to Court, and the levee is over. He makes apologies, but 
I desire him to mention simply to the King my appoint- 
ment, which answers all my views. I give him a sketch of 
what I had prepared for the French King. Go from St. 
James's to Sir John Sinclair's, and then to Count Woron- 
zow's. He tells me that Lord Macartney is to go to the 
new King as the confidential agent of this Court. I recom- 
mend strongly Kosciusko to the Russian Court if they 
would use Poland against Prussia, especially if they mean 
to give some executable form of government to that coun- 
try. I tell him, from some expressions which dropped 
from Lord Grenville, I think they mean to acknowledge 
the King of France." 

" The Comte de Moustier calls on me. Says he was long 



1795.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 10 1 

in connection witii Windham, the Minister at War, and had 
urged him lately to see and consult me. He says Mr. Pitt 
has consigned over the affairs of La Vendee to Mr. Wind- 
ham. He (Moustier) has sundry plans respecting France, 
but French liberty does not enter into them. I go to the 
Secretary's office, and am detained some time before I can 
see Mr. Burgess. He tells me that Bond will remain 
charg<S d'affaires till a minister can be found : * A thing,' 
says he, * very difficult ; we have not the men in this coun- 
try.' I tell him they may perhaps find two men if not 
one, and recommend a man of social temper for the chief. 
This, however, is all, on my part, with the utmost defer- 
ence, etc. We converse a little on their European poli- 
tics, and especially the King of Prussia, to whom we are 
led by the mention of Lord Malmesbury. He says that, 
previous to the British subsidy, he knew the King of 
Prussia had received two millions sterling from France 
to betray the coalized powers previous to the subsidiary 
treaty made with this country. Not being able to prove 
the fact, nobody would believe him, and so Lord Malmes- 
bury went forward and was the dupe. He says the Han- 
overian Regency are not Jacobins, but worse — illumines. I 
tell him they are Prussian, and if the Prussian Court be 
not otherwise employed they will soon steal Hanover. 
He is of the same opinion. I go to Putney, and dine 
with Mr. and Mrs. John B. Church. There is a party of 
English Jacobins, who are really insufferable. If their 
conduct may be estimated by their conversation, they will 
certainly be compromised to the extreme. I do not won- 
der that Mr. Pinckney should have given offence by keep- 
ing such company." 

"To-day [July nth] I call on Count Woronzow, and 
show him a draft of a manifesto by the new King of 
France, which I gave to Lord Grenville last Wednesday, 



I02 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXI. 

and which he has returned with his wish that it may ar- 
rive in season. Count Woronzow is well pleased with 
it, and thinks the Due d'Harcourt should give money 
to the person who will carry it to the King. I tell him 
that is a matter to be settled among them. He gives me 
an account of the strange levity and wild negotiations of 
the Comte d'Artois ; the pitiful folly of a M. Serenne to 
whom he gives his confidence. He fears that, when ar- 
rived in La Vendee, he will surround himself by such 
petits mattres, and disgust the chiefs who have acquired 
the confidence of the people in that quarter ; namely, 
Puisaye, Labourdonnaye, Charette, Stoflet, etc., and 
wishes me to caution some of his entours. I tell him that 
would have no other effect than to lead the persons to 
whom I may give such caution into a communication of 
it to all those who are about the Prince, and by that means 
more effectually produce the mischief we mean to avoid." 
"The people in this town seem [July 14th] very riotous, 
The scarcity and dearness of bread is a principal cause of 
this disposition, fomented doubtless by designing men. 
This necessary article has risen to double the former 
price, and wheat was this day, I understand, so high that 
fifty per cent, of that former price is to be added. It has 
sold as high as ^,^5 per quarter, or 12^. dd. per bushel. Go 
to dine at Mr. Pitt's. We sit down six. Lord Grenville, 
Chatham, and another come later. The rule is established 
for six precisely, which is right, I think. The wines are 
good, and the conversation flippant. After dinner I have 
some further conversation with Lord Grenville, and men- 
tion par hasard M. de Boursac, my companion in a tour 
through Holstein — his poverty, among other things — and 
he says the means of joining the army shall be supplied. 
We agree that I shall give him (if still at Altona) a credit 
on my banker for ;^ioo. He says he has taken the lib- 



1795-1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. IO3 

erty to give Lord Macartney a copy of the manifesto 
which I had showed him, which I do not, of course, dis- 
approve of. Indeed, I knew it before. I am to see Mr. 
Pitt to-morrow. The mob broke his windows yesterday 
and are rioting in Moorfield this evening." 

Enclosing an order on Messrs. Parish & Co., Hamburg, 
for one hundred pounds sterling, Mr. Morris sent the fol- 
lowing letter to the Vicomte de Boursac : 

*• Dans les circonstances actuelles, monsieur, vous de- 
sirez certainement vous rapprocher de votre chef. II est 
possible que vous manquiez de moyens pecuniaires, et la 
lettre ci-jointe vous en fournira. Ne parlez pas d'obliga- 
tions. Souvenez-vous toujours de nos conversations, et 
tachez de faire comprendre a tout le mondecombien il est 
essentiel de pardonner, d'oublier le passe, en ne pensant 
qu*a I'avenir. Les dispositions ici sont excellentes. lis 
veulent franchement retablir la France, mais ils ne veu- 
lent pas verser le sang et les tresors de I'Angleterre pour 
assouvir des vengeances particulieres. Ils sont dans ce 
que j'appelle les bons principes, et je me trompe fort ou 
le nouveau roi se declarera ouvertement pour la modera- 
tion et pour la conciliation." * 

" This morning [July 15th], at ten, I visit Mr. Pitt. I 
tell him that as I presume Lord Grenville has given him 
the purport of our conversation it will be best that he 
should ask me questions. He does so, and I reply to 

" Translation. — In the present circumstances, sir, you evidently desire 
to be nearer your chief. It may be that the pecuniary means fail to make 
that possible. The enclosed letter will supply you with what you want. Do 
not speak of obligations. Only remember our conversations, and try to make 
everyone understand how necessary it is to forgive, and to forget the past, 
thinking only of the future. The disposition here is excellent. They wish 
honestly to re-establish France, but they refuse to pour out the blood and 
the treasures of England to satisfy private revenges. They hold what I 
would call good principles, and I should be much mistaken if the new king 
did not declare himself to be for moderation and conciliation. 



104 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXI. 

them. Our interview is long, and he is much satisfied with 
it. I recommend earnestly sending some man to the Comte 
d'Artois to keep him from doing foolish things. Ask the 
parole of Piquet's sons, which he promises, and to pay 
them fifty pounds apiece. He asks me my ideas respect- 
ing a future constitution for France, which I avoid giving 
as much as possible. Some points, however, we exam- 
ined." 



1795. J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. IO5 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

Morris makes a journey through part of England. Portsmouth. Plym- 
outh. Charmed with the beauties of England. Visit to Blenheim. 
Lady Sutherland. Back in London. Letter to Washington. Mr. 
Jay's treaty. Journey through England and Scotland. Letter to 
Lady Sutherland. Pictures at Burleigh House. Edinburgh. Dines 
with friends. Pleasant reception by the Duke and Duchess of Athol. 
Taymouth — Lord Breadalbane's place. Entertained by the Duke of 
Argyll. Loch Lomond. Conversation with the Duke of Montrose. 
Glasgow. The English lake region. The Bishop of Llanda£f. 

ALTHOUGH Morris had spent many months in Eng- 
land, his knowledge of the country districts was 
mostly confined to that portion through which he passed 
on the journey from the channel to London. In July, 
therefore, he determined to see the provinces, " so as to 
judge for myself of the condition of things," he wrote to 
Washington. From his carriage as he drove along he 
carefully examined the soil, made conjectures as to what 
would be the best fertilizers to use, and w^hat interest the 
land could be made to yield on the capital employed. 
Meanwhile a beautiful view never escaped his attention, 
and his diary contains the most minute descriptions of 
all he saw during his entire journey. He particularly 
expressed surprise at the meagre forests between London 
and Portsmouth. "That is," he says, "if trees be con- 
sidered as an essential ingredient to the making of a 
forest." In England, as in travelling on the Continent, 
Morris found himself passed on from one friend to an- 
other, and a pleasant welcome always ready for him when 
time and inclination favored his partaking of it. 



I06 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

Coming into Portsmouth he was immediately taken 
possession of by General Cuyler, who did the honors of 
the navy yard there stationed, and put Morris in the 
way to see the sights, including the French prizes just 
arrived at Spithead. " We go on board the Tigre, one 
of the late prizes, an eighty-gun ship, very fine, but dirty 
as yet, and much cut to pieces. A furnace is still stand- 
ing on board to heat the shot ; but this is a bad business 
at sea, as is proved by the event. She is much cut by the 
shot, and lost in the action one-half of her men, killed and 
wounded. From this ship we go to the Commerce de 
Marseilles, a ship taken at Toulon. She is twenty-five 
feet longer than the Queen Charlotte, one of the largest 
ships in the British Navy, and measures near five hun- 
dred tons more. On her gun deck she is two hundred 
and eight feet long. Her lower deck contains thirty-four 
thirty-two pounders, and her upper deck the same num- 
ber of eighteens ; the other twenty-six guns are twelve 
on the quarter-deck and forecastle. The officers say that 
this ship works as well as a frigate and sails very fast. 
She is hogged, but her proportions are perfect and she is 
one of the handsomest ships imaginable. There is a com- 
pany of beautiful women on board, but I cannot stay with 
them. Dine with Sir William Pitt, the Governor of 
Portsmouth, where I meet Lord Buckingham, who is a 
sensible man. He had made up a party for me to- 
morrow to visit Sir Peter Parker, the Port Admiral, but 
I decline it as my time is short." Leaving Portsmouth, 
July 2ist, the traveller drove "over hilly down and 
heath, on roads that are as fine as it is possible to imag- 
ine them," to the beautiful valley in which stands Salis- 
bury. "As soon as we alight," he says, " I go to see the 
cathedral, which is by far the lightest and handsomest 
Gothic building I ever saw." The next morning, on 



1795 ] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. lO/ 

again over the downs, "all along the tumuli (Anglice, 
barrows) which show the conflicts of the olden times. 
The view from the downs is fine, and especially in the 
present moment, as there is a large fleet at anchor in the 
bay." The next stopping-place to which he journeyed was 
Exeter, through a "country finely varied with hill and 
dale, the valleys very fertile, flocks of sheep scattered 
over the heath, the hills cultivated almost to the top ; 
the whole scene so completely green that, indeed, there 
are hardly fallows enough to create the needful variety." 
He arrived, July 25th, at Plymouth : "A town of misera- 
bly narrow streets ; there is not room in many of them 
for two carriages abreast. I go on to my brother's 
quarters at Roxborough Camp. Walk with Mrs. Morris, 
and then return to dinner. After dinner I go with Mrs. 
Morris to a tea-party at Colonel Bastard's tent, where 
there is good company and sociability. The place leads to 
throw off that English coldness which checks conviviality." 

"Mrs. Morris takes me [July 27th] to the Government 
House to be presented to General and Lady Lenox, and 
I go with General Morris to dine with the Duke of Beau- 
fort. We go this evening to a ball at Camp, where there 
are some handsome girls, but all dressed in a very inde- 
cent dress which they call the Grecian, and which is imi- 
tated from very loose Parisian models. We hear of the 
total defeat of the emigrants landed at Quiberon." * 

" We dine to-day [July 29th] with General Granville, 
who accompanied the Duke of York on his travels as a 
kind of Mentor. There is a paragraph in an Opposition 
paper, the Star^ which mentions war by Russia against 
Prussia." 

* An English expedition had been despatched to Brittany with a band of 
emigres to aid the royalists, but an attempted descent from Quiberon Bay, 
July 15-20, 1795, proved a failure. 



I08 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXll. 

" Lord George Lenox and his family dine with us [July 
31st], and we hear that the sailing of the fleet destined for 
the French coast is countermanded." 

" We were to have had to-day [August ist] a grand field- 
day, with a mock battle, had the weather been good, but 
it is very bad, high wind and much rain, which renders 
that plan abortive ; but still we pursue another, which is to 
assist at a ball and supper given by Mrs. Bastard. In the 
morning Mrs. Morris urged me to give her a copy of some 
verses I had written many years ago, but instead of them 
I wrote some on the present occasion, which are very in- 
different. 



'Twas fix'd this day, had it been fair, 

To imitate the pomp of war. 

When first stretched out in order due, 
Opposed corps should meet the view, 

Till this advancing, that should yield, 

Reluctant, the contested field. 
But nature, wearied with the jar 
And ravages of real war, 

Frowns and denies a solar ray 

To decorate this dreary day. 

She bids the growling tempest roar 
And drenching rains incessant pour. 

As if with elemental strife 

She wept the woes of human life. 
Again 'twas fix'd, the battle o'er. 
To bend before another power ; 

Returning from a mimic fight 

To pass in real joy the night : • 

To see, but not in hostile line. 
The British fair resplendent shine 

And, winding thro' the dance's maze, 

Shed all around love's genial rays. 
I hop'd the general bliss to share, 
And, while I watch'd the tender care 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. IO9 

Which beauty, mirth, and love impart 
To each ingenuous, youthful heart, 

My own might feel its former heat ; 

Again with rising rapture beat, 
Again dissolve in tender woe. 
With pure delights again o'erflow ; 

Again-r-but why those times recall 

When every thought was love ? when all 
My ardent wish, my serious care. 
Was but to please some blooming fair 

And see, when none but Love was by. 

His lustres dancing in her eye. 
Ah, no ! behold, in nature's gloom. 
Damp fogs, and chilling winds, my doom. 

She bids me quit the am'rous chase, 

And yield to happier youth my place. 
I see and hear her harsh decree. 
But still my soul, high-born and free, 

Disdains to bend. In nature's spite. 

To Cupid I devote the night." 

*' This morning [August 2d], the weather being unfit for 
exercise, I sit down, with a view to amuse Mrs. Morris, 
and translate or, rather, imitate the lines I wrought yes- 
terday. 

Si le soleil ce Jour embellissait la terra, 

Ce jour nous oflrirait 1' image de la guerre. 

Mais la nature en deuil, dont des combats affreux 
Egorgent par milliers les enfants malheureux, 

Se refuse a nos vceux, se voile de nuages. 

Fait tomber en trombes ses orages, 

Et semble, gemissant, se desoler des maux 
Qui de cet univers font de vastes tombeaux. 

Nous avions aussi, la bataille finie, 

Le projet d'embellir le chemin de la vie ; 
De quitter le dieu Mars, et ses sombres atours, 
Et d'omer de nos fleurs le temple des amours : 

D' admirer, dans ce lieu, de la beaute les chamies, 

Et les soins quelle inspire et les douces alarmes ; 



no DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

Et les brillants tableaux du plus grand des bonheurs, 
Qui transporte les sens et penetre les coeurs. 
Je me ilattais aussi de retrouver encore 
Le beau jour qui luisait sur ma premiere aurore : 
Ce ravissant printemps ou mon ame, encor' neuve, 
Subissait des passions la premiere epreuve. 
Mais, helas ! vous voyez, dans ce temps si affreux, 
Ces brouillards, ces nuages, mon sort si malheureux, 
Le temps, en plus d'un sens, k mes voeux est contraire : 
Je puis aimer toujours, mais comment puis-je plaire ? 

These verses are full of faults, and must be corrected. 
We dine with Lord George Lenox, where I meet the 
Prince de Leon and some other French officers. He tells 
me that the late misfortune at Quiberon must be attributed 
to the ignorance of Puisaye, and the overweening ambi- 
tion of Messieurs d'Hervilly and de Sombreuil, who, to 
avoid the danger of being superseded in command by 
those who have higher rank, made their attempt with a 
force infinitely too weak, etc." 

The journey began again on August 3d, and through a 
beautiful country, finely cultivated, with charming views 
of the sea and the mouth of the Severn, Morris drove 
to Bristol, and from here he visited Chepstow and Tintern 
Abbey. " I think," he says of the latter place, " that it is 
much indebted to the pens of those who have written 
about it ; but the ivy on the walls is luxuriant." 

"Walking about Bath to-day [August 12th] I am over- 
taken by the ci-devant Grand Vicaire of Bordeaux, who 
recalls himself to my recollection ; he dines with me on a 
cold fowl, lobster, and salad." 

" This morning [August 13th] I go to the Duke of 
Beaufort's (Radminster). His grace shows me his house, 
in which there are some very good paintings of Salvator 
Rosa, Guido, etc., and his gardens, which are no way ex- 
traordinary. The road to Cirencester lay through the 



1795-1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. Ill 

Duke's park and plantations, where large herds of red 
and fallow deer disported themselves ; and so across the 
Thames near its source to the inn at Barford, "which is 
now," Morris says, "kept by two maiden sisters, both past 
sixty ; and their lineal ancestors (from the information of 
the waiter, who has been here, he says, four and twenty 
years) have been innkeepers in the same house for a cen- 
tury back, their relations for two centuries, and the house 
itself has been an inn for more than three hundred years. 
The room in which I am now sitting was the dining room 
of the Pilgrims, but has lately been pulled down and mod- 
ernized. There are many now noble families who cannot 
trace back their families in so exact a manner as these sis- 
ters. Their house is scrupulously clean, and the waiter 
is one of the very few men who seem to be contented in 
that state of life to which it has pleased God to call them. 
He says very gayly that he is as happy (he believes) as if 
he were rich, and perhaps more so. ' I enjoy health,' says 
he, 'and what is riches without health ?'" 

"This morning [August 14th] I leave the inn and go on 
through Witney to Blenheim ; ride round the park, walk 
afterwards over the garden, and finally view the house. 
The grounds, though little varied in their surface, have, 
nevertheless, been highly ornamented. The river is a fine 
piece of water now, though anciently it was, I understand, 
only a small brook ; but the famous Brown has since ren- 
dered it worthy of the bridge thrown over it, to the regret, 
however, of the famous Dr. Johnson, who complained on 
seeing it that he had spoiled the epigram : 

The lofty arch his high ambition shows, 
The stream an emblem of his bounty flows. 

This park contains an area of 2,700 acres. Of this, above 
200 are contained in the garden, and 260 appropriated to 



112 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

the river, so that there remains not more than 2,200 in 
wood and grass, on which are fed 2,000 deer and as many- 
sheep, besides cattle occasionally. In the garden and 
park are a number of oaks of great size, though not high. 
The largest is said to be thirty feet in circumference. It 
is a large tree, but I did not measure it. The house, built 
by Sir John Vanbrugh, is one of many which partly drew 
down on him the satirical epitaph, * Lie heavy on him, 
earth, for he laid many a heavy load on thee.' I believe 
it would be difficult to cover more space and have less 
room. It is a thing to look at, not to live in, and if ever 
it should fall to a munificent and hospitable owner 1 do 
not see where he would put his guests. There are many 
very valuable paintings in Blenheim House, especially by 
Rubens, some of them given by the Emperor and one by 
the city of Antwerp. There are some attributed to him, 
but I think falsely, as the coloring is neither so fine nor so 
fresh and glowing as in his works." 

Arrived at Oxford, Morris confided to his diary mi- 
nute and enthusiastic descriptions of the beauties of that 
quaint old town, and "as the weather," he says, "is as 
fine as the heart of man could wish, I have, in the New 
England phrase, improved it until I am completely tired. 
Should it be my lot to spend any considerable time in 
England I think I will come down thither with a party 
and stay some days, so as to see more at leisure what is 
here to be seen. One thing I see with concern, that the 
stone is corroded by the air, so that without constant re- 
pairs the buildings made of them must crumble to dust." 

"Leave Maidenhead [August 17th], and call on Lord 
Grenville at Dropmore Hill, but he is abroad. At ten 
minutes after four reach Wimbledon, where I dine and 
pass the evening with Lord Gower and Lady Sutherland 
— a pleasant afternoon in every sense of the word." 



17951 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. II3 

" I lodged at Lord Gower's, and this morning [August 
i8th] Lady Sutherland brings me to town. I must en- 
deavor to spend a day or two with them. Mr. Trumbull 
calls on me. He came lately through France, but saw 
nobody of consequence ; as he had been Mr. Jay's secre- 
tary they did not like him, being very jealous about the 
treaty. He says Mr. Monroe found it difficult to change 
principles fast enough so as to keep pace with the changes 
in the French Government." 

" Call on Count Woronzow [August 22d] ; he tells me 
what has been done, what is doing, and what is like to be 
done. Go to see Lord Grenville at his house. He is out. 
Go to his office, and sit awhile with Mr. Burgess till I 
have an opportunity of seeing his lordship. Mr. Burgess 
tells me that Mr. Deas continues writing very improper 
letters. I am sorry for it. I find the treaty Mr. Jay has 
made occasions much complaint and dissatisfaction in 
America. He has been burned in effigy, etc. One clause * 
in the treaty is clearly ill-judged, and has been objected to 
by the Senate. The other clauses are, it seems to me, 
proper enough. Mr. Burgess tells me that I am liked by 
the ministers, but that is of little consequence, since a 
change of moon or other circumstance would produce a 
change of their bienveillance. Mr. Jay's treaty has consid- 
erable blemishes, but more noise was made about it than 
was proper, owing to personal causes. An idea had been 
started that he was the proper person to succeed the Pres- 
ident of the United States. Dine with M.. and Madame 
Ciricello, where dine also the Duke d'Harcourt and M. 
de Spinola. After dinner I talk with them, and find that 
we are all of one mind as to the things now proper to be 

* Probably the twelfth article, which forbade American vessels carrying 
coffee, cocoa, sugar, molasses, or cotton, either from English ports or from 
the United States. There were even at that time thousands of bales of cot- 
ton shipped every year from Southern ports. 
Vol. II.— 8 



1 14 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

done. I suggest to them, as I did this morning to Mr. 
Burgess, the advantages to be derived from purchasing 
the flour and salted meats of the United States." 

" This morning [August 23d] I leave London and go to 
Lord Gower's at Wimbledon. We dine en famille. I go to 
Count Woronzow's at Richmond where I meet an aide-de- 
camp of Charette. There is somewhat of curious and 
hardy in his journey through Paris to La Vendee three 
months ago. He was present at and privy to the treaty 
between Charette and the agents of the Convention by 
which they agreed to destroy the monarchy. He was also 
present at a retaliation by Charette upon three hundred 
republicans for so many of the dmigrh lately guillotined. 
He comes to ask troops, arms, money, etc. Lord Gren- 
ville writes to Charette that he shall be supplied to his 
wish, excepting only as to troops, of which he can send 
only four thousand, and that if his plans go on a large 
scale he must reduce them, etc. This is candid and 
proper." 

The treaty of amity and commerce which John Jay had 
made with Great Britain, and which had been signed at 
London on the 19th of November, 1794, created the great- 
est excitement in America. Mr. Jay, it was asserted, had 
been sent to adjust their claims, and he had, instead, 
formed a treaty with England. There was, therefore, no 
punishment too bad for him — the man who had sold his 
country. This treaty formed the subject of the following 
letter to Washington, written during Morris's visit to 
Lady Sutherland and dated at Wimbledon, August 23d : 

" I am sorry," he wrote, " that Mr. Jay's treaty has oc- 
casioned so much clamor in America. I believe the de- 
fects might easily be corrected, and seem to me to have 
arisen as much from oversight as anything else. I have 
not, however, conversed on the subject with any of the 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. II5 

King's ministers; indeed, I was but two or three days in 
London, returning from my tour through the South of 
England, and shall now set off again for my Northern tour, 
which will take six weeks or two months, so that I do not 
expect to see any of them for some time to come. You 
will have seen that Spain has made peace with France. I 
presume that Sardinia and the Italian States will follow 
this example, and Portugal, whether at peace or war, is 
not to be considered as a belligerent power, Austria, 
therefore, and England, are the only parties with which 
France has now to contend, and it seems not improbable 
that this will be the last campaign. It does not follow 
that peace will be fully restored, for I do not quite see 
on what terms it is to be made. Germany asks, and cer- 
tainly wishes, that France should cede the countries it has 
conquered from the Empire, but, having no equivalent to 
give in exchange, nor any force to compel the cession, it 
seems not quite likely that the conqueror will be per- 
suaded to make the desired surrender. Flanders will, I 
think, be another object of difficult disposition. If re- 
tained by France, the situation of this country will be 
very insecure, and I have reason to believe that Mr. Pitt 
would not, except in the last necessity, make peace on 
such terms. Of the West India Islands I shall say noth- 
ing, because you will always know more of what is doing 
there than we can. The British fleet will probably main- 
tain a decided superiority there, as in Europe. Conse- 
quently a chief of real talents, to whom a broad discretion 
shall have been given, might do much — very much. Has 
Britain such a chief to send thither ? Will the govern- 
ment leave him a sufficient liberty to act ? These are 
questions which I cannot answer. The failure of the 
Quiberon affair seems to have arisen entirely from the 
misconduct of those French officers who commanded. 



1 1 6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

The party of the royalists is in great force, and if they 
knew their strength throughout France (which, from the 
measures taken to prevent a communication of sentiments, 
it is very difficult and almost impossible for them to do) 
they would soon overturn the present powers. A second 
expedition is now going on from hence and will be di- 
rected to a point more proper than that where the last 
attempt was made. Admitting that peace were made, it 
is highly probable that France might become the theatre 
of a long and furious civil war. You will observe that 
they are endeavoring at a less absurd constitution than 
those by which they have been hitherto pestered and tor- 
mented. But supposing that they should even adopt a 
good one, which seems unlikely to happen, still, in my 
opinion, they will not be easy under it, for they never ap- 
peared to me to have the needful education nor the 
proper temper for free government. I continue to be 
persuaded that they will fall under the domination of 
some single despot, but I am by no means clear as to the 
person nor the mode by which he is to get into authority. 
Should the party of the royalists succeed, the business is 
then settled for a time very simply ; otherwise, it may be 
the result of civil commotion, and in all cases the fatigue 
of such violent convulsions will induce that turbulent 
people to submit to the yoke with great tameness. 

"This hemisphere seems in general to be oddly situated. 
Few of the existing governments possess vigor equal to 
the trying circumstances which surround them, and in 
many corruption is superadded to weakness. The French 
and Prussian Cabinets are endeavoring to stir the Turk, 
and if they bring him into action it will probably termi- 
nate to his great disadvantage ; but about this they are in- 
different, provided he would make a powerfulMiversion to 
forces which are now employed against France, and others 



1795- J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. tl^ 

which menace Prussia. I believe this last will be reduced 
to insignificance before the close of the present century, 
and in the meantime I should not be surprised at liis in- 
vasion of Hanover. France is so much exhausted that 
she can do little, very little, if anything, at a distance from 
her own frontier. Sweden, who is begging for cash, with- 
out which her efforts will be futile, cannot, I think, obtain 
an adequate assistance, and in the meantime Russia will 
probably bring about another revolution in that country, 
and re-establish the Senate. Denmark will fall into the 
scale of Russia, Austria, and England, rather than of their 
enemies. The season is so far advanced that no stroke 
will probably be struck in the North this year, owing prin- 
cipally to the feebleness of the Cabinet of Vienna. 

" In all cases, Holland appears to me to be completely 
undone. The bankruptcy of their India Company, long 
palliated, now stands confessed, and that of the nation 
exists, though not avowed. Her commerce is totally sus- 
pended, and, as the great mass of the people derived 
thence their means of subsistence, the distress will be 
great and general. Discontent as general must thence 
arise, and if the French protection be withdrawn the pa- 
triots (so called) will probably be sacrificed. In the case 
of a general pacification I do not see how, or on what 
principle, the ruling powers can keep up a large French 
army in the heart of their country. But in whatever 
manner it may be done they can, from the nature of 
things, be no more than the upper servants of such an 
army. Placing the matter in the fairest point of view, and 
supposing the present party to be the strongest, still they 
will not, I think, be able to establish that order and se- 
curity without which commerce will fly far from their 
shores. Hence I conclude that London will become the 
great emporium of trade in Europe, unless the devil should 



1 18 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXn. 

put it into their heads to make revolutions here also, 
which will not, I believe, be the case during the life of 
the present monarch." 

The projected journey of which Morris wrote to Wash- 
ington was begun on Friday, August 28th. «* I go," he 
notes in his diary, " (at great expense of turnpikes) round 
the north side of London, instead of passing through that 
city, and enter the Cambridge road near the two-mile 
stone. Then on through Edmonton to Cambridge." From 
here he gave Lady Sutherland the benefit of his experi- 
ences in a characteristic letter. 

" Cambridge, August 27, 1795. 
" Dear Lady Sutherland : I will perform what I did 
not promise, and give you an account of what I saw and 
also of what I felt. First, then, I felt on leaving Wimble- 
don like a boy at the end of vacation, and I fear 1 shall 
find nothing I like so well in my whole route. Next I 
visited the bed of Ware, and I am able to assure you that 
it still exists and is (as the chamber-maid told me) ' eleven 
feet and a half square, built by Edward the Fourth in the 
year 1463 for his servants.' I believe that she is not much 
of an antiquarian, but it seems that the date is on it. 
Moreover, I am just returned from having divine service 
(so called) at King's Chapel, a sort of chanting in which 
it was difficult to distinguish what was said. The Almighty, 
from his quality of omniscience, is of course apprised of 
it, and also of what was thought on the occasion ; but, me- 
thinks, if ever I should be a god or a fine lady, I would never 
grant but to natural sentiments expressed in a natural 
manner. Tell my Lord Gower that the word I have just 
underscored seems to me to convey a different idea from 
/ think. This last is a plain declaration of what passes in 
the mind, as it is affected either by exterior objects or by 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. II9 

its own reasoning faculties. Thus, I think you are a charm- 
ing woman, I think his lordship is a sensible, well-in- 
formed man, and I think a late manifesto will be attended 
with bad consequences. Methinks, on the other hand, 
seems to express rather an effect of the mind on itself by 
means of the imagination, and precedes a communication 
of those fanciful creations which accompany strong emo- 
tion. Thus, methinks the world without you were a des- 
ert — I certainly do not mean to say that the present har- 
vest would have been destroyed had you never existed. 
So much for synonymes. I must add, however, that, being 
consecrated to the sublime, that term, in common with 
others of the sort, when used on common occasions is 
expressive of the ironical or ridiculous — another proof that 
it is not quite synonymous with / think. I must not forget 
to tell you that King's Chapel reconciles me in some 
measure to Gothic architecture. I will tell you nothing 
more just now, but bid you adieu." 

The history of this journey, with the minutest account of 
daily events — of the weather, the crops, and the people — 
which would be unnecessary to detail here, is given in 
the diary. It will be possible to give only a sketch of 
Morris's trip through the pleasant land of England, and to 
note only the places which most attracted his attention. 
First among these was Burleigh House, "where," he says, 
" I spend a considerable time viewing this vast chateau, 
and the very great collection of paintings. A fortnight 
would not suffice to examine them. I was obliged to tear 
myself away from one, ' Our Saviour Blessing the Bread 
and Wine.* I never saw such a countenance. I believe 
nothing human was ever so beautiful, so heavenly. The 
smallest details are perfect — the very napkin is from the 
hand of a master ; but such expression in the countenance, 



I20 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

SO manly, so soft, so like what one would wish to im- 
agine of the God of mercy, without being ever able to 
accomplish that wish. Wonderful art ! Sublime artist ! 
This great collection contains many pieces of the highest 
merit, but this one is, in my opinion, so far beyond 
all the rest that, having seen it, I could hardly look at 
what followed. The house was built in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth, and is, though ancient, not in a bad style. I could 
not conveniently view the park, in which there was one strik- 
ing defect — a pond instead of a river. By concealing the 
two ends, for it is a winding pond, it would seem a river. 
There are a great many very rare and valuable objects 
to be seen at this house, but Carlo Dolci occupies all my 
sense of recollection in that wonderful combination of 
majesty, sweetness, pity, and resignation, which I believe 
I shall never forget." A few days later, in the entry of 
September loth, he says: " Writing a letter this evening 
to Lady Sutherland, I mentioned to her the painting 
which pleased me so much at Burleigh House, and in 
viewing it again with the mind's eye I tell her : 

The thought is love in all its kindest care ; 

'Tis something more than hope, and yet 'tis prayer; 

'Tis confidence and resignation too. 

The eye appears, with chastened glance, to view 
On high the throne of everlasting day. 
The silent semblance speaks. It seems to say : 

' Vouchsafe, O Father, to accept in me 

The willing victim of thy firm decree ; 
Be in my death fulfilled redemption's plan, 
And these the pledges between God and man.'" 

At Sheffield, Birmingham, and Leeds, by reason of let- 
ters to manufacturers, Morris was well received and every 
facility given him to inspect all the interesting opera- 
tions of those active towns. The moral and physical con- 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 121 

dition of the operatives, their wages, and the number 
of hours of work required of them, were subjects which 
always commanded his attention and excited his interest. 
The beauty of the cultivated fields, the picturesqueness of 
the scenery through which he passed, never failed to call 
forth some expression of pleasure ; and the more or less 
significant incidents of the day amused rather than dis- 
composed him. "To-day," he says, September 5th, **the 
weather is showery, and I observed a young woman pre- 
paring against the rain under a little tree. She had on 
her new gown and bonnet ; to save them from the 
weather, I offered her a seat in my chaise. She at first 
made no answer, but after some time spent, as I supposed, 
in reflection, she agreed suddenly, as if her determination 
was completely and decidedly made up. The door is 
opened, and she is seated next me and we jog on. It be- 
comes me to do the honors, and so I began conversation by 
asking whither she was going. She looked very steadily 
forward, held up an oil-skin bonnet, which she had in her 
hand, and fixed her eyes on it with a kind of eager anxiety. 
I thought that my question was imprudent, and had perhaps 
awakened some ideas of an uncomfortable kind. Before 
I could arrange any conjecture on the subject, she began 
to jump from her seat with a kind of convulsive motion, 
then wriggled a little, and with a clear voice told me she was 
going to Hunslet. This is a little village a mile short of 
Leeds. All these strange phenomena resulted from a 
most extraordinary impediment in her speech." 

Morris was much impressed at Edinburgh, where he ar- 
rived on the 15th of September, by the extreme height of the 
houses, which appeared to him, as he says," to be one of the 
most curious things which I have seen anywhere. Directly 
opposite the window of my bedroom is a house ten stories 
high ; at least upon this, the north front of it. On the other 



1 22 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

side it has, T suppose, five, six, or seven, being built on a 
side-hill, and in the street on the top of the hill there are 
sundry houses of the latter height. In the old part of the 
town, if it were not for the signs, etc., in English, one 
might take it for a French town. In Holyrood House is 
the most curious gallery of paintings in Europe. Buchan- 
an wrote a Scottish novel which he called the history of 
his country, and gives therein an account of kings that 
never existed. The Duke of York, afterwards King of 
Great Britain, and afterwards an unfortunate wanderer, 
brought over a Flemish painter (Dewitt) who copied some 
of the originals of the later Scottish princes ; and then, to 
fill up the list, either from his own fancy or the phizzes 
which he could meet with, made up a long line, giving 
thus to Buchanan's ideal forms — aerial nothings — a local 
habitation and a name. We are shown here the apart- 
ments of the imprudent, unfortunate Mary, and the closet 
where she was sitting with a lady and David Rizzio, when 
this poor fellow was dragged out by the haughty, barbarous 
lord of her court into an adjoining chamber and stabbed. 
There are on the floor some stains, said to have been made 
by his blood. In Mary's chamber are preserved some 
articles of needle-work which she had wrought. All this 
brings strongly to my mind the needle-work which I have 
seen of the late unhappy Marie Antoinette, and still more 
strongly her miserable fate. In my- walk this evening 
I meet women coming up from Leith with baskets of oys- 
ters on their backs fastened by a strap which comes 
round their foreheads. They remind me of the mode of 
working oxen in France, where the peasants contend that 
the animals have more strength that way than any other." 
" Lord Somerville calls [September 20th], and tells me 
that Lord Adam Gordon expresses a wish to see me, on 
which we go together to wait on his lordship. Dine with 



1795 1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 23 

Lord Somerville, who gives me a good dinner with excel- 
lent wines. We are three. Sir Richard Ainslie is the 
third. His younger brother, Robert, was long ambassador 
from this country to the Porte. This Sir Richard seems 
to be an oppositionist, and expresses an ardent affection 
for America, so much that I doubt a little of the reality 
and altogether of the extent." 

" Returning from visiting Mrs. Arbuthnot I meet [Sep- 
tember 23d] Sir John McPherson, who has just come from 
my lodgings ; so I return and go to take tea with him. 
In the course of conversation I learn from him what I 
had got before but slightly from Mr. Cochrane ; viz., that 
the British policy in India is to encourage a free com- 
merce with all the world, which, by pouring wealth into 
that country, adds greatly to the revenue, etc. He tells 
me that when, by the return of Mr. Hastings, he was left 
at the head of affairs in India, he found the revenue one 
twelvemonth in arrear, two hundred thousand men to pro- 
vide for, not a shilling in the treasury, and bills on Europe 
quite unsalable. In this situation he issued a paper money 
bearing interest, which was redeemed in numerical order. 
All payments were made in that paper, and the accounts 
of its redemption regularly published. This, says he, gave 
it such credit that a black merchant had at one time half 
a million of it in his possession ; and this gain, he says, 
was the origin of the French assignats, and thereupon he 
gives me the filiation, which history I do not contradict ; 
but I know more of the origin of assignats than he does." 

"At the register's oflBce is placed Mrs. Damer's statue 
of the reigning king. It is colossal, and placed on a very 
low pedestal, which has a bad effect ; besides, the perform- 
ance itself is very tame. Sir William Forbes calls on me 
this morning, and Mr. Cochrane. Dine with Lord Adam 
Gordon [September 24th], who is very polite and extremely 



124 DIARY AND*LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

attentive to me. Lords Somerville and Napier, with Gen- 
eral Campbell and others, are of our party. A very good 
dinner and a pleasant evening." 

From Edinburgh Morris continued his wanderings 
to Stirling and Perth, and so on to Dunkeld, "the ap- 
proach to which," he says, ** is singularly fine. At some 
miles distant we drive directly towards the mountain 
which is on the right bank of the Tay, and then turn off 
to our right towards the river, which we break upon lying 
imder us. Before we get to the end of our stage it begins 
to rain, so that a part of the view is hidden, but the gloom- 
iness of a storm is more suitable to the surly grandeur of 
a mountain-scene than garish day. I had heard much of 
the bare Scottish hills before I came hither, and some of 
them are bare enough, in all conscience; but I see numer- 
ous plantations rising in different places to clothe them, 
and in another century the great bareness will be fotind 
only in the conversation of the English, like the present 
penury and scarcity and famine of Caledonia. John Bull 
seriously believes, and as seriously relates, the wretched- 
ness of his Northern brethren, which I dare say existed at 
the Union ; but the culture of a part of Scotland is equal, 
if not superior, to any in the island. Improvement daily 
makes great progress, and diffuses wealth and plenty. 
Good stone houses take place of the former mud hovels ; 
planting, manuring, and enclosing hourly change the face 
of the country ; climate, indeed, is wanting, but fruit is 
said to be plentiful and cheap at Perth. Dunkeld, seen 
from the opposite shore, has the air of a fortification. This 
is owing to the walls on the river's bank, to secure little 
patches of earth which serve as gardens or grass-plats to 
the houses, and, being no wider than they are, seem like 
a parapet with embrasures." 

"Arrived [September 30th] at Blair in Athol, the resi- 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 12$ 

dence of the Duke of Athol ; a letter of introduction 
and a card of ** compliment was responded to at once 
by the Duchess, who desires that I would come over, 
which I do as soon as I have dined. We are in the midst 
of the Grampians, naturally very high, rugged, and bare ; 
but the possessors are busily engaged in clothing them. 
There are many fine views of little cultivated plains, with 
the river meandering through them, and overhung with 
rocky crags. The huts of the Highland peasants are as 
miserable and as filthy as the worst description of them 
which I have ever seen. My valet-de-chambre tells me 
they are just pictures of those inhabited by the Russian 
and Livonian slaves." A day or two passed pleasantly in 
the society of the Duke and Duchess, inspecting the deer 
shot by his grace, and scribbling verses apropos of the 
" Duchesse's discontent at the strong hunting temper of 
M. le Due." In the Duke's carriage Morris left Blair 
in Athol the 3d of October, and, passing through the gorge 
of Kiiliecrankie, where King William's troops were defeated 
by the Highlanders and Lord Dundee was killed, soon 
reached the country-seat of Lord Breadalbane, at the 
mouth of Loch Tay, where he was hospitably received. 
Prepared to resume his journey by the 5th of October, 
the weather, being very rainy, induced him to ** yield to 
the hospitalities of Lord Breadalbane. Pour comble de 
bonheiir, my coachman tells me that one of my horses was 
lamed last night, but this information was given after I 
had agreed to stay, otherwise I should have been in sad 
plight. Speaking after dinner on the extent of the Duke 
of Athol's possessions, Lord Breadalbane tells me that he 
can ride one hundred and ten miles without going off his 
estates, and this in a straight line." 

" This morning [October 6th] is very fine, but I am 
obliged to stay for my horse, who can hardly walk and 



126 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

who is lying down in the stable. Go fishing on the lake, 
but the fish will neither rise at the fly nor take the worm 
bait, and I have no other ; so we return, and cast the 
net, with which we take a perch and some trout. On re- 
turning to the house I find a pair of parsons, and our 
conversation turns on the improvement of the country. 
They go away early, but, as my servant afterwards tells 
me, it is to take a dish of tea with the upper servants." 

Leaving Taymouth and his hospitable entertainers, 
** with promises to see them in London next winter," Mor- 
ris pushed on to Inverary, where he arrived on the 9th 
of October. " The misfortune of this country through 
which I pass," he comments, " is that there are too many 
people — a great number of cottagers, who can pay no 
rent, and make no improvements, being wholly occupied 
in obtaining a subsistence. Fuel is scarce and difficult to 
be got ; add to this they are all tenants at will, and of 
course have no disposition to improve either house or 
land. The Duke of Argyll is out riding when I arrive, 
and I have dined at his return, when he sends for me 
to dinner. I therefore assist at his repast without par- 
taking of it. His daughter. Lady Charlotte, has the 
mania of being admired, which will, I think, lead her far. 
After dinner, before they quit the table, she and her elder 
married sister sing a duetto for the old gentleman, who tells 
me that music is his principal enjoyment. The weather 
is better to-day, but seems yet to be wild." 

"This morning [October loth] or, rather, this noon. His 
Grace takes me in his chaise round his grounds. There 
are some fine views and a good deal of wood. He has 
had a rage for husbandry, and, as the climate is intolerably 
wet, has built immense barns in which to dry the grain as 
it is brought in. It serves for the hay also, and is above 
all, or, rather, they are — for he has two — very ornamental. 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 12/ 

He has several people now at work repairing and building 
bridges, for some time ago they had a water-spout which 
broke over the mountains for a few miles in this neigh- 
borhood, and poured down such torrents of water as to 
sweep along with them vast rocks and, of course, every- 
thing else. We have for dinner, among other things, 
chevreuil (roebuck), a very common game here, and but 
little esteemed. This evening I am irh aimable, and in 
consequence the ladies press me much to stay a day 
longer. What amuses me most in this request is that a 
Miss Campbell joins in it. She took me last evening in 
much dislike, and showed it so clearly that this morning 
Lady Augusta, without going directly at the point, made 
an apology by letting me into her history, which is con- 
tained in three words — a disappointed old maid. I had 
well perceived it, and, as occasion offered, had already by 
little attentions put myself much better with her." 

"Go on to Loch Lomond [October 12th], and reach 
Buchanan, the seat of His Grace of Montrose, in the 
afternoon. He is on his grounds. En attendant his arrival 
I read, for madame \s par trop anglaise pour recevoir le monde 
de monsieur. When she appears, however, she becomes 
very well. The Duke is a sensible, well-informed man. 
We have some political conversation, and he appears to 
me, like most of the well-informed men I have met in this 
country, much better acquainted with their domestic con- 
cerns than with foreign affairs. He is indisposed to that 
great extension of manufactures and commerce which has 
introduced a great deal of money into the country, but 
which has greatly relaxed the military spirit. I have met 
lately with several people of this opinion, which certainly 
has weight. It will be proper, perhaps, to give some new 
spring to the militia service and infuse a little more of 
the aristocratic temper; but this last is, I believe, a diffi- 



I 



.128 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

cult thing. There seems to be in all human societies at 
a certain period of their progress a natural tendency to- 
wards the pecuniary system, and as it prevails it ruins and 
destroys the aristocracy. Now this is done by lessening 
the respect for virtue, because, in effect, whatever may 
have been the origin of great families, in a course of ages 
some of their members have shed on each a splendor 
which awes the vulgar. Moreover, I believe experience 
will justify the assertion that such families are generally 
more fair and upright in their conduct than others. Be 
it the effect of education, of example, or of respect for a 
deceased ancestry, or let it result from that affluence 
which places them above temptation — no matter for what 
cause — such conduct must impress on others deep senti- 
ments of respect. But when the money influence grows 
great the general maxim is be rich ; if you can, honestly, but 
be rich. From that moment may, I believe, be dated the 
decline of an empire ; and although circumstances may 
check the progress of destruction, though the weakness 
of surrounding States may lengthen out a feeble existence, 
yet, the infection taken, it extends a silent but deadly cor- 
ruption which few, if any, political constitutions are strong 
enough to throw off. These ideas lead far on in questions 
of finance, commerce, public funds, etc. It is not either 
an answer or an objection that great public calamities 
may correct or revolutions remove evils. The one is a 
remedy prescribed by circumstances, the other is a politi- 
cal death, and the succeeding men live under a new gov- 
ernment and in a new state of society." 

"This morning [October 14th] I leave the Duke's and 
go on to Glasgow. In my route I stop twice to look at 
the canal which crosses the island here, and which this 
day, for the second time, I rode under. First I went to 
look at a succession of locks which rise immediately after 



I79S] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 29 

the canal has been carried over a river, and saw sufficiently, 
I think, their principle and constitution. I admire much 
the execution — in hewn stone, etc., all in the best style. 
My second object was to see a number of vessels collected 
and lading in the highest part of the canal ; some brigs, 
sloops, etc. On inquiry I find that those which draw only 
seven feet and a half of water can go through ; also that 
there are twenty locks each of eight feet, so that the whole 
rise is one hundred and sixty feet. When I see this, my 
mind opens to a view of wealth for the interior of America 
which hitherto I had rather conjectured than seen." 

By October 21st Morris was back again in England. 
From Carlisle he went to Keswick. "On the way," he 
says, " we passed at the foot of Skiddaw, which is a good 
height ; the vale, as far as mist, rain, and twilight will per- 
mit me to judge of it, is very beautiful. I ride almost 
round the famous Derwentwater Lake, which is nothing 
compared with those in Scotland, either for size or depth. 
At the head of it lies Borrowdale, which we ascend for 
two miles. The road is just wide enough for the carriage, 
and we hang over the precipice in some places curiously 
enough, but such is the force of habit that this excites in 
my bosom no kind of emotion. The driver and horses 
seem to be well acquainted with what they are about, and 
that is sufficient. In the deep bosom of this dale a man 
might have lived fifty years ago and no one have heard of 
him, but now the wealth and idle ■ j, of Britain have made 
it a place of great resort. Lord William Gordon has built 
a small house at the lower end of the lake, the north end, 
which contrasts well with the wild and shaggy appearance 
of the other." 

Pushing on through the beautiful lake country of Eng- 
land to Windermere, Morris finally arrived at Colgarth 
Park, "where, having announced myself to the Bishop 
Vol. II.— 9 



I 



130 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXII. 

of Llandaflf and Mrs, Watson, I agree to stay. The re- 
ception of the Bishop is very good ; he is a sensible man 
of considerable genius and very pleasant conversation. He 
tells me that on March 25th, the day the Marquis of Rock- 
ingham kissed hands on being appointed minister, he 
showed him on the back of a letter certain conditions 
which he had made with the King and took down with a 
pencil. The first of these was that the independence of 
America should be acknowledged. The marquis took that 
precaution because on a former occasion the King had 
deceived him, and His Majesty was so hurt by that precau- 
tion that he never forgave the marquis, and expressed in- 
decently his satisfaction when he heard of the other's 
death. The Bishop mentions to me some traits of the 
Prince of Wales to show that he is a better man than is 
generally supposed, but these apply more to the self-love 
of my informant than they do to the subject. The Bishop 
is a stanch Opposition man, and, as he says, a firm, de- 
cided Whig. He is certainly a good landlord, and a man 
of genius. I taste at dinner of the famous char, taken in 
the Windermere, which is, I think, neither more nor less 
than a very good trout. There are some differences, such 
as a more forked tail, and whitish instead of brown spots. 
There is also a considerable redness on the belly, but I 
have seen greater differences between the trout of differ- 
ent waters, excepting always that of the tail. I had read 
that these fish had gizzards, and had them opened so as to 
compare their entrails with those of a trout lying together 
on the same plate, and cannot perceive the sligl^test differ- 
ence." 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I3I 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Examines the Liverpool docks. The king attacked on his way to Par- 
liament Stratford-upon-Avon. Letter to Lady Sutherland from 
"Warwick. London. Presented to George III. Conversation with 
His Majesty. The House of Commons. Fox speaks. French af- 
fairs. Conversation with Lord Chatham. Count Woronzow. A 
great City dinner. Congratulates the Imperial envoy on the Austrian 
victories. Dines with Lord Grenville. Long conversation with him. 
Letter to Washington about Adams. Meets Canning dining at Lady 
Sutherland's. 

FROM the charming lake country Morris went to Liv- 
erpool, where he thoroughly examined the docks, 
"the finest in Britain," and all the trade advantages pos- 
sessed by that town. Then on through Manchester, where 
he inspected every machine, and the different processes 
by which the many materials were made, "which my 
guide," he says, in the diary for November 2d, " tells me 
are vended all over the world, even in Turkey and on the 
coast of Barbary ; but of the whole quantity exported, Mr. 
Taylor tells me, America does not consume one-fourth. 
The newspapers have announced to us yesterday a serious 
attack on the King in his way to the Parliament House 
at opening the sessions. This will, I think, operate un- 
favorably to the views of the Opposition. Their leader, 
Mr. Fox, is driven to an eulogy on existing systems which 
bestow practical liberty in contradistinction to those 
which, in pursuit of an ideal perfection, have produced 
anarchy, misery, and despotism. France begins at last to 
furnish useful lessons to mankind, and will give, I think. 



132 DIARY AND LETTERS OF IChap. XXXIIL 

an example still more awful of the folly, the impious folly, 
of those idle, half-way reasoners who, with the supposed 
rights of man in a supposed state of nature — rights which 
cannot consist with society, the natural state of man — have 
bewildered the lower order of citizens and nearly destroy- 
ed all the relations of social life." 

From Warwick, where Morris arrived on November i8th, 
after spending a day at Stratford-upon-Avon, the following 
letter was written to Lady Sutherland, in which he gave 
her the benefit of his thoughts on that classic spot: 

" My Dear Lady Sutherland : I received at Liverpool 
the letter you were so kind as to address for me at that 
place, and would have replied immediately had I known 
how to give any tolerable account of myself ; but, as many 
zig-zag wanderings lay before me, I thought it best to be 
silent until time and chance, to whose absolute disposal I 
submitted myself, might put me in a situation to say that I 
hoped soon for the great pleasure of seeing you. I have 
had a month's mind, or, if you like the phrase better, I had 
it in my mind for a month to write you a political epistle, 
and the impulsion was very strong after the criminal at- 
tempt of the 29th of last month, but I will confine myself 
to saying that, notwithstanding the ill news you expected, 
or any other which might come, I would have adopted 
the motto of my countryman the beaver — •* Perseverando.* 
You know he cuts down trees with his teeth. Apropos: 
The late Austrian victories show what might have been 
done some years ago if everybody had been in earnest. I 
left Stratford this morning and the rain induced me to 
tarry here, instead of going to Coventry, for which I in- 
tend setting out to-morrow, and thence straight to London, 
' pour faire ma cour et rendre mes devoirs ^ la belle fecos- 
saise.' It would have been unpardonable, you know, 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I33 

to have spent an evening at Stratford and not written 
some nonsense about Shakespeare, but it is a crime of 
Ihe socidt^ to pester others with such things. I ought 
therefore, you will say, to have thrown into the fire what 
I shall lay as a tax on your patience. Do not mistake. 
I send it not poetically, but medically. Supposing then 
that, after some very late hour, you should be awakened 
by the rumbling of coaches or of carts, with the disposi- 
tion without the power to sleep, you will be pleased to 
read these lines, they must have the effect, for {foi d'hon- 
nete homme) I was half asleep when they were written. It 
is true, they have since been revised and corrected, so 
that you have the second edition. And so good-night 
sweet lady. My respects await his lordship. Adieu. I 
am ever and truly yours. 

Ages are past since nature on this spot 

To her own bard gave birth ; self-taught, he knew 

How to unravel all the tangled web 

Of human passion ; and his judgment, true 

To the nice touch of inborn sentiment 

Perceptive, felt, for every scene of life, 

However varied, by the waving wand 

Of fancy's magic, the appropriate thought 

Of each degree, age, sex, and circumstance. 

The purple glory of Imperial Caesar, 

The checkered rag of famished wretchedness, 

The sly pretextings of insidious treason, 

Humble ambition, close conspiracy, 

Proud war, wild madness, and sound policy 

To him were all familiar ; and he knew 

In its own color ev'ry thought to paint 

With each distinctive tint and lessening shade. 

From the deep crimson of a murderer's mind 

To that sweet blush which gilds her early mom 

When rising Love his bright effulgence beams 

On the clear surface of a virgin's soul." 



134 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIIL 

" After my arrival [November 23d] at the Great hotel, 
Covent Garden, I go to see Lord Gower. Dine at the Piazza 
coffee-house. I saw Boswell at the coffee-house, who is 
one of the corps. It seems that the opponents of admin- 
istration cut their hair short, somewhat in the Jacobin 
style. The bills to secure the government meet violent 
opposition, and there is a general wish excited for peace. 
The Cape of Good Hope is taken by the English, but 
the storm has done much mischief to their West India 
fleet." 

"Agreed this day [November 25th] with Robert Dudley 
Medley as a footman. I give him livery, a great-coat, 
eighteen guineas per annum, and board wages. Thomas 
my coachman, is to serve me at 25/ per week and find 
himself everything. Dress and go to Lord Grenville's 
office. Thence to Court. Lord Grenville arrives late. 
Am presented to the King, who takes me at first for an 
Englishman, and, not recollecting me, says, 'You have 
been a good while in the country.' We set him right, and 
Lord Grenville tells His Majesty that I was not liked by 
the ruling powers in France. 

*' ' I suppose Mr. Morris is too much attached to regu- 
lar government.' 

"'Yes, sir, and if Your Majesty would send thither your 
discontented subjects, it would do them much good.' 

" ' Well, if you'll contrive it for me I'll give my hearty 
consent.' 

" Lord Grenville adds, * There are enough of them, sir.* 

" ' Oh, aye, quite enough.' 

" ' I can give Your Majesty good news from the Conti- 
nent' (says Lord Grenville). 'General Claerfayt* is still 
following the French.' 

"'And I, sir, can give you a piece of intelligence which 
* Count de Claerfayt, an eminent Austrian general, died in 1798. 



I79S] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 35 

I am sure will be agreeable. I am informed from un- 
questionable authority that all the lower orders of people 
in Holland are strongly attached to the Stadtholder.' 

" * Oh, that's good,' with surprise. 

" * Sir, they have always been so.' 

" * Then it is only the aristocratic party which is against 
him.' 

"'Just so, sir.' 

" * Pray, Mr. Morris, what part of America are you 
from ? ' 

" ' I am from near New York, sir. I have a brother who 
has the honor to be a Lieutenant-General in Your Majes- 
ty's service.' 

" * Ah, what ! you're a brother of General Morris ? Yes, 
I think I see a likeness, but you're much younger.' 

"'Yes, sir.' 

'"Well, and how does your brother do? he's at Plym- 
outh, isn't he ?' 

"'Yes, sir.' 

" I afterwards see a petition presented to the King on 
his throne by the University of Oxford. Then go with 
Lord Gower to see Lady Sutherland. Thence to the 
House of Commons, return to Lord Gower's, dine, and 
thence again to the House, where Mr. Fox delivers a very 
animated speech in reply to a very cool and sensible dis- 
course from Mr. . Mr. Pitt does not speak, for which 

I am disappointed. On a division the ministerial party 
has a great majority, and the affair is to be discussed 
again next Friday. Great acuteness on the part of Mr. 
Fox. The King asked me when I expected Mr. Pinckney 
back, and added, ' They are very slow in that country.' 
I could have told His Majesty of another country in 
which they were quite as slow, until lately at least, on 
American subjects." 



1 36 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIII. 

"M. Mountflorence comes in [November 26th] from 
Paris. He tells me that the French are quite heart- 
broken since their late scuffle with the Convention ; that 
the present government is purely military ; that Paris and 
Orleans are disarmed ; that Lyons is a constant scene of 
bloodshed ; that Freron is at the head of a strong Jacobin 
party in the South of France ; that the Jacobins expect to 
overturn the present government in a month or six weeks, 
and that the want of bread is the lever by which they are 
to work. Mr. Hammond told me that Colonel Hamilton 
told him the day before he left New York that the dema- 
gogic party would have a majority in the house of Rep- 
resentatives. He also said that the government of this 
country are determined to give full effect to the treaty 
and to go on fairly to the further provisions which may be 
needful." 

"This morning [November 27th] my coachman, d, propos 
of the sale of one of my horses, inquires the distance we 
have gone. I tell him after a tedious examination, but 
the result is somewhat extraordinary. My first sortie with 
them southward, including a double ride to Richmond 
while I was at Wimbledon, was just six hundred miles ; 
and my second, after quitting Wimbledon, was precisely 
thirteen hundred, allowing one mile for the difference in 
the last stage between the standard from whence the 
roads measured and my lodgings at Covent Garden." 

"Go [December ist] with Lord Govver to the House of 
Commons. There is no battle this evening. While I take 
tea in the committqe-room, Mr. Windham comes in, and 
from his disposition to converse with me I am led to sup- 
pose that I am un peu en bon odeur ici. Mr. Pinckney has 
asked to be recalled." 

"Go to Court [December 2d], where I see, of course, a 
number of people, of whom I know a few. Have a little 



1795] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. . 1 3/ 

conversation with Lord Chatham, and mention for his 
consideration a progressive tax on the sales of wheat 
monthly, by way of paying the bounty on importation of 
foreign wheat ; also a tax on all horses, by way of en- 
couraging the breed of horned cattle. The Marquis of 
Buckingham is very civil, and invites me down to Stow. 
I put in his hands Mr. Mountflorence's affair. The King 
tells me he hears Mr. Pinckney is coming back, re infectd, 
the treaty being postponed for a year. I tell His Majesty 
that they don't treat with us because they are afraid of us. 
He says there may be something in that." 

" I go to Court [December 3d], where I see Lady Suth- 
erland, true to her promise, and looking wondrous well. 
Count Woronzow tells me an instance of Lord Grenville's 
candor. It relates to the manifesto prepared for the new 
King. The Count has sent a copy of it and the history 
of it to his Court. He introduces me to Count Star- 
emberg. Lord Grenville introduces me to the Duke of 
Portland, and tells me that Mountflorence shall have his 
passport. He presents me to the Queen, who is a well- 
bred, sensible woman, I think. Conversing with Lord 
Grenville about our treaty, I 'tell him that we must not 
covenant not to export the produce of the West India 
Islands, because our commerce will always give us an ex- 
cess of those articles ; that if I had to negotiate with 
him on the subject, I would almost venture to leave the 
settlement of the articles with him and the West India 
planters ; that whatever may be the final state of the 
islands, and whoever may be the possessor, it must be his 
policy to convince us that it is our interest he should con- 
tinue in the possession. He says that his opinion coin- 
cides perfectly with mine, and that he treated on that 
ground. I then tell him that in my opinion all difficulties 
might be removed if, after designating the size of vessels 



138 . DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIII. 

to be admitted, a further stipulation should be made of a 
maximum of export duty, the amount within that limit to 
be fixed by the King. His Majesty's ministers would then, 
by their instructions to the governors, have it so fixed 
from time to time as to comport with the wants of the 
colony and the interests of the British navigation, without 
any reference to the colonial assemblies. He says, he 
thinks something may be made out of that idea. He says 
Lord Bute informs him from Madrid that Mr. Pinckney 
is on his way back, having concluded a treaty of naviga- 
tion (in which he supposes the affairs of the Mississippi 
to be settled), and leaving the treaty of commerce for 
another year. I tell him, as I did the King, that their 
fears prevent them from treating, whereas those very 
apprehensions should have induced them to treat. He 
agrees in this idea, and adds it is inconceivable how ap- 
prehensive they are. I tell him Mr. Pinckney has asked 
his recall, and that I do not think it improbable that Mr. 
Adams may be appointed minister here. As soon as the 
drawing-room is over I return home, change my dress, eat 
a bit of cold meat, and go to the House of Commons. I 
am again disappointed in not hearing Mr. Pitt speak. 
Stay till near three o'clock." 

"Go [December 5th] to a great City dinner, given to 
Mr. Hammond, and chance places me next to Lord Gren- 
ville and Mr. Adams. This last is deeply tinctured with 
suspicion, and sees design in everything. His mind has 
received early a wrong bias, and I think will always go 
obliquely. Mr. Bayard asks if I will give my assistance 
in the discussion of some questions arising here which re- 
gard the captures made. I promise it freely. He tells 
me that in a late affair Lord Grenville gave a remarkable 
proof of his candor. At our dinner, in the midst of the 
line of toasts he gave Mr. Jay, which was received with 



X79S.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 39 

great applause. This, I think, will prove injurious to 
hinn in America, and mention that idea to Mr. Adams, 
who prims up, and, while his countenance (in general, in- 
sipid) overflows with joyful expression, he is silent ; then 
says, ' I don't know,' and then opens a little. From this I 
conjecture that his father and Mr. Jay are at political 
variance. The shouts of applause which accompany the 
King and Mr. Pitt as toasts show that the administration 
stands very strong in public." 

"Take up the Marquis de Spinola, and go to dinner at 
Count Woronzow's at Richmond [December 7th]. We 
have here a very good and a very sociable dinner. The 
wine renders Spinola a little communicative. He tells 
me that Woronzow will never stand well at this Court, 
because Pitt will not forgive him for foiling his attempts 
in the Russian armament. He tells me why he stands 
well with Lady Sutherland. He tells me that he thinks 
the government here would be pleased that I should be 
appointed Minister, and in return I tell him why it would 
not suit me. I learn that Mr. Liston, who is going out to 
America, is clever. The weather is nasty." 

" Dine with Count Staremberg [December 9th]. He 
and Woronzow are quite in air about the King's message 
declaring his disposition for peace. It seems to me to 
be a thing of no consequence. After dinner Woronzow 
gives us the history of the three partitions of Poland, in 
which, according to him, the Empress was led by a kind 
of necessity. He thinks, and so, indeed, do I, that it is 
unwise in the Imperial Courts to bring their dominions 
together. He and Count Staremberg tell me that the 
King's Ministers expect the present government in France 
will be overturned by the Jacobins. After I leave this, I 
go to see Madame Ciricello. At coming away the Duke 
d'Harcourt tells me he understands the young Duke of 



I40 DIARY AND LEITERS OF [Chap. XXXIII. 

Orleans is gone out to America, and that he was much 
distressed at the idea of leaving Europe. He says he had 
taken some measures to bring him into terms with the 
King of France, and has received that information. 
Wishes to know from me if it be true. I tell him (truly) 
that I know nothing of the matter. We promise each 
other to communicate the result of our inquiries." 

"News of the taking of Mannheim [December loth] 
reached town yesterday. There are about nine thousand 
prisoners of war. This affair puts the Austrians in con- 
dition to act against the French with increased means, 
while it must tend to dishearten their opponents. I ex- 
pect that they will turn their arms towards Flanders, and, 
if they can seize any considerable magazines of provisions, 
France will soon be reduced to her former limits. Hol- 
land must of course be abandoned, and then I think the 
counter-revolution will take place there as a thing of 
course. Go to see the Imperial envoy. Congratulate 
him on the Austrian victories. Lord Grenville gave him 
the explanation which I supposed of the King's message. 
Converse with him on the general politics of Europe. 
He tells me that, from Claerfayt's last letter, he will push 
on, but knows not, of course, which way. Dine at Mr. 
Phyn's, and find that the ministers are gathering strength 
by the Austrian victories, and that the desire of peace 
grows less ardent. It appears from every account that 
the French armies are quite discouraged." 

"Dine with Lord Grenville [December 12th]. He tells 
me he was astonished that persons who had been here 
so long should be so little acquainted with the British 
Government as the Russian and Imperial Ministers appear 
to have been, by the alarm they took at the King's mes- 
sage. He admits, however, that it may have the effect of 
strengthening the French Government in France, but he 



X79S] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I4I 

thinks, and justly, that the many other things which are 
happening must operate on the other side of the question. 
I tell him the advice I gave yesterday to the Imperial 
minister; viz., to send some confidential agent to Flanders, 
authorized to give money to those charged with the care 
of the French magazines, provided they do not, on the 
approach of the Austrians, destroy them. He thinks this 
good, and will enforce it. He says the French are evacu- 
ating Holland. After dinner I ask him to tell me the af- 
fair of Randolph.* He says that a despatch of Fauchet's 
was taken in which was related a conversation between 
him and Randolph, and from that conversation it appeared 
clearly that Randolph had been corrupted. He had pro- 
posed a plan to render the Western insurrection a means 
of uniting America with France in the war against Brit- 
ain. The rest of the story I had heard before. He tells 
me that he is not the only person in America ; that he 
knows some others, and mentioned it to Mr. Jay, but 
did not name them, not being in a convenient situa- 
tion to furnish the proofs, as he had acquired the knowl- 
edge from Paris. We converse on the state of the war, 
a general conversation (by the by, the company consists 
of only Hammond, Scott, and Lord Carrisford), and I tell 
him jocosely that I find the people in the City are not in- 
clined to let him off easily, if he makes a bad peace. He 
answers, very candidly, that he thinks if a bad peace is 
made it must be their own fault. He considers the Cape 

* Despatch No. 10 from Fauchet, French Minister in America, giving an 
account of the whiskey insurrection in Western Pennsylvania, was sent to 
his government at Paris by the corvette Jean Bart. Brought to, in the 
English Channel, by a British man-of-war, the captain saw that he must 
strike his flag, and threw the despatches overboard, where they were picked 
up almost immediately by a British sailor. Fauchet's letter was sent to Lord 
Grenville, and through Oliver Wolcott, then Secretary of the Treasury, was 
put into Washington's hands. He requested Randolph to defend himself. 
That day he resigned his office as Secretary of State. 



142 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIII. 

of Good Hope as an important acquisition, and truly so 
it is. Trincomalee is also taken before this time, in all 
probability. Thus Britain is at length the complete mis- 
tress of the East. I take it for granted that these places 
will not be given up. Mention to Lord Grenville that it 
would be a pleasing thing to America if he procured the 
release of Lafayette. He says the prejudices here are so 
strong against him. Upon which I smile, and say the 
King has too much good sense to mind anything which 
may have happened. ' Oh, yes, to be sure !' 'And as to 
anything else, you know, my lord, it depends entirely on 
His Majesty's Council ! ' I add that Lafayette is a person 
of great intrigue, and that with such a weight of obliga- 
tion hanging about his neck he can in no decent manner 
act against the British interest in America, to which coun- 
try he will get sooner or later. Moreover, keeping his 
own secret, it will be a good thing to come out with, when 
opposition shall be loud on the subject. Speaking of the 
minister appointed to represent this Court in America, 
he says : * Your friend Woronzow is very angry that I 
have taken Liston from Constantinople. He won't un- 
derstand that it is more important for us to have an able 
minister in America than at the Porte.' " 

" The Imperial minister, who called on me this day 
[December 14th], tells me that the French have made a 
detachn^ent of eight thousand men from their army in 
Holland, and it is from thence that a report has arisen of 
the evacuation. He says the English insist strenuously 
on their keeping Flanders. He thinks the King of France 
must be left on one side in the negotiation for peace, and 
that they must keep themselves in a situation to take ad- 
vantage of circumstances which may arise in the interior. 
Call on Mr. Adams, who is a little entich^ of the French 
politics. We dine at Mr. Church's, and in conversing 



1795.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 143 

about our City dinner he repeats and urges, what he men- 
tioned to me at the time, and Church thinks, that General 
Washington's health was drunk at an improper time. All 
these things appear to be very small." 

In a letter to Washington, dated December 19th, Morris 
wrote in reference to Mr. Adams as follows : 

"When I first saw Mr Adams (understanding that he 
was empowered to negotiate with this country during Mr. 
Pinckney's absence), I offered him any assistance which I 
could give, but, to my great surprise, he told me that he was 
here merely as a private individual. A day or two after- 
wards. Lord Grenville gave me very different information. 
We then conversed about what I conceived to be the pol- 
icy of Great Britain. And let me say here that nothing 
will so strongly affect the government of this country as 
the view of an American navy, though in embryo ; where- 
fore I do most ardently desire that something may be 
done this session towards its establishment. 

" A strange story has been handed about here of a con- 
spiracy between the French minister and others. I pre- 
sume that it arose from the affair of Mr. Edmund Randolph, 
which Lord Grenville related to me ; also the additional 
hints communicated by him to Mr. Jay for your use. I feel 
myself bound to communicate to you a circumstance which 
has some relation to the same object. Shortly after my 
successor arrived in Paris (viz., two, or at most three days) 
a person who was in the habit of telling me what passed 
called, and began a conversation by saying : * This new 
minister you have sent us will never do here.' 'Why?' 
' He is either a blockhead himself or thinks that we are 
so.' * I can't suppose either to be the case, as I know him 
to be strongly attached to your revolution. I should think 
he would succeed very well.' ' No, it is impossible. Only 
think of a man's throwing himself into the arms of the first 



144 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIIL 

persons he met with on his arrival and telling them he had 
no doubt but that, if they would do what was proper here, 
he and his friends in America would turn out Washington. 
If he meant to deceive us the artifice was too gross, and if 
he was in earnest that circumstance proves him to be un- 
worthy of our confidence. Besides, he made this declara- 
tion to people who, though they stand high at present, 
must soon lose ground, for reasons I have already com- 
municated.' * I cannot believe the fact.' 'You may rely 
on it, 'tis true. I did not hear him, nor have I yet seen him, 
but it was mentioned to me by one of those to whom he 
• spoke immediately after it had passed, and I have taken 
the earliest opportunity to inform you of it.' He then 
told me other parts of the conversation of him and of his 
secretary, particularly the latter, which ran counter to 
the views of the ruling party, although intended to flatter 
them. 

" I own that, notwithstanding the clear and direct man- 
ner in which this was stated, I did not believe it, but con- 
cluded my informant to have been deceived. I took, how- 
ever, the earliest opportunity to apprise Mr. Monroe that 
he was mistaken as to the temper and views of those in 
power, and to desire that he would recommend caution to 
Mr. Skipwith, leaving him to take to himself as much of 
the recommendation as he should think proper. I shall 
add nothing on this chapter, except my fervent wish and 
earnest exhortation that you do by no means resign. You 
cannot conceive how important it is to our foreign con- 
cerns that you should hold your seat. I dare say that you 
must see every day that it is essential to our dearest do- 
mestic interests. So God grant you health and inspire 
you with the determination to exercise that firmness and 
decision of character with which his Divine Providence 
has endowed you. 



1795 ] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I45 

" I find this will be but a desultory letter, though I 
think you will glean something from it. You will have 
seen that M. de Puisaye is arrested by the royalists of 
the Western Coast of France. If it was not from treason 
it was certainly through great incapacity that he caused 
the failure of the Quiberon expedition. It was, indeed, 
too feeble, but the plan was his own, and though I think 
the minister here confided in him too much, that does not 
lessen his responsibility. I am persuaded that great ef- 
forts would have been made from hence in that quarter, 
and probably with effect , but the wild thunder manifesto 
of the new French King rendered it impossible to stand 
well in his favor. Hence a change of system became una- 
voidable, and the administration had reason to congratu- 
late themselves that they had gone no further. The bring- 
ing back to the Vendee that victorious army which had 
dictated terms of peace to feeble Spain obliged the roy- 
alists to disperse and conceal themselves, but late trans- 
actions on the German frontier having obliged the French 
Government to re-enforce their armies, and send to that ef- 
fect the troops which overawed Paris, those in La Vendee 
are, it seems, to replace them, and so the disaffected begin 
again to hold up their heads. It has not escaped your pen- 
etration that France is now a military government, and of 
course still in the straight road to single despotism, should 
she obtain peace with the Allied Powers , but there seems 
at present to be a very wide distance between her expec- 
tations and theirs. She doubtless is exhausted, but what 
convulsive struggles she may still make seems uncertain ; 
in my opinion, not much. Austria is also much weakened 
in her finances. But this country is still fresh as a youth- 
ful bridegroom, of which nothing can afford a clearer 
proof than the present complaints among one party of 
the moneyed men that they had not permission to supply 
Vol. II. — 10 



146 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIII. 

the minister with eighteen millions at;^4 i^s. 6d. per cent, 
interest. This new loan bears above ten per cent, advance 
in the market, although there is no covenant on the part 
of government not to open a new one. Indeed, it is ex- 
pected that a considerable sum will be borrowed for the 
Emperor, and so high is the spirit of the people upon the 
late successes of the Austrian armies that he may have just 
as much as he chooses to ask for. It is on the ground of 
these superior resources that the well-informed here ex- 
pect His Majesty's ministers will be able to dictate their 
own terms to France. This could not be done should that 
country come forward and offer ncm/ to retire from Hol- 
land and Flanders, which, by and by, they will be forced 
to do ; and even at present nothing will, I believe, prevent 
Marshal Claerfayt from attempting, at least, to march into 
the Low Countries but the well-grounded doubt whether 
he could seasonably collect the needful magazines for the 
subsistence of his army. It is expected every moment 
here that an express will arrive to announce the capture 
of Trincomalee and the valuable island of Ceylon. Great 
Britain will soon possess all the Dutch possessions in 
India which she may think it worth while to take. As to 
Santo Domingo, the elements have hitherto fought in favor 
of the French, and detained here the immense armament 
fitted out against it — not less than twenty-five thousand 
eflEective men. Let the success be what it may, the effort 
is wonderful. I have already assigned a sufficient reason 
why I say nothing on the subordinate questions depend- 
ing between this country and us ; neither will I say a word 
about Mr. Pinckney's treaty with Spain, which you will 
doubtless receive before this letter reaches you. But I 
will drop one hint upon a great leading point ; viz., the 
right of neutral powers to trade with the West India col- 
onies of a belligerent power, upon a permission given by 



1795-1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 147 

such power during the war. I will not discuss this as a 
question of law, neither would I ever or in any situation 
attempt to support what I conceive to be unjust. Yet, as 
a statesman, I will venture to say that this government is 
contending now for the very point which it is our interest 
to establish, and which would form our main reliance 
should we be engaged in any war against those who have 
such colonies." 

" Go to Wimbledon [December 21st] to dine with Lady 
Sutherland. Meet there Mr. Canning, the newly appointed 
Deputy Secretary of State, a young man of abilities. Mais 
la tete lui tourne un peu. We pass a pleasant afternoon and 
evening." 

" At three o'clock [December 30th] I go to Court, where 
I see the Dukes of Montrose and Argyll. Promise to call 
on them. The King is in high spirits. After the levee 
ride in the park ; then change my dress, and call on the 
Due de Castries. See Moustier, who is going to the 
coast of Brittany to see the state of things there and in 
Normandy." 



148 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Morris passes the winter of 1796 in London. News of the armistice on the 
Rhine. Letter to Washington. Chosen honorary member of the 
Highland Society. Dines with the Duke of Argyll. The King's 
drawing-room. Goes to the House of Commons. The Princess of 
Wales. Mr. Adams. Pitt speaks in the House of Commons. Fox. 
Sheridan. Letter to Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton. 
Mrs. Montague's drawing-room. The Queen's drawing-room. French 
victory in Italy. View of St. Paul's. Dines with Pitt at Lord Cow- 
er' s. The House of Lords. Dines with Mrs. Vassal. 

THE winter of 1796 Morris passed in London, watching 
the progress of events on the Continent, and enjoy- 
ing the society of his many friends among the ^migris. 
The hospitality of numbers of English friends and ac- 
quaintances was always acknowledged in his diary, which 
daily records an opera-party, a dinner, or a supper. For- 
eign affairs naturally commanded the larger share of his 
attention, and rumors concerning the movements of the 
armies, as well as facts, are to be found in the pages of 
the diary. "There is nothing new," says the entry for 
January 8th, " but I find the people in the City are getting 
off their high but false opinion of the French plan of 
finance. The gazette (the London Times *) announces an 
armistice between the French and Austrians on the Rhine, 
the account of which reached town at one o'clock, by way 
of Paris, to-day." 

** Some mails are arrived from Hamburg [January nth]. 

* The Times, with four of the great English journals, appeared about the 
year 1771, and journalism became a responsible agent in the affairs of the 
world. 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I49 

The news of the armistice on the Rhine stand confirmed, 
but no particulars are, it would seem, contained in the 
letters received." 

A propos oi the measures taken in France to establish 
their finances, Morris wrote to Washington on the nth of 
January : 

*• These measures may perhaps be announced in Am- 
erica as the perfection of human wisdom, but also as 
inevitably productive of the best effects ; in which re- 
spect they would differ from those perfections of wisdom 
heretofore exhibited on that theatre. Our experience in 
America could have proved (had proof been necessary) 
that the natural efifect of paper money is to consume 
all the personal property of a country. The assignats 
were going on in their natural progression, when, after 
the revolution of the loth of August, measures of in- 
creasing cruelty were successively adopted to force prop- 
erty out of the hands of its owners, or at least to ren- 
der the possession of it highly dangerous. At the same 
time the total suspension of foreign commerce shut up 
all remaining commodities within the country, and the 
permission to export was only granted in exchange for 
articles wanted by the government, which gave its paper 
for those things which it obliged the owner to sell, and 
which all but its agents were prohibited from buying, by 
the very same means which compelled the sale. Mankind 
were pretty generally the dupes of these appearances, and 
although they were going on to increase the nominal 
amount of their paper to more than the fee simple of the 
whole country was worth, people whose habits and pro- 
fession should have taught them better persisted in the 
absurd idea that all that mass of paper would be paid 
according to its specified value. When I left France, that 
system of terror being for a while suspended, I did not 



ISO DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

hesitate to declare that the paper would fall rapidly; 
and being pressed by one of its advocates to say how far 
and in what period, gave it as my opinion that it might 
in a year be at a hundred for one. Strange as this opinion 
then appeared, experience has more than justified it. 
This is a tedious preface to what I meant to say, but it 
seemed proper to show, by example, that the idea even 
of professional men may be erroneous upon this subject, 
which our experience has (I believe) enabled us to con- 
sider more maturely than many others. You will have 
seen that one of the first plans suggested in France was to 
issue, under a different name, new paper for the old. As 
this was not adopted, the absurdity need not be detailed. 
"Another plan, which does not appear to have been 
made public, was to call on individuals of property to 
give to the government their negotiable bonds and then 
to obtain supplies on the credit of those bonds, the cash 
to be supplied (in the first instance) at a great discount by 
societies of moneyed men in Paris, and these to reimburse 
themselves with advantage by sale of shares in such 
operations to wealthy foreigners. This plan was imprac- 
ticable ; not merely from the doubt whether foreigners 
would embark their funds in such speculations, but also 
from the want of capitalists in France to set the machine 
in motion. These have been destroyed pecuniarily by the 
assignats, and physically by the guillotine. I come now to the 
plan which was actually adopted. This consists, theoretically, 
of three parts : First, to issue only thirty million livres in 
assignats ; secondly, to fix their relation to specie at one 
hundred, which would reduce the mass to three hundred 
millions ; thirdly, to exact by force, and under the name 
of a loan, the contribution of six hundred millions (over 
and above all other taxes), of which one-half be paid in 
paper at one hundred, and the other half in specie. The 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I5I 

reasoning- on this fine system is conclusive. The paper 
moiety of the loan pays off all the assignats. The specie 
moiety pays the expenses of the ensuing campaign, which 
cannot but prove glorious to the republic ; and then she 
opens the year 1797 with a trivial remnant of her ancient 
debt, much of which was prudently discliarged by the 
guillotine, and with a prodigious landed property on which 
to issue new assignats and run again round the circle which 
she will have then just completed. 

" This reminds me of a sophism which some one tried 
to palm on me when I was a child, that if a tortoise had 
the start of a fox, the fox would never overtake him be- 
cause it was impossible, though the fox should go ten 
times faster than the tortoise, but that this must go some 
distance, viz., a tenth of what the other should move 
over, and then while he was going that tenth the other 
would have advanced one hundredth, and so on ad in- 
finitum. My answer was, let the fox make a good jump. 
Now those who have reasoned in the manner before 
stated never thought of the good jump. The sum of the 
argument amounts to this : That France, now exhausted 
bevond anything of which modern times can furnish an 
example, should be able not only to defray the expenses 
of a vigorous war, and that, too, with a most prodigal ad- 
ministration, but also to discharge a debt of twelve mill- 
ions sterling. This is, at first blush, an absurdity. As to 
paving the debt it is indeed very easy, for by nominally 
increasing the amount it will (by the force of depreciation) 
discharge itself. The assignats are already at about 200, 
and if extended to 40,000 millions they will be under 400, 
in which case the amount will be only one hundred mill- 
ions, or four millions sterling ; that is, one-third of what 
the svstem-makers calcidated. But as to the expenses of 
the campaign, that is a different affair. Should they re- 



152 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

tire within their own limits, and openly profess the de- 
termination to make peace, provided their limits were 
secured to them, it is hard to say what might be the ex- 
tent of those efforts which they might yet make. For in 
this case we must take into calculation the national pride, 
her characteristic enthusiasm, and the force of a govern- 
ment the most absolute in its nature, and whose members 
have everything to gain and to lose. As these circum- 
stances go out of the usual course of financial calculation, 
I will not dwell upon them. My object was merely to 
convey some ground for the opinion I entertain that the 
newly adopted system of finance is radically defective, 
inasmuch as it appears to my mind self-evident that no 
force of taxation can squeeze out from the people of 
France a sum equal to the unavoidable expenditures. So 
that, if their enemies persist in the war, they must keep 
the press a-going as long as anything can be done with it, 
and then resort to the convulsive struggles of despair. 

" But, I hear you say, will their enemies persist in the 
war ? I own to you that I am not able to answer that 
question decisively. I will not speak of the views which 
I suppose this Court to have, but all the world, except the 
members of Parliament who are in opposition, see that 
Britain is gaining more by the present war than she ever 
did in any equal period of time during her history. Aus- 
tria cannot but feel that the contest wears her down for 
the sake of recovering the Low Countries, which, from 
their remote situation, must ever be an onerous and pre- 
carious possession. Should France therefore cede her 
conquests, I cannot see why the Emperor should not imme- 
diately quit the game, and proceed to those exchanges 
and arrangements which will suit his views. It is true 
that his engagement with this country and with Russia 
might stand in the way, but, after making certain propo- 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 15.3 

sitions to the former, he might hold himself excused by 
their non-acceptance, and the Empress (by the by, there 
is a report of her death) would rather have the aid of 
her Imperial ally to secure the spoils of Poland, against 
any attempt which might be made by Prussia and Tur- 
key, than furnish a body of her troops to be employed on 
the Rhine. Will the desire of re-establishing the House 
of Bourbon in France have any material operation ? On 
this subject I will write to you at my first leisure. This 
is enough, I fear, to tire your patience." 

"Go to the drawing-room [January i8th] where, being 
a birthday, is all the world. Their Majesties me font bon 
acceuil. The Duke of Clarence asks me if I am Minister 
here from America instead of Mr. Pinckney. I tell him 
no, and express some surprise at the question. He tells 
me that he has learned from a lady whom he mentions, 
and who is a relation of Mr. Pinckney's, that he told her 
that he considered himself no longer as minister here. 
Dine with Lord Grenville. Hammond tells me that both 
Pinckney and Adams were invited, but neither of them 
came. Adams sent an excuse after accepting, and I find 
that the jealousy which I marked in his temper and the 
suspicious turn of his mind have already disgusted those 
whom he had to do business with. I am sorry for it. Go 
to the ball, where I see very good dancing by the members 
of the royal family. The Prince of Wales, in particular, 
dances a minuet extremely well." 

" Dine with Sir John Sinclair at the Highland Society 
[January 19th]. There are three other guests, and on his 
motion, in our presence, we are chosen honorary members. 
I write a few stanzas, which I desire Sir John Macpherson 
to turn into verse. 

When virtue and freedoni came down from on high. 
On the mountains they fix'd their abode ; 



154 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

They breath' d the pure air which is nearest the sky. 
Ate the food that kind nature bestow' d. 

They saw vice and tyranny gloom on the plain, 
And boast the perfection of art ; 
On these they look'd down with deserved disdain 
And chose for their temple the heart. 

Hence their favorite children, you ever will find, 
Mid the highlands and mountains still stray. 
Would you know a true son, why, look at his mind ; 
In the field it is noble, in company gay. 

I leave the stanzas with them and walk quietly off." 

" Dine with the Duke of Argyll [January 21st], where I 
meet the Lord Chancellor, who has, it seems, desired to 
become acquainted with me. He is very pleasant and in 
good spirits. The weather this day is wonderfully fine. 
The Chancellor, speaking of the state of the morals in 
this country and consequently of crimes, says that in nine 
years that he attended Courts of Oyer and Terminer, al- 
ways in his turn and often out of it, he never had once 
occasion to pass sentence for murder ; also that, having 
inquired on this subject of the recorder, who had been 
fifteen years in office, he was told that the condemnations 
for it in this city during that period were at the rate of 
one annually. Sundry other things are mentioned to 
show the horror entertained by Englishmen at the idea 
of shedding human blood." 

"This morning [January 21st] go to Court. The Duke 
of Montrose, who is one of my guests at dinner to-night, 
tells me just before he goes away that he has heard the 
armament under Admiral Christian is put back. This, 
which at the first blush would seem to 'be an untoward 
event, will probably turn out quite otherwise. The weath- 
er still continues very blustering ; high wind from the 
west and southwest. I afterwards hear that one of the 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 55 

transports from Admiral Christian's squadron or, rather, 
fleet, which had put back (the Sutton Indiaman) has 
foundered near Plymouth, but the men are saved. It 
seems probable that the whole fleet has returned, and 
probably a number of them have gone down, for these 
heavy gales must have occasioned a dreadful sea in the 
chops of the channel. The wind is still high from the 
west and southwest, but generally southwest" 

" Dine at Wimbledon and stay all night [January 30th]. 
Mr. Canning, who is one of the guests, tells us that Ad- 
miral Christian's fleet is arrived at Spithead. The Lord 
Chief Baron Macdonald is here also. He is clever and 
pleasant." 

"Go to the drawing-room [February nth]. The King 
has much conversation with Count Woronzow and me. 
His Majesty tells me, on the authority of Admiral Pye, that 
in seven weeks lately spent at sea he had not nine hours at 
a time in which to set up his rigging ; this is a most un- 
common storm. See the Duchess of Gordon, who re- 
proaches me for not visiting her. Lord Westmoreland's 
conversation is a little in the style of despondency as to 
the success of the war." 

"Go in the evening [February 12th] to the Duchess of 
Gordon's. I am told here that accounts are arrived of a 
separate treaty of peace between France and the Em- 
peror." 

" Dine at Lord Gower's [February 13th], and here Mr. 
Huskisson assures us that the news of yesterday is a 
forgery ; that a French gazette, called r Eclair, has been 
counterfeited in this city and sent down to the coast, 
where it was put into the mail and sent up to the several 
printers. It seems that a society had purchased on the 
King's message more stock than they could pay for, and 
had invented this mode of inducing others to buy." 



156 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

"Go to see Count Woronzow [February 14th]. Throw 
out to him the idea of bringing Prussia forward by an 
exchange of Hanover for Cleves and Prussian Guelders, 
given to Holland in exchange for the Island of Flushing, 
given with Flanders to England in exchange for Bavaria, 
given to the Emperor in exchange for Alsace, to be sur- 
rendered back to the empire of France. He startles at the 
idea of strengthening Prussia." 

" Dine en famille with Lord Gower and Lady Suther- 
land [February 15th]. Go hence to the House of Com- 
mons, expecting a long debate, in which I am completely 
disappointed, for Mr. .Fox sits down two sentences after 
our arrival, and the question is put. The ministers have, 
as might well be expected, a clear and decided majority. 
In the debate Mr. Grey was very feeble, running over old 
and useless ground, but expressed the idea that Great 
Britain should solicit peace from France, even if the 
former were in a state of humiliating distress. Mr. Pitt 
had greatly the vantage-ground, and in a discreet speech 
of some length said nothing, not being in fact called on 
to say anything. Mr. Fox endeavored to cover Mr. 
Grey's blunder by declaring that he would risk and suffer 
everything to preserve the national honor." 

"Go to Her Majesty's drawing-room [February 17th], 
and see for the first time the Princess of Wales. She has 
the eye of sense and spirit. In the evening visit at Ma- 
dame Ciricello's, where I see the Duchess of Tremouille 
and her friend Miss Faniani, who has very impressive 
eyes. The Due de Castries tells me that the King of 
France has transmitted assurances fit and proper to calm 
the apprehensions which his proclamation had raised. 
Mr. Pinckney, whom I see, shows a paper containing the 
answer of the President of the United States to the ad- 
dress of the French minister on presenting him a flag. 



I796-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 57 

This answer is not what I like, for it commits the Presi- 
dent to an approbation of the new French Constitution. 
It will work rather ill here." 

" Dine at Mr. Pinckney's [February 22d]. It is Wash- 
ington's birthday. He is sixty-four years of age. Doctor 
Roniaine tells me that he is determined to resign his 
office, and attributes it to his conviction that he would 
not be unanimously re-elected. He says, further, that 
the kind reception given by him to Randolph, for many 
days previous to the communication of M. Fauchet's 
letter, and after it was in his possession, has injured 
him in the public opinion ; that Randolph says his heart 
is black as that of Caligula, and in so saying makes some 
disciples. I fear that all is not well in our country. Mr. 
Adams, who was with me this morning, in his wrath and 
indignation at the conduct of the British Government, 
seemed absolutely mad. He breathed nothing but war, 
and was content to run into it at the hazard of our fi- 
nances and even of our Constitution. Such sentiments 
arise in him only for the moment and would not certainly 
influence his conduct ; but such language, if held to those 
who should repeat it, must do mischief here. I tell him, 
when he asserts that the administration of this country 
means ill to us, that I think they only mean good to them- 
selves, excepting always two or three men who are per- 
sonally vexed at our prosperity." 

" Go after dinner, at four [February 26th], to Lord Gow- 
er's, but he not being at home I step up to ask Lady 
Sutherland how she does. Lord Carlisle is there, and 
her ladyship tells me that her lord is down at the House 
already ; advises my going thither, and returning if I don't 
find him. I go, and meeting him on the way he puts me 
in. I stay till five before the debate begins, and till three 
when the question has been taken and is decided in favor 



158 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

of the accused minister. Mr. Pitt is certainly the best 
speaker in the House of Commons. He explains his con- 
duct in a manner highly honorable to himself, but, on the 
other hand, Fox and Sheridan, who follow him, make 
many sharp and shrewd observations." 

" Mr. Hammond tells me [March 2d] that the ratifica- 
tion of the treaty had not reached America, but only a 
copy of it. He attributes this to a neglect of Mr. Deas, 
and seems to think that the Americans here in office are 
not friendly. He also tells me that five thousand horses 
were to be purchased in America for the cavalry sent out 
from hence. This is enormous. Mr. Pinckney comes to 
see me ; he seems desirous of information, without asking 
it. I ask him if he has seen Franklin, and what accounts 
he brings. He tells me that Franklin seems to know 
nothing about public affairs in France. I ask him what 
Monroe says. He tells me that Monroe, he believes, is 
very little acquainted with what is passing. I say that I 
have reason to believe he is not now well pleased or well 
treated. He says that the government have been cool 
towards him ever since Mr. Jay's treaty ; moreover, that 
the French are now taking our vessels in the West Indies 
bound to British ports. On my mentioning my surprise 
at the number of horses bought up for the West Indies, 
he tells me that the British are purchasing in America 
all kinds of live stock they can lay hold of, of every kind. 
I dine at home and go in the evening to the opera. There 
is a very fine ballet." 

Private advices from Paris of an alarming nature hav- 
ing come to Morris, he hastened to communicate them to 
Washington on March 4th, as follows : 

" A fleet is to conduct to you the new French Minister, 
who will be directed to exact in the space of fifteen days 
a categorical answer to certain questions. What these are 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 59 

I can only conjecture, but suppose that you will, in effect, 
be called on to take part decidedly with France. Mr. 
Monroe will no doubt endeavor to convince the rulers of 
that country that such conduct will force us into the war 
against them ; but it is far from impossible that the usual 
violence of their counsels will prevail. 

" The last letter which I had the honor to write was of 
the nth January. On the subjects then mentioned I will 
only say that the French finances are quite as bad as I 
supposed they would be, that another campaign seems 
now unavoidable, and that it is so much the interest of 
some among the Allied Powers to restore royal authority 
in France that I think it will now form a real object. If 
you ask my opinion, of the chances, I will tell you that, 
properly attempted, it must, humanly speaking, be ef- 
fected." 

To Alexander Hamilton, for obvious reasons, Morris 
wrote more fully than to Washington, under the same date. 
He says : 

" I have just written to the President to communicate 
some intelligence just received from Paris. This letter is 
dated in Paris the 15th of last month. You may be sure, 
by my communicating this to you, that I have confidence 
in the sources from which it is derived. Now, my dear 
friend, I have barely stated to the President the intention 
as to the new minister. His late declaration as to the ex- 
isting Frencli Government has prevented me from saying 
a word to him on a subject where he has, I think, com- 
mitted himself. To you I will declare my conviction that 
this government cannot stand, whether the monarchy be 
restored or not. The people in general are averse to it. 
The adherents to the royal cause grow daily more numer- 
ous. If I knew decidedly the steps to be taken in aid of 
them, I could tell you almost with certainty whether they 



l6o DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

would be successful, for the state of that country now pre- 
sents sufficient data on which to reason soundly. I need 
not say to you that if the French rulers persist in the 
measures which are above mentioned America will proba- 
bly be obliged to take part in the war. On a former occa- 
sion, when they talked somewhat highly, I told them that 
they could certainly force us into the contest, but as cer- 
tainly it would be against them, let the predilection in their 
favor be ever so great, because it would be madness in us 
to risk our commerce against the navy of the world ; that 
to join them could do them no good, and must do us much 
evil. That time, they believed me. What representations 
Monroe may make I cannot pretend to divine, and much 
less the effect of them. Supposing' however, that you 
should be driven to make this election, you will naturally 
weigh not only the naval force, but also the financial re- 
sources, of the opposed powers. The noisy folks with you 
will undoubtedly be loud on our obligations to France, and 
on the long list of our grievances from England. As to 
the former, I think we should always seek to perform acts 
of kindness towards those who, at the bidding of their 
Prince, stepped forward to fight our battles. Nor would 
I ever permit a frigid reasoning on political motives to 
damp those effusions of sentiment which are as laudable 
in a nation as they are desirable in a private citizen. But 
would it be kind to support that power which tyrannizes 
over France and reduces her inhabitants to untold misery? 
Would it be grateful to mix with, much less to league 
with, those whose hands are yet red with the blood of him 
who was our real protector? Would it be decent? , As to 
the conduct of Britain towards us, although I see as clearly 
as others the ground which we have to complain, and can 
readily account for the resentments which have been ex- 
cited, yet I give due weight to the causes by which that 



1796.1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. l6l 

conduct was instigated, and if in some cases I find it un- 
justifiable, I cannot consider it as in all cases inexcusable. 
Provided, therefore, that our honor be saved, I am so far 
from thinking that the injuries we have endured should 
become the source of inextinguishable hatred and perpet- 
ual war that I would rather seek in future amity and good 
offices the fair motive for consigning them to oblivion. I 
have not, my dear Hamilton, any sucii view of our politi- 
cal machinery as to judge what may be the effect of lofty 
menace. I apprehend that some feeble counsels will be 
given. Whether they will be received and pursued you 
best know, and will doubtless act accordingly. What I 
have to ask is that you would put yourself in the way of 
being consulted ; I mean locally, for should you be at a 
distance the time may be too short for communication. 

" It is possible, after all, that the demand may turn on 
a single point, viz., that we shall no longer pretend to 
claim an exemption from seizure for those goods of an 
enemy which may be found in our ships. If so, the 
case is plain and easy. We slide back to the law of 
nations, which it is our interest to preserve unim- 
peached. Probably we shall be called on for our guar- 
antee of Santo Domingo ; and here many questions will 
arise, in the course of which we shall see, perhaps, some 
wise and virtuous slave-masters contending for the pro- 
priety of general emancipation, with all its consequent 
train of crimes. It appears certain to me that the 
French Directory would not risk high language to us 
if they had not received previous assurances that the peo- 
ple would force our Government to sacrifice the national 
interest. These assurances were, I presume, given, and 
the present plan proposed, while victory seemed yet bound 
to the French standards, and while you received official 
assurances of the prosperous state of their internal affairs. 
Vol. II.— II 



1 62 ' DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

The scene is now not only changed but almost reversed, 
and I presume the language, if not the conduct, of certain 
persons will experience a similar change." 

"To-day [March loth] Lord Gower takes an early dinner 
with me, and we go to the House of Commons. Mr. Grey 
is speaking, when we arrive, in support of his motion to 
go into a committee of the whole House on the state of 
the nation. The general ground of his argument is that 
thirty-five millions have already been expended under au- 
thority of Parliament in prosecution of the war, but that 
there remain thirty-one millions unauthorized ; that in this 
unprecedented waste of money the nation has gained 
nothing, and that if a peace were immediately concluded 
the annual taxes must be raised to the amount of twenty- 
one millions for a peace establishment. Mr. Jenkinson 
and Mr. Steele reply (with some ethers). Jenkinson is 
the chief, who compares the expense of this war with that 
of the last, contends that much more has been done for 
the money spent, and that they have had to contend with 
a nation who has spent in the contest not merely her rev- 
enue but her capital ; that, notwithstanding that nation's 
unprecedented exertions, her marine is ruined. Mr. Grey 
makes a very able reply, but on division a great majority 
join in rejecting his motion. Neither Pitt nor Fox took 
part in this debate — each reserving himself to reply to 
tlie other. I think the former is outgeneralled, for Grey's 
speech will make impression out of doors." 

"I go to Court [March 17th], which is very brilliant — 
more so than on the birthday. As I am about to come 
away Lord Grenville comes in, with whom I have some 
conversation. I think there will be no expedition against 
the coast of France this season. They cannot find force 
for the purpose here, and they are, I believe, cured of 
small attempts. I dine at home, and go in the evening to 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 163 

Lady Louisa Macdonald's rout. Am presented to the 
noted Mrs. Montague, and by accident to the Archbishop 
of York. Lady Sutherland presents me to Lady Carlisle, 
her sister-in-law, as is, indeed, Lady Macdonald." 

"Go this evening [April 9th] to a conversazione at Mrs, 
Montague's.* It is one of the finest houses in London ; 
and, indeed, there is a room in which we sat that, if less 
gilt, would be very fine. There is much good company 
here. The old lady is indisposed, but still indefatigable 
in doing the honors of her company. The ancient Miss 
Morris is here, who continues to claim kindred." 

" This morning [April 14th] I go to the Queen's draw- 
ing-room. They are in high spirits. Count Staremberg, 
who is overjoyed at the answer of the French Directory, 
speaks of it to the Queen as being a piece of very good 
news. She prudently answers in German, on which I 
tell her that I think she was right in speaking that lan- 
guage upon that occasion. ' I believe it was prudent.' 
* Yes, madam, much more so than the speech to which you 
replied.' The King, however, is very open to Count Wo- 
ronzow, and to me, who arrive while they are in the discus- 
sion. He afterwards talks on the subject of finance with 
much good sense, but in English, so that Woronzow does 
not get his share of it." 

"Accounts are received [April 27th] of an important 
victory obtained by the French in Italy. After sitting a 
while with Lady Sutherland, who is to go to Court this 
day, I walk with Lord Gower to the Exhibition Room, and 
thence from the terrace of Somerset House take a view 

* Elizabeth Montague for many years drew about her, ir> her beautiful 
house in Portman Square, London, all the celebrated men of her time. 
Burke, Johnson, Goldsmith, and Sir Joshua Reynolds were numbered among 
her guests. She is said to have been the founder of the literary society 
called the " Blue Stocking Club." Her principal literary work is an essay on 
the genius and writings of Shakespeare. She died in 1800. 



l64 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

of London and Westminster. Few things of the kind are 
so fine. The Blackfriars and Westminster Bridges, St. 
Paul's and Westminster Abbey, the Tower, and shipping 
whose masts form a grove in that quarter, are distinct and 
striking features in the view. We go from thence to St. 
Paul's to see the monuments of Howard and Dr. Johnson. 
We hear, also, part of the evening service. The sound of 
the organ in the dome is prodigiously solemn. Walk 
home, where I do not arrive till half-past four, and then 
fatigued. Dress, take a short ride in the park, and go to 
Mr. Church's to dinner, where I arrive the first of his 
guests. The Duke de Laval dines here. Church says the 
expenditures for the quarter ending the first of April are 
already fifteen millions. If this be so, and (as he insists) 
a like expenditure is to continue, this country can by no 
possibility support the war," 

" I go to Wimbledon to dine with Lord Gower [April 
30th], and meet Mr. Dundas. Mr. Pitt is of the party, 
which is as lively as can be expected with Ministers of 
State. A list of the Austrian and French armies gives to 
the former a great superiority of force. It is official, being 
from the returns of the Austrians, and the last informa- 
tion they have been able to obtain respecting the force of 
their enemy. I do not, however, believe in it. Mr. Pitt 
thinks that in the late affairs between the French and the 
Allies in Italy, the former boast of victories not obtained, 
and which will prove different, perhaps opposite, to the 
French accounts. I think he flatters himself too much, 
though I have no doubt that the Executive Directory have 
exaggerated." 

" The Duke of Montrose calls on me [May 2d], and sits 
a little while. At four I take some cold meat with him, 
and we go down together to the House of Lords, where the 
Marquis of Lansdowne makes a strange speech, and still 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 65 

Stranger motion. Lord Grenville replies very strongly 
and very well. Lord Lauderdale cracks away in support 
of the Marquis, at a great rate. Lord Kinnaird stammers 
out a lame speech, which has luckily the merit of being 
short. Lord Moira makes a few observations very hand- 
somely in reply to Lord Auckland, who had, as it were, 
read a puffing note on the state of the country. The Lord 
Chancellor intended a neat speech, but, being much pes- 
tered by the cry of ' Hear ! hear ! ' from Lord Lauderdale, 
he lost the thread of his discourse. However, he said 
enough to vex both him and Lord Lansdowne. Lord Lau- 
derdale in consequence replied with much of heat and 
flash, charging the other with marching by crooked paths 
to the attainment of power. The Chancellor explained, 
being much hurt, or, rather, he faintly stated why he would 
not enter into explanation as to his conduct, which was 
sufficiently before the public eye for the judgment of man- 
kind, and which was, at any rate, entitled to self-approba- 
tion. Lord Lansdowne then concluded by a speech in 
support of his motion, after which the House divided, and 
the Duke brought me home." 

" The Due de Laval comes [May 5thJ, and I take him 
to M. de Spinola's, and examine the map of the Maritime 
Alps territory of Genoa containing the scene of the late 
action between the French and Austrians. By the ac- 
counts, it appears that the latter had suffered severely from 
having extended their line too much and pushed their 
left wing too far forward. Dine at home, and then go 
down to the House of Commons. Lord Govver tells me 
there will be no debate this day, the business being post- 
poned till to-morrow. Set him down, and then go to Mr. 
Pinckney's to get off my engagement for to-morrow's din- 
ner. Call on Mrs. Marshal, take a ride in the park, and 
then go to Lord Gower's, where I pass the early part of 



1 66 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

the evening with him, the Chief Baron Macdonald, and 
their ladies." 

"Lord Gower calls this morning [May 6th]. Dine 
early, call for him, and we go down together to the House 
of Commons. Mr. Grey makes a violent speech, attacking 
the Minister as an impeachable offence for that he had 
.left unpaid near two years sums granted for particular 
purposes, and applied them to other purposes.. Mr. Pitt 
confesses the fact, and triumphantly justifies. His answer 
is very able, and quite convincing. Mr. Fox replies in a 
speech full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The 
Opposition have nevertheless thirty-eight votes. Colonel 
Bastard and I walk a great part of the way home together. 
He (as we are speaking of America) says we have bullied 
them, to which I reply that we had, on the contrary, borne 
more from them than any one nation ought ever to bear 
from another, and having mentioned the unjustifiable 
capture, come next to the incitation of the Indians against 
us. He, on the part of Simcoe (who is, I find, his intimate 
friend), denies his concern in it, but admits his desire to 
keep the posts lately added de novo as the means of ex- 
tending the British Empire in that quarter. He says that 
their hopes are now at an end, for that Vermont has con- 
nected itself with the United States, and, moreover, that 
they have used Kentucky very ill, whose agents were in 
this country, and who was inclined to unite with them. 
I must (if occasion favors) again turn the conversation 
with him to this same topic. 

" Call on Sir John Sinclair [May 9th], and see a model 
of a threshing-machine. See, also, Mr. Arthur Young.* 
Mr. R. Penn and Major Barclay dine with me. The latter, 
as I am taking him home, lets out some bile respecting 
America, and in particular says that the powers of Europe 
* The author of Travels through France in 1789. 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 67 

must certainly prevent it from becoming a great power. 
Above all, we must not be permitted to have a fleet. I 
go to Mrs. Montague's, where I pass the evening." 

*' After dinner [May loth] I go to the House of Com- 
mons, and there I hear the close of Fox's speech, together 
with the able refutation of it by Pitt. He has the advan- 
tage in argument greatly, thanks to the French Directory, 
and also to ill-judged measures and unfounded principles 
of his opponents." 

"This morning [May 17th] I walk out to Kensington, 
and call on Madame de Graave, who tells me of an in- 
tended marriage between Madame de Flahaut and M, de 
Souza ; also of a coldness between him and her respecting 
the Duke of Orleans. I presume that he has been un peu 
mysi&ieux, and she un peu legire a cet egard. He is a little 
compromised, it seems, in Walkier's bankruptcy. Dine at 
Lord Breadalbane's, where is a Mr. McLeod, a man of much 
interesting anecdote, which rumbles on in a Scotch accent 
badly concealed. He tries to talk English, and thinks he 
succeeds. Puisignieu described to me, with a kind of 
horror, the uncouth manners of two young men fresh from 
France, their irreverence, etc. Mr. Clavering, who dined 
at Lord Breadalbane's, mentioned circumstances in the 
marriage of the Prince of Wales which show that a story 
I heard of their extreme disunion is not unfounded." 

"Dine [May 21st] with Mrs. Vassal, and pass the evening 
there. Her son-in-law, Sir Godfrey something Webster,* 
is here, whose lady is on her route from Italy, accompanied 
by Lord Holland. Monsieur le mari seems quite unsus- 
picious and unconcerned. A very large party at cards." 

* Lady Webster, afterward divorced from Sir Godfrey, became the wife 
of Lord Holland, and was the friend of Sydney Smith, of Macaulay, and of a 
dozen others of the distinguished men of the early part of this century, and 
for many years the presiding genius of Holland House. 



I 



1 68 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIV. 

" I dine with Sir John Sinclair [May 23d]. He has here 
a Mr. Irvin, whom I remember of a long time ago. It was 
he who formerly contended that the people of this island 
should be forced by starvation to provide a sufficiency of 
bread from their own soil. He has still the same feeling 
with regard to America. A Mr. Strickland, who has just 
come from that country, holds different ideas." 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 169 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

Morris goes to Switzerland in June, 1796. Lord Granville provides him 
with letters. Altona. The Duke of Orleans. Journey to Berlin. 
Berlin. Count de Haugwitz. Conversation with M. Kalitchoff. 
Dines with Prince Ferdinand. Introduced to the Princess Dowager of 
Hesse. Dines with Count Haugwitz. First of a series of letters to 
Lord Grenville. Dines with the Russian minister. Long conversa- 
tion. Madame de Nadaillac. Letter to Lady Sutherland. Letter 
to Lord Grenville. Dinner at Lord Elgin's. An announcement of 
• a victory of the French at Brescia. An evening at Prince Ferdinand's. 
Dines with Marshal Von Mbllendorf. Leaves Berlin. 

IN June of this year Morris was suddenly called, by 
some " indispensable circumstances, to take a jour- 
ney into Switzerland ; and my sense of propriety," he 
wrote to Washington, " induces me to make the long and 
inconvenient circuit of Hamburg in preference to the 
short cut through France." In this same letter he said : 
" Short as this letter is, I must not close without the tedious 
repetition how important I conceive it to be that you 
should continue in office. Would you require a very strong 
reason indeed ? You yourself shall give it from the last 
four months of our history, and I will freely consent to 
your retirement when you can designate a successor who 
will truly hold the sentiments and pursue the conduct 
mentioned in yours of December. But even then you 
ought to consider that it is not given to every man to 
bend the bow of Ulysses, whatever may be his wishes or 
intentions, and well know that weight of character is, 
in arduous circumstances, quite as useful as strength of 



I/O DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

mind. God grant you long life and good health ; the rest 
you will take care of. Farewell. I am, ever yours." 

Morris left London on the 7th of June for Switzerland, 
having previously taken leave of the king, paptaken of 
farewell dinners with various friends, and conversed with 
Lord Grenville, "which conversation, though short," he 
says, "amounts nevertheless to a great deal in sub- 
stance." He left amply provided by Lord Grenville with 
letters. 

After the various vicissitudes experienced at that time 
when crossing the North Sea from Gravesend to Altona in 
a Dutch sailing-vessel — "sleeping in a so-called bed upon 
a mattress about two feet too short, with no sheets and 
but two blankets," with a pretty fresh wind and "all sail 
left standing so as to avoid the trouble of taking them 
in and setting them again," Morris arrived safely at Al- 
tona, June i2th. "The vis inertia of the Dutchman nearly 
cost me my horses. At four I hear them stamping and 
struggling upon deck. They tumble down, break the 
frail stalls which had been built for them, and such is 
the list of the ship that it is with difficulty they can, when 
clear of the wreck, keep upon their legs. I go to my old 
quarters at Altona, but, alack ! fhey are taken, and, what is 
worse, my landlord is not at home, so that I know not 
whether any lodgings are taken for me elsewhere. Fi- 
nally, I have my baggage brought to the King of England 
Hotel. Everything is, I find, become dearer since I left 
this place, or else the expectations of the innkeeper are 
greatly raised by the concourse of strangers. I meet M. 
Dumas this morning in the street ; he regrets not having 
believed what I told him about the assignats." 

"A M. Macon, aide-de-camp to M. de Lafayette, calls on 
me [June 20th], and consumes a great deal of my time in 
recounting projects to get him out of prison. He is to 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I/I 

send me some papers relating to his confinement, etc. I 
write less than I ought, owing to this interruption, and 
then go and partake of an indifferent dinner at Madame 
de Flahaut's. Miss Mathiesen gives me a lesson in the 
German language. Take Madame de Flahaut driving, 
and, chemin faisant, she tells me her whereabouts with her 
Portuguese lover, M. Souza." 

"This morning [June 29th] the Abb^ de St..Far calls on 
me, and then M. de Montjoie, whom I accompany to his 
lodgings, and see there the Duke of Orleans, with whom I 
converse on his situation and future prospects. He is to 
breakfast with me to-morrow. Return home, and, as I am 
in a hurry, fearing to be late for an appointment, I hurt 
my foot on the wretched pavement of this town. The 
Abbe de St. Far does not come until a long half-hour after 
my return. We dine together at the restaurateur's, and 
go thence to Madame de Flahaut's." 

" This morning [June 30th] MM. Montjoie and d'Or- 
leans breakfast with me. Settle the proper arrange- 
ments with the latter, and take him home in my way to 
dinner at Mr. Parish's. A large company here to a turtle, 
and Mr. Ross, the gendre de la maison, makes us drink an 
immense dose of claret. Play at whist, and return home 
late. I observe that M. Bonaparte has, in a late address to 
the Tyrolese, imitated in some measure the famous proc- 
lamation of the Duke of Brunswick. Those who found 
the latter horrible, admire the former for its energy. Such 
is the justice and impartiality of mankind. If I judge 
rightly of those mountaineers, M. Bonaparte will not find 
favor with them, and, after committing himself by such 
sanguinary declaration, he will, by adhering to it, excite 
indignation, or, by abandoning it, contempt." 

"This morning [July 12th] I am up at three o'clock, 
and, after much fatigue in hurrying my servants packing 



172 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

up, I at length get off at five on my journey to Berlin. 
At Fehrbellin I take post-horses, so as to spare my own 
young cattle. The waagemeister tries to make me pay for 
one more horse than I ordered. He considers himself a 
man of genius, and so, to show that genius, is very elo- 
quent on every occasion, in the very worst dialect of the 
German language. He is a very great patriot as far as the 
abuse of kings, nobles, priests, etc., may go, and, with high 
pretensions to superiority over his fellow-servants, is dis- 
posed to consider himself on a level with his master. He 
says he despises Prussia and its government so much 
that he never troubled himself to inquire about Berlin, etc. 
However, as he sits next the postilion, this one tells him 
that postilions are forbidden to smoke through the forest ; 
that the jagers, if they see them do it, take away their pipes, 
but yet the jagers themselves smoke. He tells me this 
with much zeal and emphasis, to prove the oppression of 
the government. What a barbarous law against the poor. 
I humbly represent to him that the poor depend much for 
fuel on these forests, which may be quite consumed by the 
carelessness of a postilion ; that there is no great hard- 
ship in being deprived of the use of a pipe while a man 
rides from one stage to another ; that it would be, per- 
haps, a useful regulation of police to prohibit smoking 
anywhere, except in the apartments of a house, because 
villages may be consumed by it, and remind him of our 
anxiety on shipboard lest the smokers should set the 
hay on fire. He takes his departure from this point by 
asserting that there is much more danger from the use 
of flambeaux behind noblemen's carriages. I then again 
liumbly represent to him that in the dark, rainy, or snowy 
nights of winter, numerous carriages, driving about in 
every direction and through narrow streets, without lights, 
might not only injure each other but prove fatal to foot- 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1/3 

passengers ; wherefore it might be a useful regulation of 
police to oblige those who use carriages to exhibit lights. 
On the whole, I desire him to inquire whether a noble- 
man be not equally forbidden, with all others, to smoke in 
the forest. After some consultation with the postilion, 
he exults in the discovery that, though the law be general, 
yet the jagers do not take away the noblemen's pipes. 
Take leave to suggest that, when a government makes just 
and equal laws, it cannot be blamed merely because some 
of those to whom the execution is intrusted wink at the 
breach of them ; that we ourselves, on entering the fron- 
tier, found it convenient to encourage the officers in their 
delinquency by way of expediting our journey. Here 
again, filled with patriotic zeal, he complains that the port- 
manteau of a foot-passenger would have been examined. 
I do not find it worth while to continue the conversation 
further than to suggest that the blame here, if any, falls 
on the officer and not on the prince ; besides, that one who 
travels in a chariot and four is not likely to smuggle. But 
the postilion makes the best commentary on the subject 
by lighting his pipe, and as the smoke flies in the other's 
face and incommodes him not a little, I simply observe 
that the poor can elude the laws as well as the rich. The 
postilion smokes on with great fervor, till the patriot 
loses all patience, and would, I am persuaded, if armed at 
this instant with legislative power, make it felony to 
smoke at all. I cannot help meditating again on this oc- 
casion (as on a thousand others) upon the manner in which 
travels are written. A man has adopted some system of 
morality or politics or religion, either from habit or 
whim, and, in the plenitude of his own infallibility, goes 
on condemning the practice of every other person and 
nation, catches up single incidents and converts them into 
general • data, by way of supporting his hypothesis, and, 



1/4 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

fixing on special inhibitions without seeking the reason of 
the law, condemns the legislator for those things which 
most merit applause, and there where he shows himself a 
provident parent, the self-conceited satirist marks him as 
the object of detestation." 

"At seven [July 17th] we reach the Hotel de Russie at 
Berlin. The appearance of this town is magnificent, and 
at the same time there is an air of dissoluteness which is 
striking. It reminds me at once of the Palais Royal. 
They say that a hotter season was never known here. 
Nous verrons.^'' 

"In the afternoon [July i8th] visit the ministers of Por- 
tugal, Spain, and Russia, whom I see ; then the British 
minister, who is not at home, so I leave my letter for him ; 
so, also, for MM. Guillaume de Humboldt and Schmidt. 
Count Haugwitz desires I will come to-morrow at eleven. 
Go from M. Schmidt's to Madame de Nadaillac's, who 
reproaches me for not coming sooner etc. Stay till 
twelve o'clock ; a small party there a la fran^aise. The 
weather this day is warm, though not quite so hot as the 
two preceding days. I observe, in driving through this 
great unpeopled town, that the greater part of it is built 
of brick, plastered over to imitate freestone. The plaster- 
ing already falls off in many places. In effect, it is em- 
blematical of the empire over which it presides. The im- 
mense appearances, I think, want solidity, and this power 
must (unless upheld by the same genius and talents with 
those to which it owes its birth) soon fade away, and 
figure hereafter in history as one of those grand operas 
which have amused generations long since mingled with 
the dust, and of which no traces are now to be found. 
And yet the present situation of affairs would, if duly im- 
proved, furnish the means which are wanting {tin arrondisse- 
ment) to make of Prussia a permanent power." 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I75 

"I am engaged to wait on Count Haugvvitz * [July 
19th], which I do at eleven, for the people of this country 
are early. He seems to be a sensible man. Our con- 
versation is, of course, on the current affairs. I tell him 
that I consider Prussia mistress, in the present circum- 
stances, of the fate of Europe, and throw out the idea that 
Hanover appears to me necessary to the due consistency 
of the Prussian Empire. I see that this is a favorite idea. 
He asks me by what means that acquisition is to be made, 
and I suggest the exchange of it for Flanders, as a trans- 
action which might perhaps be suitable to all parties. He 
seems t|o consider that object as environed by much of 
embarrassment, and it seems to me that this arises from 
the length to which they have gone in connection with 
France. He wishes to know the reason why money is so 
scarce in England, and I tell him the different causes of 
scarcity and the circumstances which have placed it so 
much in evidence. I terminate the conversation, which is 
leading into length, by taking leave of him. If he wishes 
anything further, he will seek it. But his chief (Bischofs- 
werder f ) being with the King in Pyrmont, it is probable 
he will leave all this just where it is. We considered a 
little the probable state of France in time to come. I go 
from hence to see Madame de Nadaillac, and take her to 
dine with the Portuguese minister. After dinner visit her 
son at his pension, and we then ride in the park toge- 
ther. Un pen iendre, mats rien de conclusif. I learn that the 
King is as much in the hands of common women as ever 
Louis XV. was, and still more — if possible. The great 

* Christian Heinrich Karl Haugwitz, a Prussian statesman, was sent as 
Ambassador to the Court of Vienna, in 1790, and became Minister of For- 
eign Affairs in 1792. He favored an alliance with France, and was super- 
seded by Hardenburg in 1807. Born in 1752, he died in 1832. 

+ Joseph von Bischofswerder, Prussian officer and statesman under Freder- 
ick William II., employed in important negotiations. 



1/6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

events which occupy just now the attention of this capit.al 
are the exilings of abandoned women and actresses, etc. ; 
high-handed acts of authority, exercised towards very in- 
significant persons and on very trivial occasions, serving 
to excite at once contempt, disgust, and aversion ; but 
there are more than twenty-five thousand troops, well dis- 
ciplined and appointed, to preserve the majesty of the 
Empire. This town is built on such a dead level that the 
gutters do not carry off the water, and, of course, the stench 
is great and disagreeable, probably most unwholesome." 

" M. Kalitchoff wished to know [July 22d] whether I 
thought anything could be done to serve the wandering 
chief of the House of Bourbon.* I tell him that in my 
opinion he has nothing left but to try and get shot, re- 
deeming by valor the foregone follies of liis conduct. This, 
if he fails, will rescue his memory from reproach, and if 
fate directs away the shot aimed at his life it may restore 
him to the good opinion of his nation ; that there is very 
little chance of his being called to the throne of his an- 
cestors, but if any, it is only to be secured by such val- 
orous conduct as may command the respect of the French. 
The Russian minister wishes to continue a conversation 
which I commenced with him the other day, so I go on 
and explain, under the various hypotheses which present 
themselves, what I conceive possible for the different 
powers of Europe. M. d'Escar dines with me, and after 
dinner I go to M. de Humboldt's, who takes me to see 
Madame de Berg. Go from thence to Madame de Nadail- 
lac's, who takes me to tea at Madame de Haugwitz's. 
The Spanish minister says that the people of Rome are 
extremely vexed at the peace made with the French by 
the Pope." 

* The Comte de Provence, afterward Louis XVIIL , who came to the throne 
in 1814. 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1/7 

"This morning [July 23d] M. de Humboldt calls on me, 
and we go together to see a monument raised by the pres- 
ent King to his natural son. I dine (very much against 
my will) with Prince Ferdinand. I was engaged to a very 
agreeable party, but it seems that their Highnesses must 
never be denied unless it is from indisposition. I had, 
however, written a note declining the intended honor, but 
the messenger, upon looking at it, for it was a letter patent 
like the invitation, said he could not deliver it, that no- 
body ever refused, etc. — all which I was informed of after 
he was gone, and on consulting found I must go or give 
mortal offence, which last I have no inclination to do ; so 
I write another note and send out to hunt up the messen- 
ger. While I am abroad this untoward incident is ar- 
ranged, and of course I am at Bellevue. This prince re- 
sembles the picture of his brother, the late king, but 
has by no means the same expression of countenance. 
The princess is tolerably well-looking, now that she is 
made up, and the children are rather handsome than oth- 
erwise. It is said that their progenitor was one Schmit- 
tau, aide-de-camp to old Frederick, Old Ferdinand has at 
least the exterior of regard to this acquired offspring. 
The princess is overjoyed at a piece of news she has just 
heard, in sucl^ way as proves that it is a fabrication to 
amuse her, by some courtier who knows the gentle feel- 
ings of her breast. A traveller, it seems, is arrived, who 
heard from the servant of some other traveller that in 
a popular commotion at Vienna, consequent on the late 
ill-success of the Austrian arms, the Emperor has been 
massacred by the mob. She says it is a pity, for he, a 
good sort of creature, innocent cause of all the evils 
which Europe groans under, and, moreover, being already 
afflicted with a pectoral complaint, must naturally perish 
in no distant period, if his days be not already shortened 
Vol. IL — 12 



178 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

by the catastrophe she has just heard. This Court of 
Ferdinand abounds in such news, and from the same 
cause, of whi£;h a late instance is said to have produced a 
good anecdote. Somebody had contrived to make the 
whole host of Cond^ prisoners, and then to put them all 
to the sword by the victorious republicans. Elated by so 
splendid an affair, the princess sent to M. Caillard, the 
Minister of the Republic, to know if it was true ; and he 
in reply is said to have written that he had not the slight- 
est information of so bloody an event, which it was to be 
hoped, for the sake of humanity, was not true. I sit at 
table next to a M. Percival, brother to Madame de Van- 
noise. He says that he knew me in the society of Madame 
de Laborde, of the Carrousel, at Paris. He brought here 
the diamond called the * Regent,' to be pledged for a loan, 
which has been obtained for the new Republic. He as- 
sures me that his sentiments are still pure, and those of 
M. Caillard also. Asks permission to wait on me, and to 
make me acquainted with M. Caillard. I shall be very 
happy, etc., but apprise him that I am not at all agree- 
able to his government, and therefore leave it to him 
to consult with M. Caillard how far it may be proper 
to risk seeing me. He seems very desirous. This af- 
ternoon the ministers of Spain and Portugal, with the 
Marquise de Nadaillac and Baron d'Escar go to the 
garden at Charlottenburg, which they are so kind as to 
show me, and afterwards we take tea with Mrs. Brown, the 
wife of the King's physician — an English family. Here 
I see Princess Augusta, youngest daughter of His Prus- 
sian Majesty, who seems desirous to please. The garden 
of Charlottenburg is tolerable, and that is all. On our re- 
turn, speaking of the arrangements of old Frederick about 
his posterity, the Baron d'Escar tells me the history of the 
present King of Sweden, who is the illegitimate son of 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1/9 

the Duchess of Sudermania. Louis XV. was said to be 
the son of a M. de Nangis. The questions raised as to 
the legitimacy of the late Dauphin are buried now in the 
tomb which encloses the ashes of that unfortunate child. 
From what source is to flow the new line of Gallic mon- 
archs?" 

" I am introduced to-day [July 24th] to the Princess 
Dowager of Hesse, who being desirous to know what will 
probably result from the progress of the French arms, I 
tell her that the little princes along the Rhine must lay 
their account in being the humble servants of the Repub- 
lic. She does not like this. Prince Frederick says the 
proclamation of the Duke of Brunswick * was forced upon 
him by the King, acting with the advice of Shulemberg, 

who adopted the plan given by ; that the conduct of 

the campaign was contrary to the advice of his brother, 
Prince Henry, who recommended assembling the army on 
the frontier, and declaring to the French nation that it 
was not intended to invade them, much less to dismember 
the kingdom, but merely to re-establish the monarchy. 
This plan would not have succeeded better than the other ; 
at least, I think not. But all the past is now consigned 
to the facts of history. As to the future, it is in the hands 
of that Supreme Intelligence which mocks the prudence 
of man, and his cunning, which we presume to dignify 
with the name of wisdom." 

" Call on Madame de Nadaillac [July 25th]. The Baron 
d'Escar comes in. He seems a little hurt. Dine at home, 
and call after dinner to take her out to ride. He is there, 
and has the same air. He wishes to marry her, a foolish 
thing for both of them, but he is in love and can't see it. 
She, who is not, opposes but pities him. I advise her to 

* William Duke of Brunswick married Augusta, sister of George III. of 
England. 



l8o DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

love me, which she seems inclined to, but reason steps in 
to advise her against it. She has preserved herself pure 
from a man she was much attached to during her hus- 
band's life by respect for the marriage vow ; she has re- 
sisted the King of Prussia, who offered the honors of the 
handlcerchief, and Prince Louis, whose letters she shows 
me proving that fact. It would be ridiculous to succumb 
now to a voyageur who treats everything lightly, and yet 
such a thing might happen. She gives me the character 
of the ministers and monarch conformably to what I had 
previously heard among the members of the Corps Di- 
plomatique. The Baron, who comes after our return, has 
an air of despondency which touches me, and which is far 
from being changed by perceiving, in the countenance of 
the fair, marks of sentiment which he cannot excite." 

"The Vicomte d'Anadia and Chevalier de Borghese 
breakfast with me [July 26th].' The latter tells me that 
the French are at their old work of destroying nobility in 
Italy. Perhaps some persons not yet involved in the mis- 
chief may awaken, but as yet the sleep appears profound. 
When they are gone I call on Lord Elgin,* and we con- 
verse fully on the present state of affairs. He considers 
the Prussian Cabinet as being completely in the hands of 
France, and, moreover, as being too feeble, from the per- 
sonal character of the King, to undertake and pursue any 
great plan of politics. He says they will confine them- 
selves to the peculation of towns and districts from time 
to time, so as to keep up the attention and flatter the avid- 
ity of the Prussian monarch and nation, without risking 
the chances of remote events for any permanent interest. 

* Lord Elgin was envoy at the Court of Berlin from 1795 to 1799, whence he 
proceeded to Constantinople in the same capacity. To this latter appoint- 
ment is owed the collection and transportation to England of the Elgin 
marbles and other treasures of art now in the British Museum. 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. l8l 

He thinks also that Russia will not assent to any arrange- 
ment which may give an increase of power to this mon- 
archy. Things seem, however, to press pretty hard, and, 
in my opinion, if a decisive conduct be not speedily adopt- 
ed, all future efforts will be useless. If, however, a con- 
siderable battle should be gained against the French in 
Upper Suabia, it would totally change the face of affairs. 
Lord Elgin says he is upon the scent of what has passed 
in Pyrmont. I fancy the public will know it as soon as 
anybody ; for if, in effect, there be any plan adopted there, 
its execution must be prompt and immediate. He gives 
me the history of the little stories of women which have 
lately emanated from the King of the Bulgarians. Evi- 
dently he must be a very weak Prince, and if he be placed 
in arduous circumstances he must be ruined. I take Ma- 
dame de Nadaillac to dinner at M. Haugwitz's. A petit 
diner, after which some conversation with him. In the 
course of it we agree that the situation of Europe is very 
critical ; that the German Empire is, in effect, annihilated, 
and the name of it only useful to those who, in the inter- 
val which precedes its public dissolution, know how to 
possess themselves of its spoils ; that this idea formed the 
basis of that policy pursued by old Fritz when he put 
himself at the head of a Germanic Confederation ; that 
the possession of Mayence by the French opens for them 
a road into the heart of Germany, and that the fate of 
Europe is in the hands of the Prussian Cabinet. I ob- 
serve to him that, however it may have been in the inter- 
est of this Court to depress the Austrian power, it seems 
by no means advisable to overturn it, and that the exten- 
sion of the power of France, though very pleasing to us 
Americans and republicans, cannot be perfectly so to the 
kings and nobles of Europe, who will probably see the 
anticipation of their own fate in ancient history, and may 



1 82 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

perhaps already perceive that the Republic of France is 
not much more respectful in its conduct than was ancient 
Rome. He does not feel pleasantly under this, but says, 
as to the conduct of this kingdom, they must wait and let 
others come to them {laisser venir), which may be trans- 
lated ' bid at their auction.' I applaud the wisdom of this 
idea, which might, however, be characterized by a name 
less noble, and only add that if they suffer matters to go 
one-half inch beyond their means of arresting the prog- 
ress, from that moment they are lost ; just as all those 
have been hitherto ruined who, in a like indolence, have 
looked on indifferent at the fate of their neighbors. He 
tells me that Saxony wishes now to connect herself feder- 
atively with Prussia. He does not say, neither do I ask, 
what may be the success of such proposal, because I pre- 
sume that the sense of the French Directory must be first 
known. I tell him that there is one circumstance well 
worthy of their attention, viz., that the French Govern- 
ment, apprehensive lest the army should overturn them 
and establish the authority of a military chief, cannot but 
desire the destruction of that army previous to a peace, 
and of course that it would be a leading point of policy 
with them to re-establish Poland, in the course of which 
Russia and Prussia could not do them a greater favor 
than to kill their troops. This conception seems never to 
have entered into people's heads here, so difficult is it to 
comprehend what passes before our eyes." 

" Dine [July 27th] with Lord Elgin, who learns that a 
truce of nineteen days has taken place between Austria 
and France. He communicates to me whatever he knows 
of the situation of things ; is to call on M. d'Alvensleben,* 
who hitherto has been the greatest enemy of the British 
Court." 
* Philip Charles Comte d'Alvensleben, diplomatist in the service of Prussia. 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 83 

" I dine at M. Schmidt's at Charlottenburg [July 28th]. 
We have a large company. Lord Elgin tells me the re- 
sult of his conference with M. d'Alvensleben, which is far 
more satisfactory than he expected. I go to Prince Fer- 
dinand's. The Princess not being at home, I await her 
return." 

** This morning [July 29th] I read, and write a letter. 
Call on the Portuguese and British ministers. Dine with 
Madame de Nadaillac. Her friend and adorer the Baron 
d'Escar dines also with us. She would have been as well 
content if he had not come. After dinner we go together 
to the rout of Madame de Haugvvitz, which is just like all 
other things of the same sort. After our return we are 
unpen froids^ and then trh animis, but the sound of the 
Baron's boots leaves everything undecided. She has what 
the French call une tete exaltde, and the struggle between 
her reasonings and her -wishes gives no small interest. 
Au teste, things must take their course sans que je m'en 
mile, for it is chance which usually decides." 

During his visit at Berlin, Morris, in fulfilment of a 
promise made to Lord Grenville before he left London, 
commenced a series of letters to his lordship in which, he 
gave him information of the state of Europe and of the feel- 
ing of the various court circles in which he moved. The 
first of the series was dated July 28th, and in a very straight- 
forward manner he set before his lordship the state of feel- 
ing at the Court of Berlin, and the " object, which is, my 
lord," he says, " to possess the King's electoral dominions ; 
and," he continues, " they will accomplish it unless you can 
reduce their power to a second order. The German Empire 
still exists in name, but in fact it is annihilated. Those 
who calculate on former establishments neglecting pres- 
ent circumstances will be dupes. They may slumber be- 
hind the intrenchments of mouldy records, but the point 



1 84 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

of a Prussian bayonet will awaken them. Events in Italy 
and on the Rhine have thrown everything into confusion 
at Vienna. France may derive every advantage from it ; 
perhaps she will. This Cabinet now holds the fate of 
Europe in its hands. If you mean to have their cordial 
assistance, you must give them a consideration of perma- 
nent value. If France dictates peace to Austria, Prussia 
may perhaps risk taking Hanover, and holding it under a 
French guarantee. That will depend on the occupation 
which can be found for the Empress of Russia. She is 
not immortal. I believe it is possible to make an ar- 
rangement which will bring you to a solid and useful 
peace. If Prussia receives the King's electoral dominions 
on condition that you get the countries lying north of 
ancient France and west of the Rhine, including Dutch 
Flanders with Flushing and Berg-op-zoom ; if Prussia 
give Cleves and Prussian Gelders to the Stadtholder, 
erecting Holland into a monarchy and receiving the 
Dutch American possessions ; if the Emperor receive 
Bavaria ; and the Elector of Bavaria, in lieu of it, the 
German territory along the Rhine in possession of France, 
the Emperor leaving, for the present at least, his posses- 
sions in the Milanese to the King of Sardinia ; you sur- 
rendering to France her possessions in the East and West 
Indies, but keeping the Cape of Good Hope and Trinco- 
malee — if these things be done, Prussia becomes your 
friend from the double tie of interest and apprehension. 
Once get her at sea and you will know how to deal with 
her. The same thing may be predicted as to France, so 
far as you would hereafter work upon her fears. 

" If, on the contrary, you possess yourself of all her 
transmarine dominions, from that moment, she confining 
herself to a marine merely military, you are reduced to 
that dependence in which hitherto she has been held to 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 85 

you, because in a marine war you may lose much and 
can gain nothing. I am persuaded, my lord, that this 
Court may be brought to concur heartily in such a plan — 
which, by the by, Russia will certainly dislike, unless, 
indeed, an exchange could be made as a peace-offering to 
the Empress, giving her Finland for Norway, to be taken 
by Sweden at the expense of Denmark, which would suit 
this Cabinet so much the better as a dispute with Den- 
mark would favor projects against Hamburg, Liibeck, and 
Mecklenburg, reserving the entry into Holstein for the 
moment when Denmark should be sufficiently embar- 
rassed in her affairs to render it a mere parade instead of 
a campaign. Should a proper understanding take place 
between the courts interested on the matters above men- 
tioned, it seems to me that Prussia might come forward 
and offer her mediation on the following conditions : 
First, the status quo in Europe at a certain day past, and 
in Asia and America a certain day to come. Secondly, the 
full acknowledgment of that form of government which 
the French may think proper to adopt, and a renuncia- 
tion of all claim to interfere in their affairs. Thirdly, the 
inviolability of the rights of property. The first point 
would cut off all claims and clamors of retribution by 
merging precedent dominion in the rights of conquest. 
The second, indifferent in itself, and coupled with the first, 
would serve as a lever to raise the army and people of 
France against the government, if the mediation should 
be refused and the force of Prussia be in consequence 
once more exerted, or (if you please) once exerted, against 
France. The third point would enable this Cabinet to draw 
on negotiation into length so as to exhaust your enemy, 
in and through his finance, because new points of discus- 
sion might continually be raised and would serve as the 
ground of retribution to many emigrants, perhaps to all, 



1 86 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

and even obtain some valuable compensation to the Bour- 
bons for the royal domain. Among the many circum- 
stances which seem to call for decision, that which may 
principally interest you is the desire of France to preserve 
to herself one enemy, and that you should have that un- 
pleasant preference ; also the necessity which the gov- 
ernment lies under of employing its armies until they 
shall be reduced to a safe insignificance. Your fleet may 
preserve you from invasion, or cutting off all supplies 
from the desultory corps thrown on your coast may oper- 
ate their destruction. In so doing, you would not disserve 
the Directory. At the same time, I cannot but think that 
forty or sixty thousand victorious Frenchmen preaching 
republicanism in Britain would be very troublesome. 
But although you would preserve the kingdom free from 
injury, perhaps from attack, I do not see how you could 
preserve His Majesty's Prussian dominions. If peace be 
dictated to Austria, France and Prussia will find employ- 
ment for Russia in Turkey, in Poland, and in Sweden. 
Denmark will be awed into acquiescence or be robbed of 
her Holstein. You are cut off completely from all means 
of communication with your allies ; in short, you must de- 
pend on the good will of Russia, when her interest is only 
secondary and, even as such, remote. 

" If I were to dwell longer on these subjects I should 
write a dissertation instead of a letter, and weary you 
with details which will readily suggest themselves without 
my meddling. I pray you to believe, my lord, in my 
respectful attachment." 

" This morning [August ist] I visit the Chevalier de 
Borghese and take him to Lord Elgin's, where we dine. 
Marshal Mollendorf * is there, and M. d'Alvensleben, with 

* Richard Heinrich von Mollendorf, Prussian commander, served under 
Frederick the Great in the principal campaigns of the Seven Years' War. 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 1 87 

whom I had formerly a slight acquaintance in London at 
M. de la Luzerne's. The old field-marshal feels as if he 
could give the French a dressing, provided he was let 
loose upon them." 

" This morning [August 2d], as I go down-stairs I am 
recognized by the valet-de-chambre of the Vicomte d'Or- 
leans. This is lucky, for I wished to see him. I call (on 
foot) at Madame de Nadaillac's by appointment. She is 
in bed indisposed, and her friends, of course, are with her. 
After they are gone I sketch out a letter for her, and vex 
and please her alternately. She says it is wrong, and I am 
of her opinion. The Baron comes in, and we consider the 
letter I wrote. It will probably be useless, for these poor 
emigrants are determined, from the highest to the lowest, 
that they will always act imprudently. Dine with Lord 
Elgin. He goes out of town again at night on one of his 
amorous expeditions. I suggest very gently to him that 
in the present critical situation it may be necessary that 
he should be here. This conversation takes place at M. 
de Heinitz's, where I spend the evening, there being a 
great entertainment. From dinner I go to see the Baron 
d'Alvensleben, with whom I have a long conversation on 
the present state of things. He lets me see that he fears 
Russia, and wishes not to break with France, whose suc- 
cesses nevertheless alarm him. He, like all weak men, is 
seeking for a ground of future hope in the possible con- 
tingencies, without adverting to the means of commanding 
fortune by strong measures. I open to him fully the 
means which suggest themselves to my mind for pacify- 
ing Europe without danger, and with much gain to Prussia. 
He thinks France will not be prevailed upon to part with 
Flanders." 

In 1794 he succeeded the Duke of Brunswick as commander-in-chief of the 
Prussian Army. Died in 1816. 



1 88 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

" The Vicomte d'Orleans consumes a great part of my 
morning [August 4th]. I dine at Charlottenburg with 
M. Schmidt, and am seated next to the Comtesse de la 
Marche, a natural daughter of the King. We have a very- 
odd conversation. She tells me how she is closely watched 
by a grandmother, aunt, and governess, who are here, be- 
sides a great-aunt left at home ; ^ow the governess is 
harsh towards pleasures she never felt, having never had 
a lover, and her husband not calculated to inspire passion ; 
how her aunt, who lias had many lovers, is sly and cun- 
ning from her great experience ; how her grandmother 
scolds for the pleasure of scolding, and the old woman at 
home is also very cross ; how they have defied her to de- 
ceive them, and yet she has been for an hour together 
with a young man whom she loved, and (prodigious effort) 
allowed him only to kiss her, for which cruel coldness a 
companion she had found fault with her. After dinner 
I call on Madame de Nadaillac, where I see Madame de 
Sabran. She is much changed, and from a handsome 
woman has become coarse, masculine, with an air effronte 
which is very disagreeable. Can this be occasioned by 
her residence at Rhinesberg ? Is vice so infectious ? 
These and other questions might be curious in the solu- 
tion." 

On the 5th of August Morris wrote the second of the 
series of letters to Lord Grenville, which contained all the 
information he had gleaned since the last one was written. 

" They tremble here," he says, " at the knout, so that, 
could they persuade themselves that the Empress of Rus- 
sia would live ten years, her wishes would be their law. 
The success of the French excites apprehension, and if 
vigorous counsels prevailed you would probably hear of 
an army under Mollendorf as the prelude of an offer of 
mediation without consulting any of the belligerent pow- 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 189 

ers. As far as I can judge, they have hitherto sought for 
little things by little means, but now await the proposals 
which may be made to them. Whatever these may be, 
the adherence of Russia will greatly facilitate the adop- 
tion of them. They try to persuade themselves tiiat 
France, from internal divisions, the defect of finance, or 
pure good will, may leave them unmolested. It has been 
suggested to them that if she keep possession of Flanders, 
give up her colonies, and preserve a military marine, she 
will fear nothing from Britain, who can never afterwards 
be considered as a weight against her in the general scale 
of Europe. It would seem that this idea had not before 
presented itself, for it excited serious reflection. On their 
hope of quiet either from the interior quarrels or exterior 
good will of France, it has been observed that the former 
would (as in ancient Rome) become the constant motive to 
foreign war, and that France, like Rome, the enemy of all 
nations (especially those under kingly government), would 
grant to this, as to any other monarch, the blessings of 
her friendship till the moment marked for his destruc- 
tion. 

"In effect, my lord, I have no doubt that France, 
whether she fall under the dominion of an usurper (the 
natural termination to her present state), or whether she 
form herself into some tolerable shape of republic, may 
become dangerous to the liberty of all Europe. Should 
military despotism take place, that cheap, simple, and se- 
vere government will find abundant resources in the soil, 
climate, and industry of so fine a country. I cannot say 
absolutely that it is in your power to decide this Cabinet, 
but I believe so ; I ought to have said somewhere (and 
will say it here) that the character of this people, formed 
by a succession of rapacious princes, is turned towards 
usurpation. The war with France was disagreeable to 



190 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

them, because it melted down the accumulations of old 
Frederick, and did not present an immediate accession of 
territory. But the war with or, rather, against Poland was 
not unpopular, because the moral principles of a Prussian 
go to the possession of whatever he can acquire ; and so 
little is he the slave of what he calls vulgar prejudice, that, 
give him opportunity and means, he will spare you the 
trouble of finding a pretext. This liberality of sentiment 
greatly facilitates negotiation, for it is not necessary to 
clothe propositions in honest and decent forms. 

" It is not impossible that the Imperial troops may be at 
length victorious, and in such case the French army, if 
hotly pursued, must be destroyed. Such, at least, is the 
opinion which common-sense dictates, and which in con- 
versation with old MoUendorf he strongly confirmed. 
He went so far as to say that sixty thousand men, well 
commanded, could not fail to force the French back over 
the Rhine. With the weight of such an authority, I also 
am disposed to believe the same thing. But I do not be- 
lieve in the well commanded, and, indeed, had made up my 
mind to a part of what has happened when Prince Charles 
was appointed to succeed Claerfayt. These reiterated 
misfortunes may perhaps impel the Imperial Cabinet to 
the nomination of an abler chief, with discretionary pow- 
ers, and certainly the French, so far advanced without 
magazines, are in a critical condition. The fortune of war, 
therefore, may restore the affairs of the Allies, but how far 
it may be prudent to trust that capricious goddess is not 
for me to decide. I have said that this Court would ac- 
complish their object unless their power could be reduced 
to a second order. I was impressed with the practicability 
of such a plan in the spring of 1795, and since I have been 
here my belief amounts almost to conviction. But the 
most favorable moment has gone by, and the difficulties 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 19I 

are increased. Little can be expected from Austria, 
though everything may be hoped from the feebleness of 
the Prussian King and Cabinet. Is it to be attempted ? 
On that question I may observe that you might count on 
the cordial aid of your imperial allies, who will not so 
readily concur to aggrandize the House of Brandenburg, 
and may oppose the exchanges mentioned in my last let- 
ter. These, however, are, to the best of my judgment, most 
advisable for England, because they furnish the probable 
means of wresting the Low Countries, and securing the 
independence of Holland ; so far, at least, as Holland can 
be independent. The plan I contemplated for reducing 
Prussia was to erect a new but hereditary kingdom of Po- 
land, with a constitution as free and energetic as the moral 
state of the people may admit ; such kingdom to consist of 
the country ceded by the last partition to Austria, and the 
whole of the Prussian acquisitions, together with Prus- 
sian Silesia, a corner of Lower Lusatia, the New Marche, 
and that part of Pomerania lying east of the Oder. I have 
no question but that two hundred thousand Austrian and 
Russian troops would speedily have effected this, with the 
aid of Kosciusko and his Poles. With this, as with every 
other arrangement for permanent peace, I couple the pos- 
session of Bavaria by Austria. But, under such hypoth- 
esis, there would result a solecism in British politics. 
While, as Englishmen, you must seek and seize the means 
of reducing French power and influence, you must, as 
Germans, wish for their increase in order to secure your 
Hanover against the imperial pretensions. Hence an os- 
cillation of measures dependent on personal character. 
It is sufficient to present this idea, improper to pursue 
it. Indifferent to the fate of the German Empire, you 
miglit choose your allies according to your immediate in- 
terest. The aggrandizement of the two empires on the 



192 ' DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXX V^. 

side of Italy and Constantinople would be useful to you, 
by forming two naval powers in the Mediterranean to 
balance your constant enemies, France and Spain ; for 
Spain seems irrecoverably attached to her neighbor by 
the relation of weakness to force. Whether your popula- 
tion could resist, through a long struggle, the weight of a 
people spread out from the Alps and the Rhine to the 
Pillars of Hercules is a question I will not presume to de- 
cide. Experience has taught me a sincere faith in the 
fallacy of human opinions, and more especially of my 
own. I am, my lord, your obedient servant." 

" Call after dinner [August 7th] on the Russian Minis- 
ter, M. Kalitchoff. We have a long conversation on the 
means of restoring peace to Europe, and the influence 
which the Empress may have over this Cabinet to that ef- 
fect. I explain to him how an exchange of Hanover for 
the Low Countries will tend to secure to Russia the un- 
varying friendship of England, and he is struck with the 
force of the observation. He tells me that the want of a 
proper minister here has greatly weakened the influence 
of his Court ; that they were in the habit, before his time, 
of presenting an office, and, instead of discussing the sub- 
ject of it, to hear the reasons against it and transmit them 
to Petersburg, which had the double mischief of creating 
delay and exciting the indignation of this Court by the 
air of superiority which resulted from it. He says that 
Catherine sent an agent to Brunswick as soon as the King 
of Prussia opened a treaty with France, to oppose the ef- 
fect of it ; that a Hanoverian who was here as a simple 
chargd d'affaires prevailed on Bischofswerder to obtain 
from the King a refusal to ratify, and consequent recom- 
mencement of hostilities, provided the arrears of the Eng- 
lish subsidy be placed ready at his order in Hamburg. At 
that time Great Britain had no minister here. He com- 



1796-1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 193 

plains that the English and Russian ministers at Vienna 
are not equal to their business, for that otherwise they 
might have prevented the Austrian Cabinet from commit- 
ting many follies. He urges me to stay here a little longer 
to see what may be the state of affairs in Saxony and Bo- 
hemia, if not to learn the decisions of this Cabinet after 
the King's arrival. 

"I go from his house to visit Madame de Nadaillac. 
She tells me that the Chevalier de Borghese has told her 
the freedom of my conversation here on political subjects 
has given offence. She could not get out of him his in- 
formant, but from what he said, and which she repeats, I 
collect that if my ideas be not pushed by the powers which 
be, the ministers will be vexed at the attention they gave 
them. I mean not to stay here much longer, and during 
that time shall not say anything more unless solicited. 
Sooner or later they will find that my views are favorable 
to the peace and happiness of mankind. He has got his 
information by halves, and is certainly not in the secret of 
what passes here. Madame de Nadaillac tells me not to 
be surprised if my stay at Berlin should be irksome to the 
Cabinet. Sensible of their insignificance, and that they 
are only the clerks of their officers, they fear that the eye 
of a stranger should penetrate the arcana of their humili- 
ating condition, etc. She, like all people of imagination, 
exaggerates ; but there is a foundation of truth, and I 
place it in the apprehension that a stranger should dis- 
cover the feebleness of their internal condition. They are 
sensible that it is too late to conceal it from me, for it 
formed one strong feature of my conversation with M. 
d'Alvensleben, and it could not but be disagreeable to 
him. I had occasion also to touch on the state of the 
Cabinet, respectfully but freely, so as to show that the de- 
cisive measures which might have marked the conduct of 
Vol. II.— 13 



194 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

the King in circumstances like the present could not, per- 
haps, be safely recommended at this moment. This is also 
a bitter and unpleasant truth, which they must feel, but 
cannot like to hear ? " 

"To-day [August 8th] I dine with M. Schmidt, whose 
attentions have been unremitted and whose table is excel- 
lent. The Chevalier de BoufHers, who sees me from the 
street, comes up. He is just arrived from Poland. Time 
has worn him down since I last saw him. He puts on an 
infinity of warmth, and I preserve my natural coldness. 
In effect, I was not much pleased with his conduct before 
he left France, and still less with what I hear of him since. 
Call on Madame de Nadaillac. She has with her a May- 
en^ais, and when he leaves her she tells me his conversa- 
tion consisted in the history of his courtship and marriage. 
The first occupied several years, and at last the power of 
almighty love induced the yielding fair one to make the 
promise of her hand. They were married at eight in the 
morning, and, agreeably to the custom of the country, 
went immediately out of town ; but the same custom ren- 
dering it improper for them to ride together, his brother 
accompanied the bride, who fell in love with her on the 
way, and thus deprived his brother of his newly acquired 
treasure. This brotherly conduct speaks highly in favor 
of the manners of Mayence. Madame de Nadaillac com- 
plains that I did not come sooner, and that I leave her so 
shortly after I arrive, to go and pass a dull evening with 

Madame la Gen^rale . Talk a sort of reason to her 

which no woman can bear unless pretty well touched by 
the wicked child, and take advantage of the little ill-humor 
thus excited to leave her abruptly. She repents before I 
am out of the door, and bids me adieu by way of bringing 
me back ; but I pursue my route without a word or look, 
and in my way meet the Baron, who is, I presume, going 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 195 

thither, and will suffer under the crossness of which I am 
the cause. I come home early, so as to leave my fair friend 
time for reflection, having told her that I will leave Berlin 
in a few days." 

" This morning [August 9th], write, and dine at home. 
I received, as I expected, a note this morning from Ma- 
dame de Nadaillac, to which I answered unpen lestement, 
but yet leaving room for what actually happened. Ac- 
cording to her desire I visit her this afternoon, but, as the 
devil would have it, I meet the Chevalier de Boufflers on 
the stairs, who has been denied admission. The arrival of 
my carriage has produced a change. Madame is at home, 
but the intended tete-a-tete does not take place." 

The result of this morning's work was the following 
letter to Lady Sutherland, for whom and Lord Gower 
Morris cherished a sincere and lasting friendship. 

"Berlin, August 9, 1796, 
" Countess of Sutherland, London : 

** I shall direct this letter to you, dear lady, in London, 
though' I suppose you are enjoying the tranquillities of 
Wimbledon, where, if I had a certain wishing-cap, I should 
find myself sitting next to you, delighted to see and hear 
'you all the while, softly speak and sweetly smile.' Luck- 
ily this same cap does not fit my head, otherwise I should 
have been to you a most troublesome guest. I will not 
say anything to you on public affairs, because (and here I 
might take the credit of discretion, but prefer the humble 
truth) I am not in the secret. But when you are Prime 
Minister and take me for your principal secretary, oh, 
then, we will have rare politics ! We of the society in 
Berlin, which you will observe is a translation of la soci^t^, 
etc., are delighted at the misfortunes of the Austrian 
armies, which we attribute to the misconduct of that Cab- 



196 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

inet, a circumstance which gives us additional pleasure. 
We cannot find words to express our astonishment that the 
French, whose armies do not altogether exceed 200,000 
men, should hold Holland, conquer Italy, ravage Ger- 
many, and threaten the destruction of the House of Aus- 
tria. I recollect telling you, when I last saw you at Wim- 
bledon, that I expected no good on the Rhine, and now 
I will whisper in your ear that, if Claerfayt should be 
again sent to command the Austrian army, he would prob- 
ably drive the French beyond the Rhine faster (if pos- 
sible) than they have advanced ; and that because, very 
gayly (i la frangaise), they have thrown themselves pre- 
cipitately forward without magazines or resources, so that, 
checked in front and a small body of troops thrown on 
their left flank, they would be obliged to make off, or to 
be cut off. 

"This, however, is not what I meant to tell you ; but 
that there is somewhere in this neighborhood a poor man 
who took it into his head to fall in love with you, which 
whim, after tormenting him a sufficient time in England, 
at length drove him hither out of his senses. I do not 
recollect his name, and you, I suppose, keep no account 
of such trifles ; but truly, lady, if madness be the conse- 
quence, I am determined to get out of love, for I would 
not be mad, ye gods ! not mad ; no, not for all the pleas- 
ures which madmen only are acquainted with. It is not by 
way of whim, nor yet absolutely for the pleasure of meet- 
ing you at Vienna — though, indeed, such an idea would go 
far»to sway my judgment — but for reasons which I will 
leave Lord Gower to guess at, that I wish he were ap- 
pointed Ambassador Extraordinary to the Emperor. Per- 
haps your friend Dundas could tell you why ; perhaps 
you may guess yourself, on reading over this letter. A 
person who talked to me lately on this subject mentioned 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I97 

my Lord Malmesbury. I have been asked if Sir Morton 
Eden was considered an able man (for my accent in 
speaking induces folks to believe I am an Englishman). 
I answered^ as you may well suppose, that I knew nothing 
of the matter. Adieu, dear lady. Remember me to your 
lord, and say for me to yourself whatever you may like 
best, only observing that I won't be mad." 

"M. le Comte Gaspar^ called this morning [August 9th]. 
He dashed into politics ; is very desirous that Prussia 
should take part in the contest. He dines every day with 
Haugwitz ; was scandalized at a conversation the other 
day with Prince Louis, when Haugwitz, Major Walker, and 
himself formed the whole of the society. The ministers 
here do not want ability nor intelligence, but the weakness 
of the monarch prevents them from acting a decisive part. 
Haugwitz and Bischofswerder are very well together, and 
it is understood that all propositions not made to the for- 
mer must fall to the ground." 

Again, on the loth, Morris sent to Lord Grenville a 
budget of suggestions and hints, as follows : 

" Lord Elgin tells me that he shall send a messenger 
this evening. I will, therefore, trouble your lordship with 
some loose thoughts respecting this Court. You know 
that ever since the accession of his present Majesty * there 
have been endless intrigues to possess him, and through 
him the power of the State. These still exist, and are pur- 
sued with unceasing attention, so that no great plan of 
conduct can be adopted, from the fear that some untoward 
incident should disgust the monarch before things could 
be brought to issue, in which case the advisers and sup- 
porters of the plan would be overturned. It is from this 
very circumstance that I think it possible to obtain from 

* Francis II. Came to the throne in 1792. 



L 



198 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

Russia the complete direction of this Cabinet. To that 
effect it would be proper to understand perfectly with 
Bischofswerder and his right-hand man, Haugwitz, so that 
their greatness should be intimately combined with your 
interests. Furnish them money when the success of their 
intrigue may require it, and let them feel that it is better, 
as well as safer, to put themselves into the hands of a 
monarchy instead of a republic. The Cabinet of Peters- 
burg combined with you in such a plan, the King will be 
made to understand that both his interest and his quiet 
require a full confidence in those ministers. Then an ef- 
ficient Cabinet will at once exist, and after, it begins to 
act and feel (to its astonishment, perhaps) that every great 
movement must be guided by your will. Observe that it is 
at present understood between Bischofswerder and Haug- 
witz that proposals not primarily addressed to the latter 
shall be unsuccessful. If I have a just view of the ground 
it will be in vain to try (by showing only public advantage) 
to lead this Court into the measures you might wish, and 
that for the reasons already mentioned. I do not conceive 
it possible to do anything if you wait for the assent of 
Austria, unless you have a complete direction and, in- 
deed, dictation there. But, if I am rightly informed, this 
is not so much the case as it ought to be, all things con- 
sidered. I will not say anything on that subject, for evi- 
dent reasons. Propositions from England, supported by 
Russia, will meet with a readier attention than if the voice 
of »the Emperor should be heard. This fact your lordship 
is well apprised of. I think the contents of this letter 
will try, if not tire, your patience, so 1 will proceed no 
farther." 

"To-day [August nth] I write a while, then walk to 
Madame de Nadaillac's, where I waste some time. In con- 
sequence I reach Lord Elgin's later than I expected and 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. I99 

intended, so that I have not a view of some letters he was 
to show me containing intelligence of the Austrian army. 
While we are at dinner the Prince de Reusse comes 
in, reads a letter brought by estafette which announces a 
victory gained over the French at Brescia by General 
Quasdanowiche, with some small advantages, under Wiirm- 
ser,* in descending along the Adige, consequent upon 
which the French have precipitately retired from below 
Mantua, leaving their artillery, etc. This affair promises 
to be decisive in its consequences. After dinner the Eng- 
lish mail arrives, and Lord Elgin receives a letter an- 
nouncing the arrival of Mr. Hammond, who comes by 
Hanover and Minden. Mysteries which must explain 
themselves (says Sterne) are not worth a conjecture. I 
pass the evening at Prince Ferdinand's; and give him 
these tidings, he finds very unpleasant. Sitting next to 
the Princess and conversing with her friend Schmittau, 
while the deals at whist permit it, we agree that the French 
in Germany are exposed to a similar coup, all which is 
more edifying than pleasant to her Royal Highness. After 
his game is over the prince asks me what I think of this 
affair and its consequences. I tell him truly what may, in 
my opinion, result from it, if the Austrians are able to 
push forward with vigor, and add that if the corps under 
Wartensleben receives sufficient re-enforcements to strike 
a blow on the Main, the French armies in Germany will 
be completely dissipated. He gives a melancholy assent." 
"This morning [August 12th] the Prince de Reusse 
breakfasts with me, and we have a long conversation on 
the state of public affairs, the means of remedying present 

* Dagpbert Sigismund Count Wurmser, an eminent Austrian general. 
Fought against the Prussians in the Seven Years' War. In 1793 he com- 
manded the army against the French which drove them across the frontier 
into Alsace. Bonaparte defeated him at Lonato, August 3, 1796. He died 
in 1797. 



200 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXV. 

evils, and a plan for future tranquillity. He tells me that 
Haugwitz, when he communicated the news from Italy, 
affected much joy, I walk out and call on Lord Elgin, 
who cannot receive me because he has much business. 
Qu. : Is Hammond arrived ? I met in the street M. 
Giustiniani, who tells me that I disturb very much the 
Baron d'Escan. Afterwards meet M. de Rosencrantz, 
who walks with me to discuss a little the state of things. 
Leave him at the door of Madame de Nadaillac. She is 
pained by my departure, fixed for Monday. I dine at Lord 
Elgin's. He says Mr. Hammond is not yet arrived, and 
he suspects that he is coming to replace him, on ac- 
count of the leave of absence which he had requested. I 
cannot suppose this to be the case. He tells me that he 
could not receive me because he had a great many people 
with him. Qu. : At dinner we learn that the Prince de 
Hohenlohe succeeds General Wartensleben, which gives 
room to expect that something effective may be done. It 
seems to me that if he can move forward down the Main 
the French must be put in a very dangerous situation." 

" Lord Elgin takes me to dine at Marshal Mollendorf's 
[August 14th]. After dinner I have some conversation 
with the old man respecting his campaign of 1794, in 
which he finds fault with the British administration ; but 
on our return I mention it to Lord Elgin, who says the 
marshal's representations are not just. Spend the even- 
ing* with Madame de Nadaillac. Weather warm. She 
tells me that there has been a riot at Stettin, which hav- 
ing gone rather too far, the military were called on to dis- 
perse it, but refused to act against the citizens. This, if 
true, contrasts a little with the sentiments Count Haug- 
witz delivered to me this day. He said that he was 
not so apprehensive of insurrections here as in some other 
parts of Germany ; that the military here is good and 



i7S>6.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 201 

may be relied on. He observed that an increase of it 
tends to increase the revenue, because the quartering of 
troops in provinces where the culture is yet imperfect 
from the want of cattle and instruments of husbandry, by 
increasing the circulation, enables the peasant to procure 
those means, after which he can afford to pay higher 
taxes. I think he has too much understanding not to see 
where the fallacy of such argument rests ; so I leave it 
untouched, but express the kind of consent which con- 
sists more in wonder than in conviction. He vaunts the 
principles of the monarchy, and tells me that however the 
King may have been led to abandon them the force of 
things will bring him back. Madame de Nadaillac wishes 
to go with me to Potsdam ; but this would make a history 
hurtful to her. M. d'Anadia is to bring her back, but in 
going home together he shows me that he wishes to de- 
cline that journey." 

"This morning [August 15th] M. de Kalitchoff calls on 
me, and we have a conversation on the state of this country, 
its views, and its relations to others. He tells me that 
the Prince of Orange told him a new plan was in contem- 
plation for bringing the old coalition again into activity on 
a new basis. He conjectures that Mr. Hammond comes 
forward on that subject. N.B. : The English newspapers 
say he is coming to set on foot a treaty of peace. Pay my 
bill and pack up ; this house is dear and not good. The 
Baron d'Escar calls to take leave. I tell him that I shall 
wait Madame de Nadaillac's orders all the morning, and 
will stay till to-morrow if she chooses to go to Potsdam. 
Set off at half-past one, and reach Potsdam in three hours. 
This evening I walk out to see the town, palace, and gar- 
den. A very dull, unpeopled place ; it looks like the 
vulgar expression of 'Would if I could.' The weather is 
warm but pleasant." 



202 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVL 



CHAPTER XXXVL 

Dresden. French emigrants fill the streets. Letter to Lady Sutherland. 
Manners and customs of Dresden. Goes to Court Dines with 
the Duchess of Cumberland. Countess Loos. Leaves Dresden. 
Vienna. Baron Thugut. Sir Morton Eden. Is presented to the 
Emperor. News from the army. Letter to Lord Grenville. The 
Duke of "Wtirtemberg. Is presented to the Archduchess. Madame 
of France. M. Rassoomousky. An evening at Madame Pergin's. 
The French Directory answers Lord Malmesbury. Affairs in Italy. 
Death of the Empress of Russia. Accounts of the event. Conversa- 
tion with Baron Thugut. Letter to Lord Grenville apropos of La- 
fayette's release. Morris's arrival at Dresden occasions inquiry. 
Madame de Colorath's assembly. A little prince's observations. 
Musicale at Mrs. Peploe's. The levee. Prince Esterhazy. Tea with 
Sir Morton Eden. 

ARRIVED at Dresden (August 19th), Morris made 
himself known to the various ministers to whom he 
had letters. The Hanoverian ambassador made arrange- 
ments to present him the next day at Court, and in the 
mean time sent out ** half a hundred cards to the different 
ministers." The number of French emigrants " which 
seemed to fill the streets of the town " painfully attracted 
Morris's attention. Speaking of them, he says : " They are 
travelling eastward to avoid their countrymen. They are 
allowed to stay only three days. Unhappy people ! Yet 
they are employed in seeing everything curious which they 
can get at ; are serene, even gay. So great a calamity could 
never light on shoulders which could bear it so well ; but, 
alas ! the weight is not diminished by the graceful manner 
of supporting it. The sense, however, is less by all that 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 203 

spleen and ill-humor could add to torment the afflicted. 
Doubtless there are many among them who have a con- 
sciousness of rectitude to support them. This ground of 
hope in the kindness of that Being who is to all his creat- 
ures an indulgent father, with the cheerfulness of temper 
which nature has given to some of her favored children, 
may make their hearts beat lightly in their bosoms while 
those of their more fortunate oppressors shall sink and 
sicken ; for surely the oppressor can never be happy. 
I flatter myself with the belief that a great majority of 
those in France virould rejoice at an opportunity to call 
home their bretliren wandering in proscribed wretched- 
ness through a world which is to them almost a wilder- 
ness. But the day is yet perhaps at a distance." 

"We have to-day [August 2othJ, at the table d'hote, a 
physician of the Electress Dowager of Bavaria, who takes 
refuge here. After dinner the Baron de Mestmacher calls 
on me. He says he believes his Court will interfere to 
support the Germanic body. Qu.: If he be not a Ger- 
man, and if his ideas are not tinctured by the prejudices 
of his birth ? He gives, however, a reason which has some 
weight, viz., that the German mass, disunited as it is, can 
never be formidable to Russia, which it might be if united, 
or apy part of it united, under one head. After he leaves 
me (by the by, he mentions a report that my friend Wo- 
ronzow is to be transferred to Vienna) I go to walk ; my 
route lies to the westward of the town, and at length sit 
down on the grass, in one of the finest situations I ever 
beheld. On my right, up the river, is the bridge ; on one 
side of the river, the handsome Catholic church, on the 
other, the new Electoral Palace, are prominent features 
of the town-view, beyond which tower the hills, covered 
with forest, and that interspersed with villas and villages. 
In front I have the Elbe, and three large barges, deeply 



204 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVL 

laden, which are sailing against the stream, and men on 
shore towing them ; on the opposite side a continuation of 
the hills in amphitheatre, which stretch round to the left, 
and are there covered with vineyards ; the extreme point 
to the left, at the termination of an avenue of trees, is a 
palace built by one of the Electors for a favorite mistress. 
At the foot of the hill on which it stands is the river, 
which makes a large bend round to my left. Take tea 
with M. de Schomberg, a nephew of Dumouriez, whom 
I had known at Paris. He testified much joy at seeing 
me, and gives me all he knows of the manner and man- 
ners of this place. The Elector is regularity itself, and a 
great economist. His Court copy him, the bourgeoisie 
copy the Court ; a deep hue of religious superstition is 
cast over the whole, and, of course, much hypocrisy, for all 
cannot be religious ; no gallantry, or very little, because 
there are no opportunities ; but the girls are, he says, 
loose and lascivious and take up after they are married. 
They are especially venal, so that two or three ducats 
may obtain their favors. This he vouches only from hear- 
say, as they are thus free only to strangers by whom they 
are not known. I conclude, therefore, that it is a false- 
hood, and that women of the town, by way of getting 
a better price, personate to strangers young women of 
family." 

-, "This morning [August 21st] I go dressed to Mr. Grey's 
and thence to Court, where I am presented to the Elector 
of Treves, and afterwards to the Elector of Saxony. Dine 
with His Highness, who has an excellent table, very good 
wines, and I think the best tea I ever partook of. After 
dinner Mr. Grey presents me to Madame de Loos, and 
then to the Duchess of Cumberland.* Return home and 

* Honorable Anne Horton, Duchess of Cumberland, wife of Henry Fred- 
erick, Duke of Cumberland, brother of George IIL 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 205 

change my dress. Mr. Grey comes, and takes me to a 
kind of club or socieU which is in the same house with me, 
I'Hotel de Baviere." 

To Lady Sutherland Morris wrote on the 22d to tell 
her that he had received her letter " of the ist as I was 
stepping into my carriage at Berlin, and have not had 
time to write before. I do it now," he continues, " by de- 
ferring till to-morrow my visit to the picture-gallery ; I 
always preferred originals. I am very much obliged to 
you for everything you say about yourself and your lord, 
but you have forgotten the children. My plans have been 
greatly deranged by the progress of the French armies, 
for I did intend going into Switzerland, thence to Vienna, 
and finally to Naples. But I cannot get either into Swit- 
zerland or out of it without crossing the line of march of 
the armies, and I had rather be in a battle. But, what is 
worse, I should not, I believe, be able to get my horses 
through at all, so I shall go on to Vienna direct unless 
they stop me again upon that tack. Everything in this 
quarter of the world is a la d^bandade, and unless the Em- 
press of Russia takes the thing in hand I see not what is 
to come of it. Intrigue and faction supply, as I am told, 
the place of that golden chain which was let down from 
the throne of Jupiter — to bind in orderly connection the 
different parts of creation. And thus the affairs of im- 
perial Jove are sadly out of order. The Chevalier de 
Boufflers, however, has set everything to rights by a 
wretched pun : * Les affaires de I'Empire doivent etre 
excellentes, car elles s'empirent toujours.' 

" I will fold up in this a press copy of my last, because 
the original may have been drowned. Yesterday I dined 
with the Elector, and the conversation turned on your 
ladyship. You will not easily guess why ; so I will tell 
you that a person sat opposite to me who had travelled 



206 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

with you in Italy, known you in Paris, and who intro- 
duced himself by talking of you to me, and that because 
he had heard me mention to M. Quimones that I had seen 
him in your house. You remember this M. Quimones, 
who seemed so well pleased with himself while in transit 
at Paris, and who used to play at hazard. He has been 
here en grand ^tat, and, if one may judge from appearances, 
verily believes himself to be ires spirituel et fort aimable^ in 
which, by the by, he has the misfortune to be of a differ- 
ent opinion with his acquaintance. Well, your fellow- 
traveller spoke of you in such high terms that I began to 
feel an attachment to him, and the Elector was induced 
to inquire after you. We talked of you in Berlin because 
Lord Elgin, you know, is, quoad a part of his regiment, 
your protege. Adieu, dear lady. Remember me to your 
lord, and believe me, ever yours." 

"To-day [August 22d] I dine with the Baron de Mest- 
macher, Minister of Russia. He takes pains to justify his 
Court, and lay on Austria the blame of what has hap- 
pened. It is not my business to contest the matter. He 
is led into an explanation of the defensive powers of the 
Prussian monarchy which I cannot comprehend, but rath- 
er see from his explanations how it can be invaded with 
great facility. On the whole, I see that this jargon might 
impose upon a person totally ignorant of affairs, and that 
Jthe Prussian Cabinet may yet find dupes." 

" Dine to-day [August 23d] with the Duchess of Cum- 
berland, after visiting the notable collection of paintings 
in the Gallery. The Comtesse de Loos dines with us ; 
she is a Danish lady, educated here, who is pretty and 
pleasing. There is a Polish princess, whose daughters 
come in after dinner, and these perform together a 
dance of their country which has infinite grace. I 
compliment the mother on it in such way that if I 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 20/ 

should see her in Poland I think she would receive me 
hospitably." 

** See to-day [August 26th] the Cabinet of Antiquities, 
and pass the evening at the Cointe de Loos's. He was 
formerly Minister to France. A very splendid party at a 
supper given to the Duchess of Cumberland. I am seated 
between the elder Comtesse, who has yet fine remains, 
and her daughter-in-law, whose husband seems already 
afflicted by jealousy, anticipating perhaps upon a fate 
which seems to await him, and in which, unfortunately, 
I shall not be an instrument. The Comtesse has already 
the impression of a sentiment which M. le mari could not, 
I am sure, excite." 

"We have news to-day [August 27th] of an important 
victory gained by the Austrians over the French in our 
neighborhood. If it be as it is represented and they fol- 
low up the blow, the French will find their retreat dif- 
ficult." 

" Go to Court this morning [August 28th]. Dine with 
the Prussian minister, and as I express some doubts re- 
specting the extent of the Austrian victory he magnifies 
it greatly, whereupon, after pushing him beyond the truth 
by my apparent infidelity, I remind him that he had as- 
sured me the other evening the Austrian army was so 
completely routed that they could not again make head 
against the French. This puts him to the blush deserv- 
edly, for he had wilfully exaggerated, with a view to de- 
ceive me, and although (being well informed) I was not 
the dupe it is but common justice to mark my remem- 
brance. He gives an excellent dinner and very good 
wine. After dinner I visit the elder Comtesse de Loos, 
which is a thing en rigle. The young one comes in, and 
in the shiftings from a new visitor I am seated next her, 
while the old lady is going over the routine of civilities 



208 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

to a decrepit sire. As they are seated on the sofa to- 
gether I can say only indifferent things, but these being 
expressed in a gentle tone of voice and accompanied with 
a look in which extreme tenderness is mingled with hum- 
ble respect, she utters, to my great surprise [erasure]. The 
old lady turns round with astonishment, dnd a tint of in- 
dignation which her good breeding cannot quite suppress. 
If I may trust to these indications, there is somewhat 
pleasant in the secret history of the family. At the club 
I learn some further details of the late battle, which, it 
seems, lasted three days. The French lost thirty-five 
pieces of cannon, which circumstance makes me believe 
in the success, and induces me to suppose that my way 
into Switzerland may be opened. Nous verrons. 

"A Swedish gentleman calJj on me, to whom I said 
the other day at Court that the King, at Petersburg, was 
in a good situation to learn the manner in which his minis- 
ter has been treated at Paris. He tells me that he under- 
stood and could have answered me, but that he is adjoined 
by his Court in the Legation here, and therefore, being a 
public man, anything he might have said would have been 
misinterpreted. He goes on to tell me that he presumes 
I am acquainted with a number of circumstances which 
he recapitulates and which are, indeed, of public notoriety, 
and from thence he concludes that the situation of his 
Court is difficult and consequently that of its servants 
delicate, wherefore he thought my observation rather un- 
kind, and wishes I would in future spare him upon such 
subjects. This expostulation proves to me that he is of 
the Galilean party in Sweden, and I thereupon enter into 
the situation of his unfortunate country, sacrificed ever 
since Charles XH. to the selfish policy of other courts — 
played off against Russia, to the annoyance, indeed, of that 
empire, but to their own ruin. Suggest to him that a 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 209 

much safer policy would be that of an alliance with so 
powerful a neighbor, and the cession of Finland for a 
valuable consideration to be obtained elsewhere, and in- 
stance Norway. He remains (though trying to conceal it) 
stanch to the French alliance, which, if persisted in, must 
at length render Sweden a province of Russia. He has 
taken up an idea which is, I find, pretty general, viz., that 
Ensfland fomented the French Revolution. This idea is 
strongly inculcated by the partisans of France and works 
well for them." 

"The post came in from Bayreuth, and we learn 
[August 31st] that the French have indeed been soundly 
beaten, but their retreat is not as yet so great as might be 
wished. They commit great excesses and the peasants 
destroy them. The details of the battle cannot be had, as 
the French stop all travellers. I dine with the Duchess 
of Cumberland." 

"To-day [September ist] at the table d!h6te we have a 
gentleman from Amberg who saw from the steeple of that 
town the action of the 24th. He says that if Wartensle- 
ben had done his duty all the army of Jourdan would 
have been made prisoners. By his account this army is 
in such total rout that it must retreat to Dttsseldorf. 
The advices from Frankfort are a sortie from Mayence 
which has done great mischief to the besieging army, and 
an assault, without success, upon the fortress of Ehren- 
breitstein ; also a note in the Leipsic gazette that there 
circulated a report on the Main that the magazines were 
to be removed from Frankfort to Wetzlaer." 

" Dine at the table (Thdte [September 2d], where our 
yesterday's informant tells me he has received an estafette 
which announces the advance of the Austrians in every 
direction, and the defeat of General Moreau." 

Leaving Dresden on September 2d, Morris continued 
Vol. II.— 14 



210 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

his journey to Vienna by the way of Pilnitz. " The chateau 
of the Prince, beautifully situated," he says, " will long be 
memorable for the treaty signed between the King of Prus- 
sia and the Emperor Leopold, which has been the pretext 
(but according to the advocates of the French cause the 
motive), to the present war, whose consequences tend to 
change the political systems of Europe after laying waste 
a considerable part of it." The slavery and poverty of 
the people in this region strongly impressed Morris, who 
mentions a conversation with the landlady of the house at 
Toplitz respecting the civil state of the inhabitants who 
are serfs. " She tells me (she being one of them, or, at 
least, her parents) that by the edicts of Joseph they may, 
if they please, pay to the lord twelve kreuzers per day in 
winter and fifteen in summer for the labor they owe, and 
that in general, by precedent conventions, this does not 
extend to above two days in the week, so that twenty-seven 
kreuzers is the average payment ; and this, for the year, 
may amount to about fifty shillings sterling, for which 
they have as much land as will support their families. If 
so, their service, like that of the righteous, is perfect free- 
dom. I must inquire a little further into this matter. 

"From M. de Callenberg I collect that the situation of 
the serfs in the Electorate is still deplorable, although he 
thinks it quite simple and natural, for some of them belong 
to him. It is, however, a consolation to know that these mis- 
erable beings — at least, according to our conceptions — are 
better off than they were, and it seems probable that they 
will by degrees be all emancipated. Joseph did much to- 
wards it, and even established magistrates to hear their 
plaints and decide on them. What he could not do was to 
render such tribunals useful to the poor in contending 
with the rich. I know not any means of producing that 
effect except the temper and spirit of society, which is 



1796- J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 211 

more the result than the cause of freedom. The progress 
towards freedom must necessarily be slow. The French 
nation jumped at once from a mild monarchy to a wild 
anarchy, and are now in subjection to men whom they de- 
spise. I think they will end by a military despotism." 

Prague was the next stopping-place, Avhere the library 
was interesting, and the "young damsel of the house, 
Mademoiselle Lisette, sups with me and endeavors, with all 
the affectation of a coquette, to persuade me to make love 
to her. I do not care to do it, though she is very hand- 
some, for she takes snuff." 

" The custom and military officers detain me outside the 
gate at Vienna [September 15th], and I have to get up two 
pair of stairs into a wretched room at the Three Axes 
Hotel. Go to see M. de Thugut,* who gives me a very 
civil reception. His eye denotes a little, sparkling mind, 
better fitted to please the Prince than to conduct his af- 
fairs. Ride to the Prater, and walking there I see the 
Princess Potoska, with whom I take tea, and am then pre- 
sented to the Prince de Nassau. Madame Potoska tells 
me that the Chevalier Eden is more attentive to whist than 
he is to his countrymen, who complain of his neglect. 
The next day, dining at Sir Morton Eden's,f where there 
is company, the dinner is scarcely swallowed before he 
sits down to whist, which seems wholly to engross his 
attention. J'ennuie myself looking on at the game, in the 
expectation that at last some moment might be left for 

* Baron de Thugut, born in 1739, a man of no family, was created a baron 
by Maria Theresa for diplomatic services. He succeeded Prince Kaunitz in 
1794 as First Minister, was accused of always separating Austrian interests 
from those of the Allies, but was distinguished by the energy and courage with 
which, in 179S, he persisted in resisting the progress of the French arms after 
Prussia and Spain had signed a separate peace. In 1800, just before Marengo, 
he signed a treaty of subsidy with England, and finally retired after the Peace 
of Luneville, in 1801. 

+ British ambassador at the Court of Vienna. 



212 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

conversation, but it is in vain. Walk to the Prater, which 
is, on the whole, a charming spot — superior to anything I 
have seen of the kind near a large city. It might be made 
celestial. It is very full of people. Walking there I meet 
M. Hue, the valet-de-chambre of Louis XVI., who is 
mentioned affectionately in the will of that unfortunate 
prince. I have a good deal of conversation with him. He 
is highly discontented with the treatment he meets with 
here, and thence disposed to view with a jaundiced eye 
the conduct of the Cabinet. With a false mysteriousness 
he lets me know that he conceives they have the idea of 
marrying the young princess to one of her cousins, brother 
to the Emperor, and setting up in that way a claim to the 
throne of France. This may be, but it is a very remote 
speculation, and, if I were to guess, such marriage would 
form an insuperable bar to her success. He speaks very 
highly of her, and I see her passing by. She is much im- 
proved in her appearance since I last saw her in France." 
" This morning [September 24th] Sir M. Eden calls, and 
we go to Court. He presents me to the Emperor, who is 
ready in conversation. He is in very good spirits, having 
received favorable advices from the Rhine. The Arch- 
duke has driven the French back beyond the Lahn, and 
relieved the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein. A body of Im- 
perial troops is already up as high as Rastadt, in the view 
of cutting off the supplies of Moreau, who is still at Neu- 
burg, on the Danube. The Emperor gives us his news, 
and expresses at the same time his hope that Moreau will 
not be able to effect his retreat. Indeed, this hope amounts 
almost to expectation. He tells me that in a month's time 
my way will be opened into Switzerland, but observes that 
it will then be cold travelling. The ton of the young 
women here is to be men-haters. Lady Eden says the men 
are so peu aimable that they may in some sort be justified. 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 21 3 

Messrs. Hue and Thierry, the anciens valets de-chambre 
of Louis XVI. call on me. In the evening I go to the 
Prater to see the fireworks, which are indeed very fine. 

"See here, among others, M. Marschal, who seems to be 
on the pick-up plan. Ask him if that be true which I 
heard, namely, that the women here profess to be men- 
haters. He says it is, because the young men are not 
amiable, and are very inattentive, preferring the easy 
pleasures to be had among women of inferior class to con- 
nections of gallantry. In the reign of Marie Theresa 
things were on a different footing, for then women of the 
town were closely looked after and persecuted, so that 
men were obliged to attach themselves to women of qual- 
ity. This may be a philosophic account of the matter, but 
I think it would not satisfy the fair sex in general, and for 
my own part I am apt to suspect that the existing system 
may depend on a want of sentiment among the men. 

" I hear at the English minister's, where I spend the 
evening, that General Moreau has left his position at Neu- 
burg, where he had intrenched himself, and is on the re- 
treat. On the 22d General Latour was to cross the Leek 
in pursuit of him. General Nauendorf is on the left side 
of the Danube, so that I think M. Moreau will be catched 
up near the sources of the Danube. Later, I hear that the 
French army under Moreau is retreating, and the peasants 
arm to pursue him, so that Germany is pretty well cured 
of the maladie fran^aise." 

" Spend the evening [September 28th] at the British 
minister's. He tells me the latest advices, and shows me 
Jourdan's account of his battles ; tells me that he is re- 
called, and Beurnonville appointed in his stead. This 
bodes no good to France. Another insurrection lately in 
Paris by the Jacobins. The route will, I think, be soon 
open to Switzerland." 



214 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

" Spend the evening [October 3d] at the British minis- 
ter's, where everybody is dressed, having been to dine with 
the Marquis del Gallo. I find from Sir M. Eden that this 
dinner was intended for me, but I did not accept the invi- 
tation, and tell him why. He assures me that I was mis- 
taken, and so I am now convinced ; but no matter. M. de 
St. Priest this evening mentioned to me a plan which he 
proposed to the Archbishop of Sens. By the accounts 
rendered of M. de Calonne and of M. Necker, it appeared, 
speaking in round numbers, that the debt of France, quoad 
the annual payments, consisted of one hundred millions 
of rentes perpdtuelles and one hundred millions of rentes 
viagtres (life-interest). Changing these last, which arose 
from capital advanced for a life-rent of ten per cent., some 
at nine, into the capitals and then putting all those capi- 
tals on a four per cent, interest, would have reduced the 
yearly interest on a redeemable debt to about forty mill- 
ions; and a similar reduction of the rentes perp^tuelles 
would have reduced them to eighty millions, together one 
hundred and twenty, saving, on the whole, eighty, from 
which, deducting the deficit of about sixty, there would 
have remained a sinking fund of twenty. It is very cer- 
tain that this plan would have produced the effect, but it 
is also certain that the same effect might have been pro- 
duced by a system of economy more quietly ; and it is also 
clear that when once the revenue had been made equal to 
the expenditure the rentes perpituelles might have been 
reduced to four per cent, with the consent of the creditors, 
which would have left a sinking fund of twenty millions 
for that debt, to be increased by the falling of the via- 
gires, which must have determined in half a century of 
themselves. A fair operatioji on church property would 
have given an immense domain. In ten years the Minis- 
ter might have proposed and carried plans for simplifying 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 21$ 

the taxes, lessening the expense of collection, etc., and then 
France would have been indisputably the dominating pow- 
er of Europe. But Providence had willed it otherwise." 

In a letter to Lord Grenville, written from Vienna on 
October 5th, Morris says : 

** I can venture to offer my congratulations that ap- 
pearances have mended since I last took the liberty of 
troubling your lordship, and also on the success of the 
campaign. It is not, however, my object to conjecture 
probable events, or consider what has been done, but to 
communicate an observation I have frequently had occa- 
sion to make. Your enemies spread everywhere the idea 
that you oppose a pacification with a view to aggrandize 
yourselves in the two Indias, regardless of the blood lav- 
ished on the Continent of Europe. This, as you will easily 
suppose, excites ill-will ; but yet from the nature of your 
government you are led to insist in Parliament on the advan- 
tages gained by the British nation, and to show that these 
result from diversions made by its allies. Such arguments 
are turned against you abroad, and become the excuse of 
those who have abandoned you. They are made use of 
here to render the war unpopular, and with such success 
that if public opinion were of much weight the Court 
would have been greatly embarrassed. You best can 
judge, my lord, whether it be prudent, after insisting that 
the war in its prosecution, as in its origin, has been de- 
fensive, to declare that the principal object of it now is to 
protect the German Empire and the Low Countries ; that 
the dearest interests of Britain are eventually connected 
with that defence and protection ; that, far from ambitious 
views, you look only to the security of yourselves as the 
result of that security you seek for others ; that a faction, 
aided by French armies, having turned against you the 
resources of Holland, you had been compelled, for the 



2l6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

defence of your Oriental possessions, to seize those posts 
from whence they would otherwise have been annoyed ; 
that in like manner you had been obliged to attack the 
French islands for the purpose of saving your own, not 
merely from capture but from utter devastation. Such 
declarations would have a good effect through Germany, 
already undeceived with respect to the French profes- 
sions. Moreover, should you be embroiled with Spain 
it would strengthen you in the North to declare, after 
dwelling on the unprovoked oppression of his Catholic 
Majesty, that it justifies you in demanding (as a condition 
of peace) that he open his American dominions to the com- 
merce of all who now are or hereafter may be joined with 
you in the war against him. This kind of crusade will 
not, indeed, be so wonderful as that which was produced 
by the preaching of Peter the Hermit, but it may answer 
better purposes." 

" I visit at the Prince Coloredo's [October i6th], and on 
my return home I find that I have been out, full-dressed, 
with a stocking wrong side outward. I remember to have 
heard, when young, that this portended good luck, and I 
remember also that, having gone out one morning early 
I broke my shin before I got back, and in taking down 
the stocking to look at it found it was wrong side outward. 
I bear the mark of that misfortune to this hour, a me- 
mento not to believe in such sayings. 

" Spend the evening at Madame de Castelalfieri's, where 
I meet the Baron de Groshlaer. The Marquis de Luc- 
chesini says there is no instance of an army of forty thou- 
sand men laying down their arms, and thence concludes 
that Moreau will escape with the loss of his baggage and 
artillery. If, however, the defiles are properly occupied, 
he may still find it impracticable to get through. Those 
who wish well to Austria think he will be made prisoner, 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 21/ 

for thus It is that our wishes always lead our judgments, 
unless, indeed, our fears supersede our wishes. In both 
cases we may be misled, but the former, in taking us out 
of our road, gives us at least a more pleasant path." 

" To-day [October 20th] I dine at the English minis- 
ter's. A large dinner to the Duke heir apparent of Wiir- 
temberg, who is to espouse the Princess Royal of Eng- 
land. He has a monstrous belly, but seems to be pleasant. 
His pale-faced, dancing- brother is here, whose want of 
ability or attention, or both, caused no little mischief to 
the Allies. There are six of them, of which one-half, in- 
cluding the eldest, were in the Prussian service, and the 
other half in the Austrian service." 

"It seems to be confirmed [October 21st] that Bona- 
parte has been obliged to raise the blockade of Mantua. 
He has, it is said, retired to Verona. If this be true he 
must speedily be placed in a most perilous situation. The 
fate of Moreau's army is, I suppose, by this time decided. 

" While I was at the Baron de Groshlaer's a gentleman 
came in who, the Baron tells me, is one of the most intelli- 
gent men in Vienna. Shortly after I turned the conversa- 
tion on Hungarian wines, expressing my wish to get some 
of the different kinds. He told me that it was extremely 
difficult, and mentioned, among other things, to show the 
want of good faith among the Hungarian nobles in their 
commercial dealings, that they had made formerly large 
consignments of wine which they called Tokay, to Vienna, 
but it was put into casks under size, contained a great 
many pebbles, and consisted in general of wines from the 
neighborhood of Tokay of inferior quality. On the whole, 
it seems unlikely that I shall be able to accomplish my 
object in that respect, which is to me of no consequence ; 
but it is of much consequence to the country whose im- 
morality has deprived it of a great resource. 



2l8 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVL 

" Call in the evening on M. de Thugut, and mention 
some things to him which had occurred to me. He tells 
me that the Emperor has left the conduct of military af- 
fairs to the Archduke, wherefore he declines entering 
into the consideration of some points, but says in gen- 
eral that the Prince de Conde would not, he thinks, go at 
the head of a forlorn hope into Franche Comte. He ac- 
knowledges that the Low Countries may be repossessed 
this winter, but is apprehensive of Maestricht. He does 
not duly consider that this citadel would, from the mo- 
ment the Imperial army should arrive at Liege, be in the 
middle of an enemy's country. He is looking forward to 
another campaign, and seems to think that the Directory, 
grounding themselves on their former declaration, will 
insist on holding the annexed territory and so justify 
Great Britain in continuing the war. I think he will be 
mistaken, and, pressed by the incumbent danger, they will 
at last make such offers as will perplex greatly the British 
administration should they be rejected." 

" After dinner [October 23d] I visit at the English 
minister's. Here I see several of my acquaintance. The 
Prince of Wiirtemberg makes up to me, and from what he 
says I conclude that his agent or envoy for making the 
match between him and the Princess Royal of England 
has told him that I was well received at St. James's. I 
learn at Madame Arnstein's that Monsignor Alberoni is 
expected in a day or two. He brings, they say, the decla- 
ration of a religious war by the Pope against France. 
Visit the Baronne de Groshlaer. The Baron carelessly 
says that he thinks the world must take refuge in Amer- 
ica. I understand much more than is expressed, but may 
be mistaken ; answer as carelessly that it is a very good 
country, but afterwards we are a little more particular, 
he in questions, I in giving mforma.tion, f/iais tV n'y a rien 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 219 

encore qui tire h consequence. The Sardinian minister sends 
word that his supper is postponed for this evening. I 
learn afterwards that it is on account of the King of Sar- 
dinia's death ; an apoplectic fit has taken him out of all 
worldly trouble." 

" This morning [October 26th] Sir M. Eden presents me 
to the Empress. She speaks a little to Colonel Hope, who 
is presented at the same time, a few words to me, and has 
a long conversation with Sir M. Eden, who leans quietly 
against the wall. She seems to be a good sort of little 
woman, but in the course of her conversation she shows 
about the eyebrow something which bespeaks high spirit. 
She has the Austrian countenance a little. I visit Madame 
Oudenarde, who asks me if it be true that I am charged 
here with a mission from Congress to ask the liberty of 
Lafayette. I laugh at this a little, and then, assuring her 
there is no truth in that suggestion, say that it is a piece 
of folly keeping him prisoner. This brings her out vio- 
lently against him, and to the same effect Count Dietrich- 
stein, who, indeed, is as much prompted to defend the Aus- 
trian administration as to side with his friend. We exam- 
ine the matter as coolly as their prejudices will admit, and 
on the point of right he takes the only tenable ground, 
viz., that the public safety being the supreme law of 
princes, the Emperor, conceiving it dangerous to leave 
Lafayette & Co. at large, had arrested them and keeps 
them still prisoners for the same reason. Lavaupalliere, 
who comes in during the conversation, shows still more 
ill-will to this unfortunate man than anyone else. He 
seems to flatter himself that there is still some chance of 
getting him hanged. He treats him not only as having 
been deficient in abilities, but as having been most un- 
grateful to the King and Queen, from which last charge I 
defend him, in order to see what may be the amount of 



220 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

the inculpation, and it resolves itself into two favors re- 
ceived from the Court : First, pardon for having gone to 
America notwithstanding orders given him to the con- 
trary ; and, next, promotion to the rank of marichal de 
camp over the heads of several who were many of them 
men of family. To crown all, he accuses him of the want 
of courage, and declares that he has seen him contume- 
liously treated without resenting it. To this I give as 
peremptory a negative as good breeding will permit, and 
he feels it. Indeed, the conversation of these gentlemen, 
who have the virtue and good fortune of their grandfa- 
thers to recommend them, leads me almost to forget the 
crimes of the French Revolution ; and often the unfor- 
giving temper and sanguinary wishes which they exhibit 
make me almost believe that the assertion of their enemies 
is true, viz., that it is success alone which has determined 
on whose side should be the crimes and on whose the 
misery." 

" Sir M. Eden takes me [October 29th] to see the Arch- 
duchess, who is quite in alt, from the success of the Arch- 
duke Charles, who has had some sharp work lately with 
the French under Moreau. This last has, it is said, been 
driven back with great loss ; but it might be called driven 
forward, because he was undoubtedly on the retreat." 

Among the letters to women which came from Morris's 
pen (and there were not a few of them), those to the 
Countess of Sutherland most truthfully show the char- 
acter of the man. More than any of his correspondents, 
she possessed the gift of drawing out his vivacity and 
causing him to betray his innate kindliness in most grace- 
ful and sprightly fashion. It is unfortunate that there 
only remains among the papers one short note from her 
ladyship, of no particular importance ; but, however brill- 
iant her letters may have been, to answer them was cer- 



1796^1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 221 

tainly to Morris a thoroughly congenial occupation, in 
which he frequently indulged himself. 

"Your letter, dear lady," he wrote from Vienna, No- 
vember 2d, ** has been long on its way ; it is dated the 15th 
September, and reached me the 31st October. How can 
you ever make it a question whether it is worth while to 
read what you write ? I am tempted to say, with the late 
King of France (when one of his brothers wanted to send 
off his cara sposa) : * Ma foi, si nous etions tons aussi 
difficiles.' I do better ; without asking you whether it 
may please you to read, I sit down in the consciousness 
that it will please me to write to you. Well, here I am, in 
a, country full of ' state and ancientry ' — how congenial 
to my taste and feelings you well know. In the daily 
commission of Use decorum, I expect to be cut off from 
society and thrown into Gehenna. Think of this master 
Page obliged to live with people who, in the simplicity of 
their hearts, know not duly to estimate the differing dig- 
nities of a sofa and an elbow-chair. Think of that ! and 
then to herd with the dull dogs who prefer conversation 
to cards and irreverently prize genius and good humor 
beyond stars and ribbons. You say you envy me my tour 
— while I only wish that you were here, and envy more 
those who had the good sense not to leave you. It would 
delight me to see your observations, for I think you 
would make them intelligible without speaking. I can 
sometimes see you, with that arch yet modest mien. I, 
alas ! am like Noah's dove. She fluttered over the face 
of the waters, not knowing where to set her feet, poor bird. 
I am still farther from the ark than she, yet no one pities 
me, though 'I have nobody by me but myself.' 

"You will not be visited by the bandes noires, and I am 
glad of it. Yet I believe that such an electric shock 
might purify the humors of the nation ; but it would oc- 



222 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

casion great and various mischiefs, for England, swollen 
with dropsy-credit, is not so athletic as in earlier life. 
Would it be useful to tap the old lady ? That is a ques- 
tion to be decided by her State surgeons. The thirst for 
foreign dominions is perhaps the worst symptom of her 
disease, but all this in your ear. You know I never liked 
your St. Dominique expedition. * Gold,' says the prov- 
erb, ' may be bought too dear,' and sugar should los^ 
its sweetness when bought with the price of blood. More- 
over — but I spare you the * moreover,' because I will not 
write either a system or a criticism. I long ago gave you 
my opinion that, if the French were checked in front and 
a body of troops thrown on their left flank, they would be 
driven out of Germany or be made prisoners in it. This, 
at least, was the idea, and how nearly realized it is need- 
less to mention. That Moreau was not captured is not 
his fault, for he lingered long enough on the Danube. 
Neither is it the fault of the Archduke. Perhaps Ma- 
dam Fortune was to blame, but, be that as it may, there 
is, I fear, all the difference between a good, speedy peace 
and another bloody, expensive campaign ; should you per- 
sist, you must succeed most indisputably. But John Bull 
seems to grow restive, and his humor may cost him dear. 
I have remarked, also, that when a Minister is appointed 
he is apt to wish too warmly that his negotiation may 
succeed, whereby it happens that treaties are sometimes 
onerous, from the eagerness of those who make them. 
And now, dear lady, I bid you adieu, entreating my re- 
membrances to your lord, and adding the I think-un- 
necessary assurance that I am, yours. 

■" P. S. Should Lady Louisa Macdonald see that com- 
pound epithet she may imagine I am making some pro- 
gress in the German language. Truth is, I took a master 
this morning." 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 223 

" It seems generally believed," says the diary for 
November 3d ** that the King of Naples has made 
peace with France. Moreau has gone over the Rhine, 
after another sharp action with the Archduke Charles. 
He has done everything possible and his retreat does 
him great honor. Dine at Madame Arnstein's with a 
good deal of good male company ; for here as in Hol- 
land it is, I find, understood that men may visit a 
Jew of good character, but women would consider it 
a derogation. All the world is in raptures with the 
Archduke." 

" There is a procession this day [November 6th] of an 
image said to have shed tears of blood a century ago. 
The Emperor assists at it. Qu. : Is this bigotry or policy ? 
Visit at Coloredo's where the heir apparent of Wiirtem- 
berg gives me an anecdote of Canning, the under-secre- 
tary in Lord Grenville's office, which falls a little heavy on 
His Highness, who had a courier waiting in London to 
bring despatches respecting his marriage with the Prin- 
cess Royal of England. These were made up, but, by a 
qui pro quo, after Lord Grenville had gone to his house 
at Dropmoor, Mr. Canning sent the despatches God 
knows where, (probably to Mr. Wickham in Switzerland) 
and gave the Duke's courier some letters for somebody 
else. He is not at all pleased at this piece of negligence, 
and, indeed, I am not surprised at his discontent. He tells 
me that he has intelligence late and direct from Paris 
which assures him the Directory will not be able to obtain 
either the men or the money they have asked for, and 
therefore he thinks a better peace can be made with 
France next March than at present. It is said that the 
troops are in full march for Italy, etc. M. de Gnostiz 
tells me the Emperor is to have sixty thousand Russians 
next campaign in the pay of England, who has under- 



224 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVL 

taken to provide for them as soon as they come to a spot 
where they can be useful to the Allies." 

The letter written to Lord Grenville on October 5th 
for lack of a suitable opportunity had never been sent, 
but again writing to him on November 6th, and enclosing 
at the same time the former letter, Morris says : 

" My letter to you, my lord, written a month ago, might 
now be suppressed, since a change of circumstances ren- 
ders the greater part, if not the whole of it, impertinent ; 
but it will serve to prove that I have not been unmindful 
of my promise. Were it evident that peace would take 
place what I am going to say might well be spared, but I 
believe in another campaign. In that case Spain will 
become a party against you, and the everlasting bone of 
contention, Gibraltar,* may perhaps be her object of at- 
tack, unless she should adopt the plan proposed last year 
of conquering it in the West Indies. You will probably 
endeavor, on the other hand, to make serious impressions 
on her American dominions, and in so doing must con- 
tend with a climate more dangerous than your enemy. 
Two modes have presented themselves to my mind. One, 
which I mentioned cursorily to Sir Morton Eden, has 
probably occurred to your lordship, viz., transporting 
some Lascars from India to Mexico. These would indeed 
find an open country, but the extent of it and other causes 
would render the impression less permanent than you 
would desire. The other mode is more simple. The Em- 
peror might furnish some troops from Croatia and other 
unhealthy places, who are inured from infancy to baneful 
exhalations. These, under the pretext of garrisoning 

* In 1782 Admiral Rodney, when England seemed on the brink of ruin, 
saved her honor by a decisive repulse of the allied armament before Gib- 
raltar, thus securing to England that valuable possession. In April of the 
same year Rodney defeated and dispersed the French fleet in the West 
Indies. 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 22$ 

Gibraltar and attacking Cadiz, would keep your enemy in 
alarm. But, once beyond the straits, they would rapidly 
run down the longitude and arrive at such point of attack 
as should be deemed most advisable. If, as is said, the 
Pope means to declare a holy war against France and her 
allies, he might give you a detachment of monks, supplied 
with the due quantity of bulls and such like ammunition 
from the Vatican. These, in the bigoted country you 
have to deal with, would produce great effect ; and this, 
my lord, appears to me the cheapest and best mode of 
opening to yourselves the direct commerce of Mexico 
and Peru, which, added to the acquisitions already made, 
would fully indemnify you for the expenses incurred and 
to be incurred in the course of the contest. Before I 
close this letter I must testify the pleasure I felt in read- 
ing the King's speech. It is excellent. I am, my lord, 
very truly yours." 

" To-day [November 7th], on my return from a walk, I 
find my valet-de-chambre in trouble ; he has been sum- 
moned by the police, and thinks they mean to make a 
soldier of him. I write to the English minister and to 
the Minister of the Police, and finally give him a certifi- 
cate, and all is settled. Mr. Scott tells me, de science ceriatne, 
that Sir M. Eden has received advices from Lord Mallorj' 
at Paris by a messenger. This thing is in itself indiffer- 
ent, but Sir M. Eden takes pains to keep it a secret, which 
is an affectation of mystery much misplaced ; for it is one 
of those things which cannot be concealed, and which 
the enemy must have known much earlier than he did. 
He has received this day, and wishes to circulate, the news 
that the evacuation of Corsica is countermanded. 

" The courier whose arrival is to be kept secret walks 
about the town conversing with the English of his acquaint- 
ance. I visit after dinner the Count de Pergin, Minister 
Vol. II.— 15 



226 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

of the Police, to thank him for not committing an act of 
outrageous oppression ; for such it would have been to 
have taken up a stranger, the servant of a stranger, and 
forced him into military service. He has, however, made 
a very polite (though magisterial) answer to my letter, 
and this it is which induces me to leave a card at his 
door, for he is not at home." 

" Having begun this month with the study of German — 
a difficult enterprise^ especially at my time of life — I appro- 
priate my mornings to it. Dine [November 12th] at M. 
de Schoenfeldt's, whose cook was taken ill two days ago, 
when I was to have tasted the productions of his art. He 
is since dead, but the dinner seems not to have suffered 
by the demise of his authority and jurisdiction to a female 
successor. I learn that M. Pellin, who was the faiseur of 
Mirabeau, dines every day with M. Thugut. This M. Pel- 
lin has been painted to me as one of the most corrnpt 
men living. Voil^ beau jeu pour les Fran^ais, I presume 
that, when Mirabeau came over to the Court, Pellin was 
so much let into the secret as that now they are obliged 
to treat him with attention." 

"This morning [November 13th] Sir M. Eden presents 
me to the Archduchesses, sisters of the Emperor, and Ma- 
dame of France. The elder Archduchess, who is betrothed 
to the heir apparent of Naples, has a striking resemblance 
to the Queen of France, which I mention to her, and she 
tells me that others have observed it. God send she may 
not experience a similar fate ; but she seems, at any rate, 
destined to a wretched life, if that be true which is re- 
ported, viz., that her intended husband is but just above 
idiocy. Madame of France strikes me by the strong re- 
semblance she bears to her father, Louis XVI., and I can- 
not help observing, when we leave her presence, on the 
malignity which pursued her poor mother, and would 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 22/ 

have persuaded the world that this was an offspring pro- 
duced by her gallantries. Every trait gives the lie to that 
aspersion." 

"Yesterday [November 14th] brought the account that 
the Austrian armies had advanced towards Italy, and this 
day two couriers arrive, one of which brings news that 
Davidovitch had beaten the French on the 7th, after an 
obstinate contest, a little beyond Trent, and taken a 
thousand prisoners, with five pieces of cannon. The other 
announces the advance of Alvinzi on the 7th, (after the 
repulse of the French on the 6th, which was announced 
yesterday) to Vicenza, which the enemy had abandoned, 
retreating to Montebello, which is, I understand, a very 
important post, and where, probably, M. Bonaparte will 
make his stand. If, as is most likely, his forces be already 
much diminished by disease, he will probably now meet 
the usual fate of French armies east of the Alps. Go to 
Madame Arnstein's. Here I am told some anecdotes of 
M. Rassoomovsky,* and his amour with the Queen of Na- 
ples, with whom he had been the predecessor of M. d'Al- 
ten ; her asking then his recall, etc. ; also a history of his 
preceding amour with the Grand Duchess ; the discov- 
ery of it to the Duke, by way of consoling him for her 
death, which last was supposed necessary to the peace and 
quiet of the Russian Empire. The manner of it supposes 
the imperial Catherine to be superior to what are called 
the finer feelings. With this is connected a story how the 
King of Naples, a good sort of man, prevailed, after much 
entreaty, on the Grand Duke to see Rassoomovsky, then 
ambassador at his Court, to which he at length consented, 
but upon his entering turned his back upon him. The 

* Rassoomovsky, a Russian nobleman, best known as the friend and pat- 
ron of Beethoven, who dedicated to him, among other works, the famous Ras- 
soomovsky Quartets. 



228 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

Other, en vrai Russe^ fell on his knees, and in that humble 
manner followed him about the apartment. Yet this man 
is considered here as haughty. There may be reason for 
it, too, because hauteur and bassesse are too frequently al- 
lied." 

" I learn to-day [November i6th] that Spain has de- 
clared war against Great Britain, and that Admiral Mann, 
flying from a superior force, took shelter under the guns 
of Gibraltar. This does not look like peace." 

"At Madame Pergin's, to-night [November 20th], I hap- 
pen to sit next to Madame Haften, a Marseillaise amie of 
M. del Gallo. The Cardinal Alberoni, who comes in and 
makes a trio with us, maintains a most liberal, or, as pre- 
cise folks might not miscall it, a libertine conversation. 
He is said here to be ires aimable, but he has un ton de 
beaucoup trop libre pour ce qu'on appelle, en France, 
la bonne society. This leads to conclusions on the taste of 
Vienna which I certainly shall not draw without further ob- 
servation. Madame is assez gate, but from that no unfavor- 
able deductions can be made. The Prince Sapeiha comes 
in, and, in a general conversation on the beauty of a certaip 
lady, it is inquired whether she be belle or jolte ; and differ- 
ent persons opine different ways, till at length, the voices 
being equal, the Prince brings forward, to instance his dis- 
tinctions, Madame Mostoska on one side, Mesdames Lini- 
ouski and Kinski on the other, giving decided prefer- 
ence to the two latter, who are certainly fine forms and 
figures. The former, with an open, ingenuous counte- 
nance and lively sweetness of expression, has pleased me 
much for the few times I have seen her, which Madame 
Haften has observed, and cites me as her advocate. Upon 
this I seize the occasion, and, addressing myself to him : 
' Mon prince, je ne me donne pas pour d^fendeur de Ma- 
dame Mostoska, car elle n'en a pas besoin ; encore moins 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 229 

me permettrai-je de faire des comparaisons, puisqu'il s'y 
trouve toujours quelque chose d'odieuse. Je ne ferai qu'- 
une seule observation : que m'itnporte le plus beau palais 
du monde, si toutes les portes en sont toujours fermees ? ' 
Should this saying circulate I should not be sorry, be- 
cause it will strike someone whose stiff manner I might 
be offended at if anything of this sort could offend, but 
which I pity, because it is truly * pitoyable.' The Prince 
is completely silenced, saying only he is glad the unhappy 
Poles have been able to preserve something in their gen- 
eral misfortune. He, as well as Madame Mostoska, is of 
that ci-devant nation." 

" News is received [November 21st] that Commodore 
Elphinstone has taken, in Saldanha Bay, the Dutch fleet, 
consisting of three ships, five frigates, and transports with 
four thousand troops, without firing a shot. This is very 
important, in that it secures the whole of the East Indies, 
of which the Cape of Good Hope is an essential out-work. 

** Spend part of the evening at Madame Castelalfieri's, 
whence I depart before supper, but having had, the rare 
thing for this country, some pleasant conversation. In 
speaking with Monseigneur Albani on the state of public 
affairs, my freedom brings forward his, and he tells me that 
his Court is so extremely feeble that nothing can be hoped 
from them. He ac4cnowledges the ultimate apprehen- 
sions of Italy from the House of Austria, and, as to the 
present views of the French, says very justly that the 
temporalities of the Church are menaced, which, once 
gone, no moral force now remains by which to recover 
them." 

"There has been some severe fighting in Italy, and, 
to judge by the government account [November 26th], 
Alvinzi has been sadly beaten and his army dispersed. 
Bonaparte attacked him the i6th and 17th. The loss is 



230 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

said to have been great on both sides, which seems proba- 
able, but it appears to me that, if great and unknown ob- 
stacles did not prevent it, Alvinzi should have marched to 
the right of Verona and formed a junction with Davido- 
vitch, instead of marching to the left and increasing, by 
that means, the distance between the two armies, so as 
to render a co-operation impracticable. Davidovitch has, 
iiowever, gained a considerable advantage, on the i8th 
having taken a thousand prisoners and some cannon, 
which last article proves that he has gained a complete 
victory. I conclude that Bonaparte fights thus obstinately 
in the hope of taking Mantua before it can be relieved. 
On that point seems to turn the fate of Italy. Sir M, 
Eden assures me that the loss of the French under Bona- 
parte was equal to that of the Austrians under Alvinzi." 

" To-day [November 29th] I see an English newspaper 
containing the address of the President of the United 
States to his fellow-citizens on occasion of the ensuing 
election, in which he declines being a candidate. This 
gives me very great pain. There are said to be news 
from Italy of a very unpleasant nature. The garrison of 
Mantua is in want of everything but bread. It will, I fear, 
be found that man liveth not by bread alone. M. de 
St. Priest assures me that the Empress of Russia is de- 
termined now to send troops agaii»st France. He says 
that Great Britain offered last year a million sterling as a 
subsidy to the Empress, who would not accept it then. 
He tells me that Lord Malmesbury is treated contemptu- 
ously at Paris, which conduct is, in his opinion, very ab- 
surd. I remember that my friend Woronzow rejoiced to 
the King of Great Britain over the haughty answer of the 
Directory to the propositions made through Mr. Wickham 
last year, considering it as the only false step which they 
had made in politics. He did not then, neither does M. 



1796.] GOU VERNE UR MORRIS. 23 1 

de St. Priest, consider both sides of the question. The 
Directory consider the temper of their own nation, and, 
being determined to reject treaty, they do it in the way 
which can best raise the spirits of the French and give, 
at the same time, an air of Mat to their proceedings which 
may dazzle other nations. At present they count, I be- 
lieve, on an alliance with the Turks as well as with Spain, 
and, if the Turks make an irruption into Hungary, the 
force of this Empire will be greatly shaken. The fate of the 
war seems to depend much on the relative marine forces 
in the Mediterranean. Will Great Britain be able to pre- 
serve the superiority there ? This is a serious question 
for the Emperor. Mr. Scott lends me Burke's pamphlet,* 
which is strongly thought and in general well expressed, 
but the coloring too high. There was in the Frankfort 
paper an answer of the British Cabinet through Lord 
Malmesbury to the French Directory. This answer is well 
drawn, but the Directory, who answer with contemptuous 
brevity, have, however, the advantage in reserve of being 
able to say that Britain, though called upon, has not spe- 
cified the conditions of peace which she means to pro- 
pose, but only brought forward a vague, abstract proposi- 
tion which, denied, would lead to long investigation and 
which, admitted, brings the questions to be agitated in 
concluding a peace to no nearer decision than before. It 
is evident, however, by the high tone of the Directory, 
that they wish to avoid treaty, otherwise they would have 
made this simple observation, and it is evident also that 
the British administration do not consider matters as 
ripe, or they would not direct the discussion of moot 
points. In effect, this Court is not yet, I believe, decided 
as to its object. Conversing with Sir M. Eden about 

* Letters on a Regicide Peace, which denounced Pitt's attempt to nego- 
tiate with France. 



232 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

general affairs, I express the idea that the misfortunes in 
Italy should induce this government to abandon it. He 
acknowledges that there is a kind of spell upon everything 
there, but thinks that, if Italy be abandoned, everything 
there will go to ruin. I fully agree with him, but insist 
that the Emperor had better leave the Italians to their 
fate than ruin himself in trying to save them. I find, 
however, that other ideas prevail here. Quern deus vult 
perdere, etc. I mention to him Lafayette's detention, and 
find from what he says that there is not much likelihood 
that he will speedily be liberated. I state to him what 
has occurred to me on Lord M.'s negotiation at Paris, and 
he feels but tries to color the objections. 

" The Marquis de Salines dines with me [December 5th]. 
He mentions with some indignation the wretched conduct 
of his Court, but adds that nothing is left for an individ- 
ual but silent concern. It seems clear that all Italy will 
be at the mercy of the French, and he thinks Naples will 
follow the example of Spain, and become the ally of 
France. I am inclined to the same opinion* This even- 
ing the Venetian ambassador tells me that Alvinzi has re- 
tired, and Davidovitch is beaten. Tlie affairs of Italy 
seem to be very bad for this Court, to which it would ap- 
pear that the French Court are still making overtures of 
peace. Madame Rassoomovsky, with whom I spend the 
evening, entertains much by the naif histories which she 
gives of herself in her presentation here as ambassadress, 
and her reception at Moscow by her father-in-law. She 
admires much the Empress of Russia, not merely as a 
great sovereign but as a pleasant woman, and tells, among 
other things, a story of a sleighing party in which her 
coachman overset her. and excused himself by saying that 
he had tried for an hour to overturn the sleigh of a page 
without effect, and could not have succeeded if he had not 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 233 

seized that opportunity, in doing which he had gone further 
than he had intended. She smiled, and begged him in 
future to play such tricks when there was nobody in the 
carriage. This woman is, however, accused, and I believe 
justly, of many acts of a most serious complexion. But 
such is human nature. Malcolm, I think, says, ' A good 
and virtuous nature may recoil in an imperial charge.' 
The nuncio tells me that the King of Naples, in rectifying 
his treaty with France, has included the Pope, but in sucli 
way as to leave a part of the papal dominions at their 
mercy ; that the French have, indeed, retracted those arti- 
cles which gave most uneasiness to the people of Rome in 
regard to the religious rights of His Holiness, but have left 
enough to destroy all his ghostly authority. The Venetian 
ambassador tells me that things go badly yet in Italy. It 
is said, however, that Wiirmser in a late sortie has taken 
some cattle and gained considerable advantage." 

"The news arrives this day [December loth] that the 
Empress of Russia is dead. She felt an unusual heat in 
her head, to remedy which she put her feet in ice, and 
died instantly of an apoplectic fit. She certainly took the 
direct road to apoplexy. The new Emperor* immediately 
discharged the life-guards, and sent for his own regiment 
to perform that duty. This event may contribute to change 
the face of Europe. He may perhaps find it for his in- 
terest to let the Emperor of Germany and England be 
reduced by France, while he applies balsams to the wound- 
ed population and finance of his immense dominions. On 
the other hand, it seems to me that so soon as Russia 
abandons her plans of conquest she risks being divided 
in her turn. I presume that, among the great effects to 
result from this sudden change, a small one will be to 

• Catherine II. was succeeded by her more or less insane son Paul, who 
was murdered in 1801. 



234 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

lower the tone of self-sufficiency and intolerable hauteur oi 
M. rAmbassadeur, which has, I find, greatly disgusted the 
people here." 

"It is said this day [December nth] that the Empress 
of Russia lived thirty hours after the attack, but was 
speechless all the time ; that it was in sea-water, not in ice, 
that she put her feet ; that it was by advice of an Armin- 
ian physician in whom she had great confidence, and was 
to cure a swelling in her legs. It is said, also, that advices 
of several days subsequent to her decease announce that 
no changes had taken place at Court. A general expecta- 
tion is raised that this sudden death will produce exten- 
sive consequences." 

"Spend the evening [December 12th] at Sir M. Eden's, 
M. de St. Priest tells me here the accounts he has re- 
ceived from Petersburg of the late event. The old lady 
was, on the evening of November 15th, in very high 
spirits and retired at her usual hour. The morning of 
the i6th she, as usual, breakfasted, and employed herself 
in writing. M. le Prince Zubow (her favorite) came in as 
usual, and after some conversation retired to his apart- 
ment, and she went to the gard.e-robe. As she stayed a very 
long time her women became at last alarmed, and one of 
them ventured to go in. She was found lying on the 
floor. They got a mattress, laid her on it, and sent for 
medical assistance. She was bled repeatedly and vomits 
given, but she remained speechless, and died on the even- 
ing of the 17th at half-past nine, just six and thirty hours 
from the time of the attack. Her bowels, it appears, 
were mortified, supposed to arise from the sharpness of 
humors thrown back on the system by the use of a 
marine bath to her feet. Zubow sent off for her son, 
the present Emperor, then at his country-seat, who came 
immediately to town, etc. He has not only preserved to 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 235 

this favorite a place, but made him a marshal. He has 
given the regiment of guards to his sons. He has sent 
for the Princes Repsin and Romanzovv, to consult them 
on the military affairs, in which he projects considerable 
changes. He told the Imperial envoy that he would 
strictly perform all his engagements to this Court. He 
gave a similar assurance to the English minister in pres- 
ence of the Prussian minister, and then, turning to the lat- 
ter, told him he should equally perform his engagements 
to the Court of Berlin. As all these engagements do not 
well consist together, under present circumstances, his pro- 
fessions amount to little or nothing, and leave him at lib- 
erty to shape his conduct according to his convenience. 
The mother had taken her measures to send a considerable 
force against France, and among them was the new levy 
of one hundred thousand recruits, but as he has counter- 
manded the order given for that purpose, it seems likely 
that the engagements made with the Emperor and Eng- 
land are not to be performed in that respect. It is, more- 
over, usual for sovereigns to adopt different measures from 
those pursued by their predecessors, and in all probability 
his debut will be favorable to Prussia — perhaps to peace." 
"Spend the evening [December 17th] at Madame Po- 
toska's. Nothing new, only that the new Emperor of 
Russia has declared he will give audience twice a week to 
all his subjects, has abolished a little tax which was laid 
on them and which fell chiefly on the poor, spends three 
hours a day in exercising his guards, and courts the more 
potent nobles by bestowing great places on them ; among 
others, that of marshal to a man who is paralytic. It is 
whispered at Petersburg that he means to make Moscow 
his residence, and this seems to accord with his veneration 
for the memory of his father, who was, it is said, disposed 
to throw Russia back to barbarism, from which Peter the 



236 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

Great had raised her. He has, it seems, ordered six months' 
mourning for his father. The weather is as cold here to- 
day as man need wish, and would not greatly disparage 
Petersburg." 

" This morning [December i8th] I go by appointment 
to Baron de Thugut's, and begin by announcing to him my 
departure, with the usual offer of service, and add that 
before I go it seemed proper that I should trouble him with 
some ideas on the present state of affairs. I premise the 
conviction that nothing is to be expected from the new 
Emperor of Russia, and then state what may be done if a 
victory in Italy be vigorously followed up without those 
managements which, in a war of this sort, must ever prove 
injurious. Mention what may be effected by forcing 
Spain to cede commercial privileges, and how that would 
tend to invigorate the finances, more especially if the 
communication by canals be effected ; and on this head 
mention the kind of canal which appears to me best calcu- 
lated for this country, with some reasons of policy, both 
civil and military, for adopting it. I state to him the rea- 
sons why, especially in the present moment, it is impor- 
tant to bring over the Prussian Cabinet — which point we 
discuss a little — and calm his apprehensions from the in- 
creased power of that monarch in case such ideas should 
be adopted. I state to him the certitude that Russia must 
sooner or later be the enemy of Prussia from geographical 
reasons, and add that Prussia is far from being formidable 
when compared with a country of real resources, such as 
the Austrian monarchy. I tell him that I am persuaded 
the French will, if they secure Italy, stimulate the Turk 
to war and break into Hungary in order to restore Po- 
land. He smiles at this and tells me, first, that the Prus- 
sians, who in the case supposed would be allies of the 
Turk, cannot wish for the re -establishment of Poland ; and, 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 237 

secondly, that the Turks, far from attending to an object 
which so nearly concerns them, view the fate of Poland 
with perfect indifference ; that he was in Constantinople at 
the time of the first partition, and found tliem totally in- 
attentive to it. I do not choose to observe to him, as I 
might, that the situation of Europe is now materially dif- 
ferent, and that they will not want counsellors to point out 
the importance of the present moment. After having said 
as much as was proper, and received his thanks for the 
communication, I take out a letter I had received from 
Madame la Marquise de la Montague, sister of Madame 
de Lafayette. M. de Thugut contradicts the account of 
ill-treatment, expresses the wish that they had never had 
anything to do with him, and assures me that Madame de 
Lafayette may leave the prison whenever she pleases, but 
that she must not be permitted to go backwards and for- 
wards. I solicit his release, but find it is in vain. He says 
that probably he will be discharged at the peace ; to which 
I reply that I never had any doubt of that and had taken 
upon me long ago to give such assurances, but that I wish 
it were done sooner, and add that I am sure it would have 
a good effect in England, giving my reasons. He says 
that if England will ask for him they will be very glad to 
get rid of him in that way, and they may, if they please, 
turn him loose in London." 

"Spend the evening [December 19th] at Sir M. Eden's, 
where there is a large company. The Duke of Wiirtem- 
berg goes off to-morrow for Hamburg and London, to 
espouse the Princess Royal, on which subject we have a 
little badinage. They say he is ill-tempered, but he cer- 
tainly has a good understanding. She also is said to be 
ill-tempered, and in that case they will have a rare minage. 
Mr. Bacon, who is just arrived from London, says that the 
nj#ion is still in good spirits, and fears little from the 



I 



238 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

Spanish war. M. de St. Priest tells me his news from 
Petersburg. The Emperor took his son to the apartment 
where Kosciusko * lay ill. He told the prisoner that he 
saw in him a man of honor who had done his duty, and 
from whom he asked no other security but his word that 
he would never act against him. Kosciusko attempted to 
rise, but the Emperor forbade him ; sat half an hour and 
conversed with him, told his son to esteem the unhappy 
prisoner, who was immediately released — the guard taken 
away. At the same time expresses were sent off into Si- 
beria, and ten thousand Poles confined there received 
passports and money to bring them home. This story is 
afterwards told to me by M. Lanskorenski, a Pole, who can 
scarcely restrain his tears as he relates it. They are all of 
them in ecstasy, and that single trait does more (in my 
opinion) towards securing the Russian part of Poland 
than an army of 20,000 men. But yet the character of the 
Poles is not such as may securely be trusted ; the great are 
too corrupt, and the body of the people too much abased. 
M. de St. Priest tells me another thing which he says he 
is assured of ; viz., that Spain has entered into the war 
with a view (from overtures made by the French Direc- 
tory) of placing the King's second son on the throne of 
France. I tell him, hereupon, that I have long suspected 
something still more important to the peace of Europe ; 
viz., that the heir of the Spanish monarchy should be 
placed on the French throne. This would necessarily 
overturn Portugal, and, with the possession of the territory 

'*Thaddeus Kosciusko, a Polish patriot and general, went to America in 
1777, fought at Yorktown, and was the friend of Washington. He defended 
Warsaw in 1794, was overpowered, wounded, and taken prisoner. The Em- 
peror Paul released him after two years' imprisonment, and offered him his 
sword, which Kosciusko refused, saying he " had no need of a sword since he 
had no longer a country." He died in Switzerland in 1817, having abolished 
serfdom on his Polish domains. * 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 239 

now in the hands of France, added to the greater part of 
America, go near towards that universal monarchy so long 
apprehended, though, indeed, in a different shape — a gen- 
eral influence instead of a general domination. This idea I 
was always cautious not to publish, and only mentioned it 
to one or two people whose discretion I could rely on. 
When the young Duke of Orleans and his brethren were 
invited to go to America, I considered it as a part of that 
system, and am still in the expectation that it will be 
somehow or other effected. To consolidate it, they should 
contrive to get the French princess here for his wife." 

In a letter to Lord Grenville, December 21st, written 
after his interview with Baron de Thugut, Morris says, 
a propos of Lafayette and the willingness of the govern- 
ment to liberate him if England should ask for his release : 

"Now, my lord, I wish you to consider that when peace 
takes place he will, of course, be liberated, and go to 
America. He will have more or less influence there. I 
believe he will have a good deal. You may, if you please, 
send him thither under such a weight of notorious obli- 
gation that he shall be incapable of disserving you. And 
if you take him now, there are two supposable cases in 
which, if he were twenty times a Frenchman, he would 
be inclined to serve you, viz., a restoration of the titular 
monarch, or the full establishment of the present rulers of 
his country. In all cases, you would do an act agreeable 
to America which would cost you nothing ; and I am sure 
you are not to learn that such things propitiate more the 
minds of men than more solid services, which, however 
they may promote the interests, seldom fail to wound the 
pride of the obliged party. Should you incline to this 
measure, the least hint would induce the American min- 
ister to request it on the part of the United States, unless, 
which I should deem the better mode, you did it of your 



I 



240 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

own motive. The effect would then be great, even in 
France. For though he is now of no importance there, 
that nation is highly sensible to every act of nobleness and 
generosity." 

"To-day [December 2ist] I visit many of my friends, 
and announce my departure. In the evening go to M. de 
Trautmansdorfe's assembly. I have here an interesting 
conversation with the Cardinal Albani, or, rather, Monsi- 
gnor Albani, for I believe he is not yet a cardinal. He 
tells me he is laboring to bring about an intimate connec- 
tion between his Court and this. He has stated fairly 
that they have no longer any apprehensions from Austria, 
but, being compelled to choose between France, who 
menaces the rights of property, and Austria, who can 
only attempt changes in the political system, they natu- 
rally prefer the latter from the weightier danger to be 
feared from the other side. I suggest to him another 
idea, which he seizes and promises to make use of, thank- 
ing me for it ; that the spiritual arms of the Pope — of lit- 
tle avail in times of tranquillity — may become dangerous 
in supposable circumstances ; that the ignorance of the 
people, which forms here a principal support of the sov- 
ereign, is in some considerable degree to be attributed to 
the influence of religion, and that the Pope may find 
himself under a necessity of tearing that veil of preju- 
dice which is now stretched before the eyes of the vul- 
gar. These expressions, I observe, are too strong to fall 
from his lips, but I use them to a man of the world to 
avoid circumlocution, and he will convey the ideas in his 
awn way. I also state to him what effect may be pro- 
duced, according to my conception of it, in Spain by the 
papal thunders, should an invasion of the country take 
place. Mention to the Prince de Reusse, who is an intel- 
ligent man, brother to the Imperial Minister at Berlin, 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 24 1 

the conduct which strikes me as advisable in Italy, and 
which, indeed, I had suggested to M. de Thugut. The 
Prince tells me that he thinks something very like it will 
be pursued, and laments that it had not been adopted 
in the Empire ; this would expose (for the present) to 
some difiSculties, but will come forward in due season if 
the war continue, and more especially if it be attended 
with success. Ask Lucchesini if it be true that the King 
of Prussia is dropsical. He assures me of the contrary, 
from letters recently received which particularly mention 
His Majesty's health — from which I infer that he has in- 
deed received letters which relate to the object ; they 
prove that some question exists respecting it, and then 
his known veracity leads me to believe that they contain 
about the reverse of what he announces. He enjoys that 
happy reputation that, in order to lie, he need only speak 
the truth. The nuncio tells me that the Imperial Court 
has given them General Colli to command the armies 
of His Holiness, and seems well pleased with the choice. 
M. Galitzin is arrived to announce the accession of the 
Russian Emperor. He is running amuck at popular- 
ity, and while all the badauds se pdment d' admiration, I 
cannot but reflect that such conduct marks more vanity 
than greatness. The Baron de Groshlaer comes to see 
me. He tells me that my arrival here occasioned much 
inquiry. People attributed to me different objects, and, 
finding none plausible, at last set my journey down to the 
account of M. de Lafayette. I understand that all this 
arises from what has passed respecting M. de Lafayette 
between M. Thugut and me. I finally tell him that the 
only difference between me and the young Englishmen 
of whom there is a swarm here is, that I seek instruc- 
tion with gray hairs, and they with brown. 

" Visit Madame de Stahremberg, where I meet the Rus- 
VOL. II.— 16 



242 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

sian ambassador, who is gravely disserting to the ladies 
on weepers — their different kinds, uses, origin, etc., all 
which is important and suitable to his situation, and, of 
course, becoming. Madame de Shoenfeldt catches my eye, 
and looks as if she thought it comical. M. Lanskorenski 
tells me that the new Emperor of Russia has made a great 
reform ; he has separated the civil from the military 
power. I take him a little aside, and say, * Qu'il prenne 
garde d lui. Le despote qui s'avise de rem^dier aux abus, 
doit se persuader, d'abord^ qu'il en est lui-meme le plus 
grand de son empire, et si une fois on se met a raisonner 
sur les abus, on monte facilement a la source de tout.' 
Urge M. de St. Priest, who agrees with me in opinion 
tliat nothing is to be expected from this Emperor, who 
seems to have taken Joseph (ubicunque Secundus) for his 
model, to endeavor to reconcile the Courts of Vienna and 
Berlin as the only probable means of restoring peace to 
Europe. He seems to have no disposition for this, though 
he is obliged to acknowledge that it is the only resource. 
He mentions insurrections at Breslau, and a proclamation 
from the King of Prussia which proves that he is fully 
aware of the danger of certain principles in his dominions. 
" The Bishop of Nancy calls on me, and I give him, as fully 
as I may, the statement of a concern in which the French 
Princess is interested. At Madame Colorath's assembly 
I see the Prince de Reusse, and enter into conversation 
with him and an acquaintance of his whom I don't know. 
He attributes the ill-success in Italy to the bad general- 
ship in some degree, and also to the want of officers in that 
army and the consequent bad composition of the troops. 
The deficiency of officers he traces up to a system adopted 
at the close of the Seven Years' War, by which the pur- 
chase of commissions was permitted. This brought into 
the army a great number of people who possessed nothing 



1796] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 243 

but money, and these, during a long peace, learnt only 
to manoeuvre their troops on the parade. Time, however, 
naturally brought them on to the rank of general officers, 
and now they feel the want of those men of rank who, 
having made war a profession, would have sought knowl- 
edge and experience in foreign service while their own 
country was at peace. He tells me that Alvinzi, a brave, 
good officer, is crippled by the gout, and, of course, unequal 
in activity to his opponent. He says that Wilrmser's 
misfortune, when he entered Italy, was owing to Quasda- 
nowitch, who scattered his troops about so as to expose 
them to what happened, viz., being cut off in detail. I 
observe that this was in some measure the fault of Wiirm- 
ser, who, in digesting his plan, ought to have foreseen at 
least the case of success, and to have given orders for the 
conduct which was in that case to be pursued. He tells 
me that such orders as I suppose were actually given but 
not complied with. I reply that, if so, Quasdanowitch 
ought to have been punished. He says one of their great 
faults here is neither to put the guilty or negligent in the 
way of punishment, nor afford to others the means of 
exculpating themselves. He mentions the hard case of 

General , who lost Italy, and assigns that loss to a 

very trifling incident. He had an inferior force to the 
enemy, being at most in the proportion of two to three. 
He determined to take possession of a river near Genoa, 
and, while he kept the enemy in check there, he gave 

orders to General to attack them on the 14th. He 

made his dispositions accordingly on the 13th, and gave 
the proper orders to General ; but one of his aides- 
de-camp, not having finished copying the orders till twelve 
o'clock at night, thought it most regular to date them on 
the 14th, as, in fact, they were not sent off till the 14th. 
As they contained orders for the morrow, of course General 



244 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 
prepared himself to fight on the 15th. Attacked on 



the 14th, he was overpowered by numbers, but on 

the 15th obtained the most brilliant victory, taking away, 
among other things, twenty pieces of cannon ; but new 
troops coming on continually against him, he was at 
length overpowered by numbers, and beaten also. Thus 
Italy was overrun by the French armies because a stupid 
aide-de-camp misdated an order. I express to the gentle- 
men my surprise that Colonel Mack, who is, I find, con- 
sidered here by professional men as being the best among 
them, is not sent to Italy. He says the Emperor has not 
so good an opinion of him, being surrounded by a very 
small circle who are Mack's enemies ; that the Council of 
War has recommended him, but the recommendation was 
not noticed. This reminds me of what Madame Arnstein 
told me last night ; viz., that the government is in the 
hands of a very few^ persons devoted to the Empress, who 
keep her husband secluded from everybody who would 
give him useful information. People, I find, differ very 
much upon all these subjects. My friend the Baron de 
Groshlaer told me that M. de Lehrbach was by no means 
of so much ability as I supposed ; had been educated to 
the magistracy, and is of an impetuous temper, which runs 
away with him. I pass a part of the evening with Ma- 
dame Potoska, and go afterwards with the Prince de Reusse 
to the midnight mass. He is a Protestant and, of course, 
not diverted by any conscientious motive from observing 
with me the scene. A great number of women of the town 
are here ; also some of higher rank, and lower principles. 
The principal object of a great part of the congregation 
seems to be the arranging of occasion for sensuality. 
The music is good, but I own that this mode of employ- 
ing an edifice dedicated to sacred purposes does not 
accord with my feelings." 



1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 245 

"At the Archduchess's to-night [December 25th] one 
of the little princes, brother to the Emperor, and who is 
truly an Archduke, asks me to explain to him the differ- 
ent uniforms worn by the young English — of whom there 
are a great number here, all in regimentals. Some of 
these belong to no corps at all, and the others to yeomanry 
fencibles, etc., all of which purport to be raised for the 
defence of their country, in case she should be invaded ; 
but now, when the invasion seems most imminent, they 
are abroad and cannot be made to feel the ridiculous in- 
decency of appearing in regimentals. Sir M. Eden and 
others have given them the broadest hints, without the 
least effect. One of them told me all the world should 
not laugh him out of his regimentals. I bowed, and told 
him the greatest monarch in Europe was not strong 
enough to brave public opinion. I see him, however, this 
afternoon in his uniform. I tell the Prince that I really 
am not able to answer his question, but that, in general, I 
believe these dresses are worn for convenience in travel- 
ling. He smiles at this, and asks what can be the mean- 
ing of a blue coat worn by Lord Cowper, with gold lace 
and a red cape. * That,' says he, laughing, * is, I suppose, 
a Court uniform.' If I were an Englishman I should be 
hurt at these exhibitions, and, as it is, I am sorry for it. 
I observe, however, on this occasion, what has often 
struck me before. They cite as incontrovertible author- 
ity in England the general conduct of young men, from 
whence I am led to suppose that old men are in the habit 
of admitting the validity of such authority. And now I 
find that here they assume it as unquestionable that the 
young men of England have a right to adjust the cere- 
monial of Vienna. The political relations of the two 
countries induce the good company here to treat them 
with politeness, but nothing prevents their being laughed 



246 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

at, as I found the other evening at Madame Groshlaer's, 
where the young women, as well as the girls, were very- 
merry at the expense of these young men." 

"To-day [December 26th] I dine at the Archduchess 
Christine's. They are very attentive to their guests, and 
do the honors of their house well. We have an odd 
ragout made of a bear's paws, which are esteemed here 
as a great delicacy and would, I believe, be very good if 
the cook had done less for them. There is one plate of 
them in salad, and one in a kind of stew. Madame de 
Lita is here, and says I must not go away. I ask M. de 
Lita to present me to his wife, observing that I had never 
been presented. He does this, but has something in his 
air which looks as if by instinct he were informed that 
the introduction were quite unnecessary and our acquaint- 
ance already well made. Go to the Russian ambassa- 
dor's, and make my bow. I find that he is a little hu- 
manized by the idea that he may soon lose his place, a 
circumstance which occasions triumph to all around him, 
and which thereby inspires me with pity. It is not well 
done to insult the fallen, even in idea. After sitting a 
little while, go to Sir M. Eden's. In conversation I men- 
tion to him the observations of the little Archduke. He 
tells me that this mania of his countrymen for wearing 
regimentals has long given him concern and now much 
pain ; that he has told them how improper it is, how in- 
decent, etc., but without effect. It originated, he thinks, 
in the economical views of their parents. He tells me 
that while at Berlin four Englishmen who appeared in 
that dress (not being officers) were turned away from 
Potsdam, and complained to him, but he told them they 
were rightly served ; that they would not have presumed 
to appear in that way at St. James's, and could not expect 
that a foreign prince would indulge them in greater lib- 



/ 

1796.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 24/ 

erties than their own monarch. Leave Sir M. Eden and 
go to Mrs. Peploe's to a musical meeting which might 
well be called a screaming party, for a Madame de Has- 
feldt, who resembles more a Wapping landlady than any- 
thing human, pours forth such yells as would little dis- 
parage a chief of the Mohawks. A Comtesse de Zoes 
plays to show her graces, I presume, certainly not her 
science, while poor Madame Peploe, boiling with vexation 
at the murder of her music, labors, but in vain, to harmo- 
nize these discordants. I am thrown into a violent con- 
vulsion of laughter which, without being noisy, is appar- 
ent in spite of my utmost efforts. Mrs. Scott catches 
the infection, and conceals as well as she may the effects 
of it by coughing, while the Prince de Reusse, whose good 
heart is alike solicitous for the singing and laughing par- 
ties, that one may not give or the other take offence, 
renders by his air, manner, and efforts the whole scene 
completely theatrical. After the company are gone and 
Mrs. Peploe has had a few moments to vent the expres- 
sions of her just indignation, she is so kind as to soothe 
ray tingling ears (which feel as if something were scratch- 
ing them) by a delicious air most sweetly sung." 

"Prepare to-day [December 31st] for my departure 
from Vienna. Visit Madame Arnstein, and send my car- 
riage to pay visits. While I am at Madame Arnstein's 
the Due de comes in and says, laughing, that Ma- 
dame de Lita is very sorry I am going away. Madame 
Arnstein tells me I ought to delay my journey. ' Huit 
jours suffiront pour commencer et finir le roman.' 'Com- 
ment, madame, huit jours ?' They are highly diverted at 
the surprise, amounting almost to astonishment, which is 
expressed in my countenance, and are far from supposing 
that the time they prescribe is just seven days more than 
was necessarv. Go to Madame Potoska's and see there 



248 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

a Saxon delicacy, viz., cockchafers {des hannetons) pre- 
served in sugar [confiis). These animals resemble in some 
respects what in America they call the locust, but are not 
so large, and have, besides, the hard cover of a bug to 
their wings, which cover is a bright brick-colored brown. 
How it should enter into people's heads to eat them, un- 
less driven to it by famine, one could hardly conceive, 
and the making them into sweetmeats is utterly incon- 
ceivable." 

"This morning [January ist], immediately after break- 
fast, dress and go to Court. The levee is oddly ar- 
ranged, all the males being in one apartment, through 
which the Emperor passes in going to chapel, and returns 
the same way (with the Empress and imperial family), 
after which they go through their own rooms to the 
ladies, assembled on the other side. The most brilliant 
thing here is the noble Hungarian Guard, a body (not 
numerous) of handsome, tall men, on fine fiery steeds, 
magnificently caparisoned. The captain of this guard, the 
Prince Esterhazy, who is but of medium size or, rather, 
under it, is in a Hungarian dress of scarlet with fur cape 
and cuffs, but the whole coat embroidered with pearls, as 
are also the cap, pantaloons, and boots of yellow morocco 
leather — four hundred and seventy large pearls and many 
thousands of inferior size. Notwithstanding this profu- 
sion, it is done in good taste, and cost but one hundred 
guineas for the workmanship. A collar of large dia- 
monds, a very large solitaire in a ring, another in the head 
of his cane, a plume of diamonds, the hilt and scabbard 
of his sword set with diamonds, and even his spurs — in 
short, he and his horse, who is bejewelled also (though I 
did not see him), are estimated at a value of half a million 
guilders, or about fifty thousand pounds sterling. His 
revenue (for he is the richest subject in Europe) amounts 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 249 

to from sixty to seventy thousand pounds, and has, during 
the Turkish War, gone up to a million of guilders. He 
lives in great magnificence, but without that useful part 
of it — hospitality. Has now above one hundred and fifty 
horses in Vienna, but had run out considerably before he 
came to his estate, and his father had also been in debt. 
This last, in six weeks' residence in Frankfort, where he 
was ambassador, during an imperial coronation, spent 
eighty thousand pounds. In short, the estate is now 
dipped to the tune of between six and seven millions of 
guilders ; so that it is in the hands of creditors, who pay 
him a net two hundred thousand for his expenses, with 
which income he runs annually deeper in debt. Here is 
the history of the feudal system in its decline. Most of 
the great families are doing, as I am told, the same foolish 
thing, and the government rejoices at the consequent 
humiliation of a haughty nobility, without considering 
that the power which is to spring up in their stead — and 
which, being novel to the constitution, has, of course, no 
counterpoise provided, and is, moreover, increased by the 
impetus of progressing force — must at length, if it do not 
overturn the throne, give it at least the severest shocks. 
But who cares for posterity ? If the minister of the day 
can but live through his day all is well with him, and 
throughout human life the pressure of the moment forces 
men out of all the line of prudence. Video meliora probogue, 
deteriora sequor is a motto which might be annexed to al- 
most all escutcheons. 

" M. Mazenski, a Pole, and grandson to Augustus of 
Saxony, was at Court to-day with diamond epaulettes of 
very large stones. It is said that he has the finest dia- 
monds of any subject in Europe. But a finer thing than 
his jewels, or those of any other man, was the conduct of 
his servant, who, when his master was made prisoner, dur- 



250 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVI. 

ing the late troubles in that miserable country, possessed 
himself of his valuables and whispered to him, ' If you 
escape you will find me at Leipsic' Mazenski was under 
the gallows, and saved himself by haranguing the popu- 
lace. At Leipsic he found the servant and the treasure. 
I pass the evening with Madame Arnstein, and she tells 
me that the Emperor and Empress are not only weak but 
also malicious ; that he envies the glory acquired by his 
brother the Archduke, and, as I appear astonished, she 
gives me as a proof that when the people here were going 
to illuminate their houses in honor of Prince Charles it 
was forbidden by the police, and that Brown, Director of 
the Theatres, and a creature of the Empress, gave that 
night such a play as left the audience no room to applaud 
their favorite, who received, indeed, the honors of the 
faubourgs when the theatres were under no such control ; 
whereas in the city they had no other mode left of ex- 
pressing their sentiments but a dangerously joyful recep- 
tion of the Archduchess Christine, who is known to be the 
particular protectress of the Archduke, and to have adopt- 
ed him as her son. Another proof she gives is that when 
Prince Esterhazy, who went to congratulate the Archduke 
on the part of Hungary, returned, he told the Emperor 
that the army endured their extreme fatigue and distress 
only out of affection to the Archduke, at which His Majesty 
was much enraged. The Prince added that, as a faithful 
subject, he found himself bound in duty, both to His 
Majesty and the State, to entreat that he would command 
the Archduke not to expose his person so much. To this 
the Emperor answered coldly that he would write to him 
on the subject. She tells me as soon as Kehl is taken 
the Archduke is to come to Vienna, from whence she is 
persuaded he will not again go to the army. AH this 
may be overcharged, but the old proverb, ' No smoke with- 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 25 1 

out some fire,' is perhaps not to be disregarded on this 
occasion." 

" I take tea with Sir M. Eden [January 4th], and he tells 
me it is true that the French Directory have ordered Lord 
Malmesbury to quit Paris in eight and forty hours. He 
gave in his proposals very fairly, and was told that they 
would listen to none which were incompatible with the 
laws and constitution of the Republic. I conclude that 
Prussia is to come forward next spring, unless means can 
be discovered to change the views of that Court. Gen- 
eral Alvinzi is, it is said, advancing again. I discuss with 
him, a little, the French Constitution, maintaining a prin- 
ciple advanced by Mr. Pitt and Lord Grenville, viz., that 
it is so far from preventing a cession of territory by the 
Directory that it by strong implication gives that power 
expressly, besides the general grant of powers, in which // 
is clearly included. He holds a different opinion, and I 
find at last that he grounds it on the circumstance that his 
brother, Lord Auckland, did not take notice of any such 
power in his pamphlet, but seemed to accede to the doc- 
trine afterwards set up by the Directory. I walked out 
to-day to see the trousseau of the Archduchess. The 
crowd was very great, and the thing is good of its kind, 
said to cost about thirty thousand guineas." 



252 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIL 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Morris returns to Dresden. Rhyming letter written en route. Letter to 
Lady Sutherland. Sir Gilbert Elliot. Keeps Lord Grenville in- 
formed of his conversations with public men. The Duchess of Cum- 
berland's drawing-room. Takes leave of the Electoral family. 
Goes to Leipsic. Berlin. Madame Cesar. Presented at Court. 
Countess Lichtenau. Madame Crayen. Ball at the Prince Royal's. 
Baron Mtinchausen. Dines with the Queen. Conversation at Baron 
de Haugwitz's. Presented to Bischofswerder. Confidential conver- 
sation with Count Schmittau. Leaves Berlin for Brunswick. Pre- 
sented at Court. Dines with the Duchess of Brunswick. Plays whist 
with the sister of the great Frederick. 

THE long-looked for frost which was needed to make 
bearable a journey of several hundred miles in Jan- 
uary came on the loth, and, immediately taking advantage 
of it, Morris returned to Dresden. The journey was too 
uneventful to record here, but, to judge from a letter, 
chiefly in verse, English, French, and German, which he 
sent to Mr. Scott at Vienna while en route, the bracing air 
of the high mountains, or the memory of the strains of 
Viennese music, inspired his muse to tune her " harp in 
divers tones." Following are the opening lines : 



"Dear Sir 



" StSken, January 14th. 



While you in various talk or play, 
The merry moments while away, 

O'er lofty hills I clamber slow, 

And round me keen winds whistling blow. 

Et toi, Phillis, ma douce amie, 
Que j'aime jusqu'4 la folic ; 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 253 

Toi qui, meme le premier jour, 

Refus et rendis de 1' amour 
Les serments et la jouissance, 
Toi, modele de rinconstance ; 

Je t'aime toujours et te jure, 

Par les bienfaits de la nature, 
Par la fleche de Cupidon, 

Par la ceinture de sa m^re. 
Par ce que 1' amour a de bon, 

A jamais tu me seras ch^re ; 
A moins qu'une autre douce amante 

Ne me fasse oublier tes charmes : 
Tu sais (en pareil cas savante) 

Comment on se s^che les larmes. 

" And now," he concludes in prose, " as I am at the 
bottom of page and paper, I bid you adieu, praying my 
remembrances to the circle of our friends. Thank Prince 
Reusse for his directions, which have been of singular 
service to me. Try to tell Mrs. Scott how much I love 
her, and believe that I have a just sense of your worth, 
and therefore feel for you a singular attachment." 

Morris arrived at Dresden on the 22d of January, and 
found a pleasant welcome awaiting him from the friends 
he had made during a previous visit. " Mr. Hugh Elliot, 
the brother of Gilbert Elliot, Lord Minto, calls on me 
to-day," he says, "and is more free in his opinion of the 
ministers than I should have imagined. He tells me that 
the French army on the other side of the Rhine will next 
spring be in great force and fine condition, and also that 
the King's ministers are very desirous of peace, and 
would, he is convinced, give in to any terms that should 
be plausible, hoping that France would then do her own 
business. Mounier comes in to see me, and gives me some 
information respecting the early part of the French Revo- 
lution and the part which he acted ; also traits of M. 



254 DIARY AND LEITERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

Necker's ineptie. Mr. Elliot speaks a little on the same 
subject. He tells me that the only man he met with of 
real ability among the French was Mirabeau. He says 
they were brought up together ; he knew him intimately. 
He was incorruptible. To this I reply that the price of 
his assistance was perfectly known for every measure. 
He says that in such case the measure must have met the 
previous approbation of his own judgment. This is a 
nice distinction indeed. He allows, however, that he was 
corruptible enough on the side of his passions, which 
were violent, and which always could dispose of him. 
At the club to-day a gentleman whom I saw last summer 
comes up and tells me that he has often thought of me, 
inasmuch as events during the campaign have answered 
exactly to the predictions I then made. I tell him there is 
no ground of vanity in that circumstance, because the 
situation of things rendered the course of events inevita- 
ble. From the gazettes which within these two days I 
have had occasion to peruse, it would seem that the ex- 
pedition fitted out by the French against Ireland has 
completely failed." 

"A courier from Sir Morton Eden arrives here this 
morning [January 27th]. He carries to England, I believe, 
the disagreeable intelligence that the Austrians have been 
severely beaten and that Mantua has surrendered. This 
gives all Italy to the French, and they will use it and 
abuse it. I fancy, notwithstanding M. de Thugut's as- 
surances, they will be able to stir up the Turks. Cer- 
tainly the moment is favorable." 

Taking advantage of this courier, "who stays a quarter 
of an hour longer than he intended," Morris had the op- 
portunity of acknowledging a letter from Lady Sutherland 
which had been following him for some weeks. 

" I will not touch on politics in this letter," he says, 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 255 

"because I have not time to say anything of that sort; 
and as to news, those from Italy are bad. Could not you 
come to Berlin and persuade the King of Prussia (who is 
in his heart a royalist) to support the cause of good gov- 
ernment against the revolution-mongers who would fain 
turn all the world topsy-turvy ? I think you would do 
more than half a dozen ambassadors, because His Majesty's 
ears are more easily touched by the sound of a female 
voice than by any other music, and because with that 
sound you would insinuate to him more sense than God 
has given. I do not propose that you should sacrifice 
yoxivseXi pour la patrieyhnt merely propitiate him a little to- 
wards the propositions which your lord might be charged 
to make. Ah 9a ! Laissons Ja les cours, le rois et toutes 
les bagatelles de cette espece. Venons aux choses impor- 
tantes. A cet effet, je vous envoie la copie d'une fable, or, 
if you please, a tale written in my carriage in coming 
from Vienna ; perhaps it may amuse you. You tell me 
you were frequently tempted to write. If you would 
take my advice, you would not resist the temptation. 
As a good Christian I pray not to be led into it, but 
being there (with the consciousness of having done my 
duty), I make it a rule to fall as decently as may be. 
How the Comtesse de Thun was tempted and how she 
fell is at least one-half of a mystery. The latter part 
was doubtless a consequence of the former ; but as 
to that, I think it would puzzle your ladyship, with all 
your genius, and you have a full share of it, to divine 
which of his lordship's graces had inspired the tender 
passion. Certainly, from the constancy of her correspond- 
ence, one may presume that she was trh /prise, unless the 
consciousness of writing well was an inducement. But, 
indeed, that sly dog vanity frequently lurks in the cor- 
ner of the heart when love imagines himself in full pos- 



256 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

session of it. The countess has the remains of a fine 
woman who has employed her time well." 

"This morning [January 30th] I call on Mr. Elliot, with 
whom I have a long conversation. He tells me that dur- 
ing the time Pitt bullied Spain he got frightened at the 
idea that France would adhere to the family compact, and, 
sent him, Elliot, over to negotiate with the Diplomatic 
Committee ; that everything was submitted to them, and 
the terms having been made agreeable to their taste, two 
couriers were despatched to Madrid, informing the Court 
that unless it acceded to them it must not count on 
the aid of France. This produced the treaty made by 
Lord St. Helen's, and opened the door to a confidential 
communication between the British ministers and the 
leaders in France ; viz., Mirabeau, Barnave, etc. On this 
occasion Mirabeau proposed to him that, in case a war 
should break out on the Continent, Flanders should, as in 
the Seven Years' War, be declared neuter. Whether it 
was in the power of the King's ministers to have carried 
into effect any such stipulation at a subsequent period I 
know not ; but certainly, if it had been, they were very 
wrong to engage in the war. On the subject of Hanover 
he says the King is quite intractable. He has heard him 
say that a sovereign has no right to transfer the allegiance 
of subjects which God has given him. This was in an- 
swer to a proposition made by the Prussian Cabinet to 
exchange their territory in the vicinage of Holland for 
that part of Hanover which lies between Prussia and 
Hamburg. Mr. Elliot is convinced that this city is much 
coveted by Prussia, but thinks the possession of it would 
be injurious to Great Britain, and in that respect he is, I 
think, much mistaken. He tells me that the Ministers, 
separately considered, are indeed able men, but that the 
Ministry is incompetent to the situation in which they 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 2$/ 

are placed, and that Pitt would, he is persuaded, submit 
now to almost any terms of peace in order to get out of 
the scrape. To this effect (as being characteristic of the 
man) he cites not only his squabble with Russia, but also 
the Spanish armament, and, in addition to his previous in- 
formation on that subject, says that the King was exceed- 
ingly vexed at the step taken in that business, which 
frightened Pitt and led him to speak ill of the French 
Convention, and at length from step to step into a war 
with them. He says they will not either adopt or adhere 
to any great manly system of continental politics. As to 
the Hanoverian Regency, he considers them all as pen- 
sioners of Prussia. In short, he looks darkly at the dark 
side of things, with more truth perhaps than might be 
wished. He tells me that Count Eltz was hurt at the 
doubtful manner in which I spoke yesterday to the Elec- 
tor respecting Mantua, but if the count knew what I do 
he ought to thank me for expressing only doubt and ap- 
prehension." 

In accordance with his promise to Lord Grenville, Mor- 
ris continued to jot down all his thoughts and suggestions 
on the state of Europe, with the hope that some safe 
means might be found of sending the letters to London. 
In these notes waiting for transmission to his lordship 
under date of the 31st of January, Morris speaks of the 
Austrian minister as not being equal to the task he had 
imposed upon himself, and recorded that he had been 
early informed of the danger which threatened Italy, "but 
the needful succors were not sent, and we know the conse- 
quence. I have made inquiries about Thugut from per^ 
sons who knew him intimately before he was Minister, and 
am sorry to say that none of them consider him as a states- 
man but rather as a man who joins profound dissimula- 
tion to the spirit of intrigue. There is one circumstance 
Vol. II.— 17 



258 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

in his conduct which is extraordinary. Your lordship 
knows that from a dissipated man of pleasure he became 
all at once a sequestered man of business. He accepts 
not invitations and goes nowhere, but dines always at 
home (generally tite-h-tHe with a M. Pellin — once the s%c- 
retzry y fatseur, and confidant of Mirabeau — a sly, sensi- 
ble, profligate fellow. Sir Morton Eden, to whom I re- 
marked on this strange connection and its dangerous con- 
sequences, told me Thugut was so discreet that Pellin 
could learn nothing from him. 

" The French Directory have, it is said, perfect informa- 
tion of what passes in the Austrian councils, but that may 
be mere assertion. So far as my inquiries could extend, 
there is at Vienna no able man to assist or (in case of 
need) to replace the Baron, who, by the by, is much dis- 
liked, and who cannot or will not employ some of the few 
able officers in the Imperial service, because they have 
declared themselves against him. How far it may be in 
your lordship's power to remedy this defect in the Aus- 
trian councils is a question I am incompetent to con- 
sider. 

" It seems demonstrated that Italy must, for some time, 
be left to its fate, and that the Emperor must hencefor- 
ward, in his own defence, keep a body of troops on the 
northeastern side of the Adriatic, and another in the 
gorges of Tyrol, Carinthia, and Carniola. Under these 
circumstances it would, I think, be wise to hold out the 
idea of an Italian campaign for the next spring, and to 
have transports collected at Trieste and Fiume for carry- 
ing troops across the Adriatic, under convoy of your fleet. 
These appearances would keep the fleet in check ; and, 
in fact, an invasion of that sort seems now the only 
practicable mode of recovering Italy. The climate ren- 
ders it imprudent to commence a campaign there before 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 259 

the month of September, but early preparations for it 
would oblige the French to keep a considerable force in 
the unhealthy part of that country, which in its conse- 
quences would be equivalent to a victory. A large body 
of troops might be assembled at Lintz, declaredly for Italy, 
but really for the Rhine, where the great efforts ought to 
be made. In what way and towards what objects I shall 
not permit myself to discuss, for many reasons, and par- 
ticularly because the plan of a campaign should be squared 
to circumstances by the genius of him who conducts it. 
I will merely observe that it will cost you less to carry on 
the war in the enemy's country than on this side of the 
Rhine. . . . 

" I must entreat your lordship to consider a little the 
actual and probable state of Germany. The constitution 
of this Empire is a bubble, and in reality there exist here 
two Emperors ; one of the North, who commands under 
the name of treating, and one of the South, who treats 
under the name of commanding. The Northern Emperor 
possesses almost all Westphalia and the two Saxonies, 
Hesse, with Lusatia, Silesia, Prussia, and a part of Poland. 
The Southern Emperor possesses Bohemia, the two Aus- 
trias, a part of Poland, with Hungary, Carinthia, Carniola, 
Styria, and Croatia. On their jealousy of each other de- 
pends the sickly existence of the various German princi- 
palities not included in the districts just mentioned. But 
these must sooner or later be divided between them. 
. . . Two great powers are indeed interested to pre- 
vent it — Russia and France — but principally the latter. 
And one great power is interested in promoting it, Brit- 
ain. The thing is not now practicable in its extent, but if 
it were, I should contend, my lord, that it would be for 
your advantage to bring both Austria and Prussia into 
direct contact with France, possessing yourselves at the 



260 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIl. 

same time of the Austrian Low Countries, and extending 
yourselves to the Rhine, from the mouth of the Moselle 
down to Gelderland; for in this way you would acquire, in 
the first instance, a mass of force sufficient to resist France 
without an ally, and, secondly, in the supposable case that 
Prussia should join France to wrest Holland out of your 
hands and divide between them the Low Countries, not 
only would your fleets do them much mischief at sea while 
they were besieging your fortresses, but your allies, Austria 
and Russia, would soon give you a decided superiority at 
land. Moreover, Austria and Prussia joined together 
would form a solid barrier against the further extension 
of the Russian Empire, a thing worthy of attention. But 
Germany, in its present situation, divided under little 
princes, presents nothing to France which can give her a 
moment's uneasiness or procure for you any valuable assist- 
ance. Force her now to surrender Flanders, she will again 
return to the charge, and possess herself of it sooner or 
later by conquest or by a political transaction with Austria, 
in consequence either of the jealousies which exist between 
that power and Prussia or by some arrangement between 
the three. You will then be under the necessity of forti- 
fying and garrisoning your eastern coast, at a most ruin- 
ous expense and with most precarious effect. 

" I can conceive only two reasons why you should not 
pursue the measures above alluded to, so far, at least, as 
they are now practicable. One of them is that they involve 
the surrender of Hanover to Prussia. Now I will admit 
that Hanover may for a time continue to be (as at present) 
subject to His Majesty in name ; but, even then, every es- 
sential of power must continue to be at the disposition of 
the Prussian Cabinet. Moreover, it is to be remembered 
that this Electorate might, in the case above hinted at, be 
the price paid to Prussia for consenting to Austria taking 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 261 

Bavaria in lieu of the Low Countries ceded to France ; 
and it is self-evident that you cannot hold Hanover against 
Prussia, even in name, except as a boon, and during the 
good pleasure of France. Her interest will induce her to 
support the German constitution, unless she can get Flan- 
ders by sacrificing it ; but still, whether she act in conjunc- 
tion with or in opposition to Austria, her views and her 
operations must ever be hostile to Britain. I come now 
to the second reason which may be urged why you should 
not give Hanover in exchange for the Low Countries, viz., 
the expense of defending them. You will observe, by the 
by, my lord, tliat I do not accurately distinguish between 
the King of Great Britain and the Elector of Hanover. 
In effect, and according to the view I take of this busi- 
ness, the distinction is useless, because I contemplate giv- 
ing to the same person one country for the other, the more 
valuable for the less valuable ; and whether in the conduct 
of it the Elector would make a sacrifice to the King is a 
question which His Majesty would in his wisdom decide, 
and which I shall not meddle with. But to return to the 
objection last mentioned. I answer, first, that you must (in 
all supposable cases) be at the expense of defending the 
Low Countries against France, or of defending yourself 
against them, and your history since Queen Elizabeth 
proves this assertion. Secondly, I aver that with proper 
management they would be able to defend themselves in 
a very considerable degree. Cover them by good for- 
tresses, arm and discipline the inhabitants, connect them 
with you by the ties of interest, language, manners, and, 
above all, by a mild and just government, and their neigh- 
bors would have more to fear from them than they from 
their neighbors. That country, intersected by many ca- 
nals, to which others may be added, possesses the military 
advantage of bringing all its powers with facility and celer- 



262 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIL 

ity to any one point of its frontiers. Its vicinage to Eng- 
land and numerous little ports enables you to pour in the 
force of your islands for its protection. The situation of 
Holland would obtain for you her cordial assistance in 
every war of defence, and you would thereby possess al- 
most exclusively all pecuniary resources — an object of no 
small import in modern wars. 

" So much on the head of defence from military force ; 
but there remain two other considerations. First, I ob- 
serve that those countries, in possession of France, would 
soon rival your woollen and iron manufactures, diminish- 
ing thereby your national wealth, and that a military port 
on the Scheldt would frequently, during war, put your 
capital itself in jeopardy, and always distress your coal 
and coasting trade, not to mention the supplies of naval 
stores drawn from the North, and which would also be 
exposed to capture. A Second consideration, and turning 
upon a different pivot, is the advantage to be derived 
from the possession of that country. Flanders, my lord, 
is the military highway into France, and (so long as she 
keeps Alsace) the only way by which it can be prudent to 
attack her ; even in that way she is not easily vulnera- 
ble, except by the aid of the maritime powers. But if her 
assailant be vulnerable at sea, and move with a large army 
along the coast, she will find resistance very difficult and 
very expensive. The attack, comparatively speaking, will 
be easy and cheap. It may be objected to the exchange 
proposed, that in losing Hanover you would weaken your 
influence and connection in the North. In some respects 
this is true, but in most respects your influence would be 
increased by the consideration that you could do injury 
or confer benefit. This consideration would go far towards 
rendering you the arbitrator of the North. I ought per- 
haps to beg your lordship's pardon for taking pains to 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 263 

prove a self-evident proposition, but I have reason to be- 
lieve that if the truth of it be generally felt it is not so 
generally acknowledged. Russia would see the proposed 
arrangements with concern. The jealousy of Austria 
might at first be alarmed, and Prussia may be induced to 
prefer receiving Hanover at the hand of France, should 
the Czar be quiet or the Turk be roused. Finally, in the 
various workings of this war, France may bring Austria 
and Prussia together at your expense. If she continue to 
offer territory and give money her scale may finally pre- 
ponderate. In proposing the plan you allude to you could 
(under present circumstances) have considerable advan- 
tage. The Prussian Cabinet cannot but see that it is 
better to deal with His Majesty for Hanover than to take 
it from him, and must prefer the preservation of existing 
governments to their destruction. Should your lordship 
think of gaining Prussia, I have reason to believe that 
some attentions to their minister with you would be use- 
ful. I think also that pains should be taken at Vienna to 
soften down their feelings, to which effect some address 
would be necessary, because they have hitherto, I believe 
(to speak medically) been treated rather by stimulants 
than emollients. The conduct of the Czar offers a suffi- 
cient reason and fair occasion for changing your system, 
but care must be taken to prevent him from suspecting 
your intentions, because he would certainly try to coun- 
teract you. I have already hinted at the Austrian part of 
a campaign. The Prussian part becomes evident from 
the geography of the country ; but lam persuaded that, a 
good understanding once established between the three 
courts, your objects might be obtained without striking a 
blow. The Elector Palatine might be compensated from 
the three electorates for Bavaria, given to the Emperor in 
lieu of the Low Countries. These, with Liege, might be 



264 DIARY AND LETTERS OF IChap. XXXVII. 

given to the King in exchange for his German dominions, 
and, should His Majesty desire it, they might be annexed 
as an Electorate to the Empire. But I should suppose it 
best in every point of view to erect them into a separate 
kingdom. Prussia might receive the King's German do- 
minions, surrendering to the Stadtholder Cleves and Prus- 
sian Gelderland for something in the West Indies. The 
three ecclesiastical electors and the Bishop of Liege might 
receive from Britain a pension for life equivalent to the 
net produce of their respective dominions, which pensions 
might be considered as the price of those possessions which 
Britain should retain of her conquests in the East and West 
Indies. Thus could this war terminate with advantage, and 
the continuance of peace be better provided for than ever. 
"Now let us take up the counter-supposition that Prussia 
should understand with France and Russia ; for, in order 
to simplify, I will put the Turk out of the question : Russia 
takes Finland, Prussia takes Hanover, France keeps what 
she pleases in the Low Countries. If Austria does not 
submit, she has a Prussian army in Bohemia, a Russian 
army in Galicia, a French army in Hungary. Humanly 
speaking, my lord, they could not but succeed. Austria 
would be deprived both of Milan and Flanders, and you 
might see yourself obliged to purchase peace by the sur- 
render of your conquests and the cession of Gibraltar to 
Spain, or else you might see Portugal overrun and rean- 
nexed to the Spanish throne. I will not pursue this sub- 
ject. It is too painful to dwell upon, but the mention of 
it may not be improper, in order to show the importance 
of coming forward to Prussia (and that speedily) with such 
propositions as shall command her attention. I will tres- 
pass no further on your lordship's patience than to entreat 
your pardon for the length and freedom of this letter, and 
so assure you of my sincere esteem and respect." 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 265 

" I go this evening [February ist] to Madame Pohlen's, 
whom M, Schomberg thinks a prude ; but Inglis thinks 
that any woman in Dresden will succumb to any English- 
man. A little national, this ! I find the fair one is a little 
gone in pedantry, and am pretty certain that, with proper 
attentions, she might soon be brought into the right way ; 
but as I do not mean to stay, I am rather brusque. She 
pardons the first kiss, taken rather forcibly ; but as she ob- 
stinately refuses the second, and tells me that my insisting 
on it may oblige her to avoid a repetition of my visits, I 
rather imprudently reply that I shall consider her refusal 
as tantamount to a declaration that she will not see me 
again. This passes, though she is a little hurt at it, but I 
believe I shall quit, for the game is scarce worth the 
chase. Go from hence to the Duchess of Cumberland's 
where I spend the evening. Her Royal Highness tells 
me she has information she can rely on that a corps of 
eighteen thousand Austrians, under Provera, has been 
totally cut off. There were but four thousand left to sur- 
render with their general after a most obstinate resistance. 

Bonaparte has been beaten, but General came to 

his assistance, recovered and changed the fortune of the 
day, so that Alvinzi was beaten back, and thereupon all 
the French army fell on Provera, who had crossed the 
Adige, and was pushing for Mantua. This is the second 
time that the Austrians have been beaten in detail, or, 
rather, the third. At the club I see the accounts of what 
has been suffered by the Austrians in Italy, They appear 
to have lost from twenty to five and twenty thousand 
men, and if to this be added the garrison of Mantua, 
which must now surrender, it will stand at a minimum of 
about forty thousand. On the whole, I estimate at not 
less than one hundred thousand men, what this campaign 
has consumed for them in Italy, exclusive of disease. No 



266 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

nation can long sustain such heavy drafts from its popu- 
lation. It appears, by the late French papers, that the far 
greater part of their armament is got back to their own 
ports, a circumstance not honorable to the genius of Lord 
Bridport." 

" Go to the ball of the English minister [February 3d]. 
Present to Count Eltz my compliments of condolence on 
the ill-success in Italy, and tell him I had intelligence of 
it last week, but could not with propriety communicate it 
to him. Mr. Elliot, who dined with me, spoke very freely 
of the British administration, declaring he is not hurt at 
the passe droit which he has endured, but yet there are, in 
the sharpness of his manner, no small indications of it. 
He insists that, in the Russian business, if Pitt had not 
been frightened he would have gone through. He says 
that in the beginning, viz., inciting the Turk to war, Pitt 
was the tool of Hertzberg, and afterwards was prevailed 
on by Lord Auckland to commit the treachery of aban- 
doning the Turk. This, I have formerly heard, was the 
prime cause of coldness on the part of Prussia, who has 
ever since thought herself justifiable in retaliating upon 
England. He gives me a curious anecdote to show how 
little the British Cabinet attends to the business which it 
undertakes. Sir Sydney Smith had served in the King of 
Sweden's galley-fleet, and had very gallantly contributed 
his share to the rashness by which it was ruined. After- 
wards, when Britain was in high courtship to the Empress, 
Sir Sydney soliciting at St. James's, the ministers, not 
knowing well what to do with him, thought it a lucky 
hit to send him to Constantinople to discipline the Turk- 
ish fleet. The Turks laughed at him, but with the gravity 
of Turks, and the Empress found in this trait a mark of 
the sincerity which the British minister was then profess- 
ing. Mr. Elliot tells me that their ministry is individu- 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 267 

ally so preoccupied as to have no moment in the four 
and twenty hours for considering plans, so that it is useless 
to talk or to write reason to them. The only chance is 
that at present they may fear for their heads ; but this 
would rather lead them to patch up an ignominious peace 
than pursue wise and vigorous measures. He talks of a 
private and undue influence over the mind of the King ; 
but here he is unintelligible, as, indeed, are all those that 
ever mentioned that subject to me, for none of them could 
ever say who were the persons exercising that influence. 
At one time, indeed, I had heard Lord Hawkesbury named, 
but he was a member of the administration, and could not 
therefore fall under that description. Lately the Queen 
was supposed to guide, but Mr. Elliot tells me that since 
the quarrel between the Prince and Princess of Wales, in 
which Her Majesty took part with her son, her influence 
is gone. Yet he speaks of this secret direction as of a 
thing certain, although its material parts do not seem to 
be defined or discovered. Now, as far as I can under- 
stand the matter, I take this to be nothing more than a 
species of obstinacy in the King's character. He was 
bred a courtier and can mask his sentiments at pleasure ; 
whenever, therefore, he has taken up an opinion, he can 
adhere to it without being either moved or convinced by 
the arguments of his ministers. They, believing their rea- 
sons uncontrovertible, and finding him of a different way 
of thinking, conclude it to be the effect of secret influence. 
His temper also jars with the situation in which he finds 
himself, as chief of a very limited constitution, where he 
is, in fact, only the elector of the real king. Sensible that 
he is under the control of those whom he has chosen, and 
must ever be so, he must feel a pleasure in being able to 
reciprocate the thwarts and checks which he receives. 
This temper is more particularly evident in what relates to 



268 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

Hanover, about which he is utterly unapproachable by 
his British ministers. And perhaps it is this little cir- 
cumstance which, above all others, attaches him to that 
electorate." 

"This morning [February 5th] I go to Court, and take 
leave of the Electoral family. Dine with Count Eltz, 
and go after dinner to the Duchess of Cumberland's. 
Brockhausen, who is here, talks with his usual pedantry, 
and mauvaise foi. Among other things, he says it was 
wise in Washington to resign while yet in place, inferring 
from thence that he would not have been re-elected. I 
see here a Galilean insinuation, and tell him gravely that 
no man in the least acquainted with American affairs can 
have the shadow of a doubt that he would have been re- 
elected had he chosen it. I add my conviction that the 
manoeuvres of the French Directory, so far from serving 
their friends, will have contributed more than anything 
to confer the Presidency on Adams. Elliot, who laughs 
along through the whole, expresses the hope that America 
will join England in the war, and take the French and 
Spanish possessions. Brockhausen expresses his doubts 
whether a scanty population of four millions, scattered over 
an immense territory like ours, can have an army sufficient 
to do anything. I tell him that, by withholding supplies 
of provisions from the islands, we should force them to 
surrender, and as to the Spanish continent, our settlers 
would take possession of it if the Government would per- 
mit them. By way of expressing his contempt for our 
force, he says he hopes we will let them alone. I tell him 
Vi^e shall gladly leave them in possession of their good tur- 
nips, but that the time will come when Prussia will find 
the friendship of America a thing of some consequence. 
If ever this man gets into power at home, his ignorance 
will go far to undo the work of Frederick." 



1797-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 269 

" Mr. Elliot calls on me this morning [February 6th], 
and groans over the state of public affairs, training mis- 
fortune up to misconduct. He tells me that while he was 
in the North he saved the King of Sweden, acting in the 
name of his Court without orders. The Russian minister 
complained to Mr. Pitt, who said he could account for it 
only by supposing that Elliot was drunk ; to which Elliot 
replied by a sharp letter, telling the Minister he had not 
been drunk since he had the honor of being so in his com- 
pany. He tells me the history of Jackson's mission to 
Constantinople. Jackson's father, who is a dean, is pat- 
ronized by the Duke of Leeds, who uses his house as a 
place of rendez-voiis for his girls. His grace wished to 
bring forward this worthy prelate to the Bench of Bishops, 
and the Minister was willing to oblige his grace, but, 
finding the character too bad, he settled the matter by 
giving the son, a very stupid fellow, the embassy. This 
is the story told by Steele to Mr. Elliot, who asked him 
how they came to make so strange an appointment. I 
dine with the Baron de Brockhausen, and take him after 
dinner to ride. Go for a little while to the club, and then 
to Madame Angerstrom's ball, where there are a number 
of handsome women. Elliot presses upon me again, for 
the dozenth time, his wish to establish himself in Amer- 
ica so soon as he shall have fixed his legitimate daugh- 
ter in life, having half a dozen illegitimate children and 
their mother to take care of. He is a manly fellow, and 
I wish he may come over ; there is room for all his little 
ones, and I reassure him of it. Promise to correspond 
with him on the subject." 

"This morning [February 7th], I leave the Ange d'Or 
inn at Dresden, which is by far the best I have met with 
in Germany. Our way lies along the Elbe. This noble 
river, navigable from Bohemia to the sea, is almost use- 



270 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

less to the inhabitants in consequence of the heavy du- 
ties and the restrictions imposed by Frederick and kept 
up by his successor. At Hubertsburg, which is a post- 
station in our road, is a large chateau, and round it an 
abundant forest, chiefly beech and oak. In this chateau 
was signed the treaty which terminated the Seven Years' 
War. It is very magnificent, but, I think, oddly placed. 
When I reach Leipsic I find a letter from Mr. Elliot, en- 
closing one for Madame Crayen, the wife of the Prussian 
consul here. Send it to her, with a note, to know if she 
is at home, etc., and am told that she is much indisposed, 
and will go to bed at five o'clock. At five or, rather, a lit- 
tle before it, her servant comes to let me know that her 
valet-de-place had made a mistake — that she meant to let 
me know she would receive me at five. When I come 
in she apologizes for receiving me en dhhabilU, but a 
fluxion in her cheek, etc. There is ^ petit bonnet of dress 
over a muffled face, and then a thick wrapper, and, finally, 
a gentleman with her. Is this indisposition ? Is it the 
ami de la maison? I know not, but she is a Prussian, and 
has been well looking, with beaucoup d' esprit, so one may 
conclude anything. I make my visit short, and pretext 
writing, car il faut Hre discret. Besides, I respect the 
golden rule, and do not admire on some occasions the 
society of a third person. As I come down-stairs, how- 
ever, I meet Monsieur le mari, I believe. She gave me a 
little of Elliot's history with his wife. He married her 
privately before she was sixteen, out of pure love, went to 
England, and when he came back found she had run off with 
a Pole. He came on to this place in pursuit of this mod- 
ern Paris, and was presented to him at her own house by 
Madame Crayen, who knew nothing of the matter. But 
the wrong-doer slipped off during the evening and quitted 
Leipsic, after which Elliot told her that he came thither to 



X797-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 2/1 

blow his brains out, and wiiy. He was, however, reconciled 
to his cara sposa. She played him still other facetious tricks. 
Among them was one very pleasant. Very late one night 
she lamented pathetically that she was unworthy of his 
tenderness ; that she had the misfortune to love the 
Charge d'Affaires of Holland, who wished her to be di- 
vorced, and proposed to marry her. The angry husband 
rushes out of the house, orders his carriage, goes to the 
rival, calls him up, and, on his testifying surprise at seeing 
Mr. Elliot at so strange an hour, is still more surprised at 
being told his errand, viz., to kill him honorably. On 
hearing the reason he assures him there is no shadow of 
foundation for it, and at the request of the husband goes 
with him, and reasserts the same thing in the presence of 
the wife, who says if that be the case she must have been 
mistaken. Madame Crayen is a charming woman." 

"To-day [February 12th] I push on to Berlin, although 
the morning threatens a thaw, and the first part of our 
distance lies over a stiff soil," 

"At the gate of Belitz [February 14th] we are detained 
five minutes by a conversation between my valet-de-cham- 
bre and the gate-keeper which I suppose to relate to us, 
and that some formality is wanting ; but, as I grow impa- 
tient and begin to growl, am told we may go in. It seems 
the old man took my baggage-wagon, which preceded me, 
for a puppet-show, and the servant, with whom he entered 
into conversation, for a strolling-player ; which last I do 
not wonder at, for he generally gives himself an air of im- 
portance which strikes the most superficial observers as 
being assumed." 

"At Berlin [February 15th] I am stopped, and my bag- 
gage, in consequence of a new ordinance, is sent to the 
Custom House, notwithstanding the usual douceur at the 
gate." 



372 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

"Go this morning [February i6th] to see Madame 
Cesar, to whom Madame Crayen had given me a letter, 
and on coming in I find Madame Crayen herself. Cela 
s'entend. I appear to be much surprised, and she tells me 
how the receipt of a letter announcing that her sister was 
worse had determined her to set off. The health of her 
sister was known when I was at Leipsic, and I had urged 
her to make it a pretext for coming hither with me, etc. 
As it is late I make my visit short, and, after calling on 
the Russian minister, go to Lord Elgin's and wait his re- 
turn, when we go together and dine at the Casino, after 
which I visit again Madame de Crayen. She contrives to 
tell me her real errand here, which I had already guessed, 
but she is determined to gain my good opinion. This 
must, I think, depend on the opportunity we have of be- 
ing together. Come home and dress, and go to Court, 
where I am presented to their Majesties. The King is a 
well-looking man. He inquires about the health of Gen- 
eral Washington, who (as Moustier tells him) is in very ill 
health. I tell His Majesty that I cannot believe it ; that 
when I left him he was a hale, robust man, as much as the 
King now is, and, of course, no reason to suppose that he 
is now seriously indisposed. This is calculated for the 
poor monarch, who has an air trh ^puisL See several ac- 
quaintances here, and come away soon, to avoid an invita- 
tion to supper. The Queen points out to me a young 
Mademoiselle Reidesall, who was born in America and 
christened " America." She is a fine girl, and, when she 
comes down the dance, I tell her, in the presence of Her 
Majesty, that I reclaim my countrywoman. After some 
time the King speaks to me again, and when on the sub- 
ject of America I tell him that if the French persist in 
the present conduct, and drive us to extremities, Spain 
will not retain an inch of ground in the New World ; that 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 2/3 

His Majesty has a direct interest in such events, and a con- 
siderable one, but a ball-room is not the fitting place to 
discuss such subjects. On the finances of Great Britain 
I repeat (as having already mentioned it to his ministers) 
that the resources of the country are immense ; upon 
which he observes they were so much more to blame for 
having attempted to tax us, and this it was which led to 
what I have already noted. After some trifling things, I 
tell him that I have just seen his best friend. He asks 
who, and to his surprise I tell him the Emperor. He 
speaks of him well personally, and I observe that he is a 
very honest young man ; to which his Majesty replies by 
asking, 'Mais que pensez-vous de Thugut?* 'Quant a 
cela, c'est une autre affaire, sire.' I had stated the inter- 
est which makes him and the Emperor good friends to be 
their mutual apprehensions from Russia. ' But suppose 
we all three unite ?' 'Ce sera un diable de fricassee, sire, 
si vous vous mettez, tous les trois, a casser les oeufs.' 
On the subject of Austria, I tell him they would do very 
well if he would lend them a few of his generals. ' Mais 
nous en avons besoin pour nous-memes.' ' Pas a present, 
sire, vous etes en paix.' He finds that if this conversation 
cosptinues he may commit himself, and so pauses. I re- 
tire a little, and His Majesty conducts the Princesse Henri 
out of the ball-room. During the course of the evening 
Countess Lichtenau * makes acquaintance with me. She 
is Men pourvue (T esprit, and lets me see that I am welcome 
to make my approaches, but one must not have too many 
irons in the fire at once. More court is paid to her than 
to the Queen. The King retired before supper, I am 
told he is on a severe diet." 

* The Countess von Lichtenau was born at Potsdam, and was the daugh- 
ter of a poor musician. She became the mistress of the Crown Prince of 
Prussia, Frederick William, and, after his accession to the throne, was a pow- 
erful and influential person until the king's death in i8ao. 
Vol. II.— i8 



274 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIL 

" Dine with General Count Schmittau [February 19th] ; 
an excellent dinner and very good wines. After dinner I 
converse with him on public affairs. He sees the situation 
of his country in a true light, and laments, as a man of 
honor, that the weakness of the Cabinet deprives them of 
the advantage to result from it. He speaks of the King 
respectfully and with feeling, of his favorite with indigna- 
tion and contempt. He tells me that this man, conscious 
of his own mediocrity, will do everything and submit to 
everything rather than put matters in a situation which 
may require men of abilities to conduct them. He tells 
me that on a late occasion he called on this favorite, and, 
after complaining of an injury, told him that he or the 
King must do him justice ; that he might amuse silly and 
ignorant people by saying that certain things were of the 
King's doing, but well-informed men knew that the King 
had given all authority into his hands, and therefore if he 
did not render him justice he would blow his brains out. 
This produced the effect. I ask him why Mollendorf does 
not take it on him to speak to His Majesty. He tells me 
that he is content to purchase honors by the sacrifice of 
honor. Why some lover is not provided for the Countess 
de Lichtenau ? She had one, a certain Mr. Paget, for 
whom she would have done anything, but he was re- 
called, when in the height of his favor, to England. On 
the Duke of Brunswick, he says that the King in the be- 
ginning took pains to bring him forward to his assistance, 
but in vain ; that he is too much a courtier and has too 
little character to be useful. He tells me that there is 
very little money in the treasury, and fears that the 
fluctuation of their councils would prevent anyone from 
treating with them now. I inquire the character of the 
heir apparent. He tells me it is difficult to know, but 
at length I perceive that he considers him as a mediocre 



I797-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 2/5 

sujet ; and, in short, as of a harsh, imperious temper, at- 
tached to minutiae, and constitutionally avaricious. Stay 
at the ball only long enough to pay my respects to the 
principal personages, and go to Madame Wolfs, where I 
pass some time. Madame Crayen, who is here, seems 
desirous of showing her attachment, and when I caution 
her, she exclaims : * I have but one idea, I care for noth- 
ing else ; why conceal my passion ? I glory in it, I could 
wish to proclaim it to the whole world I ' She tells me 
also that I have been stated here as a grand democrat. 
I treat the subject with the merited ridicule. She tells 
me that M. Alvensleben has said that I am full of pro- 
jets, and therefore less amiable than formerly. It is 
strange, and the fullest possible evidence of a most fee- 
ble administration, that the presence of a solitary indi- 
vidual throws them all into a fright. Madame Crayen 
obliges me to pass so much time en tete-h-tete with her 
that the master of the house observes to us upon it. 

" The English mail brings advice that the French have 
offered to cede Flanders as the price of peace, they keep- 
ing Luxembourg andMaestricht, and Britain lending them 
eight _raillions sterling, to be hypothecated on the Cape of 
Good Hope and other conquests in India. Count Schmit- 
tau told me that the King is sensible of the dishonorable 
situation to which he is reduced, but is of too feeble tem- 
per to break his chains." 

" I go to the ball of the Prince Royal at six [February 
20th], and do not get away till half-past eleven — all the 
time on my legs, except a few minutes that the Grande 
Marechale made me sit before her, to tell me that France 
was overturned because the Queen laid aside etiquette ; 
and, having obtained my civil assent to this proposition, 
the more readily from the circumstance that, indeed, the 
levity of Her Majesty's conduct had contributed to the mis- 



2/6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

chief which there happened, she desires me to preach this 
to her Princess Royal. I take occasion to tell her that it 
little becomes a stranger to meddle in the affairs of a 
country where he happens to be, and particularly in those 
of so delicate a nature. The old lady finds her young 
mistress too affable, and does not consider that the dry, 
harsh temper of her husband may render it necessary for 
his consort to take off the ill impressions. This young 
man carries in his countenance the marks of a mind which 
will make many men miserable when he is called to the 
throne. His brother seems of a quite different cast, mild 
and benign. The eldest son of the Princess Ferdinand 
has, I think, the appearance of a mauvais sujet, but yet of 
one who may figure well in history if he take a right turn. 
Madame de Nadaillac, to whom I mention the information 
I had received that he was trh anti-fran^ais, tells me that 
it may be so within these three days, but that the King 
was obliged lately to speak to him very seriously on the 
subject, because of the extraordinary things he had said 
in the society of M. Caillard's secretaries, with whom he 
is closely connected." 

"This morning [February 21st] I go to the Baron de 
Munchausen's* to hear him play on the harmonica, which 
he assured me last evening that he excelled in, and con- 
vinces me this morning that he was mistaken. Go from 
here to see Madame Crayen, who tells me an anecdote 
which Madame Retz, now Countess de Lichtenau, told 
some time ago to her husband. The King had accompa- 
nied Mademoiselle Levaux home on foot from a public 
place and afterwards went to see his chire amie Retz, whom 
he found at supper. She, who knew where he had been, 

* Hieronymus Karl Baron Munchausen, a German officer, whose name has 
become proverbial as a synonyme of extravagant boasting. He published 
stories of adventure, under the title of Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his 
Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 277 

saluted him by throwing a bottle of wine at his head, 
which wounded him severely. Madame Crayen, who had 
seen this Mademoiselle Levaux, and was present at the 
recital, asked Madame Retz how she could be guilty of 
such a criminal extravagance, to which the firm courtesan 
replied : * At a later date I would have done the same 
thing par menage^ but then I acted from the wrath of 
the moment.' It se^isshe had early inspired His Majesty 
with apprehension, and to such a degree that he used to 
caution the women with whom he was intimate to conceal 
it from her, because she was capable of putting them to 
death," 

" At the Princess Ferdinand's ball to-night [February 
22d] there is a sort oi petit opdra for the King. The Com- 
tesse de Lichtenau tells me she hears I am very intimate 
with Madame Crayen, at which I express my astonishment, 
and then say some things on the subject of delicacy to- 
wards the female sex which she feels as highly commend- 
able ; in short, promise to visit her. Madame Crayen this 
morning tells me that if opportunity had served she thinks 
the King would have made her his mistress, and is the only 
man of whom her husband was ever jealous. His Majesty, 
then Prince Royal, waited on her in a servant's dress at 
the tavern on the day of her marriage. It is the custom, 
it seems, to have a great dinner at a public-house on tliat 
day. He stood behind her chair, and she expresses to me, 
as well as she can, the horror of seeing on her side a man 
she detested, and to whom she was condemned for life, 
and feel every moment behind her a man she loved, and 
from whom she was to be eternally separated. At the 
bottom of her heart lies the regret that she is not now 
the Comtesse de Lichtenau." 

*' Take Madame de Nadaillac [February 24th] to dine 
with the Queen, where is the best salmon, I think, that I 



278 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

ever tasted, and good small beer ; for at this royal repast 
it so happens that, pour me rafraichir^ I do remember me of 
that pitiful creature small beer, and drink of it copiously, 
in preference to costly and, I suppose, delicious wines." 

"Walk out this morning [February 27th], and call on 
Lord Elgin. He tells me that measures had been taken 
to indispose the King against me. They have made him 
believe that in the service of Englaijd I pushed forward 
the French Revolution. This stuff comes from the appre- 
hension that His Majesty might risk, in conversing with 
me, to have his eyes opened. Go to a ball given by M. 
and Madame . Madame de Crayen is in extreme dis- 
tress at quitting Berlin, and, as she observes some little at- 
tentions from me to the Comtesse Solmes, quits the room 
much agitated. I follow her out and find her in strong 
nervous affection. Her sister tells me afterwards that she 
goes to bed every night bathed in tears and wakes weep- 
ing at the idea of going away. Oh, woman, thou art a 
strange creature ! " 

" Sit awhile with Madame de Nadaillac to-night [Feb- 
ruary 28th]. She is going to the masquerade. All the 
world will be there, for it is given by the King and open 
to every mask, and the last frolic of the season — for to- 
morrow we must all be in mourning." 

" Sit awhile to-day [March ist] with the Russian minis- 
ter, who is not at all pleased with the situation of affairs. 
Dine at the Vicomte d'Anadia's, where is Madame Vi- 
gnano the dancer, with her husband and child. Madame 
Cesar's brother mentions the having given formerly pieces 
of eight-gros to the present Comtesse de Lichtenau for 
fetching oysters when the young men supped with her sis- 
ter, then a singer at the opera. This is curious enough. 
I find, from several things which have happened here, that 
the nation is extremely indisposed to the King, which. 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 2/9 

indeed, I do not wonder at. I call on M. de Haugwitz, 
the Minister, where I meet Mr. Hoffman. He is quite 
<i la fran^aise. In the course of a conversation which I 
am led into, I tell them that if the Emperor paid the 
supposed attention to his own private interests he would 
yield to the proffers of France, and, secularizing the eccle- 
siastical Electorates, accept of Bavaria in lieu of the Low 
Countries, giving the Electorates to the Elector of Bavaria, 
and then, resigning the Empire to its fate, leave England 
to rise or fall, as fate might order ; an object of no conse- 
quence to him, though perhaps important to some other 
powers. At going away, however, I take care to tell Mr. 
Hoffman that I was unwarily led into this political dis- 
cussion, a thing I avoid, from the conviction that when 
the administration of a country is able, it needs no 
hints from a stranger, and when feeble it is useless to give 
them ; so that, in all cases, a prudent observer should be 
silent." 

" Dine to-day [March 4th] with Marshal Mollendorf ; 
presented to Bischofswerder. Converse a little with the 
hereditary Duke of Mecklenburg, who is, I think, a fine 
young man. He repeats to me, what he had mentioned 
once before, that the Prince Royal of Prussia is of a tem- 
per extraordinarily just. Pass the evening at the Princess 
Henri's, where, notwithstanding the load of my three 
hours' dinner, I at length succeed with myself so far as to 
be amiable. The young Duke of Mecklenburg, who has 
pressed me to visit his father's Court, tells me to-day that 
he has announced me." 

" Stay at home all the morning [March 7th]. Count 
Schmittau calls on me, and sits a good while. An interest- 
ing conversation, and on his part very confidential. He 
mentions the intimacy he had with the King before his 
accession to the throne, and how His Majesty was es- 



380 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

tranged by Bischofswerder & Co. ; how, at the breaking 
out of the war, he offered his services by letter to the King, 
who civilly declined, and to the Duke of Brunswick, who 
made no answer — a mark of his ungrateful temper, seeing 
that in the time of the late King he had, on an important 
occasion, been greatly indebted to the good offices of 
Count Schmittau ; how he let Bischofswerder know that, 
after the war was over, he would blow his brains out, and 
the steps he had taken to avoid that catastrophe, which 
had terminated in a letter to the King by which he was 
placed in the rank to which he was entitled and an apol- 
ogy made. This letter is published. How the Duke of 
Brunswick, from his truckling temper, had not only lost 
the opportunity which presented of governing the King 
and kingdom, but in the campaign of 1792 had sacrificed 
his reputation to please the King and gratify a host of pal- 
try minions. He tells me that the embassy to Russia was 
offered to him, but he refused to hold any place in the 
gift of Bischofswerder, who solicited in vain that he would 
live upon friendly terms with him. On the embassy, after 
assigning that general reason for refusing every place, he 
added that in his opinion a man could never render him- 
self master of more than one science, nor always that one. 
He had been bred to arms, had studied his profession for 
above thirty years, and if he knew any business it was 
that of a soldier. I take occasion to mention to him my 
conviction that the Prussian troops must, if well com- 
manded, be greatly superior to those of France. He goes 
into some useful explanations to confirm my opinion, and 
as a conclusion from his premises adds that, if placed at 
the head of forty thousand of them, he would answer with 
his life for the success ; but he would not suffer himself 
to be attacked. I mention to him the opinion which is en- 
tertained by some in France, viz., that the Prussian troops 



I797-J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 281 

would not serve against them. He treats it with con- 
tempt, and assures me that the whole machine is in the 
hands of the King completely. On Prince Henry's sub- 
ject he (Schmittau) states it as a rare circumstance that 
this man, the most despotic on earth, both in his temper 
and conduct, should be an enthusiastic admirer of the 
French system of equality. This proves that my friend 
Schmittau has not studied human nature. So far as my 
observation goes, the case he considers rare is the most 
common ; and, in effect, pride, and the impatience of con- 
trol which prompt a subject to rebel, lead a sovereign to 
tyrannize. The more such a bad subject shall be elevated 
and the nearer he shall approach to the throne, the more 
will this temper display itself by hatred of those above 
and oppression of those below him. Burke has somewhere 
justly observed, in speaking of those free governments in 
which domestic slavery prevails, 'That the habit of domi- 
nation comes in aid of the spirit of liberty, fortifies it, and 
renders it invincible.' 

*' I dine at home. Go after dinner to see Madame de 
Nadaillac, and from thence to the Sardinian minister's, 
where I pass the evening. Lord Elgin, in the course of 
conversation, mentions that no man in Berlin keeps his 
servants in such abject submission as M. Caillard, except 
the King, who keeps a large stick with which he belabors 
them on the slightest occasion. And yet the man is gov- 
erned despotically, and in the daily habit of submitting to 
things which his mind abhors." 

"This morning [March 13th] I prepare for my depart- 
ure from Berlin. M. Haugwitz comes, and brings me a 
letter of introduction for Brunswick. Dine at Lord El- 
gin's." 

" This morning [March 14th] I start early for Potsdam. 
The weather has been as fine as fancy can figure, and the 



282 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

singing of the larks has somewhat softened the tedious- 
ness of the journey. 

" At Magdeburg the inhabitants are looking out for the 
Prince and Princess of Hesse, who are to arrive this even- 
ing, which has the good effect of letting us into the towa 
without difficulty. They are apprehensive that by exam- 
ining us they should delay His Highness, whose marriage 
has given me already some amusement at Berlin. I did 
not think, some years ago, that I should derive any ben- 
efit from the Landgraf of Hessen-Kassel." 

" At Brunswick I meet a friend, a M. Dubois, who shows 
many attentions. On Sunday [March 19th] I go to Court, 
where I dine and pass the evening. The Duke and his 
family trh pre'venants. He desires a little conversation, 
which begins after dinner, but is interrupted by his 
mother, to whom he presents me — the sister of old Fritz, 
and very like him. She has some eighty odd years, but is 
still lively, with a deal of fun about her. The Duchess, 
who resembles the King her brother, is very affable and 
pleasant. The Duke is, I think, a candidate for the char- 
acter of the omnis homo. He speaks to me preferably in 
English, but not being master of the language, or entan- 
gled by the matter, he hesitates very much. He makes 
professions which he considers as very dubious, and says, 
'You won't believe me, but it is very true.' I tell him 
that the Prussian Cabinet is afraid of him, and it is on 
that occasion that he declares his unwillingness to man- 
age the affairs of Prussia. To help him in his delivery, 
I tell him that I conceive easily why he, a sovereign, 
should not wish to set the example of an imperious con- 
trol over a sovereign. This he assents to, but his objec- 
tion is stronger from the circumstance that a German 
prince could not do many things which would be suitable 
to an individual. I understand him to mean any dismem- 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 283 

berment of the Empire, and so explain myself to him, or, 
rather, himself to me. He assents, and comes forvyard with 
another but ; but the Duchess Dowager arrives and termi- 
nates our conversation, which is to be resumed this even- 
ing. This evening, however, we have two parties to it — 
M. de Limon and M. de Puisegur, the ancien Ministre de la 
Guerre when I arrived in France. The former is full of 
projetSy and thinks he can ' the Gordian knot of policy un- 
loose familiar as his garter.' People are apt to mistake on 
these occasions. He asserts pretty frequently and roundly 
that the Prussian Cabinet was bought — a thing possible 
enough ; and, at any rate, the assertion pleases the Duke. 
Without assenting to or denying it, I observe that on every 
ground it will be difficult to take them out of the hands of 
France. But, according to him, nothing can be easier. 
Only give greater bribes. He will not admit that the cor- 
rupter has the advantage of threatening the corrupted 
with a discovery of the transaction. How easy to deny 
the fact, and appeal to the general profligacy of the French 
Government for proof of the little weight to be given to 
their assertions. I break off the matter here, because he 
is got far enough, and if he be not now struck with the 
almost insurmountable difficulties (resulting from his own 
hypothesis) in the way of his plan, nothing I can say will 
have any effect. The Duke grows weary of the bavardage, 
and so do /." 

"To-day [March 20th] I dine with the Duchess of Bruns- 
wick ; * conversation on public affairs. Elle est ires an- 
glaise. Tell the Duke that I see no mode of bringing for- 
ward Prussia but by changing totally the administration ; 
that this can be done, I think, only by means of Madame 
de Lichtenau, and that a new administration, considering 
the feebleness of the King's character, must have behind 
» Sister of George IIL 



284 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

it the Duke of Brunswick or Prince Henry. Her Royal 
Highness told me she did not like the emigrants, spoke to 
me about the misconduct of the Prince of Wales, etc." 

" I dine to-day [March 21st] with the Duchess Dowager, 
who tells me she is very sorry her brother had not seen 
me. This, I am afterwards told, is a strong proof that 
she is pleased with the person to whom it is addressed. 
Her daughter gives me some late publications to read. I 
spend the evening there, and the Duchess tells me the 
emigrants are much alarmed at my arrival here. I reply 
that this is to me utterly unaccountable, unless they im- 
agine that, recollecting their private character in France, 
I should say something too much for them on that sub- 
ject ; but they may make themselves easy, for it is possible 
I may never have heard anything, but certainly have for- 
gotten all which may affect the moral character of indi- 
viduals belonging to a country which was so generally 
corrupted." 

"Dine with the hereditary prince [March 22d], and go 
to a comMie de society, which is amusing. The Duchess, 
who is English from top to toe, in conversing on the state 
of manners, tells me that they are very corrupt in this 
country (meaning Germany), and particularly at Berlin. 
She mentions the depths to which their depravity goes, 
and I express my astonishment at a vice she mentions, 
which, though I have often heard of, I am not well able to 
comprehend. Her Royal Highness does not, of course, 
go into the explanation, but assures me of the fact. I 
observe that the Duke rather avoids conversation, having 
before sought it. Is he apprehensive of disclosing his 
secret ? " 

" Pass the evening [March 24th] with the Dowager 
Duchess, and play whist. It is a thing curious to have 
played whist with the sister of the Great Frederick for 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 285 

a gros (about three halfpence) a fish, so that a rubber of 
five was worth just eightpence sterling money of Great 
Britain — threepence each for card money. This arises 
from the miserable situation of the emigrants, of whom 
many of the first quality now here are in the greatest dis- 
tress." 

"The Duchess of Brunswick at dinner to-day [March 
25th] tells me she is sure I don't like her. She thinks I 
hate the King her brother, and extend that dislike to the 
whole family. I assure her that she is mistaken, and that 
nothing is easier than for me, as an American, to be 
attached to the royal family of England, but nothing 
more difficult than for a person of that family to like one 
of my country. 'Well, then, I have the more merit, for 
I like you.' This conversation, which lasts during the 
dinner and before a numerous society, would be very em- 
barrassing to most men, and I am afterwards compli- 
mented for getting through it so well. She said, among 
other things, that she had persuaded herself to forget that 
there was such a country as America. On the whole, I 
am well pleased with htv franchise, and tell her truly that 
I am well pleased with her. Converse a little with the 
Duke confidentially, and give him some traits of Berlin 
which he was unacquainted with. Mention the only 
means which seem to me fit for bringing the Prussian 
Cabinet into his views. He tells me it is now too late, in 
which sentiment I agree with him." 

" I am to-day [March 26th] told the private history of 
Lord Malmesbury's subsidiary treaty with Prussia. His 
lordship employed the Prince of Nassau to intrigue at 
Berlin, and after some time he obtained a kind of offer 
that the King would send a hundred thousand men into 
Flanders and besiege Lille if Great Britain would pay 
them. The British minister declined the great number, 



286 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVII. 

and proposed that sixty thousand should serve in Flan- 
ders, which the King refused, and thereupon his lord- 
ship, under the pretext that it would save time, trans- 
ferred the negotiation to the Hague. After several pros 
and cons, he came at last to the sixty thousand and the 
campaign in Flanders. Count Haugvvitz agreed to the 
former, but, in pursuance of his instructions, refused per- 
emptorily the latter. It ended by an agreement that the 
troops should act according to the decision of a council 
of war. England delayed for a long time (considering the 
season) her ratification, and then proposed to Mollendorf. 
In the course of the evening M. de Reden, with whom I 
converse, observes that the Prussian ministry could go on 
very well with the war, so long as the treasury held out, 
but, the war being unpopular, they could not risk taxes. 
The Marechal de Castries calls, according to appointment, 
and after some discussion we determine that when he 
shall have taken the needful informations he will write 
to me at Hamburg. Dine at Court, and pass the evening 
there. At taking leave I am treated with a show of re- 
gard which, whether real or affected, is highly pleasing. 
The Duke is too much engaged in his cabinet to pay the 
social attentions ; au resie, he is so much a courtier that I 
cannot help considering him as insincere and cold, even 
to the extremes of falsehood and insensibility. Brave in 
the field and happy in seizing the moment he is, I am 
told, a very able officer, but all well-informed persons 
agree in considering him as deficient in political courage, 
I think he wants other important qualities of a statesman. 
Man can judge of man by no other standard than his 
heart and mind. He who is alive to every sentiment and 
passion can judge well of others by adding to or diminish- 
ing the result of his own emotions, for he differs from his 
fellows only in the degree ; but he who is born insensible 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 28/ 

can never know mankind : he is blind to some things, deaf 
to others ; in short, he wants some of the moral senses. 
The Duchess, who contrasts strongly with her husband 
on the score of sincerity, spoke to me feelingly and freely 
of her daughter* and the Queen of England.f She con- 
siders the latter as a very bad woman — a cold, cruel hypo- 
crite. She sheds tears of affection when speaking of her 
brother, and tells me that but for the Queen she would 
never have left England. Of the nation she speaks in 
terms of rapture, and I saw before, from a conversation 
at table on national character, that she is too much an 
Englishwoman for the Duke. She tells me that, notwith- 
standing her rank as a sovereign, she never writes to her 
brother without subscribing herself his subject." 

* Caroline of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, wife of the Prince of Wales, after- 
ward George IV. 
t Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz, Queen of George III. 



288 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap, XXXVIII. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

Morris goes to Hamburg. An armistice signed, April, 1797. Letter to 
Lord Grenville. Letter to Lady Sutherland. Prince Zubow. In- 
formation about Russia. Lafayette released. Dines at Neusteden. 
Lafayette means to avoid all interference in French affairs. Intends 
to go to America. Conversation with Duchess of Cumberland at 
Frankfort Prince de Reusse. Fete at Offenbach. Mr. Crauford. 
The Duchess of Cumberland in a contradictory mood. Baron de 
Beaulieu. Mr. Wickham. Leaves Frankfort for Ratisbon. £n 
petite sociiti at the Princesse de Tour et Taxis's. General Werneck. 
Dinner at the Prince Bishop's. Communications of M. Aujard. 

MORRIS left Brunswick the 27th of March and 
travelling directly to Hamburg, reached there on 
the 31st. "Last night," he says, "at the inn I had two 
plagues — one a hare locked up over my head, who would 
have persuaded some people that the house was haunted, 
for he made no small racket ; another was the company of 
mosquitoes, which, to my astonishment, were as busy as 
in July. Go after dinner to Altona to see Madame de 
Flahaut, and in the evening go to the French theatre at 
Hamburg to see a most miserable ballet, made up of 
shreds and patches of music and history vilely assorted. 
Madame de Flahaut tells me a little anecdote of the Prin- 
cess of Lorraine, who has lost her friend of fifteen years' 
standing for the pleasure of young Caraman's society. 
There is nothing in this to surprise me, for I never 
thought well of her. I saw her last evening at the play, 
and her inquiries after Mr. Livingston proved an interest 
which, if it be not of the sincerest kind, the fault must lie 
with him." 



1797] GOUVERXEUR MORRIS, 289 

"Advices have arrived [April 3d] of tlie taking of Trini- 
dad by the EngHsh, and tlie destruction of tlie Spanish 
fleet — one sliip taken and the rest of tlie squadron burned 
by them. The conduct of tlie French has, it seems, ex- 
cited great disgust in America. My poor friend, Robert 
Morris, is ruined. A heavy stroke upon my bosom, and 
I fear the account is but too true. The Archduke has 
been beaten, and the French, it is said, are in possession 
of Trieste." 

"It is said [April 14th] that the Austrian Cabinet have 
declared officially that they are treating with France. 
Their affairs are very bad, and M. de Thugut will, I fancv, 
be overset." 

"The Emperor has made [April 15th] a kind of official 
declaration that he is in treaty for peace ; an cstafette is 
arrived, it is said, which announces a mob at Vienna 
clamorous for peace and the dismission of Thugut. The 
Emperor addressed them and promised peace, on whicli 
they dispersed." 

"The Prince of Waldeck tells me [April i6th] he is 
persuaded tlie preliminaries of a general peace are signed ; 
that they liave been already for some time treating." 

An armistice had been signed on the 7th of April, 1797, 
within sight of the spires of \'ienna ; but it was not un- 
til October 17th that tlie treaty of Campo Formio was 
made. Tlie terms dictated by Bonaparte were tliat Aus- 
tria should cede Belgium to the French Republic, and 
agree to the cessit^n of the German provinces on the left 
bank of the Rhine ; and she also consented tliat Lom- 
bardy and several adjoining States should become depend- 
encies of the French Republic. Austria was given, in re- 
turn for her immense losses, \'enice as a spoil. This 
Bonaparte thing to her, notwithstanding a protest from 
the Directorv." 

Vol. II. — 19 



290 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

"It appears from the papers to-day [April i8th] that 
Bonaparte is still rapidly advancing, and that the Aus- 
trians have gained advantages in Tyrol which, followed 
lip, will enable them to get into his rear and perhaps hem 
him up in the mountains of Styria. Should this happen, 
the affairs of the world may take a turn entirely new." 

"Accounts have arrived [April 23d] by the last French 
mail that the Directory have ordered the several officers 
to pay no attention to passports or certificates given by 
American ministers or consuls. This is curious enough ; 
but if, as is far from impossible, Bonaparte receives a se- 
vere check, they will grow less arrogant." 

Bonaparte seemed at this moment to the lookers-on 
"to be," as Morris expressed it in a letter to Lord Gren- 
ville on April 25th, "completely in air; and, on the 
whole, my lord," he continues, "I consider the situation 
of the Allies as being just now much better than it has 
been at any period since the commencement of the war. 
I repeat to you again, my lord, that the game seems to 
me to be in your hands, provided you have patience to 
play out the cards. If it is possible to send a strong 
naval force into the Mediterranean, it will perhaps prove 
of very great importance." 

"To-day [May 3d], while I am in a shop choosing some 
chintz for Madame de Nadaillac, Mr. Parish comes in, 
and tells me that the French Directory have issued letters 
of marque to capture American vessels going to and com- 
ing from Great Britain, and that Admiral Jarvis has 
blocked up the Spanish fleet at Cadiz." 

" M. Talon breakfasts with me [May 5th]. He gives a 
strange account of affairs in America, so far as regards the 
land speculations. He says the conduct of France to- 
wards America must be, in some measure, attributed to 
the Bishop of Autun, who, in a conference with the Direc- 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 29I 

tory and Minister for Foreign Affairs, told them America 
was to be considered in no other light than Geneva, and 
must follow implicitly the orders of France." 

" It is so long since I had the pleasure of conversing 
with you," Mr. Morris wrote to the Countess of Suther- 
land on May i6th, "that I would seek the opportunity 
for novelty's sake, were there no other charms but those 
of novelty to be found in your society. But, as things 
are, I find these last unnecessary. You will have seen 
that Austria has made peace in the critical moment, when 
her enemy was in the greatest danger. So Great Britain 
will save a subsidy ; and now, unless they force America 
into the war, you will stand alone, for I do not count 
Portugal for anything. They will only, I presume, fur- 
nish some money to France and shut their ports against 
you by way of purchasing peace and what is called in- 
dependence. The state of your finances, also, is far from 
encouraging, but yet I am convinced that (unless panic- 
struck) you will get through well. In effect, your enemy 
cannot employ against you that force in which she excels, 
and she cannot, I think, in some considerable time attack 
you on your own element. The return of her armies will 
not a little perplex her counsels, and if she succeeds in 
disbanding the greater part of them, she will thereby be 
reduced to the necessity of listening to the necessities of 
her own citizens and the friendly interposition of that 
power who must now begin to view her with a jealous 
eye. Do send me some good news from Cadiz. Tell me 
to an ounce how much silver you have taken in the Span- 
ish galleons ; but, above all, tell me that I still hold a 
place in your esteem. Such information is a treasure 
more precious than silver, for I love you very much. 
God bless you, dear lady. Remember me to your lord, 
and remember me." 



292 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

« 

" Dumouriez tells me, in a long conversation we have 
[May 26th], several things of the past, but one of the pres- 
ent which astonishes me. He says that to his knowledge 
Thugut is in the pay of France, He has the same opin- 
ion which I had of Bonaparte's situation when he made 
peace with the Emperor. Dining with a large company 
to-day, I mentioned publicly what I had previously sug- 
gested in private conversation to Mr. Parish, that the city 
of Hamburg would do well to send an agent to the Con- 
gress for a general peace, with the view to obtain an arti- 
cle in it for the free navigation of the Elbe. This would 
naturally be suggested by the Emperor and Elector of 
Saxony ; France would also be glad of the opportunity to 
interfere, with decided effect, in the affairs of Southern 
Germany. As Mr. Sieveking sits opposite to me, I con- 
clude that my conversation will be written to Paris (a 
thing which was done on a former occasion), and that part 
of it, which relates to the interior, will not be offensive to 
them ; for it contained my serious opinion that, barring 
the case of civil war, their late experience of anarchy 
will enforce the observation of law." 

"Dine at M. P. Godefroy's [June 5th] ; a company of 
four dozen in an elegant house, and good wine, but the 
smallest dinner for such a company that I ever saw. A 
tureen of soup, and one of curds and cream, succeeded by 
a ham and five boiled chickens ; then a turbot, four dishes 
of vegetables, finally a leg of chevreuil, and half a dozen 
roasted pigeons. The lasf advices from England announce 
a continuance of riots among seamen, also that the affairs 
of Ireland are very alarming. The Baron Grum tells me 
a part of his history. The Empress, in sending him hither 
announced to him the march of sixty thousand men under 
Suwarrow, through Holstein to the Elbe. I think I know 
from this hint the whole plan. He agrees with me in 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 293 

opinion that the present Emperor of Russia goes too fast 
in his plans of reform. He thinks it probable that Aus- 
tria may, by and by, enter into bonds of alliance with 
France. I question only as to the by and by." 

" I meet at dinner [June i8th] the Prince Zubow, late 
bosom friend of the Empress of Russia. He gives me 
much curious information. He says the Russian army, 
had the Empress lived, would have been early in March 
on the way to Lintz. I had thought they were to come 
through Holstein. He tells me that the Comte d'Artois, 
when he went first to England, was bearer of an offer of 
fifteen thousand men from the Empress, to act for restora- 
tion of the monarchy in France. He says that his brother, 
during his late campaigns in Mount Caucasus and Hyrca- 
nia, has discovered the plain which bounded the march of 
Pompey's army, being filled with serpents of enormous 
size ; that the ancient Guebres still exist there, and preserve 
the sacred fire, fed with a bitumen in which the earth there 
abounds ; that the nations and the rivers bear yet the same 
names which distinguished them in the time of the Greeks 
and Romans, the people of those countries having never 
yet been changed by conquest, emigration, or other great 
moral phenomenon. He mentions the melons of a prov- 
ince bordering on Cashmere as being brought to Peters- 
burg, to Delhi, and to Ispahan. He says it is not true 
that the Empress had formed a good opinion of the pres- 
ent King of Sweden, but the contrary. He is, of course^ 
no friend to the present Czar. He says that he must 
adopt the conduct of his mother, as most consistent with 
the interior prosperity and exterior consequence of Rus- 
sia, but that the same measures will no longer produce 
the same effect. Even the army will no longer perform 
the same things, because that spirit which animated the 
whole is fled. In this there is, I think, some exaggeration 



294 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

and some truth. As to Poland, he says it would be cruel 
to re-establish that kingdom. They are (according to 
him) incapable of governing themselves, and should be 
deprived of power, as men take knives from children lest 
they cut themselves. The peasants, he says, detest the 
lords by whom they are enslaved, and these again never 
know what they are about. Kosciusko, he says, is below 
his reputation : a good leader of ten to fifteen thousand 
men, but that is all ; an enthusiast who, but for his igno- 
rance of his own countrymen, would never have been led 
into the measures he pursued. He speaks of Prussia as 
owing everything to Russia, so that the latter, in possess- 
ing herself of the Prussias, would only, as it were, take 
back her own." 

Morris left Altona on June 19th for a short trip in Den- 
mark ; stopping en route for a day at a town near Ploen, 
to see his old friend Madame de Tess^ ; "with whom," 
he says, " I have a conversation on the subject of M. and 
Madame de Lafayette. She finds that Louis XVI IL has 
behaved very foolishly, more especially in his conduct to- 
wards his nephew, M. de Poix. This is characteristic of 
the Noailles. Impartial people consider it as a foolish 
aflfair merely because he did not wait till he was restored 
to the throne, where he might have-shown his resentment 
at what he considers as the ingratitude of that family 
with more effect ; but nobody, I believe, except the mem- 
bers of that family, will put in comparison the proclama- 
tion and M. de Poix." 

On the return journey, at a small town, Morris was not 
a little surprised to find a servant of the Duchess of Cum- 
berland waiting for him ; '* which," he says, "gives an air 
of importance very improperly to a most trifling circum- 
stance. She, by blunders, is at Leipsic without money, and 
asks me to raise some for her ; so I send an order for it to 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 295 

Freis & Co. We have had again a rainy day, which makes 
the welcome of my friend Parish doubly welcome. On 
my return to Hamburg I call on Madame de Flahaut, and 
converse with Souza, who has returned from Berlin. He 
mentions having heard there, with surprise, that I was a 
great democrat, in the French sense of the word. He 
gives me some French gazettes, by which it appears that 
the Legislature are determined to force the Directory into 
a peace." 

" I learn with great pleasure to-day [July 4th] that the 
Duchess of Orleans has been restored to the possession of 
her father's property. The two Houses in France have con- 
curred in taking the command of the treasury out of the 
hands of the Directory, and the milliard for the army is 
brought on the carpet. This is, I believe, the rock which 
the Republic must split upon. A person from America 
brings a list of new diplomatic appointments which prove 
to me that our system is less nervous than it was. I fear 
we shall not gain much reputation by it. He says, how- 
ever, that the spirit and resentments of the nation are high. 

"Dine at Mr. Haynes's [July loth], where I meet Lord 
Wycombe. He comes home with me after dinner, and, 
chemin faisani, expresses himself with much warmth 
against his quondam friend, Madame de Flahaut. She 
had a design upon him, viz., to marry him ; and he thinks 
she did much mischief to effectuate it. He is of those 
men who go far in the way which they once travel, and 
believes more than is just. At the time when I suspected 
their connection to be what I now find it was, and on his 
arrival in Paris, she sent her servant to him, with a letter 
full of all sorts of tenderness and dying sensibility. I find 
she had nearly catched him in the matrimonial noose, and 
he seems to be very angry at it, though, in fact, he has 
nothing to complain of. He seemed a proper subject to 



296 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

work upon, and therefore she exerted herself to get hold 
of him. We have a pretty long conversation on matters 
of a public nature, and his lordship begins to doubt some 
things which appeared to him to be certain." 

From Altona, July nth, Morris despatched another let- 
ter to Lady Sutherland, acknowledging her letters, and, 
just touching on the all-absorbing political subject, he an- 
nounced to her his intended departure for home. 

" It has for some time been my opinion," he wrote, 
"that you would have peace this year, and the negoti- 
ators being now met, I presume you will soon know the 
happy issues of their labors. As to the conditions, I think 
them of little consequence, for the state of Europe seems to 
me similar to what it was previous to the Grand Alliance, 
and, if so, you will have only an armed truce whose duration 
must depend on contingencies ; unless, indeed, the internal 
commotions of France should give to neighboring nations 
a security they could not derive from their arms. Quand 
on se trouve au parterre il faut attendre le denoument de 
la piece, quelque mauvaise qu'elle soit. Ainsi, quoiqu'en 
route pour mon foyer, je reste ici encore quelques jours. 
But for trifles not worth mentioning, I should have been by 
this time in America; and I think it wisest to go without 
visiting England, because I shall leave this hemisphere 
with less reluctance than if I saw you at the moment of my 
departure. Still, tliere is something which tells me I shall 
see you again, and the idea is so pleasant that I can't find 
it in my heart to drive it away. Wouldn't it be whimsical 
if, in the shufflings of time and chance, we should meet 
under the auspices of a bonnet rouge at Paris ? You ask 
my plan of operations. I float, dear lady, like all light 
substances, on the stream of time, too indolent to row, too 
ignorant tO steer, and trusting fate for a future haven. 
You, more provident, are buying and repairing a house, 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 297 

on which I felicitate you, because it will (till finished) give 
you the pleasure of employment, and then you must seek 
some other object. Whatever may be your pursuit and 
with whatever success, my warmest wishes will still attend 
you — still like 

Thy guardian sylph shall hover near, 

With cheerful smile and blooming joy to greet ; 

Or, in life's weariness, thy spirit cheer, 
And scatter roses underneath thy feet. 

Adieu. My best remembrances await his lordship. Tell 
him so, and believe me ever and truly yours." 

Morris never lost his keen interest in the sufferings 
of the emigres, and always held himself ready to supply a 
deficiency in money, or to send them a word of hope or of 
advice. In a letter to the Marechal de Castries, then liv- 
ing at Wolfenbuttel, under date of August 2d, he says: 

" Les evenements en verite ont ete si rapides et extra- 
ordinaires que les calculs sur le passe ne peuvent plus 
s'appliquer au present ; et, quant a I'avenir, il est con- 
vert d'un nuage impenetrable. Si j'osais me permettre de 
hasarder un conseil, ce serait de ne rien faire, absolument 
Hen, puisqu' alors on a des chances pour soi. D'ailleurs, 
on peut choisir librenient quand on ne s'est engage envers 
personne. Je marque bien ce que vous me faites I'hon- 
neur de me dire sur le changement du ministere franpais. 
II ne me parait etre qu'un symptome dans une maladie ou 
il faut s'attendre encore a des crises multipliees. Je n'en 
tire, done, aucun indice. En general, je persiste a croire 
que le despotisme d'un usurpateur doit etre le precurseur 
d'une autorite legitime. Je ne suis pas meme persuade qu'il 
ne soit pas necessaire a I'etablissement solide d'une pa- 
reille autorite. L'homme, animal raisonnant maisnon pas 
raisonnable, ne s'instruit que par I'experience et ne se cor- 



298 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

rige que par le malheur. II faut done que le cercle soit 
complet, afin de dt^montrer X chaque novateur I'ineptie de 
son systeme. Mille pardons pour ce galimatias. Croyez 
toujours a mon respect et a mon sincere attachement." * 

"This afternoon [August nth] I see Dumouriez. Ha- 
tred of England seems the order of the day here. He says 
he has no doubt of being able to make a successful de- 
scent on England. He has much commonplace on that 
subject, but the particulars of his plan are a secret. This 
secret must consist in the knowledge of a convenient land- 
ing-place and the means of eluding British cruisers. In a 
word, it must be a couJ> de main, and supposing (gratis) the 
safe landing of a considerable force with needful artillery, 
etc. A further postulatum is that the English will not 
fight to defend their country. He says he has ofifered the 
Directory to communicate his plans to any affid^ oi theirs, 
but they have not asked anything from him. They have 
formed plans to act in concert with the revolution societies 
of England. I give him some hints, which I am sure he 
will seize, because he wants to bring himself forward again 
on the French theatre. As they will, if brought to effect, 
tend to the general good of mankind, I shall not be sorry 
to see them acted upon. It seems that Mantua is to be 

* Translation : Events have been so rapid and so extraordinary that 
the calculations of the past no more apply to the present ; as for the future, it 
is hidden behind impenetrable clouds. If I dared proffer advice, it would be 
to do nothing, absolutely nothing, keeping thus all chances in one's favor. 
One can choose freely, when no engagements have been entered into. I take 
due notice of what you do me the honor of stating concerning the change of 
ministry in France. This change appears to me but one symptom in a dis- 
ease which will go through many more crises. I draw no augury from it 
In a general way, I think the despotism of a usurper is bound to become the 
precursor of the re-establishment of legitimate authority ; I even think that 
it might be a necessary preliminary to such a re-establishment. That rea- 
soning but not reasonable animal, man, is only taught by experience, and 
misfortune is his sole corrector. The whole circle must therefore have been 
gone over before the innovator can find out the inanity of his system. A 
thousand e.xcuses for this twaddle, and believe in my sincere attachment 



1797.3 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 299 

delivered up to the Emperor, so that Bonaparte's trans- 
alpine schemes are a little lamed." 

" Advices from England [August 13th] show that the 
disputes between the legislative and executive bodies at 
Paris are not yet settled. The military are excited against 
the former." 

" To-day [August iSth] the post from Holland brings 
accounts that the definitive treaty is concluded with the 
Emperor, but the conditions are yet secret. 

" By every account [August 20th] from France it would 
seem as if trouble were preparing again there. The Di- 
rectory have the army in their favor for the moment. 
There seems to be a contest between them and the Legis- 
lature for fixing on each other the blame that hostilities 
continue, and that the finances are deranged. As taxation 
is the right of the latter, they will probably succumb." 

" The Baron Buol de Schauenstein, the Imperial minis- 
ter, with his lady, dine at Neusteden with Mr. Parish to- 
day [September 3d]. After dinner, speaking of the Eng- 
lish diplomacy, he mentions a trait of the famous Lord 
Auckland, which is curious. After the treaty of Reichen- 
bach, by which Prussia, England, and Holland had agreed 
to aid in bringing back the Flemish and Brabanters to 
their ancient submission, he, being then minister from the 
Emperor there, was informed of Vanderhoot's plan (called 
afterwards his crusade, which cost the lives of more than 
fifteen thousand men, wantonly thrown away) and went 
immediately to Lord Auckland to request that he would 
interfere to prevent attempts which must have bad conse- 
quences, without at all afifecting the great object fixed by 
the treaty. His lordship told him that he could not, for 
that if Vanderhoot and Van Eupen were to ask his advice he 
could not in conscience recommend it to them to lay down 
their arms, seeing that they would then obtain unfavorable 



30O DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

terms. * My lord, if you suppose I come to hold a friendly 
and confidential conversation you are mistaken. I speak 
to you as a minister, and I beg you will give me such an 
answer as I may transmit to Court in your official charac- 
ter.' 'Why, really, sir, my instructions from the British 
Cabinet will not permit me to comply with your request.' 
The Baron remarks properly that this is the first time, per- 
haps, that the minister of a country has openly avowed the 
patronage of revolt." 

" The French mail brings advices this day [September 
15th] of an attack made under the auspices of three Di- 
rectors against the other two, and the majority of the two 
councils. The consequence is that several members are 
arrested and condemned to banishment. The pretext is a 
conspiracy to establish the throne on the ruins of the pres- 
ent glorious fabric of Galilean freedom. It seems as if 
the definitive treaty with the Emperor is near to a conclu- 
sion. I presume that the victorious Directors will make 
peace by way of proving that the continuance of the war 
is to be attributed to their opponents. They have taken 
the estate of the Duchess of Orleans and banished her." 

To his friend. Baron de Groshlaer, at Vienna, Morris 
wrote, on Tuesday, the 19th of September, to felicitate him 
on the dangers they had safely passed through, as follows : 

" En effet, votre danger a ete extreme ; vous jouissez k 
present de la lumiere, car il n'y a rien de si beau que de 
voir le soleil quand on revient des bords du tombeau. 
Dans I'ignorance absolue de votre sort, je n'osais ecrire, ni 
a vous ni k madame la baronne, mais je me persuadais 
toujours que vous vous en tireriez. On croit facilement ce 
qu'on desire avec ardeur. Je m'imagine que la paix sera 
conclue avant que cette lettre-ci n'ait I'honneur de vous 
etre presentee. L'Empereur aura regu le territoire de Ve- 
nise en echange de Mantoue, et la France se sera creee une 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 3OI 

voisine formidable dans la soi-disante Republique Cisal- 
pine. Je ne vous parle pas de la derniere revolution pa- 
risienne, puisqu'il leur en faudra encore et encore, jusqu'a 
ce qu'ils retombent sous le gouvernment d'un seul. C'est 
leur dernier espoir, c'est leur unique azazel ; apres de longs 
transports, c'est un sommeil tranquille. En attendant leur- 
reve, je fais celui d'un voyage a Francfort, car je suis re- 
tenu dans votre maudite Europe par des circonstances tri- 
viales, qui me facheraient moins si je pouvais esperer 
vous revoir." * 

" The news from Paris [September 20th] go to a con- 
firmation of the conspiracy, of course ; they go also to 
tlie establishment of dictatorial power in the Directory, 
which is also of course. The Rump Parliament delib- 
erates under the bayonet. Qu. : How long before the 
army shall dismiss the Directors ?" 

"The Imperial minister [September 21st] has announced 
that the prisoners of Olmutz are at liberty." 

In a letter (September 22d) to Lord Elgin, Morris men- 
tioned his intention of making the journey to Frankfort if 
the proposed peace should afford him the opportunity, the 
season being rather late to cross the Atlantic. 

" We hear constantly and with great pleasure that the 

* Translation : Certainly your danger was extreme ; now you enjoy 
light, and there is nothing more lovely than the sun when one returns from 
the borders of the tomb. In total ignorance of your fate, I dared not to 
write either to you nor to Madame la Baronne, but I kept up a stubborn hope 
that you would get out somehow. I imagine that peace will have been con- 
cluded before this letter reaches you. The Emperor will have received 
Venice in exchange for Mantua, and France will have thus, by its own doing, 
a formidable neighbor in the so-called Cis-Alpine Republic. I do not men- 
tion to you the latest Parisian revolution ; they will need many more before 
they are united under the government of one man. It is their final hope ; 
their only scapegoat. After such a long, feverish fit, it will be a quiet slum- 
ber. Until their dream is realized mine is to travel as far as Frankfort, for 
I am still kept in your accursed Europe by trivial circumstances, against 
which I would feel less aggrieved if I had any hope seeing you again. 



302 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

King's health mends daily. As I know the interest you 
take in it, I cannot omit to offer my congratulations. The 
French Revolution has taken one step more towards a 
conclusion. In a little time they will, I think, have com- 
pleted the circle. Meanwhile they go on generating young 
republics, which, like puppies, are born blind, yet can 
yelp, and if not strangled will not fail to bite when the 
season comes. So let those look to it whose legs may be 
in the way." 

" Mr. Parish calls [September 27th]. He has adjusted 
with the Imperial minister how Lafayette is to be deliv- 
ered over. The minister communicated M. de Thugut's 
letter, which says expressly that M. de Lafayette is not 
liberated at the instance of France, but merely to show 
the Emperor's consideration for the United States of 
America. This looks very like a continuation of the war." 

*' Every account [September 29th] seems to confirm the 
idea that hostilities are to recommence, and the Imperial 
minister tells me that there is every probability the war 
will continue." 

" The officer accompanying the Olmiitz prisoners [Oc- 
tober 3d] left them on the way to Hamburg and called on 
Mr. Parish yesterday. He comes by the worst road, and 
to-morrow these unfortunate people are to cross the Elbe 
in an open boat, be the weather what it may ; now it is 
very fine." 

" Dine to-day [October 14th] with M. le Baron Buol 
Schauenstein, the Imperial minister, who gives me some 
letters of introduction and a passport. Madame also gives 
me some letters, and very politely wishes that, by deter- 
mining to stay here, I may render them useless. The min- 
ister is vexed that M. de Lafayette and his companions do 
not arrive. It is not till after five that Mr. Parish sends 
us word that they are come, and then I take the Baron 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 303 

down to perform the ceremony of delivering them over. 
His expressions are trh mesur^es,7xnd he goes through his 
part with dignity. The prisoners, instead of coming to 
town in the ferry-boat, in wliich case they would have ar- 
rived between nine and ten o'clock in the morning, em- 
barked on board the boat of an American ship, dined on 
the ship, and so wasted their own time and everybody 
else's. Of course they cannot go to the lodgings provided 
for them, etc. I find also that visits are to be paid to the 
French minister, to Archenholz, etc. In short, Horace is 
perfectly right : Caelum non animam mutant qui trans mare 
currunt. Mr. Parish takes tea with me, and I accompany 
him to Neusteden, his country-seat, and spend the night. 
The next day the whole society of prisoners dine at Neu- 
steden. There seems no intention of going to America. 
Lafayette assures me that he means to avoid all intrigue 
and every interference in the affairs of France ; but, if I 
judge right, he is mistaken. I applaud his resolution, tell 
him that he can do France no good and may do himself 
much mischief ; that a perfect nullity is the safer game for 
him and leaves him the choice of what side he will take 
afterwards, etc. He professes much gratitude for my ser- 
vices, but this I do not expect, and shall indeed be disap- 
pointed if it ever goes beyond profession. The young 
gentleman who went from the French army in Italy to 
Vienna in order to procure M. de Lafayette's release tells 
me he doubts still whether hostilities will be recom- 
menced. He seems to think that the French armies are 
too powerful to be resisted, and also that the practice of 
making young republics behind them will give security 
to their conquests. This must, in my opinion, depend 
merely on the success of their advancing armies, for, if 
driven back, the conquered countries will certainly rise 
against their oppressors." 



304 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

" Mr. Parish and I have some conversation to-day [Oc- 
tober 6th] on the subject of Messrs. Lafayette & Co. He 
sees with concern that they are running into great and 
useless expense, according to all appearances, by going 
foolishly to an inn at Hamburg instead of coming out to 
lodgings prepared for them at Altona. They have run out 
fifty guineas in two days. I prepare for my journey to- 
day, and say farewell to my friends. Go to Poppenbiittel 
to see M. and Madame de Lafayette, and bid them adieu. 
As he mentions to me his intention of going to America, 
I urge him to decide on it seriously and to mention it now 
to Mr. Adams, the President. I tell him that neither the 
present Directory nor the Constitutionalists, as they call 
themselves, wish to see him in France ; that I believe 
America will make a proper provision for him, I think 
they ought to offer, and he to accept, what will put him in 
easy circumstances. He says that if his wife can sell her 
property in France she will, after paying her debts, have 
some little left, and very little will satisfy him. Here I 
think he is much mistaken. 

" Mr. Parish comes this afternoon while I am writing, 
and brings me the letter Lafayette has written stating the 
impracticability of going out this autumn to America. 
Mr. Parish, to whom it is addressed, finds it wxll enough, 
so I don't object, though the style is not just what it ought 
to be, and I think will not be so pleasing or satisfactory to 
the Imperial Cabinet as Mr. Parish might wish and of 
right expect. I fancy M. Archenholz will come out with 
a smart philippic against the Emperor, for 1 saw him out 
at Poppenbiittel, and, as I suppose, for the purpose of col- 
lecting materials. The late prisoners will not be unwilling 
to furnish all they can. They were, in my opinion, con- 
fined unjustly ; no wonder that the loss of liberty should, 
coupled with the sense of wrong, have greatly exasperated 



\ 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 305 

them, but I am persuaded that nothing has happened 
which can bear a comparison with the cruelties inflicted 
on many innocent persons in France. Being now at lib- 
erty the public commiseration will be much diminished, 
and it would, I think, be prudent to preserve a profound 
silence. If, leaving the prudential path, he wishes to act a 
heroic part, it would, I think, consist in a siletice prononcd. 
On an application to him to tell his story he might say : 
'While so many nations suffer, the past miseries of an in- 
dividual can find no place in the public attention ; mine 
are already obliterated from my memory by the view of 
those which my poor country is doomed to undergo.' " 

" I leave Altona to-day [October 8th], and am detained 
at the Hamburg gate five and twenty minutes by the ridic- 
ulous practice of shutting the gates during the time of di- 
vine service. I suppose it is to prevent an enemy from 
surprising them." 

"At Esche Mr. Moll or, my compagnon de voyage, and I 
meet a gentleman and lady [October loth] who come 
from the baths of Schwalbach and Wiesbaden. They tell 
us that the people, who are much disturbed by the war, pre- 
fer the company of the French to that of the Austrians, 
which last are sulky and will do nothing but smoke their 
pipes, while the French lend a hand to assist in whatever 
business may be going forward." 

" On the way from Cassel to Friedenwalde, at an inn 
[October 22d], I meet in the landlord an old Hessian sol- 
dier who served in America, and who speaks very good 
English. He tells me he worked very hard at cutting 
down the wood at Morrisania, and he is very sorry he did 
not stay in America. I make a detour to see the Duchess 
of Cumberland, but find that she is gone to live at Frank- 
fort, which town we reach on Thursday, October 26th. 
Walk first to the post-office and then call on the Duchess 
Vol. II. — 20 



306 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

of Cumberland, with whom I sit awhile. She gives me 
information of various sorts. Says that the Prince Royal 
of Prussia,* who is probably by this time King, his father's 
death having been expected daily for some weeks, is a 
man of very moderate abilities, pacific temper, and ava- 
ricious disposition ; that he hates the ^migr^s, fears the 
French, and, so far from entering into a coalition against 
them, will pay court to the Directory. She says that at 
Pyrmont they were endeavoring to take in Prince Adol- 
phus to marry the Princess Louis, sister to the Princess 
Royal, who is the mistress of Louis Ferdinand. The 
Duchess describes her as a woman of very loose deport- 
ment who was coquetting in the style of a courtesan with 
Adolphus, and the King of Prussia prayed him to manager 
his belle-fille, qui e'tait ^perdument amour euse de lui. At the 
same time, he could not think of agreeing to the marriage, 
without the previous consent of the King of England. 
The Duchess thinks that if, on the King's death, Louis can 
get the survivance of his father's place on condition that 
he marry his mistress, he will readily do it. She men- 
tions the marriage of the Prince of Wiirtemberg with the 
Princess Royal of England as a thing which the latter 
would never have consented to but to get out of the 
Queen's clutches. The Duchess of Brunswick, mother to 
his former wife, had done everything in her power to pre- 
possess the King against him. The Duke of Brunswick 
said publicly that he had poisoned his daughter. * But,' 
says the Ducliess of Brunswick, ' this I do not believe, be- 
cause the Empress of Russia had the exclusive privilege 
of poisoning everybody in her dominions, and as the 
Duchess of Wiirtemberg was her favorite, from having be- 
trayed her husband's secrets, and those of his sister tlie pres- 
ent Empress of Russia, it is improbable that she would have 

* The King of Prussia did not die until November, 1797. 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 307 

suffered anybody to poison her.' The Prince of Wiirtem- 
berg, she says, beat his wife two days after their marriage, 
because she persisted in wearing a cap which he did not 
like. Notwithstanding all these things, the Duke of 
Brunswick went over from his residence to Hanover to in- 
vite the Pi-ince and Princess to his Court, which invitation 
they accepted. This, says my informant, is in the hope 
that his grandson, future Duke of Wiirtemberg, will be 
made an elector. She says they live in a miserable style 
at Stuttgart ; see nobody, etc. ; her husband of such vio- 
lent temper that he beats his chamberlains and, in partic- 
ular, the Count Zippelin." 

'■'■ Estafettes have arrived in the night which announce 
the news of peace [October 27th]. There is much joy 
among the Austrians on account of the peace. The 
Prince de Reusse breakfasts with me. He tells me that in 
the great battle which Alvinzi lost, his brother had car- 
ried the posts on the left, had got round in the rear of 
Bonaparte, and was marching up in order of battle. It 
would have been fortunate if he had fired a few shots to 
alarm the French troops. Alvinzi had carried the Monte- 
bello by storm, with eight and twenty battalions, in the 
most splendid manner. Nothing remains but to range 
them again in order of battle, and Bonaparte was not beat 
but destroyed. Nothing could have escaped. In this mo- 
ment fifty to a hundred French horse, in their fright and 
not knowing what they did, came galloping round the right 
of the Austrians ; some twenty men took fright and cried 
'Tournirt, tournirt,' we are turned, i.e., surrounded, and 
instantly the cry became general ; the victorious battal- 
ions were panic-struck and ran down the mountain, 
throwing away their arms. In their rout down the steep 
which they had just ascended, above eight hundred were 
killed and wounded without any molestation whatever 



308 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

from the enemy. Thus a trivial incident (humanly speak- 
ing) changed the face of Europe. Had this not hap- 
pened, the Austrians would have marched victorious into 
the country of Nice in all probability. The Prince tells 
me he is apprehensive that the Emperor has made a bad 
peace. 

" I dine at the Duchess of Cumberland's. The Prince 
de Reusse takes me in the evening to Madame Sullivan's. 
Here are the Baron de Deuxpont, Comte de Fersen, Mr. 
Crauford, and M. de Simolin — all people whom I have 
formerly known. M. de Deuxpont tells me he has learnt 
from the secretary of Barthelemi that he constantly be- 
trayed the French Republic. He has received advices 
from Paris that Barras and Reubell are at enmity, each 
wishing to be chief. The Prince de Reusse tells me, also, 
that persons lately arrived mention great discontents 
among the people. Simolin says he has received a very 
civil message from the Bishop d'Autun, and he tells me a 
thing which surprises me ; viz., that the Bishop used to 
beat Madame de Stael. He says St. Foix, having heard it, 
asked the Bishop, who acknowledged it. He says that 
Talon and Semonville had obtained large sums from 
Louis XIV., under pretext of serving him, and had ap- 
plied it to their own use. Simolin does not believe in the 
articles given out, which are, in brief, that the Emperor 
gets Dalmatia, Istria, etc., to the Piave, and from the 
upper part of the Piave along round by Peschiera to the 
Lago d' Iseo, so as to keep the communication open with 
Tyrol ; also that the Emperor gets Bavaria in exchange 
for the Low Countries, including Liege, but exclusive of 
Flanders and Hainault, which are to be given to the 
Elector of Bavaria or Elector Palatine." 

"To-day [October 29th] we dine at a tavern with a large 
society of the first people of this place. A merchant here 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 309 

has just received a letter from Udine, which informs him 
that on the 17th the conferences were so warm that the 
negotiators were heard disputing by people out of doors. 
At length Cobenzel stated his ultimatum and the nego- 
tiators separated, war being concluded on, but after a lit- 
tle time Bonaparte wrote a note to Cobenzel telling him 
that on further consideration he had determined to ac- 
cede, and accordingly the business was settled." 

" This morning (or, rather, noon) [November 2d] I go 
off to Offenbach to breakfast with the Prince de Reusse. 
The fete is given to the Duchess of Cumberland. There 
are here the Prince d'Yessemburg with his wife (sister 
to the Prince de Reusse), Prince and Princess de Wirt, a 
brother of the Landgrave de Hesse; a Baron Lupel, who 
reminds me that we dined together at Mr. Hope's at Am- 
sterdam ; the Baron and Baroness Vrinz and M. Gazeyn, 
conseiller intime to the Prince de Wirt. There is noth- 
ing here beyond the chit-chat of good company. Go to 
the play. There is an actor here of the name of Schmidt, 
formerly Moiler, who was the lover of the King of Prus- 
sia's first wife, and father, as she said, of the Duchess of 
York. Whether this affects my imagination or not I can- 
not say, but I think he looks very like the Duchess of 
York. When I see the Duchess of Cumberland I men- 
tion to her the M. Moiler, alias Schmidt, whom I saw last 
night. She tells me that the King of Prussia well knew 
that the Duchess of York was not his daughter, and had 
an intrigue with her ; that the Duke of York knew it, 
and married her on that account, hoping to get with her 
the means of paying his debts, in which he was disap- 
pointed ; that the Duchess is a diseased woman ; that the 
Prince of Wales treats all these things as bagatelles, and 
used to laugh at what he called her prudery." 

" M. Henri arrives from Liege [November 7th], and says 



310 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

the inhabitants of Limbourg and Luxembourg are in the 
deepest distress at being abandoned by the Emperor. A 
great number, are literally sick. This is an overcharged 
picture, though the groundworic may be exact. Call on the 
Duchess of Cumberland. In the course of a conversation 
resulting from her cross-grained observations, the Prince de 
Reusse mentions interrupted letters from the Directory to 
Bonaparte in which they state the improbability of reunit- 
ing their armies. Mr. Crauford * mentions to me as having 
learned it at the time from the Prussian minister that the 
siege of Mayence was delayed six weeks because the Aus- 
trian Cabinet would not specify their objects in the war 
and the Cabinet of Prussia was determined not to aggran- 
dize Austria without receiving more than their rival should 
acquire. The British ministers were apprised of this, he 
says, very early, and if so they ought, I think, to have 
brought about the needful explanations, or retired in sea- 
son from the coalition. Mr. Crauford tells me that he, in 
retiring from the Low Countries, travelled with Thugut 
in the same post-chaise, and was told by him that he had 
given it as his opinion the Low Countries should be re- 
tained as long as the revenue or a little more would suffice 
to defend them, but from the moment that they called for 
great expense and exertions they should be abandoned. 
This opinion was, I think, sound, but it was not, perhaps, 
very wise to declare it. Certain it was that the Low Coun- 
tries were abandoned voluntarily by the Imperial armies ; 
but this, I believe, was owing in some degree to ill-humor. 
The British Cabinet had insisted on the Dunkirk expedi- 
tion, which was indisputably unwise, otherwise than by a 
diversion of a coup de main, which would, I am sure, have 

* Quentin Crauford, an English author who, after spending his youth in 
India, lived at Paris until his death, with the exception of the ten years pre- 
ceding the Peace of Amiens. He was a friend of Marie Antoinette, on 
whom he wrote a Notice, and afterward of Josephine. 



\ 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 31 ' 

been successful. It failed because the movements towards 
it alarmed the French, who, by throwing in a re-enforce- 
ment, disconcerted the plan of the inhabitants and others 
for surrendering it. This expedition, by extending too 
much the line and weakening the impressive force of the 
Allies, frustrated entirely the grand object of the campaign. 
The retreat from the Low Countries was made also in 
the view to alarm Britain and Holland, and bring them 
forward to greater exertion." 

" The Duchess of Cumberland, when I call on her to- 
day [November i8th], is, as usual, mighty in the spirit of 
contradiction. I believe that, if Pitt should gravely found 
an argument of state policy on the position that two and 
two make four, rather than not controvert his conclusion 
she would deny his premises." 

" It seems to-day [November 19th] as if the French 
Government meant really to extend their territory to the 
Rhine. The Major Baron de Beaulieu calls, and says he 
is persuaded that a war will break out between the Em- 
peror and Prussia. He begins to give me a history of the 
campaigns in Italy, beginning with the year 1795, when the 

Austrian General , by not following up his successes 

against Scherer and possessing himself of Nice, the true 
point of defence against France, left the road open to in- 
vasion ; the subsequent action, in which the Austrian 
army was beaten by the French, re-enforced with the Army 
of the Eastern Pyrenees, because the Austrian general, 
unable to command, had not the good sense to invest his 
inferior with the authority and consequent responsibility. 
This last, M. Wallis, was not unwilling, according to the 
Major, to lose a battle which must ruin his chief and there- 
by pave the way to his own advancement. Scherer, how- 
ever, did not improve his victory, and the Austrians were 
permitted to go into winter-quarters in the end of No- 



312 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

vember. M. de Beaulieu, first sent to Italy as a kind of 
counsellor, and then in the spring appointed to the com- 
mand of an army quite out of condition, but with orders 
to act immediately, advanced to the river of Genoa and 
took possession of the shortest line of defence now re- 
maining, from which he drove the French, leaving the Pied- 
montese, under the command of General Colli, to defend 
the passes on his right. Attacked by Bonaparte and beaten, 
from causes which he has not time to go into, he retired, 
and the Piedmontese, after defending themselves bravely, 
and repelling the enemy, were ordered back, and the whole 
course of the Po left open. In this state of things, Beaulieu 
requested the King to throw garrisons into his fortresses, 
particularly Turin, so as to gain time, and promised to 
come to his assistance. The King, with profuse expres- 
sions of gratitude, requested him to advance, and while 
he was on his march concluded the treaty with Bonaparte. 
Beaulieu, informed of this by a spy in time to escape the 
snare, retired precipitately to Alessandria, but not in sea- 
son to possess this place, whose gates were already shut 
against him, and he had the mortification to defile under 
the Piedmontese cannon. Here the Major is obliged to 
conclude, being pressed for time. The next morning, 
however, he comes, and proceeds with his history. Gen- 
eral Beaulieu might by stratagem have made himself mas- 
ter of Alessandria, but in so doing he would only have 
justified the conduct of Sardinia and precipitated the alli- 
ance with France ; but be must have diminished his small 
army by a garrison which could not be relieved, and Tor- 
tona, a post of equal consequence, would be neglected ; or 
else he must garrison both, and then his whole remaining 
force would not have been sufficient to defend Mantua. 
He determined therefore, wisely, to retire across the Po. 
This was effected at Valenza, and he had still a bridge 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 313 

of boats at Rotto. Bonaparte took the road to Piacenza, 
where he had no bridge, but only a large ferry-boat. In 
this situation it was proposed to the General by the Major 
to cross at Rotto and attack Bonaparte, who, if beaten, must 
be totally destroyed. But the General, an old man hav- 
ing not the sufficient bodily vigor (and, I presume, deficient 
also in strength of mind), observed that a defeat would be 
nearly as fatal to him as to Bonaparte, that his troops 
were discouraged, and that he must, above all things, not 
lose sight of Mantua. I think the counsel was as wise as 
vigorous, and as Beaulieu could have brought a superior- 
ity of force against the part of the French army, besides 
the advantage of the attack, and that unexpected, I can- 
not but believe that the success would have been com- 
plete, and then the defensive would have been changed 
into offensive, with every probability of a glorious cam- 
paign. Beaulieu retired over the Ticino, and here fortune 
seems, in my opinion, to have presented him again a glo- 
rious opportunity. He might have suffered the French 
vanguard to cross the Po, and then have fallen upon them 
between that river and the Adda. Instead of that, a small 
force was detached towards Piacenza, and the timid, negli- 
gent officers ran away at the first appearance of the en- 
emy, whom they might have cut to pieces, as not more 
than two hundred men at a time could cross the river. 
The General then determined to cross the Adda, and the 
Major, who was left with General Zebuttendorf, who com- 
manded on the right, and had the care of the artillery and 
baggage, retired also over the Adda, having made forced 
marches for the purpose. The Major, who covers as much 
as possible the faults of his chief, attributing them either 
to the misconduct of his inferior officers or to false intel- 
ligence transmitted to him, leaves it, however, very evident 
that he had crossed the Adda without giving any due 



314 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

information or orders to the troops under Zebuttendorf, 
which formed, however, a large third of his army. These 
effected their tumultuary retreat through Lodi, and then 
a party was detached, at the instance of the Major, to re- 
connoitre and annoy the enemy in his advance to that 
place from Piacenza. This party ran away at the first 
appearance of the French, their commander setting them 
the example. The little time which remained was em- 
ployed in putting the troops into some sort of order, to op- 
pose the passage over the Bridge of Lodi, and in sending 
off the train of artillery and the baggage. A few pieces 
were kept to enfilade the bridge, and their fire kept back 
the enemy till the cartridges, being nearly spent, the 
Major ordered the fire to cease for a moment. This mo- 
ment was seized, and the column of French rushed for- 
ward, and being once on the bridge, which was very long, 
and pressed forward continually by those behind, their 
passage became unavoidable, though the few dischargies 
of artillery which could be made in the five or six minutes 
of their crossing made a terrible havoc. The Austrian 
force consisted chiefly of Croats, who ran off immediately, 
and two battalions of Austrians, who did their duty, were 
overpowered and nearly destroyed. The rout was now 
complete. General Beaulieu in consequence abandoned 
Pizzighettone and took post, after crossing the Oglio, at Ri- 
valta, where he threw bridges over the Mincio to secure 
his retreat to Mantua, and began to take measures for 
throwing in provisions, etc. Bonaparte here committed a 
capital fault. Instead of pushing forward after Beaulieu, 
he turned off to his left, and went to enjoy at Milan the 
incense of his victories, gained, in effect, not by the skill 
of the general, nor even by the vigor of his troops, but by 
the feebleness and poltroonery of his opponents. As he 
had above fifty thousand men to oppose against less than 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 315 

five and twenty, and as his troops were in general far bet- 
ter than those of his adversary, there can be no doubt that 
he would, by well-concerted manoeuvres, have reached at 
length the point proposed, of driving Beaulieu out of 
Italy. But this general might certainly have prolonged 
his stay, and made much more effectual opposition to 
such manoeuvres ; or, if Bonaparte had persisted in those 
adventurous steps which left everything to fortune, he 
might have been made to pay dear for his rashness and 
thrown far back from his object. In the mean time, Man- 
tua might have been so well provided as to render the 
taking of it impossible. The Austrians would have had 
time to collect a force sufficient to relieve it and drive 
the French back into Piedmont, when, collecting the whole 
force of Italy against them, they would have been com- 
pletely destroyed. But if these ideas be just, if Beaulieu 
was so much in fault, what shall be said of the Minister 
who appointed a feeble old man to so important a post ? 
Prince de Reusse comes in, and they stay with me till din- 
ner-time." 

" I call on Mr. Wickham, late Minister of England to 
the Swiss Cantons [November 22d]. He tells me the peo- 
ple of Switzerland, in consequence of the various revolu- 
tions in France, have returned to their former fondness 
for their own institutions, but the government is weaker 
than ever. He has reason to complain of this weakness. 
He thinks they mean, by attentions to Bonaparte, and 
money to him or some of the Directors, to purchase peace. 
He says the discontents in France are universal. He 
thinks the Austrian Cabinet have not acted fairly to Sar- 
dinia, nor, indeed, to England ; says that the employment 
given to Pellin necessarily made him acquainted with the 
secrets of the Austrian Government, and enabled him, of 
course, to betray them. I mention to Mr. "Wickham an 



3l6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

idea which has struck me as to their negotiations with 
France ; viz., that they might have offered to return all 
their conquests made as well upon Holland as upon 
France, provided France would, by surrendering Flanders 
to the Dutch, give them the means of becoming an inde- 
pendent power ; that in this case it should be stipulated 
that neither France nor England would interfere in the 
affairs of Holland, but the people be left to choose a gov- 
ernment for themselves, etc. He thinks this plan would 
have been very beneficial, and seems as if he wished to 
communicate it to the Cabinet." 

Having made his adieus at Frankfort, Morris left, on 
Friday the 24th, for Ratisbon, provided with letters to 
various persons of importance there ; among them, the 
Princesse de la Tour et Taxis, 

"My horses have suffered by the rain through which 
they were driven, so I determine to stay at Anspach a day, 
and rest my servants and horses," says the diary on Novem- 
ber 29th. " Dine at the table d'hote, where I learn that 
the new King of Prussia* has put the Countess of Lichte- 
nau in prison, and conferred on Bischofswerder the Order 
of the Black Eagle. This is curious enough. It is said 
that the Prince Henri is in a very low condition. A young 
man mentions to a Braban^on, who is here, as a general 
opinion, that the weakness which the Margrave of Anspach 
was reduced to was brought about by his surgeon, at the in- 
stigation of old Fritz, The Margrave is supposed to have 
wished, by way of revenge, that his Margravine should 
take other hands to her assistance, but, notwithstanding 
his direct wish, and the indirect attempts of others, her 
virtue and religion stood in the way of his wishes. Per- 
haps it was a disgust at the obstacles raised by a wife of 

* Frederick William III, succeeded his father Frederick William II. in 
November, 1797. 



1797.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 317 

virtue which threw him, after her death, into the arms of 
one devoid of it. As far as I can judge from light symp- 
toms, the people of this country regret their subjection to 
Prussia." 

" Leave Anspach to-day [November 30th], and push on 
to Nuremberg, where, at the gate, stands a Prussian sentry, 
to show the extent of jurisdiction claimed by his Prussian 
Majesty. The question is yet to be decided whether this 
claim will be admitted. The view of the valley in which 
Nuremberg stands is very fine — encircled by distant hills 
of moderate height crowned with firs, and filled with vil- 
lages which lie scattered about in abundance. The peo- 
ple of the Anspach territory seem everywhere displeased 
with the Prussian Government. At the table d'hote of the 
Red Horse (which, by the way, has been the noted inn of 
this place for more than half a century) we have but an in- 
different dinner ; but last night I was well provided in my 
chamber, and not dear. During my walk I met a little 
procession for the conducting of an imperial commis- 
sary, who is come hither to settle the affairs of the town. 
It seems that the council, consisting of patricians, have not 
rendered any accounts for the last hundred years, during 
which time the debt of the city has gone on accumulating 
and threatens them now with bankruptcy. They expect 
some reform. The King of Prussia has offered to take the 
debt on his shoulders if they would submit to his domin- 
ion, but this they don't like ; and they are in hopes of 
being soon relieved from what they call his usurpation of 
their dominion." 

"We jog on to Ratisbon, which place we reach Decem- 
ber 3d. Our road lies over a high hill, and then along 
the Danube under the hill to where we cross that river on 
an excellent bridge. The road is execrable. In looking 
from the tops of hills I see, every way, mountains piled up 



3l8 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

in abundance on the frontiers of Bohemia and Bavaria — a 
country little inhabited, and through which as yet there 
are no high-roads ; perhaps there never will be. I think, 
as far as appearances go, the inhabitants of the Upper 
Palatinate are worse off than those of Bohemia. The hov- 
els are poor, even at the door of Ratisbon, and the 
peasantry are ragged and filthy. This part of Germany is 
a long century behind Saxony. If the government would 
introduce some Saxons it would enhance the value of 
their possessions ; but then the Lutheran religion must 
be tolerated, which does not suit the present ideas. I do 
not recollect to have noted in Bohemia what I remark 
again, viz., that on the hovels, covered with shingles with- 
out nails, stones are laid to keep them from blowing 
away. This, in a country full of iron, is a sad object, and 
proves the almost savage state of the inhabitants in a 
striking degree. They are in the first stage from savage 
life, or a state of nature, towards civilization. Driven to 
labor from fear and necessity, their exertions stop at the 
point to which they are driven by those motives. If free- 
dom were given to these people they would, I think, sink 
back to the level of our American copper-colored breth- 
ren, unless, indeed, they were subdued by their more civil- 
ized neighbors, which would indeed certainly happen. A 
further degree of oppression, viz., heavier taxes, would 
draw forth more efforts of body and mind, and such taxes, 
spent among them in establishments of various manufact- 
ures, by holding forth new objects of desire, and conse- 
quently exciting the desires which they create, would 
probably introduce industry, upon permanent principles, 
provided a security of property were firmly established by 
law. Then on these two pillars, property and luxury^ or, to 
call them by apposite but not gentle names, avarice and 
sensuality, firmly fixed, the arch of national wealth would be 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. ' 319 

reared high by the hand of labor ; it would be polished 
by science, decorated by the arts, and fitted for the footstool 
of freedom. To speak in plain language, this seems to be 
the natural course of human affairs." 

" This morning [December 4th] I deliver some of my 
letters ; but everybody is at the Diet. In the evening M. 
le Chanoine Comte Sternberg calls, and takes me to the as- 
sembUe at Madame de Diede's, lady of the Danish minister 
who has been handsome and has yet good remains. Her 
daughter is pretty well, and seems to have beaucoup 
desprit et d" instruction. I asked the Count Sternberg why 
the people here are so near to savages, and he tells me the 
fault is in the government, which has taken no measures 
to mend them. The country, he says, is not half peopled, 
and it requires vigor of mind to bring in subjects from 
Saxony and Suabia, and to protect them in the enjoyment 
of their religion against the prejudices of the people. He 
says that Bischofswerder is dismissed ; even his regiment 
taken away. Madame de Lichtenau is arrested because 
she plundered the King's cassette^ and even possessed her- 
self of his papers while he was in the last agony. Her 
husband — Rietz — fearful that he should be rendered ac- 
countable, went and denounced her, on which the King 
put the business into the hands of the Minister of Jus- 
tice. A M. is also arrested. He is said to have 

been concerned with her in sundry tripotages, and is 
also suspected of having, in the King's life, betrayed to 
foreign courts many things which he became possessed 
of by undue means. He was an imperial chamberlain, 
but had behaved oddly in the Low Countries, and lately 
resigned his key and was noticed by the King of Prus- 
sia. 

" Go this evening [December 5th] to the assemblde of the 
Count de Hohenthal. A report that the Genevans have 



320 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

come to blows, in order to determine whether they should 
pay honors or not to Bonaparte." 

" Dine to-day [December 7th] with the Princesse de la 
Tour et Taxis, en petite societi. We hear that Napoleon has 
quitted the congress at Rastadt and gone off suddenly 
to Paris, in consequence of advices received from there. 
Three couriers in one day." 

"A Mr. .Howe calls on me [December 8th], He is a 
Scotch priest. Has been employed by Mr. VValpole in 
some sort of capacity — as secretary, I suppose — and is pos- 
sessed of several facts respecting the conduct of Austria 
and Prussia during the war, which he communicates. 
Among other things, he says that Mollendorf, pressed by 
Lord Cornwallis, who was sent to review his army, ac- 
knowledged that he had but forty odd thousand instead of 
eighty-two thousand effectives. He says that Lord Corn- 
wallis immedately stopped the subsidy, and thereupon 
Mollendorf, being in great distress, the house of Beth- 
man, in Frankfort, undertook to supply him with the 
needful money, and twenty-one millions of livres passed 
through his hands. He mentions the Pitt diamond, sent 
to Berlin, under the pretext of borrowing money on it, as 
a present to the King. We have fine weather to-day. 
Spend the evening at the Princess's, and stay till one 
o'clock. We have 2l petit souper, a little music, and pleas- 
ant society. The Prince, I am told, lives with the Scotch 
priests, and amuses himself shooting at a mark." 

" General Werneck * comes to see me this morning 

* The Baron de Werneck, an Austrian general, who, entering the army at 
seventeen years of age and distinguishing himself in many ways, merited the 
cross of the Order of Maria Theresa at Belgrade. At the battle of Wetzlar, 
in June, 1796, he commanded the right wing of the army under the Arch- 
duke Charles, but was denounced by Kray, tried before a council of war 
and forced to resign. Later he was allowed to re-enter the army, but again 
his actions were questioned by his Court, and, for the second time, he was to 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. $21 

[December 9th], and sits a long time. He speaks of 
Beaulieu as a man who never had talents to command four 
thousand men ; considers the conduct of the war on the 
part of the Austrian Cabinet as very bad ; says they are 
very deficient in generals — few have the needful instruc- 
tion. He says the French speak contemptuously of the 
Prussians ; that the Austrians would gladly engage in a 
war against Prussia. 

" I hear a report that Barras is to mount the throne 
of France by the aid of his friend Bonaparte. I take 
tea with the Princess, who gives us music, and, when 
the company are gone, I read her a scene out of Julius 
Caesar." 

*' General Werneck comes to see me to-day [December 
12th]. He tells me that if the Duke of York had given 

him timely support they would, on the 24th of , have 

been masters of Dunkirk. He had several grenadiers 
killed in the covered way. Flanders (that is, the Low 
Countries) was not abandoned, he says, by order of the 
Emperor, but lost through the incapacity of the officers 
he employed to command his armies. The Prince de 
Coburg, acknowledgedly unfit, had, for his grand faiseur, 
the Prince de Waldeck, the most irresolute creature on 
earth, of which he gives two instances : the first when he, 
Werneck, was posted to the westward of Tirlemont, and 
the army along by that in a good position, and it was 
not only agreed to hazard a battle, but the Prince de- 
clared publicly that whoever thought of abandoning it 
was a scoundrel ; and yet, upon the first appearance of the 
enemy, moving towards his left, he fell back to Maestricht. 
In like manner he quitted Maestricht, to take post behind 

be tried, when he suddenly died. He was born at Louisbourg, October 15, 
1748, and died, January 16, 1806. His actions are diversely judged by his- 
torians. 

Vol. II.— 21 



322 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chai'. XXXVIII. 

the river, in order to cover his magazine at Cologne and 
secure his retreat. In this situation Claerfayt took the 
command, with Beaulieu as his quartermaster — two mor- 
tal enemies ; the latter stupid, the former undecided, 
from a want of military knowledge. It was here deter- 
mined to take post, with the right at Reevemonde, and to 
fall back with the left to opposite Diisseldorf, with a vast 
plain in front. They had then ninety thousand men, 
the enemy about eighty-four ; but the Austrians were far 
superior in cavalry. The consequence seems clear, espe- 
cially as the species of cavalry was also far superior. But 
here again, after having communicated this plan to the 
Elector of Cologne, who had gone off to make his ar- 
rangements in consequence, the resolution was suddenly 
taken to retreat, and he, Werneck, received at five in the 
morning orders to march at midnight. Luckily he had, 
as on former occasions, foreseen, from his knowledge of 
those to whom he owed his obedience, that such orders 
would come, and had made his dispositions in conse- 
quence. Still, however, he was exposed in that plain of 
Juliers to the repeated charge of superior numbers of 
cavalry, and two columns of the French army, which were 
sent to cut him off, but from the superiority of his horse, 
got off with scarce any loss. A victory in that position 
would not only have saved Flanders, but proved, in all 
human probability, destructive to the French army. If 
these did not attack, then the Austrians effectually covered 
Holland, and rendered it impracticable for the French to 
cross the Rhine." 

"Learn to-day [December 15th] that the congress at 
Rastadt is in great confusion. The Emperor has declared 
that he can no longer carry on the war ; so, if the Empire 
means to persist, -he will send his contingent, saving the 
rights of his family, which saving, say the commentators, 



1797 ] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 323 

amounts to nearly as much as the contingent. The ecclesi- 
astical Electors and Princes are, it is said, throwing them- 
selves into the arms of Prussia. It seems understood that 
Bavaria, or at least an important part of it, the Bishop- 
rics of Salzburg and Passau, are to go to Austria. I go 
to see the Princess, and assist her in the recitation of a 
song she is to act to-morrow evening, in celebration of 
Madame de Hohenthal's bii'thday. General Werneck is 
of the party, and we take 2i petit souper there, which is very 
pleasant." 

"This morning [December i6th] go with the General 
to attend the recitation of the Princess. He is to take to 
Madame de Hohenthiil a bouquet of flowers. The Prin- 
cess performs her part well in the concert which succeeds 
the recitation. After supper there is dancing, so that I 
do not get to bed till one o'clock. In bringing General 
Werneck home, his vanity lets me into the secret of his 
intimacy with the Princess. She has confided to him that 
she has little to do with her husband, being disgusted 
with his filthiness. Luckily, as Marmontel says, she has 
a grande maitresse who gives her but little opportunity to 
gratify her feeling for General Werneck." 

"I take General Werneck to dine [December igth] at 
the Prince Bishop's, where we have a large dinner, at 
which the Prince and Princesse de la Tour assist. Dur- 
ing the dinner the Count Sternberg, who sits next me, 
takes occasion to say that he should not feel easy if he 
saw me next to his friend, Madame de Diede. Though 
this is a compliment, it smells of a foreign conclusion ; 
so I reply by assuring him that he would be perfectly 
safe, as I am by no means disposed to begin now the 
trade of an homme h bonnes fortunes, which I never liked in 
my younger days. In the evening, at' Madame Gortz's, 
Madame de Diede comes in, and I perceive why the Count 



324 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

made this observation. I think also that my friend Gen- 
eral Werneck would be as well content that I were away, 
but he is wrong." 

" Having only two of her confidential officers and 
grande maitresse present to-night [December 22d], the Prin- 
cesse de la Tour expresses in strong terms her resentment 
at the conduct of the Imperial Cabinet, which she attrib- 
utes to M. de Thugut. There is certainly no small de- 
gree of perfidy in the declaration that the Emperor had 
stipulated with France for the integrity of the Empire, 
inviting afterwards the deputation to go and treat on that 
subject at Rastadt, and then all at once leaving the poor 
Empire in its present condition. At Madame de Secken- 
dorf's assembly, the Marquis de Verac mentions to me the 
great hauteur of the French, which is, indeed, sufficiently 
evident, but the particular instance which he cites to 
prove it is whimsical enough. The deputies of the Di- 
rectory at Rastadt, to whom Monseigneur de Cobenzel had 
paid a visit in grand gala, returned it on foot, and in com- 
plete deshabille. But M. de Verac has grown gray in the 
Corps Diplomatique. 

" M. Aujard told me he wished to see me and commu- 
nicate many things respecting the Court of France with 
which I must be unacquainted, and which it may be use- 
ful to me to know. I told him that I am at home always 
in the mornings." 

"This morning [December 24th] M. Aujard calls on 
me. I hear his story, which is, in a great measure, his 
own history. M. de Maurepas had offered him the direc- 
tion of the finances, which he had declined because M. 
de Maurepas was old, and he had no confidence in the 
abilities, while he saw also the corruption, of the Court. 
M. Necker was appointed, and in a great measure on his 
report, but he soon said that M. Necker was incapable, 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 325 

apprised M. de Maurepas of it, gave him the proofs, and 
M. Necker was dismissed. He was in a chamber adjoin- 
ing the Queen's cabinet when the Baron de Breteuil and 
the Polignacs labored with Her Majesty for two hours to 
prevail on her to recommend M. de Calonne. At lengtli 
she promised to bring the King to an interview with them 
the next day, and then, after above two hours, they 
wrung from him his consent to that appointment — source, 
says M. Aujard, of all the evils which France groans un- 
der. This Minister squandered vast sums among the 
courtiers. M. de Breteuil broke with the Polignacs on 
his account, perceiving that he had been their dupe in 
that appointment. The Queen, apprised of his malversa- 
tion, ordered Augard to collect the proofs and give them 
to the Bishop of Nancy, her confessor, who was member 
of the Notables. When Calonne was dismissed, and no- 
toriously by the Queen's agency, the Comte d'Artois, to 
whose profusions he had administered, became her mortal 
enemy. The Duke of Orleans was also her enemy, first, 
because of his exile, which was, in fact, says Augard, 
unjust, because he had properly represented to the King 
that the voies should, on a certain occasion, be publicly 
given. But the chief cause of enmity arose from having 
broken the marriage agreed on between the Comte d'Ar- 
tois's eldest son and the Duke's daughter. M. de Lafa- 
yette says he was at the head of the republican faction, 
which considered the Queen also as their greatest enemy. 
He speaks of him as of a card-cut figure moved by the 
strings which others pull. He gave the Queen advice, 
shortly before the attack on the Chateau at Versailles, to 
quit it and go to Compiegne, because she was exposed to 
the rage of three different factions ; namely, the Princes, 
the Orleanists, and the Republicans. She told him M. de 
Lafayette had told them they had nothing to fear, for he 



326 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

would place some cannon so as to command the bridge of 
Sevres, and, by destroying a couple of the arches, prevent 
the populace of Paris from crossing the Seine. After 
the horrid scenes which passed at Versailles, and which 
terminated by bringing the royal family prisoners to 
Paris, Aujard advised the Queen to leave the kingdom, 
which she agreed to but afterwards declined, assigning as 
a reason that the voyage of the Duke of Orleans to Lon- 
don removed the principal danger by which she was 
threatened, and that it was her duty to stay with the King, 
and perish, if needful, at his feet. The Queen of Naples, 
he says, told him afterwards that the Queen was afraid 
she should be divorced, the King married to the Duke of 
Orleans's daughter, and her children declared bastards. 
This seems to have been a strange fear. 

"Aujard, having emigrated, saw the Elector of Cologne, 
who told him that, in his opinion, no sovereign had a 
right to interfere in the internal affairs of another nation, 
and dictate a form of government. The Emperor Leo- 
pold, whom he saw at Frankfort, repeated the same thing, 
and added, if she adopts a good government so much the 
better for her, and if not, her neighbors will profit by it. 
He declared he would not make war on France ; that the 
King was, by his weakness, the cause of the mischiefs 
which had happened ; that he had no notion of proclaim- 
ing revolutionary principles in his own dominions by a 
manifesto against France, but to prevent their extending 
themselves to him by a mild and parental administration ; 
that he could not conceive nor pardon the conduct of the 
French Princes, who had taken into their confidence M. 
de Calonne, a person stigmatized by the tribunals of their 
country, and reprobated by their King and brother. Leo- 
pold refused to see them or him. Yet the Comte d'Artois 
went with Calonne to Vienna. He arrived at seven 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 327 

o'clock. The Emperor heard it at ten, and before twelve 
they had received his orders to depart immediately. He 
tells me the Emperor Francis assured him he cared noth- 
ing about the Low Countries ; that the English had never 
supported him, and he would, by abandoning the Low 
Countries to France, punish them. He says Calonne in- 
trigued with the Court of Berlin, who told him they would 
do nothing but in concert with England ; that he after- 
wards suggested the plan, which was adopted, of sending 
an army of fifty thousand men against France, taking 
twenty thousand Austrians as auxiliaries, in all which M. 
Aujard gives me, I think, his dreams for realities. After 
he is gone the Marquis de Verac comes ; seems to think 
that a war will break out between Prussia, supported by 
Russia, and France. This might be if there were time 
for those powers to concert their measures, but they are 
caught so much on the sudden that I much doubt of their 
action. ' 

"At a little supper at her table ronde, to-night, the Prin- 
cess begged me not to mention her sortie of last evening, 
and I truly assure her that the caution is unnecessary." 

" This morning [December 25th] M. Aujard comes again. 
Interrogating him about M. Necker's appointment, I find 
I am mistaken. He says it was a M. de Pesey who got 
him up, and who received for it 3oo,ooof. He says that, 
though he has been invited by the Emperor Francis to 
come to Vienna, he has not been able to obtain a passport 
from M. de Thugut, and mentions as a fact that M. de Thu- 
gut, who had received a pension of 3o,ooof. from France 
by the Queen's bounty, had placed money in the French 
funds to the amount of i2,ooof. annual income, and receives 
regularly the interest and pension in coin, all which I dis- 
believe ; because that, if we admit his being corrupted by 
the Directory, they would certainly avoid such manifest 



328 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

grounds of suspicion, and if we doubt, as we should, thre 
charge of corruption, there can be no reason for believing 
in a preference so uncommon of M. Thugut. M. Aujard's 
conversation this day is a repetition of what he said yester- 
day, for the most part ; he reads a part of his memoirs, in 
which are some circumstances of little moment. I had 
asked him to bring me the proof of Calonne's dilapida- 
tions of which he spoke with such certitude, and of which 
he had made a collection for the Queen's use and by Her 
Majesty's order ; observing to him that, as the present 
French Government were possessed of all the accounts of 
the late King's reign, including the red book where His 
Majesty entered the sums for which he gave general war- 
rants on the treasury, it followed that, the whole of the 
receipts into the public treasury being accounted for, no 
such dilapidations could have existed, and if M. de Ca- 
lonne made largesses to the hungry courtiers, it must have 
been from his own funds. He promised me these proofs, 
but, instead of them, brings me the sketch of discourses 
from the King to the Assembly which he had prepared, 
and whose object was to propose an emission of three 
hundred millions of paper money, to be redeemed by an 
annual payment of fifteen millions for twenty years. Had 
these discourses been adopted, the King would have been 
brought forward on the stage of Europe to maintain a 
polemic controversy with M. Necker on the details of fi- 
nance. The attitude would not be majestic, though M. 
Aujard's remarks are not void of weight. He gives me a 
history of his interviews with the Emperor and Prince 
Charles, in which I think I can see the desire to get rid of 
him decently, but from which he deduces the Emperor's 
determination to abandon the Low Countries because he 
had found out that the British Cabinet was resolved to 
sacrifice him to their views, and the Duke of York refused, 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 329 

in consequence, to second his operations. This, he says, 
was directly communicated to him. That such communi- 
cation was made I cannot believe, though I am well-dis- 
posed to believe that the Emperor left the Low Countries 
to their fate partly with a view to draw forth more vigor- 
ous exertions from Britain and Holland, partly to avenge 
the revolt in the time of his uncle Joseph. Dine at the 
Court, take tea with Madame de Gortz. She tells me that 
France had offered to Prussia the cities of Hamburg, Lii- 
beck, and Bremen ; but the King, communicating this in- 
formation to those cities, has assured them that he would 
not invade their liberties. She says she does not believe 
the French will march to Hanover. She thinks the King 
will not submit to it. I tell her that if they possess them- 
selves of that electorate they will be in a position to render 
his efforts unavailing, and may perhaps dispose of it in his 
favor as they had done of the Venetian dominions, to 
compensate the Emperor for what he had lost. The forced 
marches of the Austrian army towards Bavaria prove to 
me that, in concert with his new ally, the Emperor is de- 
termined to awe Prussia into a compliance with the terms 
which have been agreed on at Udine." 

"M. Aujard calls this morning [December 26th], and 
brings me his history of Favras's conspiracy. Being con- 
fined in the same prison, he found means to communicate 
with Favras and his wife, through the key-holes of their 
apartments, and to carry on a correspondence between 
them, as also to transmit to their friends the needful in- 
formation from them. Among other things, Madame de 
Favras had hid behind a pier-glass some papers the even- 
ing her husband was taken, being alarmed at his staying 
abroad beyond his usual hour. Her sister was informed 
of this, and had the good fortune to burn them. Both 
Favras and his wife, separately, assured him that they 



330 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXVIII. 

had been offered 48,ooof. to accuse Monsieur, the King's 
brother. They both told him the plot had been betrayed 
by M. de Luxembourg ; but I prove the contrary to him, 
for it had fallen in my way to know that the scheme was 
discovered early, and I had urged Luxembourg to keep 
himself clear of the intrigues he was engaged in, lest 
they might prove fatal to him. I recollect Madame Ta- 
lon told me that her husband had been possessed of sev- 
eral pieces tending to convict Monsieur, and was urged 
by M. de Lafayette to institute a criminal procedure 
against him, but had, instead, thrown them in the fire, tell- 
ing the General he would never be guilty of traducing be- 
fore a criminal tribunal the brother of his sovereign. M. 
Aujard certainly was useful to Monsieur on this occasion, 
for Favras might have been induced to save himself by 
declaring what he knew. After leaving France he went 
to Coblentz, and there he was received by the royal broth- 
ers, and particularly the elder, with all the coldness of in- 
gratitude. Madame gave him a long interview, and told 
him of the follies they were daily committing ; that they 
were determined to ruin the Queen, which she prayed him 
to tell, or write rather, to His Majesty ; that they had 
formed a council in which M. de Calonne was First Minis- 
ter and Minister of the Finances, the Bishop d'Arras Chan- 
cellor, M. de Vaudreuil Minister of War ; and they had 
resolved then, when their brother should be by them re- 
established on the throne, no important measure of ad- 
ministration should be adopted without their consent. 
This wild, and — according to their own principles, if they 
had any — this treasonable conduct seems almost too ex- 
travagant for belief ; but many reasons concur to render it 
probable. Aujard tells me several facts respecting their 
pecuniary transactions which would in England be called 
swindling. Among others, the Marshal de Broglio, hav- 



1797 J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 33 1 

ing some property in Piedmont, his agents sent him a sum 
of money by the stage, which the servant of the stage 
was bringing to him ; and M. de Calonne undertook to de- 
liver it, but some days after mentioned the affair to his 
friend De Broglio, and, as the thing must be quite indiffer- 
ent to him, paid the sum in assignats which were coun- 
terfeit of the princely manufacture." 



332 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

Morris sees the society of various towns on the Continent. Count Rum- 
ford. Conversation with him. The Elector of Bavaria. Presented 
at Court. Ratisbon. Affairs of Switzerland. Stuttgart, Frank- 
fort. Conversation with Mr, Crauford. A drive with Count d'Aspre. 
Movements of the armies. M. de GOrtz and the citizen Trielhard. 
Mr. Crauford's interesting communications. Riot in Vienna. Gen- 
eral Holtze. Bonaparte goes to Rastadt. Cobenzel made Austrian 
Minister of State. Count Cobenzel goes to Rastadt to negotiate for 
peace with Bonaparte. Information received from Prince de Reusse. 
Conversation with the Elector. Dines with the Duchess of Cumber- 
land. Ukase of the Russian Emperor. Mr. Crauford's history of 
how he became acquainted with Simolin. Affairs in Paris in 1 792 of 
which Crauford was cognizant. 

SEEING thus from within the society of the towns in 
the various countries of Europe, and thoroughly 
enjoying life and his friends, Morris whiled away the 
months, it would seem, with rather a dread of the neces- 
sary effort it required to cross the Atlantic. He had let 
the pleasant months of the previous summer go by, and, 
now that winter had again set in, he concluded to gain all 
the information and see all the places of interest possible, 
and watch the progress of events for some months longer. 
Late in December he left Ratisbon and went to Munich. 
Here again he fell in with friends. 

" The Baron de Closini is here," he says, in the diary 
for December 30th, " whom I knew in America, where he 
served as aide-de-camp to General. Rochambeau. He 
gives me un peu la carte du pays. I call on Count Rum- 



1797] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 333 

ford.* I ask him how it happens that the country I rode 
over remains uncultivated. He tells me that there are 
vast forests of pine throughout Bavaria which bear the 
marks of precedent cultivation ; that this is beyond ques- 
tion the finest country in Europe, but ever since the Thirty 
Years' War everything possible has been done to ruin it 
by unwise laws and administration, as one proof of which, 
among many which he might mention, he gives this : That 
there are some thirty odd thousand farms in Bavaria, many 
of which are considerable ; whenever a farmer becomes 
bankrupt and quits the farm, before another can take it he 
must subject himself to the payment of all arrearages, so 
that every year which the farm is unoccupied the reason 
for leaving it waste becomes stronger, so that now there 
are above four thousand of these farms without tenants. 
The Count goes on to tell me his situation here as to the 
confidence reposed in him by the Elector. He brought 
him into his views of reform by holding out that history 
never fails to do justice to sovereigns — recording their 
acts of beneficence and branding them for the neglect of 
their important duties. According to the Count, it is from 
the love of honest fame that the Elector has been stimu- 
lated to the amelioration and embellishment of his coun- 
try, to which he had but little personal attachment, and, 
being without heirs and not too well disposed to his suc- 

* Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, natural philosopher and econo- 
mist, born at Woburn, Mass., 1752 or 1753. He began life as a schoolmas- 
ter, at Rumford, now Concord. Sent, in 1775, as bearer of despatches to 
England, to Lord George Germain, who appointed him a clerk of the Foreign 
Office, he became, in 1780, Under Secretary of State. In 1784 he went to 
Munich, and became aide-de-camp and chamberlain to the reigning Prince 
of Bavaria. He subsequently became a lieutenant-general, commander-in- 
chief, minister of war, and, in 1790, a Count of the Holy Roman Empire. 
His power and influence at the Court of Bavaria ceased with the life of the 
Elector, in 1799. In 1798 he went to London, and formed the plan of the 
Royal Institution of London, which was founded about 1800. He died at 
Auteuil in 1814. 



334 DIARY AND LETTERS OF {Chap. XXXIX. 

cesser, could not, from any regard to posterity, be led into 
the labor and vexation of reform. He states to me how, 
by degrees, since the commencement of the fourteenth 
century, the existing nobles, or rather ennobled, who are 
by no means descendants of the ancient nobility (all of 
whose privileges, with a single exception, have, by pur- 
chase or escheat, merged in the ducal crown) have arro- 
gated, from the weakness of the chief, privileges and exemp- 
tions to which they are not entitled, and under the name 
of the States oppress and defraud the people ; so that at 
length the abuses are become equally numerous and enor- 
mous, from whence has resulted the impoverishment and 
depopulation of this excellent country. Among the abuses, 
he mentions as one that on his arrival here there was a 
regiment of cavalry which had five field officers and only 
three horses. The Elector's ministers are so much sold to 
the States that in his own private chancery he could not 
get, during six weeks, a paper copied which he was to sign. 
The States, in the mean time, were informed of its contents, 
and came forward with an impeachment against the min- 
ister who had framed it for high treason. The Elector, 
whom he describes as timid, being informed that they 
were arrived in procession to present the address contain- 
ing the impeachment, rode out, by Rumford's advice, 
a-hunting, to gain a day. Rumford immediately went into 
the chancery and threatened the secretary that, if the pa- 
pers were not copied and on the Elector's table ready for 
his signature by eight o'clock next morning, he should lose 
his place. The secretary represented the impossibility, for 
it was not yet'begun. Rumford ordered in the clerks, caused 
it to be distributed among the number necessary, and then 
reiterated his threat, with the addition that if it were not 
ready at eight he should be no more secretary at nine. 
To the Elector's surprise this paper, which, addressed to the 



1797-] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 335 

States, demonstrated the nullity of the claims they made 
and pointed out their various And manifest usurpations, 
was ready at. the hour, and was immediately signed and 
transmitted, so that their impeachment (calculated to pre- 
vent the blow, seeing that the Elector could not sign and 
transmit the work of one accused as a traitor) lost its ob- 
ject. Next day, by Rumford's advice, the Elector, as Vicar 
of the Empire, ennobled the minister, who was of plebeian 
extraction, for his important services rendered to the 
public. 

" M. de Werneck speaks to me of Count Rumford as a 
man with much genius and information, and the zeal and 
activity of a projector ; is apt to neglect a business when 
once he has brought it to its point of maturity ; moreover, 
as of a man extremely vain, who is the hero of his own 
panegyric. Indeed, I could not help remarking this morn- 
ing that the Count takes his full share of the praise which 
history is to lavish on the Elector for all the good things 
done and doing in Bavaria. M. de Werneck lets me see 
that his brother has an inclination to get placed here, and 
considers the Count as an obstacle. He tells me that the 
Count had told him he had, in the expectation of being 
snatched away by death before his operations should be 
completed, prepared and printed a few copies of his vin- 
dication. In this he proves, according to his account of 
the matter, that he had, in his management of the military, 
increased the effective force, mended the condition of the 
soldier, and yet lessened the expense. He had expressed 
a desire to see this performance, and received a promise 
that it should be communicated ; but this promise, though 
repeatedly renewed, has not yet been complied with. The 
Count's enemies say that when he came into office there 
were nine hundred thousand florins in the military chest, 
that the effective force has been greatly reduced, that the 



336 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

chest is in debt, and all the magazines are empty. Rum- 
ford told me this morning that he is perfectly well with 
the successor to the Electorate." 

"This morning [January ist] Count Rumford calls, and 
takes me to Court, to assist at the grand couvert of the 
Elector, which, like all other things of that sort, is dull. 
Go again to Court in the evening, which is its grand 
gala — a concert and cards. The Elector, notwithstanding 
his age, goes through the representation very well. Rum- 
ford tells me of the great marks of attachment shown to 
him by the people, and how well he has deserved them. 
I believe more of the latter than of the former. My valet- 
de-chambre tells me, after I get home, that as yet he has 
heard nothing about him but abuse, and mentions the 
deficit in the military chest, etc., which M. Werneck stated 
yesterday. He says, moreover, that he is accused of sell- 
ing, for his own private emolument, the produce of the 
labor performed by poor people maintained at the public 
expense." 

"Count Rumford calls this morning [January 3d], and 
takes me to see the English garden he has made adjoin- 
ing to this city. He began by draining a piece of ground 
belonging to the Elector, which he has since laid out with 
great judgment, and has some things in petto as an addi- 
tional improvement which will be equally ornamental 
and advantageous. He has in the farm which he has 
established as part of this garden some handsome cattle, 
which he has bred from Swiss stock. He shows me two 
projected entrances to the town, one of which is to be cut 
through the palace some years hence. The other will be 
finished in a year or two, and is very handsome. Round 
the town he has made a very fine esplanade, the history 
of which is curious. Before his last journey to England 
he had confided his intention to some one, whg let it out, 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 337 

and his enemies, determined, though to the public injury, 
to do him an unkindness, built several things of slight 
material in the way, so that when he returned he found 
his plan effectually frustrated. But when the French 
came hither, the Regency, finding themselves reduced to 
great straits, applied to him, according to orders they had 
received from the Elector at his departure. Rumford 
took advantage of that circumstance to execute his 
scheme, while at the same time he kept the French and 
Austrian troops from entering the town ; everything round 
was knocked down and levelled, so that now the ap- 
proaches are much better, and the whole is more clean 
and airy. We go then to the Military Academy, which is 
on a good establishment. Young people are here lodged, 
fed, clothed, and educated for fifteen guineas per annum. 
They learn Latin, German and French, geometry, and 
other branches of the mathematics needful to military 
men ; dancing, fencing, drawing and music. The kitchen 
is very curious, and very worthy of imitation. I see sev- 
eral dinners sent out to officers and citizens, who are sup- 
plied from hence at the rate of fifteen kreuzers or one 
forty-fourth of a louis d'or, say, of a pound sterling, or 
about five to five and a half pence. This is a kind of per- 
quisite to the cook, who supplies the students at the same 
price per day, receiving gratis the use of the kitchen and 
utensils with the needful fuel. Rumford tells me the 
price was some time ago only half a louis per month, or 
eleven kreuzers per day. The articles sent out for these 
eleven kreuzers were a beef-soup, with three dumplings 
made of flour, crumbs of bread, egg, and chopped ham, 
each about the size of a very large hen's egg ; a portion of 
turnips cut fine and stewed in a brown gravy, on the top 
of which was about half a pound of boiled beef, or bouilli. 
Another dish consisted in near half a pound of bceuf a la 
Vol. II. — 22 



i 



338 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

mode^ with a very rich, thick sauce in abundance ; finally, 
there was a good cut of apple tart, large enough to cover 
the quarter of the inside of a common plate. In short, 
there was more food, excepting bread, than I could, I 
tliink, eat in a single day, much less in one dinner. 
Count Rumford gives orders to prepare for our reception 
at the workhouse to-morrow. M. de Werneck calls on 
me in the evening, and we read togetlier part of a printed 
account made by Rumford of his four years* administra- 
tion of the army. Notwithstanding this account, which is 
perfectly clear and correct, certified after full examination 
to the council, to whom it was submitted for that purpose, 
his enemies circulate busily the whisper of maladminis- 
tration. At dinner, speaking of General Werneck, an offi- 
cer who is present says he is certainly a man of talents, 
but not so attentive as he might be to duty, being much 
given to play, and thence led to too great intimacy with 
people of a certain sort, and instances that the bank at 
Frankfort, the croupiers, etc., most of which are trh mau- 
vais sujets, are his property. His fondness for and success 
in play, I knew. This keeping of a table I don't at all 
like. It is said that the Austrians, in general, play, etc., 
but the circumstance of a public bank seems to be pe- 
culiar to him." 

"This morning [January 5th] Count Rumford calls, and 
we go out together. By way of avoiding a crowd of 
market-people in the direct road, we make a circle round 
part of the town, by which means I see the mountains ly- 
ing between this and Tyrol, which are very cragged, and 
deceive me much, for the air happens to be so clear that 
they appear like broken ridges of moderate height in the 
neighborhood ; but my companion tells me that they are 
sixteen leagues' distance, and adds that the finest country 
on earth is that which lies at the foot of them. The river 



I798.J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 339 

is very rapid here, and the water of a greenish color but 
very clear. Count Rumford mentions contrivances for 
muskets by which he can load and fire fourteen times 
while the Prussian troops load and fire four. To prove 
the astonishing velocity, he cites a thing which happened 
in the presence of the Elector and his Court at a hunt. 
He fired at a hare and missed it, then loaded, fired, and 
killed the same hare with the same gun. He says further 
that he has invented a gun from which he shoots an 
arrow, and by calculation it can, with an elevation of 
forty-five degrees, be projected three miles. He drove it 
through twelve inch-boards, one behind the other, which, 
says he, is all that can be done by a six-pound shot. 
These inventions he will not communicate to the world, 
particularly the latter, being too dangerous. We arrive 
at the workhouse and see the kitchen, which is wonderful. 
In general, the regularity, cleanness, and economy of this 
house surpass anything I ever saw. The poor who are 
maintained here are employed busily, and have cheerful 
countenances. These people earn their living and they 
are happy. Long may he be happy who has made them 
so. I taste of the soup given to the poor. It is very 
good, and I see the crowd sit down to. eat it with good 
appetite. The portion of bread, he tells me, is generally 
taken home by them for their supper. There are about 
one thousand people fed here, at the annual expense of 
about four hundred guineas, including everything. The 
contrivances for saving cloth, linen, leather, etc., in mak- 
ing clothes, the arrangements to prevent fraud, and to 
keep the accounts for the regiments, etc., are all admira- 
ble. We go from hence to a hospital for old poor people, 
from whence there is a fine view of the town. The cham- 
bers here are so warm that I cannot stand them. We go 
on to the house fitting up, under Count Rumford's direc- 



340 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

tion, for poor children. This house was built by the 
States for ladies to live in privately, and is the most su- 
perb building in Munich. The idea is the most extraordi- 
nary that I ever remember to have met with. It was fur- 
ther intended for the education of those young scions of 
nobility which had been furtively taken from the noble 
stock. In England this would be called a strong legis- 
lative declaration of unchasteness. Whatever may have 
been the intention of these wise men of Gotham, it will 
certainly afford an interesting spectacle when filled up 
with poor children receiving good raiment and good edu- 
cation at the expense of — their own labor well applied." 

" Dress and go to Court, where I dine [January 6th]. 
Mention to the Elector, who converses with me on my 
yesterday's excursion, that His Highness ought to have 
consigned to some record the state in which he found this 
country, lest posterity should, on seeing the improve- 
ments, doubt of the situation in which he found it. This 
is like flattery, but, in the first place, it is founded on fact ; 
secondly, it is no small instance of benevolence to have 
labored for the amelioration of a country for a successor 
whom he dislikes. Neither of these, however, though 
they justify, would have induced this observation. I 
meant to encourage him in the pursuit of laudable ob- 
jects, and if anything I can say should have the smallest 
tendency to produce that effect it is well said. At dinner 
I sit next to the Electress, who has a clear, ready compre- 
hension and a good share of genius. She is not happy, 
and is well content that her dissatisfaction should be 
known. After dinner, the Elector inquires about Lafa- 
yette, and I set his character in what I think the fair 
light. Go from Court to see Count Rumford, and sit 
with him a good while. He reads me his day's labors, in 
which he has reasoned himself into a belief that the life 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 34t 

is, as Moses says, in the blood, and that it consists, which 
Moses does not say, in the operation of heat and cold and 
the movement which, as a fluid, must be produced in it 
by the distribution and succession of these accidents. My 
solution of all such abstruse questions is that things are 
so and so because God pleases that it should be so. The 
ladder of Science is infinite, and the steps which man can 
mount are few and uncertain, but could he get even to 
the top it would only lead him more immediately into 
the presence of the Almighty. So that the most acute of 
all philosophers must end, with Newton, where I begin. 
We at length fall on politics. He tells me the French 
are assembling a considerable force along the former line 
of demarcation, and that the Prince of Hesse has quitted 
Berlin in high dudgeon, and sent back all his orders, dig- 
nities, etc. ; 'which,' says Rumford, * I consider as a game 
to preserve his neutrality, and therefore as a sign of war. 
Russia, moreover, has ordered the recruiting of one hun- 
dred thousand men, but the Emperor, says he, is a mad- 
man. He seems to take pains, in his rage for reform, to 
do unpleasant things in the most disagreeable manner.'" 

On the 9th of January Morris returned to Ratisbon, 
and remained there until the 23d of February. During 
the journey to Ratisbon he fell in with a train of wagons 
of the reserve artillery of the Austrian army. This de- 
layed him some time ; but, "on the whole," he says, "I am 
well off to have got safely here, for it wanted but little to 
have thrown me into the Danube in trying to pass the 
train of wagons. Pass the evening with the Princess. It 
is said the French have possessed themselves of Basle, 
and declared war against the Swiss Cantons. The French 
Government have ordered the seizure and confiscation of 
all English goods in France, and also the capture and 
condemnation of all vessels coming from an English port, 



342 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

or having English goods on board. This is a premium 
to British navigators, and an attack upon all neutral 
powers." 

"At Madame de Hohenthal's assembly [January 19th] 
I learn that the Swiss are determined to assert their inde- 
pendence, and have proposed anew the oath of Union, 
discussed since two centuries ; also that they have de- 
manded a categoric answer from the Directory as to the 
kind of neutrality which they are to expect from France." 

** Pass the evening [January 25th] at Court, where there 
is, as usual, a concert. The rabies politica sets people's 
tongues going, so that the murmur almost drowns the 
voice of Madame de Hohenthiil during her song. On the 
whole, there seems much dulness in our social atmos- 
phere. The Comte de Pfaffenhosen tells me here some 
anecdotes of the Director Barras. At the request of his 
uncle he had made up a match for him with a young lady 
who, being sister to the unfortunate Madame de la Motte, 
lost her future husband by the affair of the collar.* He 
then, at the renewed request of the same uncle, negotiated 
another marriage for him, and took the Vicomte de Bar- 
ras down into the country to see and be seen. Here a too 
great intimacy was discovered with his servant, and the 
projected marriage broken off. Last June my relater 
went to Paris in pursuit of a paymaster who had robbed 
him, and addressed himself to Barras, who received him 
well, and assisted him, and who finally pressed him to re- 
main in Paris. 'Here,' says Barras, * I have no friend, and 
I much want one.' The ci-devant payeur is now an oflBcer 
of the Directorial Guard and eats at the table of his mas- 

* Allusion is here made to the famous affair of the diamond necklace, in 
which drama the principal actors were a queen, a prince of the House of 
Rohan, and a courtesan, and the proceedings of which exposed royalty to 
many blows and many scandals. 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 343 

ter, patron, lover — who, notwithstanding that connection, 
to which he is faithful, indulges in licentious frolics with 
the other sex most freely. Barras is led by his secretary 
and faiseur^ one Lombard, being himself a very shallow 
fellow — so much so that my informant used to write let- 
ters for him to his intended wives. The stories told of 
his Asiatic luxury are false, and, as to his circumstances, 
he was so poor as not to be able to pay fifty louis which 
Pfaflfenhosen had formerly advanced for him. He lives 
by running in debt. My informant says that he took 
great pains to discover the sentiments of the people in 
Paris, from the Directory downwards, and that, with the 
exception of Barras and Charles de la Croix, they were 
universally royalists; that is to say, all those with whom 
he conversed. Letters from Italy state the condition of 
Rome to be deplorable ; a general consternation prevails, 
and the people are, if not attached to their sovereign, at 
least indisposed to his enemies. The news from Rastadt 
purport that the King of Prussia and the French are per- 
fectly well together. It seems evident that the French 
mean, if they can, to overturn the Swiss Constitution, or, 
rather, the separate constitutions and the general league. 
Insurrections, their usual precursors, have taken place in 
the Pays de Vaud. It is said that the new French agent 
sent to Hamburg is to demand of them and the other 
Hanse towns fourteen millions of livres, and also the con- 
fiscation of all British goods, and, generally, of all British 
property in their dominion." 

"To-day [February 2d] we are informed that Austria, 
Prussia, and France are agreed to the manner in which 
Germany shall be disposed of, and that in consequence of 
it the congress at Rastadt will soon be dissolved. Gen- 
eral Werneck tells me that M. de Metternich has received 
an anonymous letter informing him that, if the left bank 



344 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

of the Rhine is ceded to France, the Emperor and King 
of Prussia will not survive that cession a fortnight. The 
Grand Doyen Comte de Thurn tells me that Berne had 
presented a long mSmoire to the Courts of Vienna and 
Berlin on the situation and views of France, with the 
means of reducing her power, now become dangerous to 
all Europe. These Courts have sent that memorial to the 
Directory, which occasioned the order to the commissaries 
from Berne to quit Paris." 

" The affairs of Switzerland seem to be [February 7th] 
in a bad way. At supper, last Sunday, Mr. Bacher told 
me that they had no idea of joining the Pays de Vaud to 
France, but meant to make of all Switzerland a new Re- 
public {une et indivisible), like the Cisalpine." 

"Accounts from Switzerland [February 9th] show that 
the French force and French intrigues have produced 
their effect, so that Switzerland will henceforth be melted 
into a single representative democracy.* This, by con- 
centring their councils and force, will make them a dan- 
gerous, or, at least, a troublesome neighbor to France." 

" Dine at Court [February i8th]. Mr. Alopus tells me 
the King of Prussia has made advances to the Imperial 
Cabinet on the present crisis, to w^hich a complimentary 
reply has been made. He thinks that Austria is com- 
pletely exhausted, and, from the sense of weakness, re- 
duced to a stanch dependence on France. He thinks that 
this weakness, however, results rather from the imbecility 
of the Cabinet than any defect of means in the country. 
I believe that a more vigorous Cabinet would adopt more 
vigorous measures, but I incline to think that, in the pres- 

* The Helvetic Republic was a single commonwealth in which the cantons 
were no more than departments. The new republic did not suit the Swiss, 
and in 1803 Bonaparte gave them a better constitution, keeping Switzerland 
almost wholly dependent on France, but, on the whole, treating it differently 
from other countries of which the government had been more feudal. 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 345 

ent good understanding with France, interest has as much 
to say as apprehension. Be that, however, as it may, 
peace is of more consequence to that monarchy than any- 
thing which can be got by war. Pass the evening at 
Court." 

" Diiie at the Comte de Hohenthal's [February 20th], 
and announce my departure to the society. Take tea at 
the Princess's, and go to a masquerade, where I express 
to the Princess my regret at taking leave of the society 
here ; that I am really affected by the necessity of leaving, 
but that my heart remains behind." 

" Last night I reached Stuttgart, and this morning 
[March 2d] walk out and call on the Baron de Rieger. 
He has just come through France, and gives a description 
of it as very highly cultivated, full of abuses, Paris more 
brilliant and more vicious than before, the same exterior 
politeness a.nd provenance to strangers, the posts well served, 
the roads out of repair, the innkeepers more extortionate 
than ever. Mr. Arbuthnot lodges in the same inn with 
me. He is waiting to carry the news of the delivery of 
the Duchess to England. He tells me that our minister 
at the Court of St. James's is very much liked ; that the 
King speaks to him more than to anybody else. Cela s'en- 
tend." 

"Attend a concert at Court [March 4th], and play at 
commerce with the Duchess." 

"This morning [March 5th] we go in one of the Duke's 
carriages to Ludwigsburg, and take a ddjeund dinatoire pre- 
pared in the palace for Mr. Arbuthnot, who is to see every- 
thing in order that he may give a good account of it to the 
King — the King ; for his daughter, who is much attached 
to him, is far from being so great an admirer of her royal 
mother. Most of the children are fond of him, which in 
my opinion proves in his favor. This palace of Ludwigs- 



346 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

burg is large, and like to become the ducal residence. 
He means to build an English garden, and he has grounds 
which will suit for that purpose. Walk a good deal, and 
on our return sit down about five o'clock to a second din- 
ner at Mr. Arbuthnot's." 

"There is no company at Court to-day [March Jth], on 
account of the illness of the Duchess Dowager." 

" The Duchess Dowager is dead [March 9th], and my 
horse continues lame. The latter is the greater misfort- 
une, and both may be perhaps attributed to the doctor. 
He said that to cure the horse radically he must make 
him apparently worse. The Court doctor related to us 
yesterday evening a conversation with the Duke, who, 
having asked him to declare on his conscience what he 
thought of his mother's situation, answered : ' If Her 
Highness were a citizen's wife I should say that she 
might live two months, or die in two hours. The last is 
quite as likely as the first.' " 

" They had advices here yesterday [March loth] that 
the French had been defeated in Switzerland, but it ap- 
pears to-day that they are in possession of Berne. They 
have then accomplished the task of extending themselves 
from the German Ocean to the head of the Adriatic, in- 
cluding everything round by the British Channel, the At- 
lantic, and Mediterranean, except Portugal and Naples. 
They are in full march for the former, and the latter 
cannot exist one moment after their will to crush them 
shall be declared. This empire is too rapidly and widely 
extended to put on a solid existence, but there is every 
means of extensive mischief. The North and South of 
Europe must now stand marshalled against each other; 
resource is in favor of the latter, but the former have, if 
united, more means of exertion." 

Morris journeyed (March 12th) on through the Black 



1798] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 347 

Forest to Heidelberg, and thence to Frankfort, where he 
arrived on March i6th. "Take tea," he says, "with the 
Duchess of Cumberland. She has had bad news of her 
sister, who had lost every farthing at play, and a letter 
from Mayence has come which announces her suicide. 
She cut her throat, but it was expected she would recover. 
She, by virtue of the powers confided by the Duchess, had 
made away with her plate to the amount of ^12,000. The 
estimated loss is ^20,000. The Duchess receives company, 
to keep up the appearance of gayety." 

" Mr. Crauford tells me [March 23d] that when Mar- 
shal Claerfayt left this place to go to Vienna he proved 
to him, by the map on the table, that if the French were 
prevented from coming into Italy they would be obliged 
to submit to the terms of peace which might be offered 
to them, and that the Austrians, by opening the campaign 
on the Rhine in the month of April, would have great ad- 
vantages over the French, who could not begin till May. 
Speaking of the French campaign in Germany, he says 
that they expected a co-operation of Prussia. This may be, 
but I do not believe that it was promised. The Prince de 
Reusse, who is of the society to-night, criminates Prussia 
for all that is past. I undertake to exculpate that Court, 
by observing that the origin of the dissension between 
them and Austria was the refusal of the latter to declare 
its eventual objects in the war. After some conversation 
Mr. Crauford, in confirmation of what I had said, relates 

a conversation he had at Brussels with Lord A , then 

returning from the combined armies, which he had quitted 
from the conviction that nothing would be done, because 
the Prussian ministers had all told him that the immediate 
object, whatever it might be, could easily be effected, 'but 
that nothing decisive could take place, from the obstinate 
silence of Austria as to its views, which Prussia could not 



348 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

blindly assist in furthering without being told what they 
were. The Prince de Reusse hereupon (to exculpate the 
Austrian Cabinet) tells us that he saw all the despatches 
and was privy to the whole affair, in which the blame 
must be laid to Count Lehrbach. Comparing this with 
what Mr. Alopus told me of his conduct at a subsequent 
period, it seems to follow either that he betrayed the in- 
terests of his Court, or that his instructions were dictated 
by the most profound perfidy. All those who know M. de 
Thugut intimately agree in declaring that he is cunning, 
indolent, and false in the extreme. His countenance con- 
firms this idea, and perhaps gave rise to it. Time and 
facts must decide on the justice of it." 

" Take Count d'Aspre to ride to-day [March 30th], and 
during the ride the conversation turned on General Wer- 
neck. D'Aspre acknowledges that he dislikes him very 
much, and gives as a reason that he is not only a gambler, 
but a dishonest gambler ; that he is meanly avaricious, 
that he is a petty intrigant, false, deceitful, profoundly im- 
moral. He acknowledges that he is brave as a soldier, 
but wants the firmness and decision of a general. He 
says that he is a vain boaster of female favors, and that 
he may attribute his ruin to the liberties his vanity took 
with the Queen of Naples, which her daughter the Em- 
press resents in a high degree. He says Alvinzi is the 
best general they have, but is unfortunate. The retreat 
of the army under Claerfayt is mentioned, and the part 
which Werneck had in it. D'Aspre, who commanded the 
rear-guard tells me that Werneck's disposition was very 
bad, and that he owed to accident only that he was not 
cut to pieces ; that he, D'Aspre, lost the greater part of 
his rear-guard ; that Werneck was guilty next day of a 
breach of orders, in which he risked the loss of all his 
baggage without reason, and that he, D'Aspre, retired by 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 349 

the route which Werneck ought to have taken without 
any loss, and saved the baggage, which would otherwise 
have fallen into the enemy's hands. D'Aspre's account is 
so accurate that he forces my belief. He speaks (as, in- 
deed, do all who know him) very highly of Mack. He 
tells me that he has been assured by French officers that 
Bonaparte is deficient in courage, and that in the great 
affair where he gained such a miraculous victory against 
Alvinzi he had already called a council to consider whe- 
ther his army should lay down their arms, when a negro, 
galloping off at the head of four hundred horse, either 
from the effect of terror or in a fit of desperation, struck 
a panic into the Austrian irregulars, who had performed 
acts of heroic bravery and were already chanting victory. 
This communicated itself to the whole line, etc." 

"Dine at the table d'hdte at home to-day [April nth]. 
General Gontreuil sits next me, and tells me that he es- 
caped the pursuit of the Municipaux in Brussels by the 
accident of having been delayed a day longer than he ex- 
pected at Mons. He came as a fugitive through Flanders, 
etc., and brought with him only two shirts and the coat on 
his back, having left carriage, cash, clothes, etc., behind. 
He says that until he declared his intention to continue in 
the Austrian service all went well, but from that moment 
the officers of government did him all kinds of mischief. 
He says the people both of France and Flanders are very 
miserable and unhappy, the peasantry not ill off, the 
country of France better cultivated than before, the op- 
pression of the government great beyond all idea which 
can be formed of it. He inveighs against the French. 

" General Hotze,* whom I meet at Mr. Crauford's, tells 

* David von Hotze, an Austrian general, commanded the army which 
was opposed to Massena in Switzerland in 1799. He was killed in battle 
near Zurich in September, 1799. 



350 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

me [April 12th] that the Emperor has only forty-three 
thousand men along his Italian frontier, but that they may 
be easily re-enforced to one hundred thousand from Tyrol 
and Dalmatia. Mr. Crauford mentions the demand of 
the French on the King of Savoy for permission to march 
thirty thousand men through his country into Italy. The 
Imperial court is now occupied in trying to obtain from 
the French an execution of that part of the treaty which 
relates to the Brabanters. After dinner Mr. Crauford 
and I take an airing together, and while we are driving 
he complains of the conduct of Sir Morton Eden during 
the war. His want of ability has proved materially inju- 
rious. He has even neglected and contemned the advice 
given him. When Beaulieu was appointed to the com- 
mand in Italy, an express was sent to request he would 
prevent it, because of the utter and acknowledged inca- 
pacity of that officer. His answer was that he knew the 
party opposed to Beaulieu and was well aware that envy 
was the inseparable companion of superior merit. When 
he was requested to oppose the subsequent appointment 
of Wiirmser, as a man who had outlived the very moderate 
share of abilities he once possessed, he answered that the 
appointment of so able and gallant a soldier must be con- 
sidered as a proof of his Imperial Majesty's determination 
to prosecute the war with vigor. He remarks on the in- 
capacity of Lord Elgin to conduct the affairs committed to 
him at Berlin, and states to me that Mr. Whitworth, the 
minister at St. Petersburg, is a very gallant soldier, and to- 
tally unqualified for a diplomatic character. He says he 
is quite out of spirits from what General Hotze has told 
him respecting the French intrigues for two years in 
Switzerland, and the evidence of similar intrigues in this 
quarter. He mentions to me whatGontreuil has told him, 
viz., that in a conversation with St. Foix and Beaumar- 



1798] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 35 1 

chais at the Bishop d'Autun's, St. Foix said that if the 
greater powers of Europe should form a league against 
France, they might yet put a stop to the torrent which 
would otherwise overwhelm them ; but Beaumarchais con- 
tended that it was now too late, and they recommended 
it to Gontreuil to continue in France, and send back his 
commission." 

" Mr. Crauford comes [April i6th], and tells me he is 
informed from very good authority that the day before 
yesterday a smart altercation took place between M. de 
Goertz and the citizen Treilhard. * M. de Goertzf called, 
and opened the conversation by observing that the French 
procrastinated so much the conclusion of the de^nitive 
treaty that it gave ground to the assertions of some per- 
sons pretending to be well informed, that they had views 
to the subversion of all the governments in Germany. 
Treilhard replied that such persons were liars and un- 
worthy of all credit. Goertz affected to be pleased with 
this declaration, but, as if not quite thoroughly convinced, 
drew from his pocket a paper containing the plan in de- 
tail for revolutionizing the Empire. Treilhard, surprised 
but not abashed, asserted that it was a vile forgery, upon 
which the other expressed great pleasure and requested 
a written declaration that it was false. Treilhard now hesi- 
tated, and declined. When pressed he refused, and, Goertz 
declaring that his master would be under the necessity of 
exerting all the means in his power to counteract the at- 
tempts of France, Treilhard, whose choler was now fully 
roused by the wrathful manner of his antagonist, told 
him haughtily, ' Monsieur, nous ne sommes pas, a cette 

* Jean Baptiste Count Treilhard, one of the Directory from May, 1798, to 
June, 1799. 

t Johann Goertz Count of Schlitz, grand master of the wardrobe to Fred- 
erick William II, of Prussia. 



35? DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

heure, k craindre ce que pourra faire votre maitre.' 
'Monsieur,' replied Goertz, *j'ai done ma reponse.' Tlie 
sovereigns of Europe seem to have the choice of risking 
all upon the great game of war, or perishing like rats 
drowned in their holes. General Gontreuil, who sat next 
me at dinner gave a different version of the conversation 
which Crauford repeated to me. He stated the conver- 
sation as between St. Foix, Beaumarchais, and himself 
only, and that they agreed it was now too late for a coali- 
tion to do anything against France. Mr. Crauford also 
communicated to me an anecdote on the subject of M. 
de Lehrbach which is important in various points of view. 
M. de Hardenberg, after he had concluded the treaty of 
Basle, had an interview at Huningen with Barthelemy, 
Pichegru, and Merlin de Thionville, and, he thinks (but 
in this he must be mistaken) Tallien. It was agreed 
to put the Dauphin on the throne and constitute them- 
selves a Council of Regency, to consist of themselves and 
their friends ; to maintain all the existing laws against emi- 
gration, etc. Hardenberg made the most solemn prom- 
ises not to communicate this secret except to the King 
his master, but on his way to Berlin gave a rendezvous to 
Albin^, the favorite and probable successor of the Elector 
of Mayence, to whom he communicated it in confidence. 
Prussia, being very desirous at that time of having the 
vote of Mayence, Albine, who had always tried to keep 
fair with both Austria and Prussia, asked an interview with 
De Lehrbach, who unfortunately reached Frankfort the 
same day with Hardenberg, and told it to him, also in con- 
fidence. Lehrbach, outrageous, asked an interview for 
the next day with Crauford, and told it to him, desiring 
he would immediately transmit the intelligence to the 
British Court, and observing that this council, appointed 
under the influence of Prussia, would throw the whole 



I798.J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 353 

power of France into the hands of the Court of Berlin ; 
that he had ah^eady dispatched a courier with the intelli- 
gence and his observations on it to Vienna, and would 
take care to make it known to all the cabinets of Europe. 
Crauford told him that he was not surprised at his 
warmth, thought he had done right in transmitting the 
intelligence to his Court, and, having some connection 
with the ministers of Britain, would, since he requested it, 
give them the same information. In respect to the thing 
itself, Crauford observed to him that he could not but 
view the matter in another light ; that as to the future 
influence of Prussia on the French counsels it must de- 
pend on circumstances, but beyond all question the Re- 
gency would not feel themselves bound any longer than 
might be necessary to their own views. Consequently 
the danger apprehended by M. de Lehrbach appeared to 
him both remote and uncertain, but the projected change 
would be attended with great and immediate advantage 
to all Europe ; that it would be a complete and effectual 
answer to all those wild principles of anarchy which the 
French had propagated. The demonstrated necessity of 
returning to a monarchic form of government, in order to 
rescue themselves from the miseries inflicted under the 
pretence of liberty and equality, w^ould form a better se- 
curity to the thrones they had attempted to overturn 
than a thousand victories. For these reasons he thought 
that if the apprehended danger were much greater than 
it appeared the advantage more than overbalanced it. 
After these observations Lehrbach became convinced, 
and promised not to divulge any further the secret, but 
that very afternoon communicated it to the Russian min- 
ister, and the next morning to Schwartzkopf, the Hano- 
verian resident, desiring him to transmit it to the Regency. 
The French, finding themselves betrayed, were of course 
Vol. II. — 23 



354 ■ DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX, 

obliged to renounce their project ; but the measures they 
had taken could not be recalled, so that the sudden death 
of the child became necessary, and M. Hardenberg may 
thank his own weakness, Albine's duplicity, and Lehr- 
bach's madness for all the mischief resulting from that 
second murder, which cannot in fairness be laid to the 
doors of those by whom it was commanded. This con- 
versation was in the month of June, 1795." 

" Mr. Crauford [April i8th] tells me that the Duke de 
Biron came hither disguised to request that the King of 
Prussia would re-establish the King of France. Perhaps 
it was this visit which brought him to the guillotine. It 
is indeed not improbable that, among the many execu- 
tions which took place under what is called the reign of 
Robespierre, some were just. On the present occasion 
the Committee, convinced of the Duke's treason, might 
have found it impossible and, at any rate, highly impol- 
itic, to bring forward the proof of it." 

" The post from Vienna brings accounts [April 20th] 
that the French ambassador, Bernadotte, has left the 
city in consequence of a riot among the people in which 
the standard planted before his door was pulled down 
and destroyed. The police had entreated him not to give 
this cause of offence or, at least, to give them time to rec- 
oncile the people to it, but he refused in a high tone. 
One of his aides-de-camp advanced, it is said, with his 
sword drawn, against the mob, and but for the timely in- 
terference of the military the whole of them might have 
been destroyed. He demanded satisfaction of the Court, 
and the Emperor replied that he, who had a right to de- 
mand, could not think of giving satisfaction, upon which 
Bernadotte asked for passports, and set off the next morn- 
ing. His obstinacy on this occasion implies that he acted 
from the impulse of his government, and hence is to be 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 355 

drawn the conclusion that they wish to renew the war as 
a pretext (I presume) for attacking Naples. Mr. Crau- 
ford tells me that M. de Hohenlohe has been some time 
at Vienna, and held frequent conferences with M. de 
Thugut." 

" General Hotze calls on me this morning [April 28th]. 
He has deferred his departure in consequence of a letter 
received last night from Switzerland. The Cantons of 
Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwald are determined on defending 
themselves, and have requested him to come and command 
them. Instead of setting off, therefore, he comes to ask 
my advice. He considers their efforts as unavailing, un- 
less they can be supplied with bread and salt. I recom- 
mend it to him to write to the Baron de Thugut, and, in- 
forming him of the state of things, urge an immediate 
supply of these articles ; to reply to the invitation of his 
countrymen that he will come as soon as he shall have 
been able to obtain means needful for their defence, in the 
procuring of which he is occupied, and then to set off im- 
mediately for Vienna ; to state to the Imperial Cabinet 
the vast importance of the object, and, should they fear to 
compromise themselves, obtain what he wants from the 
English minister. He likes every part of this advice ex- 
cept going to Vienna, to which he objects from the feeble- 
ness of that Cabinet and the necessity he was under be- 
fore of keeping himself concealed. He agrees, liowever, 
to go as far as WUrzburg, in the way to Vienna, instead 
of going to Fulda, in the way to Hamburg. I think he is 
a little undecided in his character, and certainly does not 
feel that high spirit of freedom which renders all difficul- 
ties light to him who, hearing, feels the voice of his coun- 
try. Dine at home in consequence of some expressions 
dropped by Colonel Malcolm, who desires an interview. 
He tells me his mission from the Court of St. James's, 



356 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [ Chap. XXXIX. 

which is a strange, disjointed thing. He is coupled with 
M. Joliv^, a young Geneva merchant, who holds the 
purse-strings which may be opened only to the Govern- 
ment of Berne, now dissolved. He also desires my advice. 
I tell him that the first object is to secure ^10,000, then 
to set off for Augsburg, and confer there with the avoui 
Stiger ; to contract with traders for the delivery of grain 
and salt at different places in the resisting cantons, and 
inform the persons to whom it is delivered that the King 
of England, as first magistrate of a free people, has seen 
with great sensibility those efforts which are worthy of 
their ancestors, and learned at the same time that the 
want of necessaries might render their courage unavail- 
ing ; that His Majesty had in consequence taken imme- 
diate measures to send them a small present supply, as a 
proof of his affection, until measures can be takeji for 
their more effectual relief. As the colonel is in a state of 
anxiety and indecision, I propose to bring Crauford into 
council, which he seizes with eagerness. Crauford ap- 
proves highly of the measure, and says if it were an ob- 
ject of only ;^3,ooo he would himself advance the money. 
So the Colonel goes out to look for M. Jolive, and see if 
he can be induced to come forward on this occasion with 
the needful credit. I doubt whether he has the credit. 
After this I call on the Elector of Cologne, who considers 
a renewal of the war as unavoidable, though the period 
may be removed for some months. He tells me it is not 
true, as I had been made to believe, that Claerfayt's inde- 
cision proceeded from the orders of the Court ; that his 
conduct in Flanders arose from a phrase in the Emperor's 
letter to the Prince de Cobourg, in which he was desired 
to deliver over the command of the army to General 
Claerfayt or other senior officer, whence he concluded 
that he did not enjoy the confidence of the Cabinet, and 



1798] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 35/ 

would, if unfortunate, be sacrificed. Afterwards the Elec- 
tor saw a letter from the Emperor to Claerfayt directing 
him, even at any great risk, to cross the Rhine and relieve 
Luxembourg, which Claerfayt declined, fearing the Prus- 
sians under Hohenlohe, and sent an officer to expostu- 
late." 

" Colonel Malcolm calls [April 29th], and says that M. 
Joliv^ cannot take on him the needful advances ; so this 
falls to the ground. Go after dinner to Offenbach, and 
find the Prince de Reusse in bed with a fever." 

" It is said [May 3d] that the party of Barras is now 
uppermost in France, and Bonaparte goes in consequence 
to Rastadt. This comes in a letter from a well-informed 
person to M. de Vrinz, The French Government, I hear, 
grows uneasy at the prospect of an alliance between Prus- 
sia and the two Emperors, and a letter from Berlin men- 
tions a regular demand made by the Directory 9n the 
Prussian administration to declare what part the King 
would take in case of a rupture between France and Aus- 
tria, adding that under present circumstances the Direc- 
tory could not permit Prussia to preserve an apparent neu- 
trality." 

" Colonel d'Aspre calls [May 8th], and tells me that 
Thugut is appointed commissary of the newly annexed 
territories, and Cobenzel * is placed at tlie head of the 
administration, from which he augurs pacific intentions at 
the Imperial Court. He confirms an account I had for- 
merly heard, viz., that Cobenzel showed great firmness in 
the conclusion of the treaty at Campo Formio, and had 
actually sent off a courier with orders to commence hos- 
tilities after Bonaparte had left him in wrath, and after 

* Count Louis von Cobenzel, an Austrian diplomatist, ambassador to 
Russia in 1780, signed the treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, negotiated the 
treaty of Lun6 villa in 1801, and became a minister of state at Vienna. 



358 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

his return and the final agreement a counter-order was 
despatched, but D'Aspre and his Court were already two 
hours on their march before this counter-order reached 
them. Dine at the Sandhoff, and pass the evening at 
Madame de Vrinz's. M. de Forme, who comes in, has re- 
ceived letters which announce great loss by the French ift 
forcing the passes at Appenzell, and that the Swiss peas- 
antry are in general rising against them ; also that the 
French have not at present more than twenty-five thou- 
sand men in Switzerland. Sup at Mr. Crauford's. He 
tells me that M. de Cobenzel showed (as he has been told) 
condescension towards the French deputation at Rastadt, 
amounting even to meanness, wherefore he apprehends 
his appointment to be a Commissioner to the Directory. 
M. Chamot, who comes in, tells us that this appointment 
is announced already in the Moniteur, which arrived yes- 
terday, and Thugut's attachment to England assigned as 
the cause. D'Aspre told me that when Cobenzel left 
Rastadt he was extremely embittered against the French 
commissioners for the indignities they had heaped upon 
him." 

" To-day [May 9th], after dinner, I visit the Elector of 
Cologne. He has received official advice of the appoint- 
ment of M. de Cobenzel, ad interim, but he reserves his 
place of ambassador at Rastadt. The Elector considers 
this an indication of pacific sentiment. Is it not an indi- 
cation of weakness, and of the Christian virtue, poorness of 
spirit ? Advices are received that the Swiss, after great 
^ slaughter of their enemies, shut up in one of the valleys, re- 
duced them to a capitulation, by which the French agree 
to leave them masters of their own conduct and the lib- 
erty to adopt such form of government as they may think 
proper. Mr. Crauford told me this morning that while 
Jourdan was on his march into Franconia the aide-de- 



1798] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 359 

camp left behind, and who, a high Jacobin, was charged 
with the secret service, used to boast that he did as much 
for the Republic as any of her generals, and one day read 
to a person who called on him the extract of a letter from 
Vienna which announced the continuation of the war as 
the result of a conference between the Baron de Thugut 
and the Emperor, in consequence of a courier which had 
arrived from London. This person, casting his eye on the 
letter, saw that it contained information of the views and 
intentions of the Cabinet. At a previous period advice 
was received from Basle, said to come from the Chancel- 
lerie of M. Barthelemy, that orders were issued for the 
march of twenty-five thousand men under Wurmser. The 
Prince Charles, then in Frankfort, was asked whether this 
was true. He said that he knew nothing of it, and did 
not believe it. Next day he received the advice by a car- 
rier from Vienna. To all this he adds another anecdote, 
viz., that such convincing proofs were given to M. de 
Mercy of the treachery of General Fischer, adjutant-gen- 
eral of the Prince de Cobourg, that he waited on the 
Prince and laid them before him. This weak man, in- 
stead of putting the traitor under arrest and bringing him 
to trial, contented himself with sending the intelligence 
to Vienna, and the Court thereupon removed Fischer 
from the adjutancy in Flanders to that of Italy. Some 
time after he had been there he shot himself, finding, as 
Crauford supposes, that his tricks were again discovered. 
Crauford tells me, in the evening, that he has had this 
afternoon a long conversation with the Elector on the 
subject of the present change at Vienna. His Highness 
thinks it important that Thugut should continue in the 
Council, because he possesses a degree of firmness which 
some others want. He attributes the ill-success of the war 
to bad military appointments, and these to the zeal of 



360 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

Thugut, who, ignorant in tiiat line, and ardently desirous 
to bring matters to a speedy termination, had taken up 
men hastily on the recommendation of others without con- 
sulting the Marechal de Lacy, who alone could be a com- 
petent judge of their abilities. Crauford does not seem 
to have been struck with the irony of the word zeal. Colo- 
nel D'Aspre said to me this morning that, in consequence 
of reiterated applications from Bonaparte, Count Coben- 
zel is to meet him at Rastadt for the purpose of termi- 
nating the negotiations for peace ; that the Directory post- 
pone till that be settled their demand of satisfaction for 
the affair of Bernadotte, and that the Emperor is resolved 
to risk all consequences rather than give any such satis- 
faction. AdvicQS are received of the submission of the 
little cantons. They agree to adopt the constitution on 
condition that they pay no contributions, and that no 
French troops come among them. It is said that M. Co- 
benzel, who is arrived at Rastadt, and expects Bonaparte 
in a very short time, is directed to recur to the principles 
of the treaty of Leoben. He is to object to the cession of 
the left bank of the Rhine. A positive refusal is to be 
given to the late demand of a post opposite Huningen, 
of Rehl, of Cassel, and Ehrenbreitstein, and, in case the 
French recalcitrate, war is to be the consequence, the 
Courts of Vienna and Berlin being come at length to a 
good understanding together. I incline to think that this 
is rather the wish of those who relate it than the history 
of facts. The Duchess of Cumberland says, in reply to 
the whole, that the Landgrave of Cassel has lately pur- 
chased Imperial paper ; sufficient proof that he, who is 
very well informed, does not believe in war, which could 
not but depreciate it." 

" It stands confirmed [May 14th] that the deputation of 
the Empire are determined to refuse the last demand 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 36l 

made by the French. This looks more like a good under- 
standing between Berlin and Vienna than anything which 
has yet appeared. The Prince Repnin has been prevented 
from going to the former by his bad health. The sending 
of one in such high confidence seems to augur on the part 
of Paul a disposition to be busy." 

" I take Mr. Crauford to ride with me after dinner [May 
15th], and he tells me the purport of information received 
from the Prince de Reusse. His correspondent at Vienna 
told him that, the majority of the Council being opposed 
to Thugut, he told the Emperor that the French meant to 
attack him as soon as they should have got rid of what 
now occupies them, wherefore it would be proper to pre- 
pare for war ; that since His Majesty was induced to en- 
tertain a different opinion his continuance in office could 
not be useful, and might be pernicious. Upon representa- 
tions of this sort, frequently repeated, the Emperor con- 
sented to receive his resignation. I read this thing a little 
differently. I conclude that Cobenzel had been told by the 
French deputation at Rastadt that the Directory could not 
consider the Emperor as disposed to be on good terms 
with them so long as he kept in his service Thugut, whom 
they consider as sold to England ; that, of course, until he 
should be dismissed they could not act towards the Im- 
perial Court as they otherwise might, etc.; that upon a 
representation of this to the Emperor by Cobenzel His 
Majesty has asked Thugut whether, in effect, he was (as 
represented) disposed to a war with France, and then, Thu- 
gut declaring he was and assigning his reasons, the Em- 
peror has signified to him that unless he would adopt a 
different opinion he could not retain him in his service. 
The conversation given out to the public is, I presume, an 
arrangement to save the Emperor's dignity (an object 
which is not effected), and contrived by Thugut, who is a 



362 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX 

very cunning fellow, to answer the double purpose of se- 
curing the support of England and the pension, if he re- 
ceives one, while he has all the chances of a future misun- 
derstanding with France, in spite of the submissions which 
may be made to avoid it. On the whole, it seems pretty 
clear that Hotze's idea of his Court is perfectly just, and 
that the leading feature is weakness." 

"After dinner [May i6th] I go to Offenbach to visit 
the Prince and Princess de Reusse. He takes me a ride 
through the forest of Yssenburg. His letters from Vienna 
announce that the Courts of Vienna and Berlin are well 
together. The first act of Cobenzel's administration (or, 
rather, the first step after his arrival at Vienna) was to send 
the Prince de Reusse full powers to treat with the Prussian 
Cabinet, Cobenzel has orders to insist that the Pope have 
an establishment somewhere ; that the French do not hold 
an inch of ground on the right bank of the Rhine, and 
that they evacuate Switzerland. These the Prince con- 
siders as sine qua non of treaty. While we are walking a 
person overtakes us, and I am not a little surprised to see 
the Chevalier de Graave. He comes from Switzerland, 
where he has been, as I had heard, a commission-man of 
British merchants, which he denies, and yet, from what he 
afterwards says, it seems to be the fact, for he tells me he 
is waiting here to receive and despatch some goods. He 
says the Directory were (as he was informed) much alarmed, 
at the time the affairs of Switzerland were in suspense, 
lest Austria and Prussia should interfere. This I think 
likely, though I do not consider the Chevalier's means of 
information as the best, nor his mind as the most distin- 
guishing. I call on the Elector, who shows me a copy of 
a circular from Thugut announcing that His Majesty, 
having thought proper to employ the Comte de Cobenzel 
in an important mission, he has resumed the conduct of 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 363 

affairs during the Count's absence. The Elector tells me 
that Cobenzel had a conference with Mack, to prepare the 
military operations in case the negotiation should fall 
through, and has brought with him the presents to be 
made to the French mission on the conclusion of the 
peace. Utroque pardtus. " 

" At supper, at Madame Sullivan's, we have the Marquis 
de Grimaldi, a Venetian, who spent some time at Peters- 
burg, and knew M. de Cobenzel there. He speaks of 
him as a lively, pleasant, weak man ; totally unfit to be 
charged with the affairs of a country as first minister. 
Madame Sullivan, who knows Thugut intimately, says 
that he will not return to the helm ; that he has no motive 
to induce him, being neither avaricious nor ambitious, 
but very lazy. Mr. Crauford tells me some anecdotes of 
Cobenzel's conduct at Rastadt little suited to the dignity 
of his master. Mr. Duff, Lord Fife's son, who was there, 
used now and then to embarrass him by making up in 
the presence of the French deputation. Cobenzel had the 
weakness to express to him and his companion his regret 
that he could not, under the existing circumstances, show 
them all the attention which he wished. Metternich, who 
was always a poor creature, was, and is, equally servile. 
Trielhard, who learned and observed what was doing, 
and who is not remarkable for his gentleness, said of them: 
*Ce sont de plates betes; ils nous craignent et nous ha- 
issent." 

** Go [May 19th] to Wilhelmbad, and dine with the Duch- 
ess of Cumberland. A cook she had borrowed from the 
Elector is taken ill, so we dine from the gargotier, and 
our dinner is better than when prepared by Xh^ faiseur of 
his Royal Highness. This leads to a conversation re- 
specting the quantum which the Elector swallows in the 
space of four and twenty hours. Miss Lavvley recounts 



364 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

sundry surprising coups de goutte ; that which strikes me 
as most simple and easy to be remembered is taken 
from a breakfast he gave lately, and at which he ate up a 
lamb. Go after dinner to visit the Princesse Hereditaire of 
Cassel. Her insipid husband is at his regiment. It is 
said from Rastadt that the Austrian and Prussian minis- 
ters hold in concert a firmer language to the French dep- 
utation. Conversing with Mr. Crauford on the state of 
past affairs, he tells me of a proposition made by leading 
men in the Low Countries to furnish every means in their 
power for the purpose of taking Lille, which was alone 
to cover their country. The offer was rejected with 
wanting haughtiness amounting to insult. In the battle 
of Tournay, where the French left ten thousand men on 
the field, the Duke of York, who commanded the left 
wing, sent there repeated messages begging permission 
to attack, but the Emperor repeatedly refused, so that the 
enemy were permitted to retire quietly to Lille ; and dur- 
ing the action General proposed to Mack, as a thing 

which could not have escaped him, the placing a battery 
of heavy cannon at a spot which would enfilade the 
French, but Mack, who was nominally quartermaster- 
general, shrugged up his shoulders, the meaning of which 
was that, in effect, he had no command ; and it appeared 
afterwards that the Prince de Waldeck was charged with 
his department. In the battle of Fluenes the Austrians 
gained a victory, but Prince Charles was not permitted 
to advance and push the French into the Sambre, a thing 
unavoidable, and in the night the Austrians were ordered 
to retreat. In short, it appears evident that the Imperial 
Cabinet was resolved to abandon the Low Countries, pre- 
serving always the appearance of being forced into that 
measure. It is not probable that they were bribed by the 
French, but it is certain that a conduct more treacherous 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 3^5 

to their allies, their subjects, and their army can hardly 
be imagined." 

"Mr. Crauford calls [May 26th], and shows in a news- 
paper the ukase of the Russian Emperor by which a fleet 
of ships and galleys is to be sent to the Belt to protect 
the free commerce of the Baltic against the attempts of 
France to bully Denmark. He mentions to me, also, a 
failure of the British, which is announced in the gazettes, 
but which I can scarcely believe, as it purports a descent 
near Ostend, where they must have been morally sure of 
meeting a considerable force of their enemy. The Abbe 
Delille is at Mr. Crauford's. He is, as usual, gay, simple, 
and good-humored." 

*' To-day [May 29th] it is reported that the English 
have done their enemies great mischief at Ostend and 
Dunkerque. It is also published, since two days, that 
they have been repulsed with a loss of near two thousand 
men. Qucere. A person in the service of France, who 
dined at the table (Thdte, entered into conversation with 
me, and told me that Bonaparte, at the head of forty thou- 
sand men, takes possession of Egypt, ceded by the Grand 
Seigneur, and then marches by Arabia over the desert to 
Bassora, at the head of the Persian Gulf, and so across Per- 
sia to India. He has secured proper intelligences on his 
route, etc. M. Cobenzel goes to France to meet M. Fran- 
9ois Neufchateau, a new step towards the putting off of 
Imperial dignity. It is said that the English have blown 
up part of the dike and laid a considerable district of West 
Flanders under water. 

" In various conversations M. Faugas has given me to un- 
derstand that, in his opinion, France can only be happy un- 
der a monarchical form of government, and that her long 
convulsions must terminate there ; that no peace can be 
expected for her or for other nations so long as the great 



366 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

criminals are in possession of power ; and these he after- 
wards explains to mean those who voted for the death of 
the King. Sarivilliere Lepaux, who was one of them, and 
with whom he is in habits of confidential intercourse, he 
describes as an honest man stung with remorse. Carnot 
called on him, knowing his intimacy with Lepaux, to en- 
treat he would use his influence with his friend and pre- 
vent him from joining the other two Directors against 
him and Barthelemy. 'Tell him,' says Carnot, 'it is im- 
possible that he should consider me as a royalist ; tell 
him that, by their present persecution, they labor to make 
Europe forget my crimes.' Lepaux, after the great stroke 
of their i8th Fructidor,* heard of Carnot's visit and in- 
quired about it ; Faugas acknowledged the fact, and re- 
lated the subject of the conversation, declaring that he had 
refused meddling and had not, for that reason, repeated 
it. Lepaux told him he ought to have charged himself 
with that commission. * In effect,' says he, * I do not be- 
lieve in the pretended conspiracy, but our conduct was 
dictated by a sense of self-preservation ; had we remained 
quiet we were undone.* To this Faugas replied : ' Have 
you reflected that in violating the Constitution you im- 
pose on yourselves the necessity of frequent violations ? 
Do you consider that the Jacobins, whom you have made 
use of on this occasion, are your mortal enemies, and 
should they, by these or other means, get into power they 
will accomplish your ruin ?* 'We would not give place to 
secondary considerations — the great object was to save 
ourselves. Should the dangers arrive which you seem to 
apprehend, we must take such measures as prudence may 
dictate under the existing circumstances.' Faugas tells 
us that the Directory is, in fact, divided into two parties, 
mortal enemies to each other ; that Rewbell has far more 
• The republican triumph of the i8th Fructidor (September 4), 1797. 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 367 

understanding and address than his opponents, but is cov- 
ered by tlie general contempt and detestation of his coun- 
trymen. Barras, he says, is now well advised by Bona- 
parte, whom Faugas considers as a very able man. The 
expedition he has just undertaken will, says Faugas, if 
successful, cover him with glory, and at any rate secure 
him against a new Fructidor, should any such arrive."*^ 

" The British gazette to-day [June 8th] gives an ac- 
count of the expedition sent against Flanders, which has 
produced its effect by destroying the Canal of Bruges, 
but the troops are lost because the weather was such that 
they could not re-embark. They were therefore sur- 
rounded by a host of enemies, and compelled, after a gal- 
lant resistance, to surrender. Mr. Crauford gives me the 
history of how he became acquainted with M. Simolin,* in 
answer to a question of mine to that effect. Mr. Crauford 
says he came to Paris in December, 1791, and continued 
there till April, 1792. By the by, this is nearly the time 
in which I was absent from it. He endeavored to per- 
suade the King and Dauphin to leave France — a thing 
which he says the British Government desired as a means 
of saving the King, and even the monarchy. Crauford 
saw the royal consorts two or three times a week regu- 
larly, and the plan of the flight was arranged ; but the 
Queen changed her mind, as usual, and declared she 
would never separate her fortunes from those of the King. 
This determination, so often resumed or, rather, as I think, 
instilled, proved her ruin. While that affair was in agi- 
tation the King expressed a wish to send some person 
to the Emperor and Empress of Russia to request they 
would not listen to the wild project of his brother's, which 

* Johann Mathias Simolin, an eminent diplomatist, who was employed by 
Catharine of Russia on important missions to Austria, Denmark, Sweden, 
and England. 



I 



368 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XXXIX. 

could not but terminate in his ruin and that of his fam- 
ily. His Majesty wished also to send off various papers 
which might, if discovered, prove ruinous to individuals, 
and which, nevertheless, he wished to preserve. Crauford 
mentioned Simolin as a proper person ; was charged to 
sound him on the subject. Simolin promised, had an in- 
terview on the subject, and was penetrated by the affect- 
ing manner in which the King mentioned the necessity he 
was under of applying on so delicate a subject to the min- 
ister of a foreign court. In effect, it was a hard measure. 
Simolin went to Vienna, and Leopold adopted the plan 
chalked out to him. Simolin spent two hours in his cabi- 
net the evening on which he was attacked by his last illness. 
The Empress approved of his conduct in charging himself 
with the commission, directed him to come on to Peters- 
burg, and received him most graciously. She read the 
affecting letters which the King and Queen — especially the 
latter — had written, but without showing the least emo- 
tion ; neither did she, in consequence of them, or of any- 
thing Simolin could say, alter her conduct in the least. 
Crauford says he has often thought on this subject, and 
lost himself as to the cause of her pertinacity. Sometimes 
he is led to attribute it to a story told her of offensive ex- 
pressions used on her subject by the Queen ; sometimes 
to a desire that France might be incapacitated from op- 
posing her ambitious views on the side of Constantinople, 
etc. I tell him that there seems to be a much simpler 
reason, parallel to cursory observation. She could not but 
have observed that weakness was the predominant trait of 
character both in the King and Queen. She knew, also, 
in common with all Europe, that His Majesty's breth- 
ren contended for the principles of divine, indefeasible 
right in kings. The Empress, from her character and 
from the circumstances in which she was placed, had less 



1798] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. ^ 369 

disposition than any other person to admit the rights of 
subjects to modify the supreme power. This seems to me 
the sufficient clew for unravelling not only that part of 
her conduct, but, indeed, her whole system as to the 
French Revolution. 

"We have to-night, at Madame Sullivan's birthday 
party, a large number of guests, among whom is an Italian 
improvisatore, who is great in his art. He spouts verses 
on any subject extempore, in a kind of recitation where 
the measure of the lines may easily (I think) be length- 
ened or shortened. He has, however, considerable genius, 
and gives to Bethman a sharp reprimand for indecorous 
treatment, two days ago, at his house." 

"A report is in town [June 13th] that Admiral Nelson 
has beaten the French fleet in the Mediterranean, and 
taken Bonaparte prisoner." 
Vol. II. — 24 



3/0 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 



CHAPTER XL. 

Morris bids farewell to his friends in Europe. Returns to America. 
Difficulties of the voyage. Rebuilds his house at Morrisania. 
Pressed by friends once more to enter public life. Hamilton especi- 
ally solicitous that he should do so. Death of Washington. Morris 
pronounces his funeral oration. Elected United States Senator in 
April. Journey to Northern New York. Niagara. Letter to James 
Parish. Enthusiastic description of the climate and prospects of 
America. 

THE time Morris had fixed for his return to America 
drew near, and regretfully he bade a final farewell 
to the society at Frankfort. "The Prince de Reusse, Mr. 
Crauford, and M. Simolin call to take leave of me," he 
says, June 14th. "The Prince and Crauford, are strongly 
affected, and even Simolin is more so than I should have 
suspected." 

From Frankfort he went to Altona, there to make prepa- 
rations for crossing the Atlantic ; for it required time and 
much judgment to find and examine a ship, proper in its 
appointments and condition, for so long and perilous a 
voyage. Madame Leray and her children were to be 
Morris's companions on shipboard — making the choice 
of a vessel even more than ordinarily important. But 
although annoyed by much tiresome preparation for his 
journey, Morris still continued the entries in his diary, 
recording the public news, the kindness of friends, and 
various more or less interesting items of gossip ; among 
them, the news that Baron d'Escar " has married Madame 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. . 3/1 

de Nadaillac, who has gone back to France, leaving the 
Baron at Hamburg." "The Baron," Morris says, "tells 
me that the Court of Berlin will submit to anything 
rather than quarrel with France." "The French have 
taken Malta [July 12th], the news of which arrived yes- 
terday morning. There are flying reports that hostilities 
are to begin again in Germany." 

"M. de Lafayette called on me [July 24th], and asked my 
advice whether he should go out immediately to America, 
or stay a while longer. I tell him that he had made up 
his mind to stay ; this he blushingly acknowledges. I 
then tell him that it would have been well to have gone 
out immediately, but as he has staid so long I don't think 
it can make any difference should he remain a little 
longer. He again consults me as to his future motions, 
but as I know that this is more the effect of habit than 
anything else, I take little heed as to the answer. Always 
declaring his resolution to lead a private life, he sighs 
still for an opportunity of appearing again on the public 
theatre." 

"It is said [August ist] that the news from Rastadt are 
pacific. The French Directory seem a little alarmed at 
the state of things in America, and desirous of reconcilia- 
tion. There has been an embargo laid in France on 
American ships." 

"All the letters from Italy [August loth] announce a 
victory over the French in the Mediterranean." 

"A newspaper from Philadelphia has been shown to 
me [August 15th] with the form of a law now in agitation 
(i.e., when the paper was printed), being a declaration of 
war against France. Captain Barclay tells me that Gen- 
eral Washington takes command of the American army 
of fifty thousand men. Some privateers are already 
brouarht in." 



372 . DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

" To-day [August 20th] the accounts from the fountain- 
head in France show that they wish to avoid a war with 
America. It seems certain that Nelson has overtalcen 
Bonaparte and iiad a successful action, but the particulars 
are yet unknown." 

" It appears now [August 29th] that the French, under 
Bonaparte, have reached Alexandria without accident and 
taken possession of it. The Directory have taken off the 
embargo on American vessels, but tiiat is not publicly 
known. They have also applied to the Dutch to become 
mediators with America, By accounts from Frankfort 
it would seem that a war is like to take place between the 
Emperor and France." 

"To-day [August 31st] Mr. Parish and I go on board two 
ships. The one called the Ocean we shall go in for 
America ; examine the accommodations for ourselves and 
horses, and see the captain of the ship, who recommends 
a man to furnish me with stores. The captain is rather 
an assuming man, who must be kept off. On further ac- 
quaintance he shows himself off as a most disagreeable 
and impertinent fellow ; so we break w^ith him, and must 
look out for another ship. Mr. Parish goes to look at 
other ships and finds none which are convenient, and, as 
the captain is coming to and offers for thirty guineas ad- 
ditional to accede to our terms, it is finally decided that 
the Ocean is to receive us." 

"The news to-day [September 14th] are that the French, 
who had landed from eight to twelve thousand men in 
Ireland early in September, have made some progress in 
Ireland and repulsed General Lake, but Lord Cornwallis 
was collecting in force to surround them. The people 
have not joined them in any numbers. Call on the Duch- 
ess of Cumberland to-day. She is, as usual, sharp as vine- 
gar. She seems to have been born in the Opposition." 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 373 

"We hear [September 19th] that the French troops in 
Ireland have surrendered at discretion." 

"There is an account arrived [September 21st] that 
Nelson has destroyed the French fleet in the Bay of Alex- 
andria, that Bonaparte's army has suffered both from the 
Arabs and by an inundation of the Nile, and that the 
Grand Seigneur has declared war against France. All 
this taken together (though possible) is too much to be 
believed. The first article is not unlikeh-, and, should it 
be verified, may have given ground for the last, but the 
overflowings of the Nile are phenomena so regular that 
Bonaparte cannot be ignorant of them, and the Arabs are 
too far from the Nile to render credible a catastrophe in 
which both take a share." 

"The account of the destruction of the French fleet is 
confirmed [September 22d] and of the war between the 
Turks and the French." 

"The English mail [October ist] brings no news except 
the sailing of the Brest fleet, destined unquestionably for 
Ireland. It came out after the gale of the 12th, which 
drove Admiral Bridport from his station." 

" The German paper [October 2d] contains the details 
of Admiral Nelson's victory. The attack was one of the 
boldest and the victory one of the greatest ever obtained 
or made. The French, though beaten, w*ere not dishon- 
ored. Their resistance was exceeded only by the assault. 
The Turk has declared war. Naples is to be invaded, and 
thus the east of Europe is leagued against the great na- 
tion — great in her enterprise, great in her resource, and 
great in crime. Whether she will be great in her fall 
remains to be decided." 

" The gale which has blown for several days has sub- 
sided [October 3d], and the sea grown smoother. All our 
effects are sent on board of the ship, and at ten o'clock I 



374 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

receive notice that we must go on board early to-morrow 
morning." 

" This morning at nine [October 4th] we go on board a 
boat, and follow the ship down to the road of Gluckstadt. 
Very fine weather, with easterly wind. The ship gets un- 
der way, and we part with our friend Leray, which is, 
after all preparation, a painful thing for his wife. We de- 
ceive her, therefore, and he is off before she knows a word 
of the matter. We come to a little to the eastward of Cux- 
haven, as the darkness prevents us from seeing the buoys." 

By the 7th of October the Ocean and her small party 
of passengers fairly started on the voyage, which, with 
all the changes of wind and weather, the high-running 
seas, which " tumbled everything topsy-turvy and made 
sleep and rest impossible," was to last until the first day of 
December. On Sunday, October 14th, the sea was so 
rough that Morris says: "I am obliged to keep my bed 
to-day and yesterday, because of its being impossible to 
conveniently quit it. One of my horses is dead. They 
had placed the poor animal in such a situation that one 
of the ship's bolts was directly behind his rump, and at 
every send of the sea it gored him, and that for several 
days before it was discovered, so that his mangled flesh 
mortified. A few days later another of my horses dies of 
his bruises, and is committed to the waves." 

" At noon to-day [October 30th] we are stopped by the 
Agincourt for about an hour and a half. The Admiral is 
out cruising, with a number of frigates. He tells us there 
are a great number of cruisers, British and American, 
along our coast, to protect the commerce against French 
privateers. We get an observation this day, and find our 
latitude 46° 48'. The longitude, by my computation, is 
42° 28' 37". The Agincourt is three days from St. John's. 
The officer who came on board would not tell us their 



1798] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 3/5 

reckoning of longitude, but they had light winds the first 
two days. One of the boat's crew says they had soundings 
yesterday at three o'clock on the bank. This must be the 
outer bank, and as that is in 47° N. and 45° W., it would 
agree with my reckoning." 

" Yesterday [November i ith] we had scarce wind enough 
to keep the ship steady, and it kept veering about till, to- 
wards evening, it got to the north.-northeast, and we went 
on till near midnight, when it had risen so high that 
the captain laid the ship to. This morning there is a 
heavy sea going, and a Frenchman, who had shipped as a 
seaman, fell from the shrouds into the sea and was 
drowned ; for, though they threw him a rope and he got 
hold of it, he had not strength to keep his hold. On ex- 
amining his chest they find a great deal of clothes of a 
kind much finer than is generally used by seamen. His 
manners, they say, were mild and gentle, and that he was 
not a good sailor ; from all which it is to be conjectured 
that he had seen better days, and adds one more to the 
numerous victims of the French Revolution." 

" I find [November 15th] that the captain has not above 
twenty days' provisions left for his crew, and we have 
something more than five hundred miles before we are up 
with the Hook." 

"At midnight [November 29th] the mate told me we 
were on soundings, and from the account of the currents 
we ought to have been so, but this morning we can get 
no bottom. I am therefore determined to trouble myself 
no more with keeping a reckoning, since either currents, or, 
what is more probable, the inability of the men at the helm, 
render all calculation little more than mere conjecture." 

" To-day [November 30th] we see a schooner from Block 
^Island, so we stand on for Montauk Point, with a view of 
getting into Rhodes Island Harbor." 



37^ DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

The question on the ist of December was whether to 
run blindly on and try to make Montauk Point, with a 
view to getting into Rhode Island Harbor, or be surprised 
by a change of wind to the northwest, which would "oblige 
the Ocean to seek refuge in the West Indies." Quite un- 
certain where he was and what to do, the captain applied 
to Morris for advice. " I tell him that if I were in his sit- 
uation, wanting provisions, I would certainly run into the 
first port or place where I could secure myself against 
being blown off ; that I think, moreover, the passage 
through the Sound is a very safe one." Just at this mo- 
ment a schooner from Baltimore informed the captain of 
the Ocean of his position regarding Montauk Point, and 
that evening the vessel was safely anchored in Rhode 
Island Harbor. Dirty weather, snow, and rain made the 
voyage through the Sound for some days impossible ; and 
it was not until the 12th of December, after innumerable 
worries and anxieties, that the party, having transferred 
themselves and their luggage to another vessel, started for 
New York. Here again the delays, by reason of the 
weather and inefficient and drunken seamen, were to the 
last degree harassing. 

"We had hopes of getting off last night, but were de- 
ceived, and so must build up a new fabric of hope for the 
night to come. Patience, patience," Morris says, in the 
diary of the 12th, but the hope was again futile, for after 
reaching Point Judith, "a tedious and dangerous busi- 
ness," they were obliged to put back to Newport, there to 
remain till the 19th, when they made a new departure. 

" This morning [December 26th] is employed by me in 
sleeping, as I was awake all last night, partly from the 
tempest and partly from my care of little Poupon, Ma- 
dame Leray's child, whose nurse brought him to me to 
keep out of the water with which her bed was overflowed." 



1798.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 377 

" We have a tumbling night. Friday and Saturday [De- 
cember 2ist and 22d], we make some progress, but come 
to anchor each night, owing to snow-storms and darkness. 
On Sunday the 23d we get off Throgg's (or Frog's) Point, 
and, the wind serving us, we reach New York at half an 
hour after two. Many of my friends come on board to 
see me. With Mr. Constable I go and take lodgings in the 
Government House. After dinner many friends come, and 
it seems as if I were not an unwelcome guest in my native 
country. Colonel Hamilton, now General Hamilton, 
comes, whom I am very glad to see. I take occasion to 
let them know early my intention to lead a private life." 

"I sit down to write [December 25th], but am inter- 
rupted by a succession of visitors. My farmer, Gibson, 
comes to state in some degree the situation of my farm. 
Dine with Mr. Church. General Hamilton comes with 
me, and tells me the state of our affairs. He wishes me to 
take a share in the administration." 

" Dine at Colonel Troup's [December 29th], who is still, 
as ever, a pleasant, laughing fellow. Stay late and sup, 
which is not wise." 

" Mr. Low calls this morning [December 30th], and 
takes me to his seat in Trinity Church, where Mr. Bache 
preaches a theological sermon. The news is come that 
the French Brest fleet has been defeated without effecting 
a landing in Ireland, that Bonaparte's transports are de- 
stroyed, and that his army is reduced to ten thousand men. 
This last part is, I fancy, premature." 

" To-day [January 5th] I dine at home and go after din- 
ner to my house at Morrisania, where I arrive at dusk, 
after an absence of above ten years." 

With apparently no regret for the gay life of foreign 
courts, in which he had moved so long, Morris threw him- 
self with all his natural energy into the affairs of his farm. 



3/8 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

He rebuilt his house, which he found in an unfit con- 
dition to receive the many articles of furniture he had 
brought home with him, and personally inspected the 
stones for the house as they were taken from the quarry 
on his farm. He laid out roads, superintended their con- 
struction himself, and in the course of the summer made 
himself quite familiar with the large farm of fifteen hun- 
dred acres which he sometimes said he had '* rashly " un- 
dertaken to improve. In the spring of 1799 (April i6th) 
Morris journeyed to Philadelphia, stopping along the 
route to visit various friends. His object in Philadelphia 
was to visit his old friend Robert Morris, the financier — 
then in prison for debt — with whom he had been so 
closely associated before he left America, and whose af- 
fairs had taken him to Europe. 

" I am strongly affected," Morris says, " by the situation 
of my poor friend, and he seems equally so. Mrs. Morris, 
who is with him, puts on an air of firmness which she can- 
not support, and was wrong to assume." The next day 
Morris dined with his friends in the prison. " Morris and 
his family," he says of them, "are in high spirits, and I 
keep them so by a very lively strain of conversation, but 
see, with infinite concern, that his mind is more made up 
to his situation than I could have believed. Mr. Ross 
speaks to me of Robert Morris's situation, and says he be- 
haved very ill. Mr. Fitzsimmons tells me that he is com- 
pletely ruined by advances to Robert Morris. Another 
man has sunk ^80,000 in the vortex. Mr. Morris tells me 
that my share of the Genesee lands has swept off what I 
owed to him, without which I should have been consider- 
ably in his debt." 

" The Chevalier d'Orl^ans comes to me [May 2d], and 
I deliver him a blank form of attorney and a certificate 
of citizenship. General Dickinson, with whom I dine, 



1799 ] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, 379 

seems desirous of knowing whether I intend to marry. I 
am toid that Miss Dickinson's family wish me to espouse 
her. She is spoken of as a very fine young woman, and I an- 
swer, in general terms, that such a thing i» not impossible." 

Here was an opportunity most congenial to the match- 
making mamma, and not to be lost, if possible. But this 
courtier was proof for some years longer against the be- 
seiging friendly enemy, and the charms of Miss Bayard 
and of Miss Schuyler failed to carry the fortress that had 
already resisted the blandishments of the ladies of France. 
Morris quietly went on with his work at Morrisania, and 
kept his house open to all comers, from the Chevalier 
d'Orleans and his suite to the poorest man who wanted a 
dinner. A propos of M. d'Orleans, Morris makes an entry 
in his diary to this effect: 

''Yesterday my coachman overturned M. d'Orleans' 
chair, so I must dismiss him." 

Morris's friends pressed him hard to engage in public 
life ; "which I decline," he says, "though they assure me 
it is deemed necessary by all my friends. Hamilton tells 
me I must take an active part in our public affairs, for that 
the Anti-Federalists are determined to overthrow our 
Constitution. This is a painful idea, every way." But, 
apparently, superintending the gathering in of the apples, 
the cutting up of hogs and beef and storing them, wholly 
occupied Morris's time, and the novelty of the work 
satisfied his ambition, for the moment at least. It was, 
however, not for long that he was allowed to indulge in 
these bucolic pursuits, so congenial to his taste, for on 
Thursday, December 19, 1799, the news of. Washington's 
death came, and at the same moment a request from the 
corporation of New York that Morris should pronounce 
the funeral oration. " This request," he says, " is dis- 
tressing, and I pray time till to-morrow to consider." 



380 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

"On Sunday [December 29th] Mr, and Mrs. Hammond 
and the Chevalier d'Orleans and his brethren pass the 
evening here. I read my oration for them, as I am told 
no tickets will be given." 

"At eleven o'clock this morning [December 31st] I go 
to St. Paul's Church. The procession does not arrive till 
after three, and we do not get away till six. Pronounced 
my oration badly." 

" To-day [January ist] I have a number of visitors, 
among them a deputation from the * Cincinnati,' to re- 
quest a copy of my oration for the press. This morning I 
had already sent it, on a request of the Common Council, to 
the Recorder. Dine at General Hamilton's. I hear that the 
anti-federal faction are to consider my oration as too cold." 

The condition of public affairs very deeply interested 
Morris, notwithstanding his disinclination to take an active 
part in them, and it was his earnest hope that Washington 
might still be induced to leave the quiet of Mount Vernon 
and resume his place in the fore rank. Although thor- 
oughly understanding and appreciating Washington's de- 
sire for rest and tranquillity after his stirring and respon- 
sible life, Morris still thought it hardly right that he 
should leave the helm of the State at such a stormy 
moment. With the desire, therefore of modifying, if not 
altering Washington's determination to abandon public 
life, Morris urgently appealed to him to reconsider his de- 
cision. This letter, the last Morris wrote to his life-long 
friend, was dated at Morrisania, December 9, 1799, scarcely 
two weeks before Washington's death, and is as follows : 

" During a late visit to New York I learnt that the lead- 
ing characters (even in Massachusetts) consider Mr. Adams 
as unfit for the office he now holds. Without pretending 
to decide on the merits of that opinion, which will operate 
alike, whether well or ill founded, it appeared necessary to 



i8oo.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 38 1 

name some other person. You will easily conceive that 
his predecessor was wished for and regretted. Nor will 
you be surprised that the doubt whether he will again ac- 
cept should have excited much concern, for you are so per- 
fectly acquainted with the different characters in America, 
and with the opinions which prevail respecting them, that 
you must be convinced, however painful the conviction, 
that should you decline no man will be chosen whom you 
would wish to see in that high office. Believing, then, that 
the dearest interests of our country are at stake, I beg leave 
to speak with you freely on this subject. 

"No reasonable man can doubt that after a life of glo- 
rious labor you must wish for repose ; and it would not 
be surprising that a wish so natural should, by frequent 
disappointment, have acquired the force of passion. But 
is the retirement, in the strict sense of the word, a possible 
thing ? and is the half-retirement which you may attain to 
more peaceful than public life ? Nay, has it not the dis- 
advantage of leaving you involved in measures you can 
neither direct nor control ? Another question suggests 
itself from another view of the subject. Will you not, 
when the seat of government is in your neighborhood, en- 
joy more retirement as President of the United States 
than as General of the Army. And in the same view, 
again, another question arises. May not your acceptance 
be the needful means of fixing the government in that 
seat ? There is a more important consideration. Shall 
the past treasure of your fame be committed to the un- 
certainty of events, be exposed to the attempts of envy, 
and subject to the spoliation of slander? From envy and 
slander no retreat is safe but the grave, and you must 
not yet hide yourself behind that bulwark. As to the in- 
fluence of events, if there be a human being who may 
look them fairly in the face, you are the man. 



382 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

" Recollect, sir, that each occasion which has brought 
you back on the public stage has been to you the means 
of new and greater glory. If General Washington had 
not become member of the Convention, he would have 
been considered only as the defender and not as the legis- 
lator of his country. And if the President of the Conven- 
tion had not become President of the United States, he 
would not have added the character of a statesman to 
those of patriot and hero. Your modesty may repel these 
titles, but Europe has conferred them, and the world will 
set its seal of approbation when, in these tempestuous 
times, your country shall have again confided the helm of 
her affairs to your steady hands. But you may say that you 
stand indirectly pledged to private life. Surely, sir, you 
neither gave nor meant to give such pledge to the extent of 
possible contingencies. The acceptance of your present 
office proves that you did not. Nay, you stand pledged 
by all your former conduct that, when circumstances arise 
which shall require it, you will act again. These circum- 
stances seem to be now imminent, and it is meet that you 
consider them on the broad ground of your extensive in- 
formation. Ponder them, I pray, and, whatever may be 
the decision, pardon my freedom and believe me, truly 
yours." 

Morris was not long left to enjoy the tranquil and con- 
genial pleasures of Morrisania. The presidential election 
was impending, constant demands were made on his 
time for opinions and advice, and in the month of April, 
1800, he was elected United States Senator; "which," lie 
remarked when told of his election, "is unfortunate." 
On the subject of the forthcoming election he wrote 
on January i6th to Alexander Hamilton the following 
letter, in which he stated his opinion that " the idea that 
the division of the votes would bring on the aristocrats 



i8oo.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. S^S 

who call themselves democrats to vote for Burr is un- 
founded." And he continues : 

"Were it otherwise, a number of federalists, that is, of 
republicans, would urge the experiment. The conviction 
that they will not abandon their man may induce the re- 
publicans to unite with the adversary and give Mr. Jeffer- 
son an unanimous vote. I have hinted that, should they 
find the opposition to him ineffectual, it might be advisa- 
ble openly to declare that, 'unable to estimate the respec- 
tive merits of the candidates, ivhose virtues they are equally 
ignorant of, the republicans will join in the choice of the 
person whom they may designate.' Under present cir- 
cumstances this appears to me the best expedient for 
avoiding all responsibility at the bar of public opinion, 
and that is important. For, let the choice fall as it may, 
many will be displeased. The present moment is indeed 
of high interest, but prudence seems to be more necessary 
than anything else — not the cold quality which avoids 
mistakes, but the active virtue which corrects the evil 
of mistakes already made. Nil desperandumy 

During the year that Morris had been at home he 
seems to have found no leisure for his correspondence, 
which had always before so fully re-enforced his diary. 
However, making his oration at Washington's funeral the 
excuse for communicating with his friends in Europe, to 
the Princesse de la Tour et Taxis he wrote, in January, 
expressing the hope that " the lovely Princess will per- 
haps recollect der gute Engldnder, who retains a deep sense 
of her kindness. He takes the liberty of sending her a 
piece which has the merit of truth, and may convey some 
idea of a man of whom it may be truly said, ' Take him 
for all in all, we ne'er shall look upon his like again.' 
Will you, lovely princess, remember to his Ratisbon ac- 
quaintance the man of t'other world, and do him the jus- 



384 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

tice to believe that he loves you sincerely. Mille et mille 
choses des plus amiables a S. A." 

To the Duke of Montrose he also wrote later, begging 
his acceptance of the enclosed oration ; " not," he says, "as 
a piece of fine composition, but as a picture of the man it 
describes, and as a slight testimonial of my respect and 
attachment. If I supposed Her Grace to have any recol- 
lection of me, I would entreat you to present her mcs hom- 
mag^s. Say a thousand things for me to Colonel Graham 
when you see him, and believe me, my lord, etc." 

Sending his oration to Count Woronzovv, he begged 
him to accept "la copie ci-jointe d'une oraison funebre que 
j'ai prononcee il y a quelque temps. Que d'evenements 
depuis que j'ai eu le bonheur de vous voir ! Dans ce 
pays-ci, on ne se lasse point d'admirer votre Souwarovv et 
les milliers de heros qu'il mene k la victoire. En regar- 
dant un prince, juste et magnanime, a la tete d'une nation 
dont la fidelite dispute a la bravoure, on ne peut plus 
nier que dans les monarchies les plus confirmees, comma 
dans les republiques les mieux organisees, on trouve des 
vertus et de grandes qualites. Dans les uns pourtant 
comme dans les autres, il est rare, mon cher comte, de 
rencontrer cette amitie qui vous distingue et qui vous fait 
aimer par ceux qui vous entourent presqu* autant qu'on 
respecte vos talents, votre. genie et votre caractere. Adieu ; 
croyez a tout mon attachement." * 

* Translation. — The enclosed is the copy of 'a funeral oration I pro- 
nounced a short time ago. What events since I had the pleasure of reading 
your last letter ! In this country everyone admires your Souwarow and the 
thousands of heroes he leads to victory. When one sees a just and mag- 
nanimous prince at the head of a nation the fidelity of which equals its 
bravery, one cannot deny that in the strictest monarchies, as in the best or- 
ganized republics, there are to be found virtues and lofty qualities. In either 
the one or the other it is rare to find such friendship as yours, my dear count 
— a feeling which gains for you almost as much love as your talents, genius, 
and character win respect. Good-by. Believe in my attachment. 



i8oa] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 385 

During the winter of 1800, Morris, previous to his elec- 
tion to the Senate, made a journey to Albany, and through 
the northern part of New York State, to investigate the 
condition of large tracts of lands owned by him and oth- 
ers, and to make arrangements for selling the farms. 
Leaving Albany he pushed on toward Glens Falls, 
through a part of the country which he had not seen 
since the year 1777, when it was almost a wilderness. 

"And now," the diary mentions, "they begin, I am told, 
on some farms to feel the loss of wood. It is now very 
thickly settled, and the banks of the river are covered for 
miles with timber and boards. All day I see a number of 
the settlers on my lands. We fix the terms of purchase, 
and they are to decide in May or June next. We put up 
at McMaster's Inn, at or near Ballston. There is here also 
a mineral spring, which has more of fixed air in it than 
the Saratoga spring, which, of course, has more reputa- 
tion. It is, moreover, nearer to the settlements. There 
are already several houses built here for the accommoda- 
tion of visitors. Our landlady tells me they had at one 
time last summer eighty lodgers in this house. At dinner 
we have oysters, which are brought hither by traders from 
Connecticut. It is not yet twenty-seven years since I at- 
tended the sale of land in this place at auction in New 
York. It was then a wilderness. The American War 
broke out shortly after, and it was not until the year 1785 
that the settlements commenced. In this short space of 
fifteen years a whole region is converted from a wilder- 
ness into a settled country. Already in this neighborhood 
fuel is beginning to grow scarce, and already industry 
ministers to luxury by bringing oysters near two hundred 
miles from the sea. This is indeed wonderful. Had im- 
agination pictured anything like it twenty years ago, he 
who would have ventured to express an idea so fanciful 
Vol. II.— 25 



386 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

would have been deemed a madman. Yet here is a reality 
which exceeds the most extensive sketch to which imagi- 
nation could have soared. As we descend, southward, we 
cross various roads by which the people of New England 
roam into the Western world, and on every road they are 
met with." 

Early in March Morris was at home again, busily for- 
warding the building of his house, but not neglecting to 
note in the diary of March 15th, that " the new French 
Constitution has arrived, which, as far as we can under- 
stand it, is the government of a single man, who is said 
to be Bonaparte." 

On Friday the 2d of May, 1800, Morris left Morrisania 
for Philadelphia, to assume his duties in the Senate of the 
United States. The last drawing-room of the season was 
held by the President's wife the day of his arrival. " I 
go," he says, "and there is a good deal of company. I find 
that my office of Senator attracts a good deal of that re- 
spect which, in my opinion, it does not deserve ; but it is 
so far pleasant as it shows the Government to be well in 
the opinion of the public. Possibly, also, the persons in 
whom I remark it are in office, or wishing to be so. I am 
already tired of it. On my return from the drawing-room 
we stop at Meredith's, and then, at the request of my 
nephew Lewis, who accompanied me, I go to his lodgings, 
where Mr. Sedgwick is smoking and swinging in a Seat 
with his heels on the table. He continues his attitude and 
occupation, which to a man of European ideas would ap- 
pear a marked contempt. I know it is not so, but if my 
head were in the way of being turned by respect this 
would be a wholesome check to it." 

"To-day [May 3d] I go to the Senate. The New York 
election has been carried by the democrats, and it is from 
thence concluded that Jefferson will be the President." 



j8oo.] gouverneur morris. 387 

" It is said [May 13th] that Mr. Jefferson and Mr. 
Adams have made a coalition. Liston * tells me that 
Adams is the most passionate, intemperate man he ever 
liad anything to do with. His imprudence is as noto- 
rious. Burr, they say, is to be appointed Minister of 
War." 

On May 14th, the Senate adjourned, to meet next at 
Washington, and Morris went back to his quiet life at 
Morrisania, where fishing and sailing were among his 
keenest pleasures. In July he again made a journey 
into the wilderness of New York State, and, by river 
and lake through miles of forests, he travelled until he 
came to Montreal. The possibilities of the soil for high 
garden-cultivation, the climate, and the scenery all united 
to inspire him with hopes for the brilliant future of a 
State which, he says, " will probably take a foremost place 
during the present century." After a few days at Mon- 
treal, spent among friends, Morris pushed on, up the St. 
Lawrence and up the Genesee River, far into the wilderness 
to inspect his lands; "through a country which is, on 
the whole," he says, " the finest I ever saw. A river 
whose banks are composed of the richest land, a sky 
bright, an atmosphere brilliant, fish and game in abun- 
dance and of the best quality, wliat more could one ask ?" 

Morris reached Niagara Falls the 29th of August, fol- 
lowing the river from its mouth, "over steep hills and 
through morasses, under a broiling sun, till we attain the 
Table Rock. This is a continuation of that through which 
or, rather, over which, the river is precipitated, and like 
that, too, is excavated by its waters. Judge Hamilton, who 
is with me, tells me that he and Mr. Stedman have ob- 
served that in the course of twenty-seven years, during 
which they have resided here, the river has worn away 
* British Minister to the United States. 



388 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

about twenty yards of the rock, retiring the falls so much 
farther westward ; and he concludes, from various appear- 
ances, that originally it was at the place where the land- 
ing now is. It is a stupendous object ; I do not pretend 
to judge the quantity of water, but it is a large river and 
falls from a great height." 

The return journey to Montreal, made in much the 
same way, by the lake, was not without a spice of danger 
from shipwreck. On the 20th of September " we find our- 
selves," says the diary, " at Montreal, having had a wet 
time from Lachine to this place." 

"Dine at Sir John Johnston's [September 24th], and I 
dance {i.e., hobble) in the evening. The party is so small 
as to excuse a part of the ridiculousness of this attempt. 
On Thursday we dine at the Beaver Club, a society com- 
posed of persons who have travelled far into the country 
to purchase furs. We have from one of the members a 
speech in the Indian language. They all understand, 
and many of them speak it. We have also some of the 
songs of the voyageurs and boatmen. I am seated next to 
Mr. Henry, who is by seniority the president. He tells 
me he was at Detroit in the year 1761, and has followed 
that business ever since. When he first became acquainted 
with the Indians they were cleanly both in their persons 
and in their houses, but now they are very filthy, being 
depraved by the use of rum. Mr. McGillivray has fre- 
quently observed to me that the attempt to tame and civil- 
ize them is vain, for that they are always the worse for it, 
and the Christian Indians the worst of all. He says that 
in their commerce they keep them as much as possible 
from rum, and that the nations who have not got the habit 
of it are not fond of it at first. He has a high opinion of 
the Indians in their natural state, but Mr. Henry tells me 
to-day that those who know the Indians best like them 



i8oo.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 389 

least ; that it is common to be pleased with them at first, 
but in the event they are found to be perfidious." 

Leaving Montreal, Morris journeyed through the woods 
to the head of Lake George, where he arrived on October 
3d, and heard the first news that had reached him in many 
weeks, some friends telling him that "the negotiation 
between France and America is suspended in conse- 
quence of the high demand of M. Bonaparte." Reach- 
ing Albany on the 9th, the latest news which had been 
brought from New York the night before was to the ef- 
fect that " the French do not come into such terms as our 
commissioners can offer and, the negotiation is said to be 
finished. I am told that the Anti-Jacobin reviewers in 
London speak ver}'' ill of my oration." 

The memory of this visit to what was then the Far West 
lingered long with Morris, who was always an enthusias- 
tic lover of nature, and months afterward [January 20thJ 
he gave to his friend John Parish, then in London, a glow- 
ing description of the climate and of the country, with a 
sort of prophetic insight into the future. 

"There is," he wrote, "a brilliance in our atmosphere 
you can have no idea of, except by going to Italy, or else 
by viewing one of Claude Lorraine's best landscapes, and 
persuading yourself that the light there exhibited is a just 
though faint copy of nature. I believe there is much more 
water in the St. Lawrence than in the Danube at Vienna. 
Of the rapids I can say nothing ; still less can I pretend to 
convey to you the sentiment excited by a view of the lake. 
It is to all purposes of human vision an ocean : the same 
majestic motion, too, in its billows. . . . To form a 
faint idea of the Cataract of Niagara, imagine that you 
saw the Firth of Forth rush wrathfully down a steep de- 
scent, leap foaming over a perpendicular rock one hun- 
dred and seventy feet high, then flow away in the sem- 



390 DIARY AND LETTERS OF IChap. XL. 

blance of milk from a basin of emerald. A quiet, gentle 
stream leaves the shores of a country level and fertile, 
and along the banks of this stream we proceed to Fort 
Erie. Here again the boundless waste of waters fills the 
mind with renewed astonishment, and here, as in turning 
a point of wood the lake broke on my view, I saw riding 
at anchor nine vessels, the least of them above a hundred 
tons. Can you bring your imagination to realize this 
scene ? Does it not seem like magic ? Yet this magic is 
but the early effort of victorious industry. Hundreds of 
large ships will, in no distant period, bound on the billows 
of these inland seas. At this point commences a naviga- 
tion of more than a thousand miles. Shall I lead your 
astonishment up to the verge of incredulity? I will. 
Know, then, that one-tenth of the expense borne by 
Britain in the last campaign would enable ships to sail 
from London through Hudson's River into Lake Erie. 
As yet, my friend, we only crawl along the outer edge 
of our country. The interior excels the part we inhabit 
in soil, in climate, in everything. 

"The proudest empire in Europe is but a bubble com- 
pared to what America ivill be, must be, in the course of 
two centuries — perhaps of one. Forty years ago all 
America could not, without bills of credit, raise one mill- 
ion of dollars to defend themselves against an enemy at 
their doors. Now, in profound peace, the taxes bring into 
the treasury, without strain or effort, above ten millions. 
In the year 1760 there was not, perhaps, a million of 
specie dollars in this country. At present the banks of 
Philadelphia alone have above ten millions to dispose of 
beyond the demand. 

" I heard it remarked, many years ago, as wonderful 
that in 1760 there were in privateers sailing from America 
as many seamen as there had been on board of the Royal 



i8oo] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 39I 

Navy of Elizabeth. Is it less wonderful that our present 
tonnage should be equal to that of all the British domin- 
ions at the accession of George the Second ? ... If 
we go forward, not with sextuple but merely quadruple 
ratio for two more periods of twenty years, beginning 
with two millions sterling we have, for 1820, eight millions, 
and for 1840 more than thirty millions sterling of revenue, 
raised from a population which may then amount to near 
thirty millions of souls.* This, indeed, seems impossible, 
but did it not seem equally impossible at the close of the 
Seven Years' War that the net revenue of British America 
should exceed two millions sterling by the end of the cen- 
tury ? Had this been asserted on the Exchange of Lon- 
don in the year 1760, would it not have been laughed at? 
In 1780 — but whither am I going? 

" If you were on this side the Atlantic I should greatly 
rejoice, but you won't come. You will shiver along 
through German and Scotch summers, consoling yourself 
for the tediousness of June by the long, snug, comfortable 
evenings of January. You tell me, my friend, that I must 
join you, and, particularly, must take up my residence in 
London. But have you reflected that there is more of 
real society in one week at Neustedenf than in a London 
year? Recollect that a tedious morning, a great dinner, 
a boozy afternoon, make the sum total of English life. 
It is admirable for young men who shoot, hunt, drink, 
and — but for us ! how are we to dispose of ourselves ? 
No. Were I to give you a rendezvous in Europe, it 
should be on the Continent. I respect, as you know, the 
English nation highly, and love many individuals among 
them, but I do not love their manners. They are perhaps 
too pure, but they are certainly too cold for my taste. 

* The census of 1800 showed a population, in the United States, of 5,308,483. 
+ The residence of Mr. Parish, near Hamburg. 



392 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XL. 

The Scotch are more agreeable to me, but, were the man- 
ners of those countries as pleasant as the people are re- 
spectable, I should never be reconciled to their summers. 
Compare the uninterrupted warmth and splendor of 
America from the ist of May to the last of September, 
and her autumn truly celestial, with your shivering June, 
your July and August, sometimes warm but often wet, 
your uncertain September, your gloomy October, your 
dismal November ; compare these things, and then say 
how a man who prizes tlie charms of nature can think of 
making the exchange. If you were to pass one autumn 
with us you would not give it for the best six months to 
be found in any other country, unless, indeed, you should 
get tired of fine weather." 



i8oo.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 393 



CHAPTER XLI. 

Morris goes to Washington. Sits in the Senate. Presidential election. 
Treaty with France. Letter to Hamilton. Letter to James Leray. 
Jefferson elected President. Disconcerting proposition from Lafay- 
ette in regard to a loan. Letter to M. Labarte. A most unpleasant 
episode with the Lafayettes. 

ON Tuesday, November nth, Morris left Morrisania 
for Washington, to occupy his seat in the United 
States Senate. It required no ordinary patience, and, one 
might even add, pluck, to make the journey to Washington 
in the year 1800. To travel in the ordinary stage-coach — 
a wretched vehicle like a box, mounted on springs, to be 
sure, but without doors, windows, or any protection from 
wind and weather but heavy leather curtain^ which were 
rolled up when the day was fine — was anything but a 
pleasure. To travel in one's own carriage was at least to 
be free from the companionship of ten other passengers, 
but the discomforts of the inns and the terrors of the bad 
roads were none the less to be dreaded. The road be- 
tween Philadelphia and Baltimore seems to have been 
more than ordinarily dangerous. The ruts appeared to 
be nearly bottomless ; and so much danger was there of 
the coach upsetting that the driver would, before enter- 
ing one of the holes, request his passengers to move, first 
to the right then to the left, to prevent a catastrophe. 
Morris made the journey in eleven days, with only a 
short stop at Philadelphia. Having finally arrived at the 
seat of government, through an interminable forest with 



394 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

only a few log-cabins scattered here and there, he found 
the town scarcely habitable. A traveller who had seen 
Washington in 1796 declared that, but for the President's 
house and the Capitol, he never should have supposed it 
could be a city. There seems to have been one good inn, 
and here Morris put up, having first taken the precaution 
to make a bargain with the innkeeper to furnish him 
two cords of hickory-wood at eight dollars per cord. 
"This," he says, "the landlord promises to do, if he can 
get a team to hire." This was a most important " if," for, 
although there were endless forests up to the very doors, 
no one could be got to cut and haul wood to the un- 
fortunate public servants who found themselves doomed, 
for a time at least, to live in such a wilderness. Graph- 
ically, but in a playfully satirical vein, Morris describes 
the future capital of the United States in the following 
letter to the Princesse de la Tour et Taxis, written, De- 
cember 14th, from Washington : 

"Je fais ici," he says, " le metier de senateur, et 
m'amuse nor\chalamment k voir les petites intrigues, les 
foUes esperances et les vains projets de I'animal fier et 
faible qui s'appelle homme. II ne nous manque ici que 
maisons, caves, cuisines, hommes instruits, femmes aima- 
bles et autres petites bagatelles de cette espece, pour 
que notre ville soit parfaite ; car on peut s'y promener 
dejd tout comme dans les champs et les bois, et, vu la 
forte gel^e, I'air en est tres pur. J'en jouis plus qu'un 
autre, puisque ma chambre se remplit de fumee d^s qu'on 
ferme la porte. S'il vous prenait done envie de venir 
vivre a Washington, pour vous confirmer dans un projet 
aussi beau, je m'empresse de vous assurer que la pierre 
de taille y abonde, qu'on peut y cuire d'excellentes briques, 
qu'il n'y manque pas d'emplacements pour des hotels mag- 
nifiques, que des canaux projetes pourront y amener un 



i8oo.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 395 

grand commerce, que la richesse qui en est la suite natu- 
relle doit y attirer les beaux arts ; enfin, que c'est la ville du 
monde ou on peut le mieux vivre — dans I'avenir. Comrae 
je ne suis pas, pourtant, de ces bonnes gens qui seront la 
posterite, j'aimerais assez changer pour la ville de Ratis- 
bon, puisque j'aurais alors le bonheur de vous voir et de 
vous reiterer, de vive voix, les assurances de mon respect 
et de mon attachement." * 

Writing to another friend of the peculiarities of life in 
Washington, he says : " The society of this capital would 
be pleasant if the communications were less difficult;" 
and in his diary he speaks of going to dine with Colonel 
Borroughs. " The weather clouds up ; in the evening, 
coming away, my horses refuse to draw, and as I cannot 
get a hack I am obliged to stay all night. So much for 
dining out in a town where a man finds himself four miles 
from home, and a road not merely deep, but dangerous, to 
drive in the dark." 

His duties as senator were begun by Morris imme- 
diately on his arrival, with the assistance of Mr. Liston 
and Mr. Thornton. These gentlemen put in an appear- 



* Translation. — I busy myself here at the trade of a senator, and amuse 
myself lazily watching the petty intrigues, the insane hopes, the worthless 
projects of that weak and proud animal they call man. We only need here 
houses, cellars, kitchens, scholarly men, amiable women, and a few other such 
trifles, to possess a perfect city ; for we can walk over it as we would in the 
fields or the woods, and, on account of a strong frost, the air is quite pure. 
I enjoy it all the more since my room fills with smoke as soon as the door is 
closed. Should it enter your fancy to come and live in Washington, in 
order to confirm you in so charming a project I hasten to assure you that 
building-stone is plentiful, that excellent bricks are baked here, that we are 
not wanting in sites for magnificent mansions, that projected canals will give 
birth to a large commerce, that as a consequence riches will bring forth a 
taste for the fine arts ; in a word, that this is the best city in the world to live 
in — in the future. But, since I do not belong to those good people who will 
constitute posterity, I should prefer to be transferred to Ratisbon, were it 
only because I should then enjoy the happiness of seeing you and of reiterat- 
ing, by word of mouth, the assurance of my respect and of my attachment. 



396 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

ance, "and," says he, November 21st, " we reach the Capi- 
tol in season, and the arrival of a senator from the 
southward at the same time enables us to make a house." 
The President * then made his speech. Morris was one 
of the committee to answer it. Five days later the ad- 
dress was agreed to ; and "I go," he says, "to the levee, 
and also, as a member of the committee, to know when 
and where he (the President) will receive the address. On 
asking him after the when, where, * In this chamber, sir, ' 
was the answer, with such tone and manner as develop 
fully the old man's character. The Germans would call 
it unbiegsajH." 

On Wednesday the 20th of November tlie address 
was delivered to the President ; the next day a chaplain 
was chosen. On Friday the Vice-President arrived. " Ac- 
counts from different quarters," Morris says, "seem to 
show that he will not be chosen either President or Vice- 
President. After a small time spent in the Senate we ad- 
journ, according to custom." 

"On Thursday [December nth] I attend the commit- 
tee on the question of exercising jurisdiction over the seat 
of government. The advices from Carolina put it now 
out of doubt that Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Burr are to be the 
President and Vice-President. Mr. Jefferson calls this 
evening, and we have some conversation on public affairs. 
He seems apprehensive of opposition in the Senate." 

" It seems to be the general opinion [December 2d] 
that Colonel Burr will be chosen President by the House 
of Representatives. Many of them think it highly dan- 
gerous that Mr. Jefferson should, in the present crisis, be 
placed in that office. They consider him as a theoretic 
man, who would bring the National Government back to 

* John Adams was President, and Thomas Jefferson Vice-President, of the 
United States in 1800. 



i8oo.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 39/ 

something like the old Confederation. Mr. Nicholay 
conies to-day, and to him I state it as the opinion, not of 
light and fanciful but of serious and considerable men, 
that Burr must be preferred to Jefferson. He is, as I sup- 
posed, much wounded at this information." 

" To-day [December 27th] Mr. Harper calls, and Mr. 
Latimer. The former is, he says, an intimate friend of 
Burr, and thinks it advisable for the House of Represent- 
atives to give him their voice, without asking or expect- 
ing any assurances or explanation respecting his future 
administration. He thinks Burr's temper and disposition 
give an ample security for a conduct hostile to the demo- 
cratic spirit which Mr. Harper considers as dangerous to 
our country, while Mr. Jefferson, he thinks, is so deeply 
imbued with false principles of government, and has so 
far committed liimself in support of them, that nothing 
good can be expected from him. I give him some rea- 
sons why it would be better for gentlemen in his House to 
suspend their determinations until they can have more 
light as to the merit and probable conduct of the can- 
didates." 

"Begin, to-day [December 31st], the discussion of the 
'treaty.' On reading it I find it very bad. Mr. Adams 
told me tliat he has a letter from Mr. King telling him 
that the Lord Chancellor, Lord Grenville, and the King, 
have assured him of their satisfaction with our treaty with 
France."* 

* Three commissioners had been sent to France in the spring of 1800 to 
inform the French ministers that the United States expected full indemnifi- 
cation for the destruction of th^ir property by the French Republic or its 
agents ; that old treaties were no longer binding, that no alliance was to be 
entered into, and no guarantee of the French possessions in America given. 
Napoleon offered two propositions ; the old treaties with full indemnity, or 
new treaties with no indemnity at all. The negotiation dragged on until Sep- 
tember, when a convention instead of a treaty was finally agreed on, and mat- 
ters in dispute were left for future negotiation. The first three articles, which 



398 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLl. 

On the 5th of January Morris wrote of the treaty to 
Alexander Hamilton as follows : 

" The convention with France will be ratified sub inodo ; 
such, at least, is my opinion, I wish to strike out the sec- 
ond and third articles ; secondly, to fix a limitation of 
time. The second article, by suspending the operation, 
admits the existence of former treaties. The restitution 
of our trophies, stipulated by the third, may damp the 
spirit of our country. That nation which will permit 
profit or convenience to stand in competition with honor 
is on the steep descent to ruin. If, with the exception 
of those articles and a limitation of time, the convention 
be mutually ratified, I shall think it no bad bargain. 
Will the French Consul ratify it when so curtailed and 
limited ? Perhaps, if his affairs are prosperous, he will 
not. Some gentlemen propose adding a clause to declare 
that it sliall not prejudice former treaties. This appears 
dangerous, because, if afterwards ratified without that 
clause, such ratification may be construed as an assent to 
the conclusion which the declaration was intended to 
obviate. On the election between Messrs. Jefferson and 
Burr there is much speculation. Some, indeed most, of 
our Eastern friends are warm in support of the latter, 
and their pride is so much up about the charge of influ- 
ence that it is dangerous to quote an opinion. I trust 
they will change, or be disappointed, for they appear to 
be moved by passion only. I have, more at the request 
of others tlian from my own mere motion, suggested certain 
considerations not quite unworthy of attention ; but it is 
dangerous to be impartial in politics. You, who are tem- 
perate in drinking, have perhaps noticed the awkward situ- 

Morris mentions in his letter to Hamilton, were as follows : Property capt- 
ured but not condemned was to be given up ; public ships taken before the 
exchange of ratifications were to be released ; commerce was to be free. 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 399 

ation of a man who continues sober after the company are 
drunk. Adieu, my dear Hamilton. God bless you and 
send you many happy years." 

The treaty with France was the absorbing interest in 
the Senate during the early days of 1801. 

" I go through the treaty in the House to-day," Morris 
says, January 15th, "and agree to the amendments of the 
committee ; some sharpness of debate. Report the form 
of a ratification ; consideration postponed." On the 23d 
the Senate rejected the convention with France, " by the 
intemperate passion of its friends." By the 26th there 
was a general desire in the House " to recede from tlie 
vote as it stands on the convention. As I all along sus- 
pected, it will be reconsidered. A debate on the bill for 
erecting a mausoleum to Washington. Speak on it a lit- 
tle, but with little effect." 

" The Aurora,'' Morris wrote to Alexander Hamilton, 
on the 1 6th of January, " will have shown you the result 
of our deliberations on the convention ; at least, of those 
which went to a division wortli noting. If it sticks in 
France, it will be respecting points on which the vote was 
unanimous, or nearly so. As to the induction, from the 
words of the second article, that the old treaties subsided 
though their operation was suspended, I think it undeni- 
able that that, taken in consideration with other things, 
would have involved us in serious difficulty. To Britain 
was given certain rights, limited by those of a similar kind 
previously given to France. In abolishing our treaties 
with the latter, that which we had made with the former 
obtained an actual extension, which we might rightfully 
restrain : for, as she was no party either to our treaties 
with France or to the abrogation of them, she could not 
rightfully complain had we thought fit to re-establish 
those treaties. When, therefore, acknowledging their ex- 



400 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

istence by suspending their effects generally, we partic- 
ularly stipulate, and literally renew a part ; might not the 
French demand for the part so renewed a priority i In 
fact, might not France demand that a British ship should 
not bring into our ports a French prize, and insist on 
bringing in a British prize ? The privileges granted being 
incompatible and exclusive, the question of priority in- 
volves everything. So much for that. 

" Those articles (the second and third) being left out, 
the convention must be considered merely as a treaty of 
peace. The pre-existence of war is admitted, and from 
the moment of that admission there is an end to treaties 
and to claims of restitution and indemnity. Nothing, 
therefore, can make the matter more clear than to be 
perfectly silent. Our negotiators huddled up a treaty 
because there was to be a general peace, and you, my 
good friend, seem to think we should gulp it down be- 
cause there is to be a general war. I took occasion early 
to declare in the Senate that we need not hurry the mat- 
ter through, because, in my opinion, there would not be a 
general peace. Circumstances rush on to support my 
conjecture. Doubtless the First Consul, if the dice run 
against him, will agree to our offer. If they run in his 
favor he may reject it, and in like manner he might, un- 
der such circumstances, have freed himself from any cob- 
7i>eb fetters. His whole conduct is a comment on that text. 

" But you seem to fear for Britain because she has 
brought paper money into fashion. This reason, my dear 
sir, is stronger against trusting her in commerce than it 
is against confiding in her system of politics or war. Pa- 
per money, like ardent spirits, increases for a while the 
strength, though it consumes by degrees the fat, the mus- 
cles, and the viscera. At present Britain tallows finely, 
and presents a plump carcass for the poison to prey upon. 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 4OI 

With tolerable management she may last at least ten 
years, and make during that period tremendous exer- 
tions. Rely upon it, Denmark and Sweden will be sick of 
their bargain before midsummer next, and as to Paul 
Peter, remember what I told you of his fickle character. 
He cannot last long, and, deprived of commerce, will find 
his paper rubles run down hill much faster than the paper 
guineas of his adversary. His mother was a different 
being, and yet, even with her gigantic talents, she must 
have failed in the prosecution of her schemes had she 
not obtained money on loan in Holland. As to the Con- 
tinental war, I think France has pushed as far as reason 
will justify. Should she go farther south in Italy and 
farther east in Germany, the Austrians, by rapid move- 
ments to a central position, may give the Consul a blow 
he will never recover." 

Again, writing to Hamilton on January 26th, he says : 
" I have now lying before me your letter dated the — inst. 
It contains important facts, with many of which I had pre* 
viously been acquainted, but I dare not communicate the 
contents, Jjecause the idea that two States will, on a second 
ballot, come over, forms already a reason with the federal 
members in the House of Representatives for supporting 
Mr. Burr. They now seriously and generally, after much 
advisement, prefer that gentleman to Mr. Jefferson. They 
consider the candidates as equal in worth, or (if you like 
the other mode of expression best) as equally void of it ; 
with this difference, that Burr's defects do not arise from 
want of energy and vigor. They believe that to courage 
he joins generosity, and cannot be branded with the 
charge of ingratitude ; but they consider Mr. Jefferson as 
infected with all the cold-blooded vices, and as particularly 
dangerous from the false principles of government which 
he has imbibed. They look, moreover, with abhorrence 
Vol. IL— 26 ' 



402 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

at a Chief Magistrate of America wiio shall be the slave 
of Virginia. They consider it as indisputable that im- 
mediately upon Mr. Burr's election he will be abandoned 
by many of the Southern demagogues ; and, however 
they may be mistaken in other points, in this I believe 
they are right. On counting over the Senate, after March 
next it appears that, out of thirty-two, there will be fifteen 
of each party, with two feeble members on whom no de- 
pendence can be placed. Under these circumstances it is 
conceived that Mr. Burr will be able to decide, as Vice- 
President, all questions in that body, and, of course, that 
the appointment to all offices will be completely in the 
hands of Messrs. Jefferson and Burr. The majority in the 
House of Representatives will be clear. Of course the 
legislative authority must be alike unchecked, and subject 
to their control. It seems, on the other hand, to be cer- 
tain that if the Ancient Dominion be deprived of her 
favorite chief she will continue her opposition to Gov- 
ernment, and that several of her dependents will join her ; 
of course, that the federal men, if united, can decide dur- 
ing the next two years' administration. They believe, 
moreover, that, whatever may be Mr. Burr's conciliatory 
disposition, it will be impossible for him to assuage the 
resentment of the Virginians, who will consider his ac- 
ceptance as a treachery, for Virginia cannot bear to see 
any other than a Virginian in the President's chair. You 
know my opinions, but I believe, unless something new 
turns up, Mr. Jefferson will not be chosen. I hear both 
parties, and cannot help being amazed by the certainty of 
success which is declared by each. If Burr be chosen 
President of the United States, and Clinton Governor of 
New York, without opposition, the anti-federal party with 
us must fall to pieces, and we may take up such of the 
fracrments as we like best." 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 403 

" I attend the House to-day," says the diary for January 
30th. " In a joint committee of the other House I find 
they have taken up false notions about the mode of elect- 
ing a President, if none should appear to be chosen by 
the Electors. Some stretch the word immediately not only 
to leaving the Senate Chamber but even to adjournment 
and the doing of other business intermediately." 

"Two gentlemen call to-day [February 1st], before I am 
up, to settle an administration for Burr ; laughable enough, 
under the circumstances which now exist." 

The Senate agreed on the 3d of February to the rati- 
fication of the treaty with France. " On condition," 
Morris wrote to his friend James Leray at Paris, "that 
the second article be struck out and that it be limited in 
its duration to eight years. I now make up my letters to 
go with the ratification. There will, of course, be no dif- 
ficulty on your side of the water as to the expunging of 
the second article, for this will close forever the question 
of indemnification, and as the term of eight years carries 
this treaty beyond that with Great Britain, it is presumed 
that the limitation will be unexceptionable. It is important 
to us to get clear as fast as possible from an intimate con- 
nection with any of the powers of Europe. . . . It is 
impossible to determine which of the two candidates will be 
chosen President ; rumors are various and intrigues great. 
I do not meddle in this business, and am perhaps not so 
well informed as those who do, but I can see that it will 
be a tight race, and have good reason to believe that Mr. 
Burr has more friends and many more well-wishers than 
is generally imagined." 

The two Houses met on Wednesday, February nth, to 
count the ballots. "As was before understood," Morris 
says, " it appears that Messrs. Jefferson and Burr have 
equal votes. The Representatives cannot agree." 



404 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

" The House of Representatives continued balloting 
all night without the least change [February 12th]. We 
do the routine business." 

" Still cold [February 13th], and another snow-storm. 
No president yet chosen." 

It was not until Tuesday the 17th, after long, weari- 
some hours spent in balloting, that the federalists at last 
gave way, and Thomas Jefferson was chosen President, 
and Aaron Burr Vice-President of the United States. In 
a letter to Robert Livingston at Clermont, written on the 
20th, Morris, referring to the incidents of the last weeks, 
says : " I greatly disapproved and openly disapproved the 
attempt to choose Mr. Burr. Many of my friends thought 
differently. I saw they would be disappointed, and there- 
fore looked on with perfect composure. Indeed, my dear 
friend, this farce of life contains nothing which should put 
us out of humor. . . . If, as you suppose, I had the helm 
of the ship, I should steer differently ; but Avhether better 
or worse it is not for me to say. No man keeps himself 
more,^ and very few, if any, so much aloof from headquar- 
ters. No one has so pointedly expressed his disapproba- 
tion of those things which tend to debase the office and 
degrade the dignity of government. As to the convention, 
you will have seen that it is ratified. . . . If it should 
not now be agreed to by the French Government, and 
that will depend on the state of affairs when it arrives, the 
r^ijr/ objection will be the limit of its duration. The com- 
mercial interest has gone, as you say, with the administra- 
tion, and I believe it will go with the new administration. 
It certainly will, if they govern tolerably well. Not being 
a leader, nor in the secret of those who lead on either side, 
and neither meaning nor wishing to be so, I can judge 
with tolerable impartiality of what passes. I have agreed 
heartily and cordially to the new Judiciary Bill, which may 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 405 

have, and probably has, many little faults ; but it answers 
the double purpose of bringing justice near to men's 
doors and of giving additional fibre to the roots of gov- 
ernment. You must not, my friend, judge of other States 
by our own. Depend on it that, in some parts of this 
Union, justice cannot be readily obtained in the State 
courts. 

" That some improper appointments may take place 
under the law I can readily suppose ; but in what coun- 
try on earth are all appointments good ? That the leaders 
of the federal party may use this opportunity to provide 
for friends and adherents is, I think, probable, and if they 
were my enemies I should not condemn them for it. 
Whether I should do the same thing myself is another 
question ; I believe that I should not. They are about 
to experience a heavy gale of adverse wind. Can they 
be blamed for casting many anchors to hold their ship 
through the storm ? " 

" Our new President makes his inaugural speech to-day 
[March 4th] — too long by half, and so he will find it him- 
self before he is three years older." 

" Visit the President [March 6th] ; very friendly. In the 
evening the Vice-President calls, and takes tea. We have 
news from Europe which communicate the victories of 
the French and the armistice of the 25th of December, 
1800 ; also the declaration of Bonaparte stating the Rhine 
as the eastern boundary of France and the Adige as the 
western boundary of the Austrian dominions ; the guar- 
antee of the Swiss and Dutch Republics. The Cisalpine 
not being mentioned, I presume that the King of Sardinia 
is to be restored to his dominions. I conclude, also, that 
this peace has been previously settled between him and 
the Courts of Berlin and Petersburg. I am confirmed by 
General Dayton in the idea I took up from the conversa- 



406 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

tion at the President's, that our monarch and his heir ap- 
parent will not be well together." 

" Pack up and leave Washington to-day [March 8th]. 
We find the road most execrable, and in consequence get 
stalled and set fast in the mud. We are about ten hours 
coming twentj-four miles to Annapolis, and our baggage- 
wagon repeatedly sticks fast. The people through the 
country are, in general, democrats, and the store-keepers, 
we observe, have sign-boards to say that they deal only 
for cash. These boards were, we are told, put up on the 
first day of this year. The merchants could no longer go 
on giving credit. This accounts for the democratic prin- 
ciple better than the boasted efforts of influential men. 
We hear of cock-fighting. The whole country is full of 
fox hounds, and all the churches have the windows bro- 
ken." 

" Reach Philadelphia [March 14th] ; the roads very bad. 
Go to the jail, and dine with my poor friend Robert Mor- 
ris. Accounts from the Federal City seem to show that 
our new President is making some improper appoint- 
ments." 

Arrived at Morrisania, Morris put aside the "metier 
de senateur" and betook himself to the pruning-hook 
and the business of the farm, laid out a garden, actively 
superintended the men working on his house, and enter- 
tained numerous guests. "I am so much fatigued every 
day with work," he says, "as to take no particular note of 
what passes." The difficulties of house-keeping were 
great, and he wrote to his friend M. Leray at Paris that 
if he could send him '^^chassettr who understood fishing 
he would be useful to me, and a cook is a physical neces- 
sity. No good domestics can be had here, not even 
women. None of those imported can, I think, be de- 
pended on unless they be somewhat advanced in years." 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 40/ 

No public affairs especially attracted Morris's atten- 
tion until the autumn of 1801, when the news came that 
the First Consul had ratified the amended treaty. 

" I suppose," he then wrote to John Parish (October 
5th) at London, d, propos of this subject, "you have not 
attended to those amendments which, though of little ap- 
parent consequence, have the great and salutary effect of 
terminating our intimate alliance with France, and, of 
course, leave us in a state of equality with all nations. 
It is true we paid for it by giving up our claim for dam- 
ages by the spoliation of our commerce ; if, indeed, that 
claim can be supposed to be of any value. ... I con- 
clude that the affairs of the First Consul are not very 
splendid. He would not otherwise have let go his hold 
of us, for though we are but as a feather in the great 
scale of power, yet when that scale is nearly poised the 
weight of a feather is something." 

Just at this time the proposition of M. and Madame de 
Lafayette, to take advantage of a law in France the letter 
of which made it possible for them to avoid paying the 
interest on a sum of money he had readily furnished them 
with in the days of their adversity, very painfully discon- 
certed Morris. " I own to you," he wrote to his friend 
James Leray, who had indignantly refused to comply with 
the terms proposed by the Lafayettes, " my dear friend, 
that this stickling for depreciation is quite shocking. It 
is worse to my feelings than the loss I must sustain. A 
necessary consequence of their action is that, to put them- 
selves in the right, they must put me in the wrong, to 
which effect they must grossly misrepresent. This, how- 
ever, is easy, for the maxim, ' Les absents ont toujours 
tort,' is never more true than in the societies of Paris." 
A settlement of this matter was not arranged until the 
spring of 1804, and then Morris was obliged to content 



408 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLl. 

himself with 53,500 livres, instead of 100,000 livres, which 
was the amount of the original debt. 

M. Henri Labarte, at Paris, had charge of this extraordi- 
narily disagreeable affair, and the following letter to him 
explains the state of the case : " Jai eu I'honneur de vous 
ecrire sur I'affaire de M. de Lafayette. Vous y trouverez, 
peut-etre, I'indignation que m'inspiraient des demarches 
auxquelles je ne devais certainement pas m'attendre, je 
vous en rends juge. La soeur de Madame de Lafayette est 
venue me dire que M. de Lafayette manquait du necessaire 
dans les prisons de Magdebourg. -«Je lui fis payer sur-le- 
champ dix mille florins, au nom des Etats-Unis, mais de 
mes propres deniers. Je dis de ' mes propres deniers,' 
parce que non seulment je m'en suis rendu responsable, 
mais encore, j'en ai laisse le montant entre les mains des 
banquiers des Etats-Unis a Amsterdam jusqu'a ce que le 
Congres eut decide qu'on payat les appointements que M. de 
Lafayette, dans les jours brillants de sa fortune, n'avait pas 
voulu toucher, et qu'on eut rembourse aux banquiers les 
10,000 florins que, d'apres mes ordres, ils lui avaient remis. 
Bientot apres on est venu encore, de la part de Madame de 
Lafayette, me depeindre ses angoissesde ce que I'honneur 
de son mari etait compromis k cause de 100,000 livres 
de dettes que, faute des formalit^s requises, ne seraient 
pas payees du produit de ses biens, et me prier du les 
cautionner a I'Assemblee Nationale, de la part des Etats- 
Unis. Quoiqu'il lui parut tres simple qu'on fit une af- 
faire d'etat des details de son menage, il eut ete facile 
de lui faire sentir I'inconsequence d'une pareille de- 
mande. Mais elle etait malheureuse. Ainsi, loin de 
m'enfermer dans les formes de ma place, je lui promis 
les 100,000 livres et, quoique des circonstances imprevues 
m'en rendissent le paiement difficile, je lui tins parole. Or, 
dans ce moment, cette somme m'eut valu, au prix courant, 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 409 

pres de deux mille marcs d'argent, et Madame de Lafayette, 
alors prisonniere, allait, selon toute apparence, etre vic- 
timee. Mais pour epargner a sa sensibilite la peine de 
voir ternir I'honneur de son mari, j'en fis I'avance qu'on 
veut actuellement me rembourser avec 53,500 livres. Soit, 
j'y consens ; car je ne veux pas, par un proces eclatant, avoir 
I'air de me faire valoir aux depens de la reputation de M. 
de Lafayette. Ainsi, je vous prie, monsieur, de terminer 
cette affaire, et qu'il n'en soit plus parle. Je vous prie, 
nieme, de ne point ebruiter les details que je viens de vous 
confier." * 

* Translation.— I have had the honor to write to you concerning M. de 
Lafayette's business. You will find in this letter the expression of my indig- 
nation concerning proceedings I had certainly no reason to expect. I wish 
you to know all about them. The sister of Madame de Lafayette came to me, 
stating that M. de Lafayette was in dire want in the prisons of Magdeburg. 
I caused at once ten thousand florins to be paid to him, in the name of the 
United States, but out of my own resources. I say. " my own resources," for 
not only did I render myself liable for that amount, but I left it in the hands of 
the United States bankers in Amsterdam until Congress had decided that the 
salary M. de Lafayette had declined in the brilliant days of his fortune should 
be paid him, and until the bankers had been paid back the ten thousand florins 
thus disbursed by them by my orders. Soon afterward friends came again, 
in Madame de Lafayette's name, picturing to me her anguish. The honor of 
her husband was compromised on account of one hundred thousand livres of 
debts which he had contracted, and which, owing to the lack of certain for- 
malities, could not be paid out of the proceeds of his property. She begged 
me to be his indorser to that amount, in the name of the United States, before 
the National .\ssembly. Although she seemed to think it perfectly natural to 
parade her household cares as State matters, she might easily have been made 
to feel the inconsequence of such a step. But she was unfortunate, and, not 
allowing the forms of my office to hinder me, I promised her the one hundred 
thousand livres, and, although I found it difficult to bring the sum together, I 
kept my word. At that time such a sum could have bought me two thousand 
marks of silver, and Madame de Lafayette, then a prisoner, seemed very 
near being sent to the scaffold. But to spare to her sensibility the grief of 
seeing the honor of her husband tarnished, I advanced that sum, for which 
they now want to pay me fifty-three thousand livres. All right. I consent ; 
for I will not, by means of a noisy lawsuit, appear to be exalting myself at the 
expense of M. de Lafayette's reputation. I therefore ask you, sir, to close 
this matter, so that it be never spoken of again. I beg of you, also, to pre- 
vent the details just confided to you from coming before the public. 



41 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

To Madame de Lafayette Morris wrote the following 
letter in August, 1802, replying to a letter of hers in which 
she had said that M. de Lafayette could not charge him- 
self with her debt to him : 

" Vous me parlez, madame, du profit que j'eusse pu tirer 
d'un secours pecuniaire que j'etais assez heureux de pou- 
voir vous fournir dans un moment critique. II n'en a 
jamais ^te question, mais s'il eut fallu faire un pareil 
calcul, je vous aurais fait observer que j'aurais pu, avec las 
cent mille francs que je vous ai pretes, acquerir un bien- 
fonds dans le centre de Paris de dix mille livres de rente. 
Vous me fites entrevoir votre etat de besoin. Alors, ma- 
dame, il ne fut plus question de calculs. Ma sensibilite 
me porta, dans un moment terrible, X vous faire une avance 
sans penser aux risques, ou plutot a la presque certitude, 
de n'etre jamais paye. Le sentiment qui m'a rendu votre 
creancier m'a defendu d'accepter I'hypotheque que vous 
aviez bien voulu m'oflfrir lors de votre premier sejour dans 
la ville de Hambourg. Le meme sentiment, madame, ne 
me permet aucune observation dans le moment actuel. II 
me parait, d'apres votre lettre, qu'il convient a M. de La- 
fayette de s'acquitter de cette creance en me payant cin- 
quante-trois mille livres. M. Labarte, qui aura I'honneur 
de vous remettre celle-ci, est charge, de ma part, de les re- 
cevoir, de vous en passer quittance et de vous donner celle 
pour cent mille francs que votre agent m'a fait il y a sept 
ou huit ans. II n'en serait done plus question, sans I'espoir 
qu'on a donn6 a M. de Lafayette de faire payer ses dettes 
par les Etats-Unis. 

" Vous sentez bien, madame, que, vu les circonstances 
ou je me trouve, la delicatesse me defend de prendre part 
aux deliberations sur cet objet. Je me borne k I'assurance 
que, dans le cas ou je serais pay6 ici, je m'empresserais de 
rendre a monsieur votre mari la somme qu'il aura comp- 



i8oi.] , GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 41I 

tee a M. Labarte. Dites, je vous prie, inadame, mille choses 
de ma part a M. de Lafayette, et soyez persuadee du re- 
spect et de I'attachement avec lesquelles j'ai I'honneur 
d'etre . . ."* 

" From the last advices I have received," Morris wrote 
to Mr. Parish in February, 1803, "it appears that M. de 
Lafayette means to liquidate what he owes me by some- 
thing less than the interest of it. To do this he reduces 
the principal down pretty low by a scale of depreciation. 
God forgive him, and, if possible, reconcile him to him- 
self. He must have odd notions if, with the conscious- 
ness of facts, some mediation be not necessary between 
his mind and his conscience." 

On the termination of the affair Morris wrote to M. 
Henri Labarte (May 12, 1804) to congratulate him on the 

* Translation. — You speak to me, madame, of a profit which I might 
have derived from a pecuniary service I was happy to render you in a critical 
moment. It was never thought of, and if such a calculation had been in- 
tended I should have pointed out to you that, witii the one hundred thou- 
sand francs I lent you I might have bought real estate in the centre of Paris 
which would bring me now ten thousand livres yearly rent You gave me a 
hint as to your state of want ; then, madame, I could think of no specula- 
tion. My sensibility induced me to consent to this advance without giving a 
thought to the risks, or, rather, to the quasi-certitude of never being re- 
payed. The feeling which made of me your creditor forbade me accept- 
ing the mortgage-bond you kindly offered me at the time of your first stay 
in Hamburg. The same feeling, madame, allows me no observation at the 
present moment. 

.According to your letter it appears that M. de Lafayette is desirous to 
settle this debt by paying me fifty-three thousand livres. M. Labarte, who 
will have the honor to hand you this letter, is instructed by me to receive 
this sum, to give you a receipt for it, and to return to you the receipt for one 
hundred thousand livres your agent gave me, seven or eight years ago. The 
subject could therefore be dropped, if some hopes had not been given to 
M. de Lafayette that the United States might pay his debts. You understand, 
madame, that, under the circumstances, delicacy forbids me taking any part 
in the deliberations concerning the matter. I can only assure you that, in 
case I should be paid here, I would hasten to return to your husband the 
sum he shall have paid to M. Labarte. I beg that you will give a thousand 
regards on my part to M. de Lafayette, and that you will be persuaded of the 
respect and of the attachment with which I have the honor to be, etc. 



412 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLI. 

ending of so unpleasant an episode. "Vous avez bien 
fait," he says, **de terminer avec mes debiteurs, et je 
desire maintenant qu'ils en aient la conscience nette. Mal- 
heureusement, cela ne leur arrivera pas, et, par conse- 
quent, ils me porteront toujours une inimitie sincere. 
L'ingrat ne pense guere a son bienfaiteur sans peine, et 
comment ne pas hair I'objet qui nous fait souflfrir et, 
surtout, celui qui nous avilit, meme a nos propres yeux? 
Leur ayant pardonn^ le premier tort, je pardonne, d'avance, 
le second." * 

" There is no drawing the sound of a trumpet from a 
whistle," was almost the severest stricture Morris passed 
on the conduct of the Lafayettes. 

* Translation. — You did well to close matters with my debtors, and I 
only wish them a clear conscience. Unhappily that they will not have, 
and will ever bear me, in consequence, a sincere hatred. The ungrateful 
man never thinks of his benefactor without a pang, and how should one not 
detest the object that causes such suffering and lowers one in one's own 
eyes ? Having pardoned the first wroi;g, I pardon the second in advance. 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 413 



CHAPTER XLII. 

Yellow fever at New York. Morris describes his home life to Count- 
ess Hohenthal. Letter to Parish on public affairs. Washington. 
The Senate opposes a motion to repeal the law respecting the Judi- 
ciary. Opinion of the Administration. Letter to Alexander Hamilton. 
Letter to Robert Livingston. Work in the Senate. Letter to the 
Princesse de la Tour et Taxis. Strictures on the Jefferson adminis- 
tration. 

DURING the autumn of 1801 New York was smitten 
with the scourge of yellow fever. The inhabitants 
fied terrified from the plague-stricken town. Morris 
mentions the case of a young man who, he says, " dined 
with me on Wednesday, and was taken ill on his way to 
a friend's house the next morning with the malignant 
fever." But only occasional reports of the suffering and 
misery seemed to reach Morris in his remote and peace- 
ful corner of the world, to judge from the following letter 
to the Princesse de la Tour et Taxis (October 30th) giving 
her an account of his life. 

"J'ysuis," he wrote, " entour^ de magons et de char- 
pentiers, dont depuis deux annees je suis I'esclave. J'es- 
pere en etre bientot quitte, et je jouis en attendant de la 
plus belle saison que j'aie vue de ma vie. Vous en 
jugerez par la circonstance que nous avons cueilli hier 
des petits pois en plein vent. Ma maisonette s'eleve sur 
les bords d'un bras de mer, six fois plus grand que votre 
fleuve, ou il passe tous les jours quelques douzaines de 
vaisseaux de toute grandeur. Cette vue anime beaucoup 



414 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIL 

un paysage d'ailleurs riant. Enfin, pour tout dire en un 
mot, c'est le sol natal."* 

Morris's interest in European politics was as keen as 
ever, and he watched with that sympathy which was a 
prominent feature in his character the varying fortunes 
of his friends on the Continent. To Madame la Comtesse 
de Hohenthal at Dresden he wrote early in November, 
and after sympathizing with her on a family affliction 
which had befallen her, he branched off upon that un- 
failingly interesting subject, the condition of Europe. . . . 
"Vous avez raison, madame, la geographie est a present 
une etude inutile. J'attends pour faire mes cartes le mo- 
ment d'une paix ; je ne puis pas donner le nom de paix 
a la treve qu'on a faite. Sans doute les petites puissances 
seront mangees, tot ou tard ; il ne s'agit que des grandes. 
II reste a savoir ce qu'elles deviendront lorsque, se tou- 
chant de toutes parts, elles auront autant d'occasions et 
de moyens de se nuire qu'elles en puissent desirer. La 
solution de ce probleme me parait digne de I'attention de 
ceux qui gouvernent les etats. 

"Quant a nous, madame, nous sommes, jusqu'a present, 
spectateurs peu instruits mais passablement tranquilles 
de la piece qui se donne sur votre grand theatre. Le 
denouement doit nous interesser, puis qu'en notre qualite 
d'hommes le sort des humains ne peut nous etre indiffe- 
rent. Au reste, I'enuraeration qu'on vient de faire, nous 
donne une population de cinq millions, ce qui, dans la po- 

* Translation. — I am surrounded by masons and carpenters, who have 
made a slave of me these last two years. I hope to be rid of them soon, 
and, in the mean time, I enjoy the finest season I ever saw in my life. You 
may judge of it from the fact that we gathered yesterday peas grown in the 
open air. My little house is built on the shore of an arm of the sea, about six 
times broader than your river, and over which pass daily several dozen ships 
of all sizes. That gives much animation to a most charming landscape. In 
a word, it is my native land. 



i8oi.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 415 

sition avantageuse que nous occupons sur le globe, ne 
laisse pas d'etre quelque chose."* 

Of the condition of public affairs in America Morris 
constantly informed his friend John Parish, and in a let- 
ter dated November 13th, speaking of the doings of the 
new administration, he says : "You will have seen by our 
gazettes that a complete change has taken place in the 
arrangements of our domestic and most of our foreign 
ministers and officers, and this, which to us federalists 
proves very disagreeable, is not so to me, who am in the 
habit of considering natural consequences and ultimate 
effects. The democrats will push the Constitution for- 
ward more rapidly than the federalists dared to do, and 
will wind up its powers as high as they ought to go, and 
perhaps a little higher. The result of this will be some 
clashing, by and by, with their friends in the States ; and if 
we have good sense enough not to make too much noise 
we shall by and by be called in to take the business up in 
a much better condition than when we were forced (and 
deservedly, too) to lay it down ; I say, deservedly, for we 
have done some foolish things as a party, over and above 
the many wild ones for which we are indebted to the 
unsteady temper of the late President." 

* Translation. — You are quite right, madame, in stating that geography 
is, nowadays, a useless study. I will wait for peace before drawing any maps ; 
I can hardly give the name of peace to the present suspension of hostilities. 
There is no doubt that the smaller powers will be gobbled up sooner or later ; 
the great powers only are in question. It would be most interesting to know 
,what will become of them when their many points of contact shall furnish 
them with all the occasions and facilities they may wish for, to be harmful to 
one another. The solution of this problem appears to me worthy of the atten- 
tion of all statesmen. As for us, madame, we remain the imperfectly in- 
formed but pretty quiet spectators of the play acted just now upon your vast 
stage. The unravelling of the plot is bound to interest us, for, being men, the 
fate of human beings can never be indifferent to us. Besides, the last census 
gives us a population of five million people, and that is quite a little some- 
thing, in addition to our advantageous position upon the globe. 



4l6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLII- 

But to return to the entries in the diary, and Morris's 
public life at Washington during the struggle over the 
repeal of the Judiciary law.* 

** I pack up to-day [December 8th] and set off for Wash- 
ington. Reach Philadelphia on the 13th, and Wilmington 
on the 15th. Doctor Latimer calls on me, and I visit Mr. 
Dickenson. State to him the object which stands promi- 
nent in Jefferson's message, viz., the destruction of the 
General Government. He is, of course, alarmed. Reach 
Washington on the i8th. 

** Attend in the Senate ; a foolish question about the 
ratification of the convention with France. Mr. Jefferson, 
instead of publishing the treaty, has sent it to the Senate, 
and we have a deal of idle talk. However, we decide 
that the ratification is complete, and they pay him a very 
bad compliment (at the instance of his friends) by direct- 
ing him what to do. In the evening call on Judge Patter- 
son, and see there the Bench. Mr. Bayard, I find, is the 
cause why this day the Delaware delegation in the Senate 
voted somewhat wildly." 

" Visit [December 24th] the President and M. and Ma- 
dame de Pichon, who seem to think the society of our 
capital dull. M. Pichon tells me that he finds the attach- 
ment of the democrats to France was a mere party pre- 
text to get into power. He tells me that Bonaparte 
would not have ratified the amended treaty if the affairs 
of Copenhagen and Egypt had not happened. He says 
the people about him, and particularly Talleyrand, are in- 
disposed to America." 

"The Senate resolves this day [January 5th] to admit a 

* The great point at issue during the Session of 1801 and 1802, was the re- 
peal of the Judiciary Act. The hostility of the republicans to judges of the 
.Federal Courts was marked, and exasperated by the recollection of the for- 
eign missions of Chief-Justices Ellsworth and Jay, and having at last obtained 
the power, they were bent upon retaliation. 



i8o2.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 417 

short-hand writer on their floor. This is the beginning of 

mischief." * 

" Motion made in the Senate for repeal of the law 
passed last session respecting the Judiciary [January 8th]. 
Oppose it in a speech of near an hour, which is much ap- 
proved by those who think with me; a large audience, 
which is not common in that House. Late tea this even- 
ing at the President's. Many of the opposite party there, 
who are much vexed at my speech ; the President very 
civil, but with evident marks of constraint. Mrs. Madi- 
son, who takes Mrs. Robert Morris and her companions 
to this tea-party, has good dispositions, which, from the 
shrivelled condition of the Secretary, are the less to be 
wondered at. Mr. Smith came just after dinner to ask my 
aid in preparing my discourse for the press." 

" Debate on the Judiciary continued [January 14th]. I 
take a large portion of the morning ; the auditors are af- 
fected, but the question will be carried against us." 

" On Friday [January 15th] the debate still continued ; 
Mr. Baldwin argumentative, subtle, and plausible ; Mr. 
Hillhouse, as usual, keen, discerning, and forcible, though 
unpolished. Mr. Burr calls on me. Is disposed to go 
with us on the Judiciary. Cannot, however, openly break 
with his party. Must modify the resolution." 

"An accident to Logan, one of our Senators — an apo- 
plectic fit or something like it [January 20th] ; a very in- 
solent note on Smith's pages this evening. Attend to 
executive business. Jefferson has got into a scrape." 

* " Hitherto men who came to the Senate to take notes found it impossible 
to report debates. Their place was with the public, in the upper gallery, so 
far removed from the floor of the chamber that they could not hear what the 
senators said. Now the editor of the National Intelligencer was assigned a 
place on the floor of the House where he could both hear and see what was said 
and done. He was a Republican. The Federalists, therefore, when the yeas 
and nays were taken, disgraced themselves by attempting to keep him out." 
McMaster's History of the People of the United States, vol. ii. , pp. 607-608." 
Vol. 11,-27 



41 8 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLII. 

" The Judiciary Bill gets on one step [January 26th], 
and a motion to commit fails by this management. On ex- 
ecutive business, persons are approved of who are stated 
by the senators from the countrj' to which they belong 
to be men of no character, and men of bad character. 
This is thumping work. Dine with the President. His 
constrained manner of reception shows his enmity, and 
his assiduous attentions demonstrate his fear." 

Of the difficulty of sustaining the work of the adminis- 
tration Morris speaks, in a letter to Nicholas Lowe, at 
New York, dated February 12th: 

" You know, my friend, that I came hither determined 
to support the administration, if I could do so honestly. 
They are mad, and so you will all see before the first day 
of January, 1803. . . . The Judiciary Bill keeps mov- 
ing on. People of all parties begin to be alarmed at this 
wild measure, which, to get rid of a few obnoxious judges, 
(obnoxious to the ruling party) under the pretext of sav- 
ing a little money, renders the judicial system manifestly 
defective and hazards the existence of the Constitution. 
This is the true state of the question, distinct from all 
party views, and so it will stand on the impartial page of 
history. It will, nevertheless, be carried, on the trium- 
phant vote of a great majority, (many of them inwardly 
cursing their leaders) because the President has recom- 
mended it. They will try, before long, to make him the 
scape-goat, unless I am much mistaken ; but I do not see 
how a member is to excuse himself, either to>. his con- 
science or to his constituents, for such excessive com- 
plaisance." 

To his friend James Parish he wrote [February i6th], 
on the same subject : 

" As to this country, we have indeed a set of madmen in 
the administration, and they will do many foolish things, 



i8o2.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 4^9 

but there is a vigorous vegetative principle at the root 
which will make our tree flourish, let the winds blow as 
theyjnay. Some stiff gales we shall certainly have, and 
if so I shall be perhaps obliged to keep the deck. My 
friend, I fear it is my fate to work as long as I live. I 
had rather not, but we are not masters of our road in trav- 
elling toward the grave. No, I have built no castle, but 
a pretty good house at Morrisania, on the foundation of 
that in which I was born and in which my parents died. 
There I believe my wanderings must end. I have a ter- 
race roof (by the by, I will send you a receipt how to 
make one) of one hundred and thirty feet long, to which 
I go out from a side or, rather, a back door, and from 
whence I enjoy one of the finest prospects while breath- 
ing the most salubrious air in the world. Tell your son 
that if he has a mind to come and shoot some of my par- 
tridges he may embark with his dogs as soon as he pleases. 
He will at any rate find good living, and pass his time 
without much ennui. I think you were right in selling 
out of the British funds, and experience shows that you 
were right in trying it again. Had the affairs of that 
country been in the hands of able men, your temerity 
would have cost you dear. But they have made peace, 
and may the Lord in his mercy sanctify it to them. It 
was no doubt in the pious reliance on His protecting care 
that they signed that ominous treaty * which has reduced 
them to the rank of a second-rate power, and will oblige 
them, at no distant period, to take up arms again to fight 
for independence. The ball was at their feet ; they had 
got over all difficulty. Paper money was established, 
spread through the nation, and depreciated. These were 
the three great points ; everything else followed of course. 

* The treaty of Luneville, February 9, 1802, when the provisions of Campo 
Formio were ratified. 



420 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLII. 

Had they gone on to borrow this year ;^ioo,ooo,ooo ; 
^300,000,000 the next ; then ^900,000,000, they were mas- 
ters of everything in the country, and would, (always under- 
standing that their counsels should be both wise and vigor- 
ous) after three or four years of victorious warfare, come 
out of the contest without a shilling of debt and fresh as a 
bridegroom. By the time the national debt had amounted 
to two thousand millions the pound sterling would have 
sunk down to about a penny. Then a scale of deprecia- 
tion would have placed it justly under ten million real 
pounds, and as much above that mark as national gener- 
osity might have thought proper. The moneyed interest 
would, indeed, have been ruined by the war, but there 
would not have been a sucking-pig the less in the coun- 
try. Their mines, their soil, their shops and ships, would 
still have existed and been unencumbered. You see their 
present situation in its true point, but there is a little cir- 
cumstance which seems not to have met your notice, and 
which appears to me of importance. France commands 
with sovereign sway from the mouth of the Etsch [Adige] 
round to the mouth of the Ems ; but there is a space from 
thence to the mouth of the Eider, or, if you please, to that 
of the Baltic, which must somehow or other be brought 
under the same influence. And there is a certain Marquis 
of Brandenburg, who must henceforth revolve in the orbit 
which the First Consul may think proper to prescribe. 
What negotiations may be carrying on for this effect I 
know not, but I incline to think that you will one of these 
days have busy work of it." 

"Attend in the Senate [March 5th]. We pass the bill 
for a peace establishment, 16 to 10. I am of the minority. 
Dine at the President's. It seems to be confirmed that 
the blacks of Santo Domingo resist the French ; several 
circumstances of horror." 



i8o2,] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 421 

"We have this day [March loth], by adhering to an 
amendment in the Senate, carried a small compensation 
for the disbanded officers. Colonel Burr called this morn- 
ing. He tells me the ruling party are at fault, not know- 
ing well what to do. Light reports from different quar- 
ters say that the ruling party begin to dislike each other." 

"As to our Senate," Morris wrote to Alexander Hamil- 
ton, March nth, "it is much too feeble, and, indeed, 
when we consider the manner of its composition, we can- 
not expect that it should be a dignified body ; yet at 
present it is the only part of our Government which has 
the semblance of dignity. The House of Representatives 
have talked themselves out of self-respect, and at head- 
quarters there is such an abandonment of manner and 
such a pruriency of conversation as would reduce even 
greatness to the level of vulgarity. 

"As to the state of parties, the federalists are become a 
column of steel, and have such a sense of their strength 
that there is no danger of desertion. The democrats feel 
their weakness. Many of them begin to stagger, and will 
fly at the first shock. As yet they have only heart-burn- 
ings among them, but murmurs will be heard before the 
session closes. I do not think much can be done at the 
ensuing election, but even a small change will work won- 
ders ; for, being of the courtier tribe, these patriots, as 
soon as his majesty the people shall signify that he is 
about to fancy a new whim, will, as usual, show their ob- 
sequiousness by outrunning his desires. The appari- 
tion * and the toast you heard of are accurately stated. 
I see little chance for him as a leader of any party. Those 
he is with hate him, and though he has among them a few 
adherents they will not follow his lead just now. He has, 
I think, considerable talents for government, but I do not 
* An allusion to Burr's appearance at the dinner on the 22d of February. 



422 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLII. 

tliink the course which his situation compels him to pur- 
sue will command respect or excite confidence. Time 
and circumstances do much." 

The Senate bill for the repeal of the Judiciary law 
passed the house by a majority of 59 yeas to 32 nays, on 
the 3d of March. On the 20th Morris spoke of it as 
follows in a letter to Robert Livingston, Minister to 
France : 

"We have here as yet nothing of importance except de- 
stroying the Constitution by repealing the Judiciary law of 
last session, and reducing the military establishment of the 
United States — at this moment so propitious to the reduction. 
We are, moreover, going to repeal the internal taxes, be- 
cause overwise ones think we have too much revenue and 
that taxes give too much patronage. It is contemplated by 
the administration to cobble up some holes they have 
made by repealing the Judiciary. The chief seems to me 
in wretched plight. He is in the hard necessity of giving 
offices to the unworthy and turning good officers out to 
make room for them. He will soon be completely entan- 
gled in the mesHes of his own folly. Your appointment is 
not a favorite thing among them. When the *' Beau " * 
messenger returned, he said the French thought it very 
extraordinary that to succeed a minister who could not 
speak their language, we had sent one who could not hear 
it. This will give what doctors call a symptomatic indi- 
cation ; for, though straws and feathers be light things, 
they show which way the wind blows. Our administra- 
tion have received with coldness, and treated with little 
attention, sundry applications made by Pichon which 
ought to have been otherwise received and treated. You 

*John Dawson of Maryland, on whom his townsmen had fastened the 
epithet of " Beau." He it was who carried, in the frigate Baltimore, to 
France the State papers after the convention with France was signed. 



i8o2.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 423 

will, I think, feel this where you are. In fact, they know 
not how to govern, and cannot possibly last. They begin 
already to want confidence in themselves, and as the seeds 
of division sprout we shall have them come over to us. 
The shrewdest will be the first. Burr is trying to place 
himself well with us, and his measures are not without 
some success. His friends the democrats fear and hate 
him, and he knows it. He intends making a visit to South 
Carolina ; this will excuse him from any special steps in 
his own State and leave him free to take a position accord- 
ing to circumstances. I have not learned whether your 
friends continue active in support of the administration. 
I think it is probable that they will, but I doubt whether 
they will eventually have cause to rejoice at it. For my 
own part, I wish to get out of this galley and live for my- 
self. I shall then frequently laugh where now I must 
frown. It is perhaps well for you, who wish to be en- 
gaged in public life, that you are in a, position not to take 
immediate part either way. You seem to think that if a 
certain treaty were in existence it would have a salutary 
effect ; but I think you will, in due time, discover that 
treaties are frailer things than you have hitherto esteemed 
them. Good fleets and armies, directed by prudent and 
vigorous counsels, are the treaties to be relied on. * The 
rest is all but leather or prunella.' 

** In reply to what you tell me in the close of your let- 
ter, I can only say that your talents, if not your virtue, en- 
title you to the rank of an American citizen. To be born 
in America seems to be a matter of indifference in New 
York, an advantage in New England, a disadvantage in 
Pennsylvania. You say I must be more a favorite than 
you are. I believe that I am much less a favorite. When 
the democrats got into power, I ventured to foretell that 
they would do more to exalt the Executive in six months 



424 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLII. 

than the federalists would in so many years. The fact 
has verified the prediction. They who have constantly 
cherished State sovereignty have, by their repeal of the 
Judiciary law, laid the broad foundation for a consolidated 
government, and the first national scuffle will erect that 
edifice. I acknowledge to you that I do not like it, and 
though I have always seen that it must come unless we 
should lose our national existence, yet I hoped its prog- 
ress would be so gentle as that our manners and materials 
would be reasonably fitted for it." 

"News has reached our administration [March 22d] of 
the cession of Louisiana to France. Appearances of a 
storm brewing. Attend in the Senate; find that the ad- 
vices the public have received of the intentions of France 
to occupy Louisiana are only contained in a letter from 
the American Minister at Paris to Mr. Clinton of the Sen- 
ate. Mr. King has, it would seem, adjusted amicably our 
differences with the Court of St. James's." 

Morris worked very diligently during the rest of the 
session on the different bills before the Senate. He 
amended and got passed a light-house bill, "so as to pro- 
vide for security of the Sound navigation," spoke against 
the repeal of the internal taxes, and, with others, labored 
hard over the proper steps to be taken respecting the re- 
peal of the Judiciary. 

On the 6th of April he dined with the President. " He 
is Utopia, quite," was his only comment on the occasion. 

On the 24th of April Morris opposed in the Senate a 
"foolish appropriation for the public debt." 

On the 4th of May he mentions calling on the Presi- 
dent, "who is as cold as a frog. Can get nothing from 
him respecting the loans to be made in Europe. Visit 
M. Pichon, who is tired of Washington and those who 
preside in it." 



i8o2.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 4^$ 

Congress having adjourned, Morris sought the retire- 
ment and pleasures of Morrisania, where he passed the 
summer entertaining all sorts and conditions of people, 
who accepted with alacrity his free hospitality. His 
friends in Europe were not forgotten, and to the Prin- 
ccsse de la Tour et Taxis and the Comtesse de Hohen- 
thal and various other friends he sent copies of some of 
the debates in which he had taken part in the Senate. 

"I send you, charming Princess," he wrote, June 20th, 
*' these things because, knowing as you do what passes 
everywhere else, you may perhaps wish to see what we 
are doing in this little corner of the universe. Like those 
who play more important parts, we sit on the chariot- 
wheels of time and wonder at the dust, attributing it, with 
delectable self-complacency, to our special efforts. Do 
not from this debate imagine that we are on the brink of 
civil war, or even agitated by violent commotions. On 
the contrary, no republic was ever more quiet. This, you 
will say, gives no assurance of tranquillity, and I acknowl- 
edge the justice of your remark. Freedom and tranquil- 
lity are seldom companions. He, therefore, who wishes 
to glide through life on a smooth surface should seek the 
capital of some large monarchy where an individual is of 
too little importance to occupy the attention of that gov- 
ernment by whose power he is protected and by whose 
law he is secured. The result of this mild state of being 
is mildness of manners, but it occasions also a want of 
energy. Thus there is compensation everywhere and in 
everything. To be happy we must learn to be content 
with our lot w^here it is cast, and our condition, whatever 
it may be. In studying this lesson I shall never forget 
that I once enjoyed the charms of your conversation, 
lovely Princess, and while I remember the sweets of your 
society I will endeavor not to regret. It is not permitted 



426 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLII. 

to listen to my wishes and make you a visit, but, consider- 
ing the changes and chances of human life, it seems not 
impossible to see you again, and again assure you of 
the respectful attachment with which I am, ever yours. 

*' P. S. My respectful compliments to the H. P. [He- 
reditary Princess] and my affectionate remembrances to 
the society of Ratisbon. Should both the copies of the lit- 
tle book arrive, will you have the goodness to give one 
of them to Count Rumford." 

The following letter, with some strictures on the Jeffer- 
son administration as well as on the administrator himself, 
was sent to Mr. Livingston by private hand in August : 

"This letter [August 21st] will be delivered to you 
safely. I shall not, therefore, use a cipher. I shall ask 
the bearer of it to take charge of two copies of our de- 
bates in the Senate on the judiciary system — send one of 
them, with my compliments, to M. Talleyrand, who may 
perhaps recollect that we were once acquainted. If you 
read the newspapers, as I suppose you do, you will have 
observed that the Vice-President is violently attacked by 
certain violent partisans now devoted to Mr. Jefferson, 
and that this latter gentleman has outlived his popularity 
and is descending to a condition which I find no decent 
word to designate. Without entering into unpleasant 
questions, it is sufficient to say that his administration is 
too weak to prosper. His attack on the Judiciary was 
rash and splenetic, and you will, I think, be surprised to 
learn that they calculated on an easy victory. Of course, 
when the contest was engaged, they were astounded. 
The result has been important. There was a moment 
when the Vice-President might have arrested the measure 
by his vote, and that vote would, I believe, have made 
him President at the next election ; but there is a tide in 
the affairs Of men which he suffered to go by. That de- 



i8o2.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 427 

bate gave us such conviction of our force as to render the 
fear of any defection quite visionary. We did not, indeed, 
apprehend any, notwithstanding the means which may be 
derived from executive patronage in a government like 
that of the United States. I do not think they could 
have been used to effect, but we certainly are now invul- 
nerable ; indeed, some officers have resigned because they 
felt a kind of dishonor in remaining as exceptions to the 
proscription. The schism among your political friends 
is, I believe, but beginning. No man knows better tlian 
you do how little of cordiality there is, and ever must be, 
among the discordant materials of which your party is 
composed. You cannot therefore be surprised at an ex- 
plosion. The employment of and confidence in advent- 
urers * from abroad will sooner or later rouse the pride 
and indignation of this country. In the mean time, I 
think you must feel where you are that an administration 
which is not supported by the first characters at home 
will not preserve, much less command, the respect of for- 
eign powers. 

" The French Government cannot, I think, respect either 
the Government or people of the United States. What 
is it which renders a nation respectable ? power, courage, 
wisdom. Put out of view, for a moment, both France 
and America, and suppose yourself in the administration 
of Austria. What would be your estimation of the Turks ? 
of the Russians ? of Prussia ? You would not, I think, in- 
quire whether in those countries they have a Habeas Cor- 
pus Act, a trial by jury, a house of representatives, etc. 
You would seek information as to their fleets, their armies, 

* This was probably an allusion to Thomas Paine, who had recently re- 
turned to America and was supposed to be an intimate friend of Mr. Jeffer- 
son, who, it was said, received him warmly, dined him at the White House, 
and could be seen walking arm in ann with him on the street any fine after- 
noon. 



428 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLII. 

and, above all, the talents of those who are at the head 
of affairs. Now suppose, for a moment, that a European 
statesmen (M. Lucchesini, for instance) should make in- 
quiries of you respecting such things in this country. 
Would your answers impress his mind with anything like 
respect ? I hope, as you do, that we may long continue 
free, but this hope involves the double idea of continu- 
ance and freedom. The duration of a government is per- 
haps the first consideration ; for, be it ever so good in 
other respects, if its texture be too frail to endure it can 
be of little value. Now it appears to me that the dura- 
tion of our government must, humanly speaking, depend 
on the influence which property shall acquire ; for it is 
not to be expected that men who have nothing to lose 
will feel so well disposed to support existing establish- 
ments as those who have a great interest at stake. The 
strongest aristocratic feature in our political organization 
is that which democrats are most attached to, the right of 
universal suffrage. This takes from men of moderate 
fortime their proper weight, and will, in process of time, 
give undue influence to those of great wealth. I know 
that this effect has not yet been produced, and I know the 
reason why ; but a different state of things seems to be 
approaching, and slight circumstances will perhaps de- 
cide whether we are to pass through a course of revolu- 
tions to military despotism, or whether our government is 
to be wound up, by constitutional means, to a tone suf- 
ficiently vigorous for the conduct of national concerns. 
Much will depend on the union of talents and property. 
There is a considerable mass of genius and courage, with 
much industrious cunning, now at work to overturn our 
Constitution. If these be not met by a phalanx of prop- 
erty under the guidance of our ablest men, I think there 
will be a scuffle, and that in the course of it many large 



i8o2.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 429 

estates will be put into the melting pot. The engine by 
which a giddy populace can be most easily brought on to 
do mischief is their hatred of the rich. If any of these 
supposes he can climb into power by civil commotions, he 
will find himself mistaken. It seems, however, probable 
that the property in this country will continue to be di- 
vided on political questions, and if so we may expect 
mischief. 

" This letter will be delivered to you by a very worthy 
priest who is returning to the care of souls in his parish, 
blessing God that he hath redeemed his chosen seed by 
the hand of his servant Napoleon." 



430 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIII. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

Morris resumes his duties at Washington. Letter to Parish. Opinion of 
the appointment of Monroe to France and Spain. Question of the 
purchase of Louisiana. Letter to Necker. Morris describes his 
quiet life at Morrisania. Letter to Livingston, Minister at Paris. 
Journey to the Northern lakes. 

MORRIS resumed his duties as senator on the 24th 
of December. " I find," he^ says, as soon as he 
reached Washington, " that our Executive are disposed to 
an intimate connection with Britain, being, as the vulgar 
say, spited by France. I tell Mr. Smith, my host, at din- 
ner that I have no confidence in the administration and 
therefore have no opinion or advice to give. They are, I 
believe, much embarrassed. I tell him roundly my idea 
of the contemptible farce of finance which is playing." 

" I dine with the President [January 3d], who seems 
terribly out of spirits. Is it the desertion of his friend 
Duane, or a knowledge of the publication shortly to be 
made of his letter to Mr. Walker ? " 

It was during the winter of 1803, that Jefferson ap- 
pointed James Monroe to represent the United States at 
the Courts of France and Spain, and in conjunction with 
Livingston in France and Pinckney in Spain, to form any 
treaty or convention that extended and secured the rights 
of the United States on the Mississippi. Of this appoint- 
ment Morris very forcibly gives his opinion in the fol- 
lowing letter to James Parish at Neusteden, January 14th, 
just after the nomination was approved by the Senate. 



i8o3.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 431 

" The project of our Executive is weak and bad," he 
says. " It is the fashion with those discontented creatures 
called federalists to say that our President is not a Chris- 
tian ; yet they must acknowledge that, in true Christian 
meekness, when smitten on one cheek he turns the other, 
and, by his late appointment of Monroe, has taken special 
care that a stone which the builders rejected should be- 
come the first of the corner. These are his works, and for 
his faith, it is not as a grain of mustard but the full size 
of a pumpkin ; so that, while men of mustard-seed faith 
can only move mountains, he finds no difficulty in swal- 
lowing them. He believes, for instance, in the perfectibil- 
ity of man, the wisdom of mobs, and moderation of Jaco- 
bins. He believes in payment of debts by diminution of 
revenue, in defence of territory by reduction of armies, 
and in vindication of rights by appointment of ambassa- 
dors. I note what you say on the chapter of French ex- 
actions, and your retort on the score of national humilia- 
tion, which is a good hit. In truth, there is just now so 
much of what we call philosophy among our rulers that 
we must not be surprised at the charge of pusillanimity ; 
and our people have so much mercantile spirit that, if 
other nations will keep their hands out of our pockets, it 
is not a trifling insult that will rouse us. Indeed, it is the 
fashion to say that when injured it is more honorable to 
wait in patience the uncertain issue of negotiation than 
promptly to do ourselves right by an act of hostility. 
These sentiments, you will say, are novel ; but would you 
deny the use of new principles to a new world, and gov- 
ern new states by old maxims? The converse of the 
proposition, viz., governing old states by new maxims has 
been tried in France, and the result does not encourage 
to further experiment. I take it for granted, therefore, 
that Bonaparte will not follow the example of our Presi- 



432 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIII. 

dent. Indeed, he seems in all things to take the opposite 
course, and yet continues to succeed in his undertak- 
ings. But the children of this world, that is, your Old 
World, are wiser in their generation than the children of 
light or, which is tantamount, the enlightened children of 
our New World. Speaking of the Baron de Breteuil and 
Bonaparte, they are two characters nearly opposed to each 
other. The Baron, after a life of intrigue, has reduced 
himself to a state of dependence, and the other has raised 
himself, as it were, to the top of the world. . . . 

"Many thanks my friend, to you and to Mrs. Parish for 
your kind invitations. I am, I think, fairly anchored on 
this side the Atlantic, and therefore can visit you only in 
spirit, with my greetings and good wishes. If, as you 
suppose, the city of Hamburg shall continue free, and no 
convulsions shake the House of Denmark, your position 
will continue to be pleasant, and as happy as consists 
with the lot of humanity. I fervently wish, therefore, 
that you may be right in your conjectures, but the neigh- 
borhood of a rapacious prince at the head of two hundred 
and fifty thousand men is not a good neighborhood. I 
cannot compare my prospect pf the Sound with yours of 
the Elbe. Things of this sort are rarely so much alike as 
to admit of a comparison, and I am not an impartial 
judge. I would trust the matter to your decision if you 
could spend this summer with me as your old acquaintance 
Robert Morris did the last. He came to me lean, low- 
spirited, and as poor as a commission of bankruptcy can 
make a man whose effects will, it is said, not pay a shilling 
in the pound. Indeed, the assignees will not take the 
trouble of looking after them. I sent him home fat, 
sleek, in good spirits and possessed of the means of liv- 
ing comfortably the rest of his days. So much for the 
air of Morrisania." • . 



1803] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 433 

The evening session of the 3d of March lasted till within 
one minute of twelve ; and *' thus," Morris congratu- 
lated himself, " I have fully performed my duty." The 
next day, evidently with a sense of relief, he left Washing- 
ton, having discharged his arduous duties, surrounded by 
men he had little confidence in, and an administration 
which he found contemptible. The question of the pur- 
chase of Louisiana, was one which agitated the country 
during this winter. Mr. Livingston, at Paris, had for 
months striven to persuade the First Consul to make 
the sale. But it was not until serious complications 
arose between France and England, owing to the latter 
having set her affections on Malta, and, moreover, de- 
manding an attack on Louisiana, that Napoleon, perhaps 
fearing the coveted property might be taken from him, 
determined to sell it to the United States ; and in the 
spring of 1803 the United States became possessed of 
Louisiana, an enormous tract of country extending from 
the Gulf of Mexico to the British possessions. The prob- 
able consummation of this purchase was the subject of 
a letter to M. Necker, at Coppet, which was evidently 
an answer to one from Necker expressing his ideas on 
the question. Morris wrote from Washington, February 
13th, as follows : 

" Vous avez bien raison, monsieur, dans ce que vous 
dites, et dans ce que vous pensez sans le dire, sur la Lou- 
isiane. Oui, si notre administration permet aux Franyais 
de s'y nicher, on n'en sera quitte que par des guerres et des 
convulsions aff reuses. Nous avons actuellement le malheur 
d'etre gouverne par I'esprit de vertige que, dans le si^cle 
ridicule oil nous sommes, on est convenu de nommer phi- 
losophic. Savez-vous, monsieur, que cette philosophie est 
une coquine qui prodigue ses caresses sans avoir jamais 
senti I'amour ? Eh bien, cette miserable peut se vanter, 
Vol. II.— 28 



434 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap, XLIII. 

qu'en flattant avec son air tartufe et son langage patelin, 
I'egoisme de la richesse et les pretentions du peuple, elle a 
engourdi et nos Smes et nos esprits. Oui, monsieur, I'Ame- 
rique dort pendant qu'on aiguise le poignard pour lui por- 
ter un coup mortel. Maison se trompe. Lesflotsd'une mer 
immense roulent et grondent entre le projet et son execu- 
tion. Les grands arbitres des affaires humaines, le temps 
et le sort, ont prononce la separation des deux mondes. 
Et que vaut la politique contre les decrets de TEternel ! 
Mais, que dis-je ? Est-ce a moi, chetif, d'en parler ? Non, 
je les respecte et me tais. Le sentiment intime de ma 
faiblesse, en vous epargnant mon bavardage ennuyeux, 
me dicte les assurances du respect que, etc." 

With this letter was sent the " discours que nous avons 
tenu, au S6nat americain, M. Ross et moi, sur I'affaire 
de la Louisiane. L'impression en est d^fectueuse et cela 
doit etre, puisque nous ne sommes pas (comme les mem- 
bres de votre ci-devant Assemblee nationale) dans I'habi- 
tude de preparer des discours par ecrit. On en lisait de 
fort beaux dans cette assemblee, mais on n'y discutait rien. 
Chez nous, au contraire, on discute tout, et, par conse- 
quent, on repond a I'improviste aux raisonnements de I'ad- 
versaire. Des stenographes s'occupent a prendre note de 
ce qu'on dit, et puis ils livrent a l'impression, tant bien que 
mal, ce qu'ils ont ramasse. J'ai cru devoir vous faire cette 
explication, afin de vous mettre au courant, mais nous 
nous recommandons toujours a votre indulgence.* 

* Translation. — You are fully in the right, monsieur, in everything you 
say, and in everything you think without saying it, concerning Louisiana. 
Yes, if our administration allows the French to get a foothold there, the 
matter will never be settled without wars and frightful convulsions. We have 
at present the misfortune to be ruled by that spirit of vertigo which this 
ridiculous century calls by the name of philosophy. Do you realize, mon- 
sieur, that this philosophy is a hussy who lavishes her caresses without ever 
having felt love ? Well, this wretch can boast that, by flattering the selfish- 
ness of the rich and the pretensions of the rabble, with her Tartujffian ways and 



i8o3.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 435 

In the following letter to John Dickenson, of Wilming- 
ton, Del., dated April 13th, Morris makes a pleasing pict- 
ure of his home-life and pursuits, and mentions the fact 
tliat he no longer held the position of United States 
Senator. 

" You had the kindness," he says, " to express a wish 
that I would occasionally write to you, but I shall prove 
a wretched correspondent. Busied in rural occupations, 
I forget, as fast as I can, that there is in the world any 
such thing as politics — more than a week has elapsed 
since I heard from the city or saw a newspaper. Leading 
thus the life of a hermit, it is not possible to write any- 
thing which, to you who live in the world, would be worth 
a perusal. Being, moreover, a bachelor, we have no fam- 
ily occurrences, but every day is like every yesterday, 
with a probability that to-morrow will be like to-day. 
This even course of life is not unpleasant to me who have 
toiled in the storms of the world ; to many others it would 
be insipid. If any one of the million incidents to which 

her wheedling language, she has benumbed our souls and our minds. Yes, 
America is asleep, while they are whetting the dagger that may strike the 
mortal blow. But they are mistaken. The waves of an immense sea roll 
and roar between the project and its execution. Those great arbiters of hu- 
man affairs, Time and Fate, have pronounced for the separation of the two 
worlds. And what are politics against the decrees of the Everlasting ! But 
who am I to speak thus ? No, I respect these decrees and remain silent. A 
thorough knowledge of my deficiencies, while sparing you my tiresome gos- 
sipings, dictates the assurance of my respect. . . . Enclosed are the 
speeches we pronounced (Mr. Ross and myself) before the American Senate 
in the Louisiana matter. The printed copy is defective, and that is but nat- 
ural, since we are not in the habit of preparing written speeches, as did the 
members of your defunct National Assembly. They used to read very fine 
discourses there, but there was no discussion. Here, on the contrary, every- 
thing is discussed, and, as a consequence, answers have to be made extem- 
pore to fit the arguments of the opponent. Stenographers busy themselves 
taking notes of all that is said, and then hand over to the printers, as best 
they can, all they have thus collected. I thought I ought to give you this ex- 
planation so as to keep you posted. We recommend ourselves always to 
your indulgence. 



43^ DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIII. 

life is liable should prompt you to travel northward, have 
the goodness to participate in the resources of my cottage. 
It offers salubrious air, pure water, plain food, simple 
manners, and frank hospitality. As to my line of life, it 
must ever depend on events, because it will always be 
governed by principles adopted long since. It was my 
early determination never to seek office, and to accept of 
none but with a view to the public service. After spend- 
ing the prime of life in labors for the public, I thought 
myself justifiable in preferring private ease to public 
cares, but yet, having a,ccepted the place of senator, 
would not have resigned it — at least, in a moment of dif- 
ficulty. My political enemies have had the goodness to 
relieve me, and although from their motives I cannot be 
thankful, yet I must be permitted to rejoice in the event. 
In adopting a republican form of government, I not only 
took it as a man does his wife, for better, for worse, but, 
what few men do with their wives, I took it knowing 
all its bad qualities. Neither ingratitude, therefore, nor 
slander can disappoint expectation nor excite surprise. 
If in arduous circumstances the voice of my country 
should call for my services, and I have the well-founded 
belief that they can be useful, they shall certainly be ren- 
dered, but I hope that no such circumstances will arise, 
and, in the mean time, 'pleased let me trifle life away.'" 

Morris felt very keenly the discourtesy that he consid- 
ered was shown to Livingston, then minister at Paris, 
when Monroe was sent out by Jefferson as Minister Ex- 
traordinary and Plenipotentiary to France, and Minister 
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Spain, to effectuate 
the purchase of Louisiana, and in a letter to Livingston, 
April 23d, he gave expression to his feelings on the sub- 
ject. " I did not write to you by Mr. Monroe, because he 
and I are not on such terms of intimacy as to ask his care 



i8o3.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 43/ 

of a letter, because I did not choose to put one in his care, 
and because I wished you to judge of things without any 
bias from comments on my part. Before this arrives you 
will have made your own interpretations. You will have 
seen, too, that your brethren of the Corps Diplomatique 
consider Mr. Monroe as the efficient and confidential man. 
Not being in the confidence of our Cabinet, I cannot ac- 
count for a conduct which, in every point of view, is so 
strange. Setting aside the sacrifices you have made to 
promote the cause which brought them into power, I 
cannot help thinking that your rank in society, the high 
offices you have held, and, let me add, the respectable 
talents with which God has blessed you, all required more 
delicacy on the part of your political friends than has on 
this occasion been exhibited. It is possible that I am un- 
just to Mr. Monroe, but really I consider him as a person 
of mediocrity in every respect. Just exceptions lie against 
his diplomatic character, and, taking all circumstances 
into consideration, his appointment must appear extraor- 
dinary to the Cabinets of Europe. It is, in itself, a most 
unwary step, and will lower our government in public es- 
timation. I was therefore just so much the more vexed at 
it on your account. I trust it will not be pretended that 
the application of money could not be as safely intrusted 
to your care and intelligence as to those of Mr. Monroe. 
The pretext that he is only joined with you in the com- 
mission is mere pretext, and every discreet man with you 
will naturally consider him as the principal and the chief, 
and, in fact, the sole minister. It will therefore excite 
much speculation. I shall say nothing on the measure 
and its other aspects, because you will find my opinion 
pretty much at large in the pamphlet which is enclosed. 

" I shall say nothing on the public opinion in this coun- 
try, because you will, I think, perceive the bent of it from 



438 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIII. 

our gazettes, and because my view may be a partial one. 
This appears to me certain, that if democracy — that disease 
of which all republics have perished except those which 
have been overturned by foreign force — should increase 
among us, we cannot expect a long period of domestic re- 
pose. But a thousand and ten thousand things happen in 
the world which the wisest men would never have con- 
jectured." 

" I hope [May 24th] to leave this soon for my Eastern 
tour," Mr. Morris wrote in May to his friend Robert 
Morris, " and, if I should meet that enchanting Yankee 
whom you speak of, will endeavor to oppose the power of 
reason to the fascinations of the enchantress. I have, 
you know, in my drawing-room the picture in tapestry of 
Telemachus rescued from the charms of Circe by the 
friendly aid of old Mentor. In truth, my friend, marriage, 
especially at my time of life, should be more a matter of 
prudence than of passion. Good sense and good nature 
are of more importance than wit and beauty and accom- 
plishments. Everybody here says I must marry, and, in- 
deed, they seem determined that it shall be done whether 
I will or no." 

No such complication arose, however, during the East- 
ern tour, which was made in July with M. Leray as his 
companion. " We have made a journey of five hundred 
and seventy miles," Morris notes (August 3d) in his diary 
after his return home, " besides some rides while in Boston 
and Vermont ; since the nth of July, in a broiling sun." 

Late in August Morris started on another journey to 
the lakes and the St. Lawrence. He left home in his 
own boat, he says, "with stores for our journey," and a 
light northeast wind blowing. " We have a long tug to 
get into the North River, where the ebb still runs strong. 
We do not approach the town to take advantage of eddies 



1803.1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 439 

and the young flood, because of the yellow fever. This 
disease is caused, in my opinion, by putrid exhalations 
from the wharves, but an idea that it is infectious shuts 
the door against those who have been near it. Sloops 
from the city must perform a quarantine at Albany. The 
view of New York as we came along was distressing — the 
wharves deserted, the houses shut, and where the busy 
hum of men once prevailed, a solemn, melancholy silence." 
The vicissitudes of contrary winds and contrary tides in 
the Hudson River were difficult to overcome, even in 
"our sloop," which "is a prime sailor," Morris says, and 
"beats everything we see;" and it was not until August 
30th that the travellers reached Albany — and then on by 
stage to Schenectady, when another boat took the party 
down the Mohawk, a distance of one hundred and twenty 
miles, through a fever-stricken country but through beau- 
tiful scenery. The scheme which Morris had so long 
contemplated, of opening the State to commerce by means 
of the lakes and rivers, connected by canals, was one of 
his motives in making this rather perilous journey. "It 
seems to me," he says, " that a canal should be taken from 
the head of the Onondaga River and carried on the level 
as far east as it will go, and, if practicable, into the Mo- 
hawk River; then, in as direct a course as circumstances 
will permit, to Hudson's River, making locks as the de- 
scent may require. This canal should, I think, be five 
feet deep and forty five feet wide. A branch might easily 
be carried to Lake Ontario ; the fittest harbor would be, I 
believe, at Oswego. The voyage down the Oswego River, 
where in parts the passage was almost impracticable, 
owing to the lowness of the water, and in parts the sea 
ran so high as to greatly alarm my ship's company, was 
dangerous and exciting. Mr. Brevoort was frightened 
even to roaring, and, when he got on shore, declared he 



440 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIII. 

would rather return home on foot than go again on board 
of the boat with me." 

Morris formed camps in different eligible places, where 
his servants stopped, and to which he returned after vari- 
ous expeditions, voyaging about the rivers and creeks, 
inspecting the land, catching fish — a very favorite pastime 
with him — and finding out for himself the resources of the 
country. Sometimes he stopped with friends, but gener- 
ally preferred the free life of the camp. Leaving the 
Catfish River, September 25th, the voyagers, with a head 
wind and lowering sky, put out into Lake Ontario, the 
pilot too ill with fever to hold up his head. The sea run- 
ning very high, and with every prospect of being cast on 
a lee shore with the surf of the whole lake tumbling on 
them unsheltered, Morris took the responsibility of the 
pilot, " with no other resource," he says, " than my recol- 
lection of a former voyage, and, having fixed what I be- 
lieve to be the spot, we luckily enter the harbor we were 
making for through a very high surf and by a rocky point, 
which we narrowly escape." 

Enjoying the dangers by water, lulled to sleep by the 
sighing of the wind among the trees, digesting plans for 
making roads through the country, seeking proper sites 
for towns, and inspecting his lands, taking care of his 
men ill with the fever, and rejoicing over the settlement 
of a country which three years before had been a wilder- 
ness, Morris passed two exciting and refreshing months. 
The party of voyagers turned their faces homeward on 
October 31st, and, after many perils by flood and field, 
Morris reached Morrisania on November 14th. 



1803.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, 44 1 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

Morris appealed to for political advice. Question of the constitutionality 
of the Louisiana purchase. Letter to Robert Livingston. Letter to 
James Parish. Letter to Mr, Tracy. Discusses the cession of Loui- 
siana. Entertains M. and Madame Jerome Bonaparte. Duel between 
Burr and Hamilton. Goes to Hamilton's death-bed. Stays with him 
until he expires. The duel occasions much excitement in New York. 
Morris pronounces the funeial oration. 

ALTHOUGH Morris lived tranquilly at Morrisania 
this winter, the sound of the political battle reached 
him in various ways, but particularly was the quiet of his 
life invaded by urgent appeals from his friends at Wash- 
ington for his views and counsel on the questions of the 
moment ; his friends in the Government not being will- 
ing that his experience in diplomatic and political affairs 
should go for naught in his own country. 

The question of the constitutionality of the Louisiana 
purchase was agitating a portion of the community durr 
ing the autumn of 1803 ; and, in answer to a question 
from Mr. Henry W. Livingston, relative to the purposes 
of the framers of the Constitution on this point, Morris 
replied as follows, under date of November 25th : 

" It is not possible for me to recollect with precision 
all that passed in the Convention while we were framing 
the Constitution ; and, if I could, it is most probable that 
i meaning may have been conceived from incidental ex- 
pressions different from that which they were intended to 
convey, and very different from the fixed opinions of the 



442 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

speaker. This happens daily. I am very certain that I 
liad it not in contemplation to insert a decree de crescendo 
imperio in the Constitution of America, without examining 
whether a limitation of territory be or be not essential to 
the preservation of republican government. I am certain 
that the country between the Mississippi and the Atlantic 
exceeds by far the limits which prudence would assign if, 
in effect, any limitation be required. Another reason of 
equal weight must have prevented me from thinking of 
such a clause. I knew as well then as I do now that all 
North America must at length be annexed to us — happy, 
indeed, if the lust of dominion stop there. It would there- 
fore have been perfectly Utopian to oppose a paper re- 
striction to the violence of popular sentiment in a popular 
government. 

" Already the thing has happened which I feared. The 
judges, not being, as in New York, an integral branch of 
the Legislature, the Judiciary has been overthrown be- 
cause the judges would, it was foreseen, resist assaults on 
the Constitution by acts of Legislature. The Constitution 
is therefore, in my opinion, gone. The complete sover- 
eignty of America is substantially in the House of Repre- 
sentatives. The Senate form no check, because (hopeful 
theories notwithstanding) they are, like the other branch, 
representatives of a prevailing faction de facto and the 
States dejure only. Now, as in political affairs fact super- 
sedes right, the Senate will not, generally speaking, have 
even the wish to oppose the House of Representatives. 
The States will, by degrees, sink more and more into in- 
significance, because the little talents which faction pos- 
sesses will be shoved into the General Government. More- 
over, the State legislatures, being under the immediate 
view of their constituents, will find the truth of the old 
adage, * Too much familiarity breeds contempt,' The pres- 



i8o3.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 443 

eat amendment of the Constitution is urged by Virginia 
and New York for the purpose of dividing between them, 
at the next election, the two first offices of the Union. 
Virginia was almost in open revolt against the national 
authority during Mr. Adams's reign because a Yankee, 
and not a Virginian, was President, and laws are passed 
in conformity with fine maxims, assumed from the Brit- 
ish constitution, which give to a Virginia President royal 
power. Not by mere inference, but by downright dem- 
onstration, it is shown that the republican party were not 
dissatisfied because the power of the Government was too 
great, but because it was not in their hands. The false 
principles which they have dignified with the name of re- 
publican principles — hostile to all government, and im- 
mediately fatal to all republican government — were only 
assumed to lead honest men by slow but sure degrees 
to abjure the principles of our Constitution, and co-operate in 
their own subjugation to the aristocracies of Virginia and 
New York. You may, from what I have said, be inclined 
to set me down as a croaker, but in this you would be de- 
ceived. There is always a counter-current in human af- 
fairs which opposes alike both good and evil. While the 
republican form lasts we shall be tolerably well gov- 
erned, and when we are fairly afloat again on the tempes- 
tuous sea of liberty, our Cromwell or Bonaparte must so far 
comply with national habit as to give us an independent 
judiciary and something like a popular representation. 
Like the forked, featherless bipeds which have preceded 
them, our posterity will be shaken into the political form 
which shall be most suitable to their physical and moral 
state. They will be born, procreate, and die like the rest of 
creation, while here and there some accomplished scoun- 
drels, rari nantes in gurgite vasto, will give their names to 
the periods of history." 



444 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

" I like well your treaty with France," Morris wrote to 
Robert L. Livingston, November 28th, "and have declared 
to my friends, some of whom are not pleased with the dec- 
laration, that it is in my opinion one of the best we have 
made. Our party, though with numerous exceptions, op- 
posed it ; for one reason, that it cost money the greater 
part of which we to the northward must pay, and it gains 
territory which will, in their apprehension, by giving 
strength to the Southern representation, diminish the East- 
ern influence in our councils. They dislike it, also, because 
it has strengthened an administration which they abhor. 
To tell you an important truth, my friend, you have saved 
that administration, who, in return, will never forgive you 
for performing, without orders and without power, sucli 
great public service. Your conduct is a satire on theirs, 
for you have gained what they did not dare ask. 

*' I agree with you in the opinion that the late nego- 
tiation was conducted miserably on the part of Britain. 
But mark how the affairs of this world run : the King's 
Ministers, having bungled themselves into a miserable 
peace, bungled themselves out of it into an expensive 
war, and have thereby roused the national spirit, depressed 
before ; and now it is well within the circle of probabili- 
ties that events to which they are but solemn witnesses 
shall get them gloriously through the contest, and place 
their country foremost in the rank of nations. Britain, 
by continuing the war, may break the power of France ; 
for even if the First Consul get over with fifty thousand 
men, his condition will be perilous. While hemmed up 
in Britain, his affairs on the Continent may run wild. If 
he be successful, the greater powers of Europe may per- 
ceive that they must immediately attack France to secure 
their own independence ; and, if he be unsuccessful, they 
may fall on in general concert to share his spoils. If he 



i3o3.J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 445 

fail in his attempt to land, it must cost some of his best 
troops, and this to a nation as hasty as the French may 
be a signal for revolt among those which remain. If he 
declines the attempt to invade England, his reputation, 
which to men in his situation is everything, will be mate- 
rially injured. As to the conquest of ten millions of 
men determined to maintain their freedom and indepen- 
dence, it is quite out of the question, if they be but toler- 
ably managed. These, you will say, are my dreams, and, 
when it is considered that ere they reach you events will 
have tested their truth, I must acknowledge it would be 
more prudent to suppress than to communicate them ; 
but I never consult prudence when I write to you. 
Adieu." 

Morris always kept his friend James Parish au courant 
with affairs in this country and his own well-being. In 
his letter dated November 29th, he says : " You are very 
good in the regret you so kindly express that I cannot 
partake of the produce of your seven hundred feet of 
glass. God grant that you may long in peace enjoy the 
position you embellish. If, however, those storms and 
tempests which shake the moral world shall set your bark 
afloat, come, my good friend, and share with me my quiet 
harbor ; you shall see the rapid growth of a new world, 
for I have often told you that, with respect to this coun- 
try, calculation outruns fancy, and still fact goes beyond 
calculation. The resolution of the cession by France of 
Louisiana to the United States was grounded, of course, 
on the conviction that war would take place, as it has al- 
ready done, between France and England. You tell me 
that you had already begun to tremble for the trade of 
your place. In my letter of the 14th January, then before 
you, I had said : * I consider the peace lately patched up 
with France as of very short duration.' The Peace of 



446 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

Amiens was, in my opinion, the most wretched blunder 
ever committed by men having the smallest pretence to 
common-sense. It placed Britain in the necessity of re- 
commencing the war to preserve her independence. It 
gave to France a certainty, if it was preserved, of ruining 
her rival in no distant period. It tended, in its conse- 
quences, completely to subvert the liberties of Europe. 
Now, although it was not given to Messrs. Addington & 
Co. to foresee, it was presumable that, when events should 
arise, they would be able to see, and, even should their vis- 
ual faculties be obtuse, I had no doubt that they would be 
made to feel the condition of their country. The cause of 
the war, then, is to be sought in the treaty of peace. In- 
deed, I stated to you that result in my letter of February, 
1802, to which I now refer, instead of taking up your time 
with observations which might now be called after-wit, 
seeing that there is no difficulty in showing some reason 
or other for what has actually happened. Your port will, 
I suppose, be blockaded by the British fleet till it shall 
be barred by the bolts and chains of nature. Before this 
reaches your hands, you will know the result of the First 
Consul's invasion. My opinion is that, if Britain contin- 
ues the war properly, she will break to pieces the power 
of her adversary. Gods ! what a moment for a great man 
to step into the place of Mr. Addington. But, when I 
look at the course of events, I am led to believe that little 
men may succeed where great men might fail, and thus, 
folding my arms, submit serenely to the will of Heaven." 

Again, on December 13th he wrote to Parish, expressing 
a profound satisfaction that he no longer occupied a po- 
sition in public life. 

" Thank God," he says, " I am no longer in the situation 
you deplore. Not being in either House of Legislature, 
I am, of course, no member of a minority. In eflfect, my 



i8o3.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 447 

friend, had our country been in a condition so quiet as to 
justify me to my own feelings, I would have resigned my 
seat. This would, however, have been disagreeable, be- 
cause it would have been unpleasant to my friends. 
Luckily my political enemies, finding no hope of bring- 
ing me into an alliance with them, saved me the trouble 
of a resignation by electing in my place another man. 
Luckily, also, I terminated my career in a manner gratify- 
ing to my friends, and respected by my foes ; so that I can 
devote myself wholly to the pursuits of private life. This 
is the point at which I have always aimed ; and, having thus 
got safely to my desired haven, no light or trivial cause 
will force me again upon the troubled ocean. Luckily 
we have in our party men of ability for every station, so 
that, if we get the upper hand, which is not improbable, 
they can dispense witli the services of one whose ambition 
is satisfied. 

" Apropos of Bonaparte, the position to which he had 
raised himself was to me a sufficient proof of his talents ; 
but even while he was in Italy I considered him as the 
future master of France. Circumstances rendered a mas- 
ter not only needful but certain. Reasoning in like man- 
ner on circumstances, I knew that his yoke must be painful 
and odious to the conquered countries. Indeed, I not only 
foresaw, but foretold the present state of Europe in the 
early stages of the French Revolution. Twenty millions 
of men thrown into so wild a condition must, after doing 
great mischief to themselves and others, become the sub- 
jects of a military despotism. But though this result is, 
humanly speaking, inevitable, it can only be completed by 
a great man. Such men, however, are always formed in 
such circumstances ; or, to speak more accurately, such 
men always exist, and such circumstances give them the 
means and opportunities. Now it followed of necessity 



448 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

that a great man, at the head of a warlike nation and 
raised into power by the sword, would feel the necessity 
of occupying ardent spirits abroad to prevent them from 
doing mischief at home. Thus France, disciplined and 
ably commanded in necessary war with her neighbors, 
was the object ever present to my mind, and I sought in 
vain the talents which should oppose her. They did not 
exist in the Cabinets of Europe. Feeble minds must, from 
the nature of things, pursue trivial objects by feeble 
means. I think, however, that England is saved by a se- 
ries of most egregious blunders." 

The great event of the session of Congress, during the 
winter of 1807, was the trial of Samuel Chase, an Associate 
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, charged 
with arbitrary oppression and intemperate conduct on va- 
rious occasions, and impeached by the House of Represen- 
tatives before the Senate. He was acquitted, but his ac- 
quittal produced much irritation, and John Randolph 
moved to submit an amendment of the Constitution to the 
effect that the Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other 
courts of the United States, should be removed by the 
President on the joint address of both Houses of Con- 
gress. In a letter to Uriah Tracy, dated January 5th, Mor- 
ris deals with the constitutional restrictions to such a meas- 
ure. " The idea," he wrote, "that two-thirds of the whole 
number of senators and of the whole number of representa- 
tives is required by the Constitution to propose an amend- 
ment is certainly correct. There are, I believe, only six 
cases in which the majority of a quorum cannot act. In 
one of these cases, namely, the choice of a President by the 
House of Representatives, a majority of all the States is 
required — and the reason is evident. In two other cases, 
which respect only the Senate, two-thirds of the members 
present are required. One of them is the case of treaties. 



i3o4] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. ' 449 

To have bound the whole Union by the act of a mere 
majority of senators present would, in effect, have given 
the power of making treaties to the President, since, by 
watching opportunities, he would always have secured 
such majority ; and to have demanded a majority of the 
whole number might have occasioned delay, dangerous in 
many cases, and especially when a treaty of peace should 
be under consideration. By a provision of that sort ab- 
sentees would have given an efficient negative, without 
direct responsibility. Of course, cunning men, some of 
whom will always be found in legislative bodies, would 
frequently have lain by to approve or disapprove, accord- 
ing to subsequent circumstances, which, in affairs so ur- 
gent as the ratification of a national compact, might have 
proved fatal. In the case of impeachments, the same rea- 
soning applies. If a mere majority could convict, public 
officers might be made victims of party rage. If a major- 
ity of the whole number were required, members might, 
by absenting themselves, screen the guilty without in- 
curring direct reproach. In the one case faction would 
have too much, and in the other justice would have too 
little, power. There remain three cases in which two- 
thirds of the whole number are required. These are, first, 
the expulsion of a member ; secondly, the passage of a 
law disapproved of by the President ; and, thirdly, amend- 
ments to the Constitution. In these three cases a pro- 
vision is carefully made to defend the people against them- 
selves — or, in other words, against the violence of party 
spirit — which has hitherto proved fatal to republican gov- 
ernment. The constitutional restriction presumes that, in 
a measure of indispens,able necessity, or even of great util- 
ity, two-thirds of the whole number of senators and rep- 
resentatives would agree, and that, if they should not, no 
great danger would ensue. The public business might go 
Vol. IL — 29 



450 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

on, though a member of the Legislature should be un- 
worthy of his seat. Neither would the nation materially 
suffer from the want of a particular . law, especially of a 
law rejected by the First Magistrate. The case of war 
may indeed be supposed, and the additional case of cor- 
rupt opposition by the President to the organization of 
public force ; but even if it were allowable to reason from 
extreme cases, which, as everyone knows, would be fatal 
to all legal and constitutional provisions, yet in this ex- 
tremest case the corrupt President could (with less dan- 
ger of detection) do more evil by a misapplication of the 
public force than by opposing its existence. So, in the 
case of amendments to the Constitution, it was presumed 
that America might enjoy a tolerable share of felicity un- 
der the existing compact, and that, if a case should arise to 
point out the necessity of amendment, two-thirds of the 
whole number of each legislative body would concur in 
the recommendation. It has been somewhere truly said 
that frequent change of the law is a serious evil, and fre- 
quent change of the constitution a most afflicting calam- 
ity. That evil and this calamity we probably are doomed 
to experience. Our fellow-citizens were dissatisfied with 
things done by those to whom they had intrusted author- 
ity, and who adopted measures recommended by political 
opponents, in the vain hope of estopping them by their 
own confession. Since the prostration of the judiciar)', 
my anxiety about the Constitution is not so great as in 
former times. That mortal stab was but the beginning of 
a system — the more dangerous because it is not the result 
of a conspiracy among ambitious men, for that might be 
detected, exposed, and thereby frustrated. But the mis- 
chief lies deeper, and the agents are actuated more by in- 
stinct than reflection. There is a moral tendency, and in 
some cases even a physical disposition, among the people 



x8o4.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 45 1 

of this country to overturn the Government. Such nox- 
ious humors can no more be cured by argument than the 
gout. With some, as in Virginia, they are hereditary ; 
with others they are generated, as in Pennsylvania, by the 
intemperate use of ardent spirits, imprudently imported. 
In one case, aristocracy groans under that law of equality 
which forms the fairest feature in our Constitution ; in 
another, bad subjects of a monarchy have broken loose 
and run mad. Everywhere prosperity had made men 
wanton, and thereby they have become wicked. The 
habits of monarchic government are not yet worn away 
among our native citizens, and therefore the opposition 
to lawful authority is frequently considered as a generous 
effort of patriotic virtue. Add to this the host of moody 
beggars starving for a time of pell-mell, havoc, and confu- 
sion. There is, therefore, much reason to fear that all at- 
tempts to save the people from their most dangerous en- 
emy will fail, and, in consequence, the wishes of those who 
long for a monarchy will be gratified. The repeal of the 
Judiciary law battered down the great outwork of the 
Constitution. It has been followed up vigorously by the 
assailants, and those who have on this occasion thrown 
themselves into the breach to defend our rights merit the 
warm applause of a grateful nation. But what are we to 
think of that nation in whose Senate a member can boldly 
avow the design to make an inroad on the Constitution, 
merely and expressly to secure the power of a ruling fac- 
tion ? He who, ten years ago, had ventured to predict 
this, even as a possible case, would have been viewed as 
a mad man ; and so, perhaps, may he who now declares 
that the reign of terror will follow the domination of a 
single House of Repres'^ntatives as surely as light follows 
the sun. The dangerous doctrine that the public will, 
expressed by a numerical majority, is in all cases to be 



452 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

obeyed, arises from a perverse confusion of ideas and leads 
to horrible results. That numerical majority not only 
may, but frequently does, will what is unwise and unjust. 
Those, therefore, who avow the determination strictly to 
comply with it, acknowledge themselves the willing in- 
struments of folly and vice. They declare that, in order 
to please the people, they will make the profligate sacri- 
fice of public right on the altar of private interest. What 
more can be asked by the sternest tyrant from the most 
despicable slave ? Creatures of this sort are the tools 
which usurpers employ in building despotism. They are 
the direct counterpart of him who is described by the 
poet, with such inimitable force, elegance, and perspi- 
cacity: 'Justum et tenacem proposito virum non civium, 
ardor prava juventium non vultus instantis tyranni mente 
quatit solida.' Horace had seen the chameleon race of his 
day change from demagogues to courtiers, or, rather, pre- 
serving their cameleon substance, take the color of the 
thing they feed on. 

" This letter has grown too long, and will show, perhaps, 
more of indignation than becomes a man who has imposed 
on himself the law to bear, without murmuring, the course 
of events. But minds in unison are responsive, like the 
strings of instruments exactly tuned, and I cannot behold 
the struggle made to preserve the peace and happiness of 
•our country without feeling keen sympath)%" 

" As to the cession of Louisiana," Morris wrote to Jon- 
athan Dayton, on January 7th, *' I should indeed have 
lost all shame, as well as pretence to understanding, if 
I did not approve of it. A few millions more or less in 
the price might be a fit subject for democrats to bawl 
about, if the treaty had been made by their opponents, 
but it really seems unworthy of notice when the sub- 
ject is taken up on a great scale. I see, with you, that 



i8o4.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 453 

it will not be easy to find a proper governor for the 
newly acquired territory, supposing always the adminis- 
tration to know the kind of man necessary for the office, 
and to seek him without any motives of party or partiality. 
Let me add my belief, that no man, without the support of 
at least one thousand American bayonets, can duly re- 
strain the inhabitants of that region. Time, however, 
will unfold many things not dreamed of in the philosophy 
of our rulers. There are two points which do not meet 
my approbation. One of them is, indeed, of little conse- 
quence — the want of some restrictive designation of the 
amount of French grants. This defect may seriously in- 
jure hereafter the title to landed property in that quarter. 
I consider the amount of those grants, however great, 
as a trifling object of national concern ; indeed, I should 
not be sorry that the ministers of every nation in Eu- 
rope had a large landed estate in America, believing as 
I do what is written, that where a man's treasure is there 
will his heart be also. My other objection is more seri- 
ous : the stipulation to admit the inhabitants into our 
Union will, I believe, prove injurious to this country. I 
do not consider whether the admission be constitutional 
nor whether it be advisable, for, at the rate things go on, 
the Constitution cannot last, and an unbalanced monarchy 
will be established on its ruins. Although I seriously 
deprecate that event, yet, as I am not now called on to 
take any part in our councils, I have made up my mind to 
float along as gently as I may. When the catastrophe of 
our tragi-comical drama shall have arrived, questions on 
the right of citizenship will be merged. These, therefore, 
no longer command my attention. But, whatever may be 
our form of government, I consider it as of the last im- 
portance to resist every attempt which foreigners may 
make to interfere in our domestic concerns. Much more 



454 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

ought we, in my opinion, to take care that our treaties be 
so formed as never to furnish them with the slightest pre- 
text. I thank you for Tracy's speech, which is, I think, a 
very good one, but I fear it will not save our social com- 
pact even from the present stroke." 

But to return to the diary. "On Wednesday, January 
i8th, I dined," Morris says, " at King's, with General 
Hamilton, in trio. They are both alarmed at the conduct 
of our rulers, and think the Constitution is about to be 
overturned ; I think it is already overturned. They ap- 
prehend a bloody anarchy ; I apprehend an anarchy in 
which property, not lives, will be sacrificed. That i^ is 
the intention of those gentlemen who have engaged them- 
selves in the notable business of pulling down the Consti- 
tution to rear a monarchy on its ruins, I do not believe ; 
that such is the natural effect of their measures, I am per- 
fectly convinced." 

It was strongly Morris's opinion that Louisiana should 
have been treated consistently with the general interest of 
the South — New Orleans strongly fortified, and the whole 
territory kept as a province ; but he felt that it might seem 
to have the appearance of vanity to attempt any advice on 
the subject. To Mr. Dayton, however, he expressed the 
following opinion on the question, in a letter of February 
19th: " From the moment when the citizens of Louisiana 
were made members of our Union, they became the natural 
and political allies of the Northern and Eastern States. 
We have with them no competition of interest ; on the 
contrary, our shipping and mercantile capital are essential 
to their wealth and prosperity, and equally indifferent is it 
to us whether the produce of our skill and industry be 
vended to those who speak English or to those who gab- 
ble the provincial dialects of France and Spain. As the 
spirit of policy has no passion, so that of commerce feels 



i8o4.J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 455 

no attachment ; both are governed by interest. The Gov- 
ernment have defeated themselves as to their main object, 
and they will, I believe, equally commit themselves in 
every detail. The question of domestic slavery must 
operate against our rulers, let them decide it how they 
may. If you prohibit the introduction of slaves, you at- 
tack the private interest of almost every man in the coun- 
try. If you countenance the introduction of slaves, you 
sign and seal the ruin of the Southern States. To replace 
black labor by white at once, you must persuade the 
planters to be poor till tobacco-grounds and rice-swamps 
shall be peopled by the sons of St. Patrick, and fortified 
by the blessings of liberty and equality. Think not, nei- 
ther let any of our friends think, of a separation. The 
acquisition of Louisiana and the philanthropic system of 
government must throw the political power of America 
where the physical power now resides. Oh, how I admire 
those wondrous statesmen who cry out, * Perish a world to 
save a principle ! ' When the principle is, as usual, false, 
the maxim is perfectly sublime." 

In May of this year the diary mentions, among Morris's 
guests at dinner at Morrisania, M. and Madame Bonaparte* 
and " a young Englishman of genius named Moore,f a 
young man who has translated well several odes of Anac- 
reon. He is said to be a favorite with the Prince of Wales." 

The entry in the diary for July nth is the news which 
Mr. Wilkins came to relate, that, " General Hamilton was 
killed in a duel this morning by Colonel Burr." 

" 1 go to town [July 12th], but meet (opposite to the 
hospital) Martin Wilkiyis, who tells me General Hamilton 
is yet alive at Greenwich, and not, as I was told this morn- 

* Jerome Bonaparte married Miss Elizabeth Patterson, of Baltimore, in 
1803. In 1807 Napoleon dissolved the marriage, but subsequently bestowed 
a large pension on his brother's deserted wife. 

t Thomas Moore, the Irish poet, then on a visit to the United States. 



45^ DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

ing, in Greenwich Street. Go there. When I arrive he is 
speechless. The scene is too powerful for me, so that I 
am obliged to walk in the garden to take breath. After 
having composed myself, I return and sit by his side till 
he expires. He is opened, and we find that the ball has 
broken one of his ribs, passed through the lower part of 
the liver, and lodged in the vertebrae of his back : a most 
melancholy scene — his wife almost frantic with grief, his 
children in tears, every person present deeply afflicted, 
the whole city agitated, every countenance dejected. This 
evening I am asked to pronounce a funeral oration. I 
promise to do so if I can possibly command myself 
enough, but express my belief that it will be utterly im- 
possible. I am wholly unmanned by this day's spectacle." 
" Take Mr. Harrison out to dine with me [July 13th]. 
Discuss the points which it may be safe to touch to-mor- 
row, and those which it will be proper to avoid. To a 
man who could feebly command all his powers this sub- 
ject is difficult. The first point of his biography is that 
he was a stranger of illegitimate birth ; some mode must 
be contrived to pass over this handsomely. He was in- 
discreet, vain, and opinionated ; these things must be 
told, or the character will be incomplete, and yet tliey 
must be told in such manner as not to destroy the interest. 
He was in principle opposed to republican and attached 
to monarchical government, and then his opinions were 
generally known and have been long and loudly pro- 
claimed. His share in forming our Constitution must be 
mentioned, and his unfavorable opinion cannot therefore 
be concealed. The most important part of his life was his 
administration of the finances. The system he proposed 
was in one respect radically wrong ; moreover, it has been 
the subject of some just and much unjust criticism. Many 
are still hostile to it, though on improper ground. I can 



i8o4.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 457 

neither commit myself to a full and pointed approbation, 
nor is it prudent to censure others. All this must, some- 
how or other, be reconciled. He was in principle opposed 
to duelling, but he has fallen in a duel. I cannot thor- 
oughly excuse him without criminating Colonel Burr, 
w^hich would be wrong, and might lead to events which 
every good citizen must deprecate. Indeed, this morning, 
when I sent for Colonel Smith, who had asked an oration 
from me last night, to tell him I would endeavor to say 
some few words over the corpse, I told him — in answer to 
the hope he expressed, that in doing justice to the dead I 
would not injure the living — that Colonel Burr ought to 
be considered in the same light with any other man who 
had killed another in a duel ; that I certainly should not 
excite to any outrage on him, but, as it seemed evident to 
me that legal steps would be taken against him, prudence 
would, I should suppose, direct him to keep out of the 
way. In addition to all the difBculties of this subject is 
the impossibility of writing and committing anything to 
memory in the short time allowed. The corpse is already 
putrid, and the funeral procession must take place to-mor- 
row morning." 

"A little before ten [July 14th] go to Mr. Church's 
house, from whence the corpse is to move. We are de- 
tained till twelve. While moving in the procession I med- 
itate, as much as my feelings will permit, on what I am to 
say. I can find no way to get over the difficulty which 
would attend the details of his death. It will be impos- 
sible to command either myself or my audience ; their in- 
dignation amounts almost to frenzy already. Over this, 
then, a veil must be drawn. I must not, either, dwell on 
his domestic life ; he has long since foolishly published 
the avowal of conjugal infidelity. Something, however, 
must be said to excite public pity for his family, which he 



458 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

has left in indigent circumstances. I speak for the first 
time in the open air, and find that my voice is lost before 
it reaches one-tenth of the audience. Get through the 
difficulties tolerably well ; am of necessity short, especially 
as I feel the impropriety of acting a dumb show, which is 
the case as to all those who see but cannot hear me. I 
find that what I have said does not answer the general ex- 
pectation. This I knew would be the case ; it must ever 
happen to him whose duty it is to allay the sentiment 
which he is expected to arouse. How easy would it have 
been to make them, for a moment, absolutely mad ! This 
evening Mr, Coleman, editor of the Evening Post, calls. 
He requests me to give him what I have said. He took 
notes, but found his language so far inferior that he threw 
it in the fire. Promise, if he will write what he remem- 
bers, I will endeavor to put it into the terms which were 
used. He speaks very highly of the discourse ; more so 
than it deserves. Mr. Hammond, who dined with us, de- 
sired me to think of some means to provide for poor 
Hamilton's familty. Mr. Gracie and Mr. Wolcott called 
for the same purpose. I had already mentioned the mat- 
ter to Mr. Low, who seems to think a subscription will 
not go down well, because the children have a rich grand- 
father. Mr. Hammond mentions certain engagements in 
bank, indorsed by Ludlow and David Ogden. The same 
thing probably exists as to him, Gracie, and Wolcott. Be 
motives what they may, I will use the occasion and freely 
pay my quota. Clarkson will unquestionably do as much. 
David Ogden says he, Clarkson, will do more than he ought. 
He is a worthy fellow, as, indeed, he always was, and is ex- 
tremely wounded. He said to me on Thursday, just after 
our friend had expired : * If we were truly brave we should 
not accept a challenge ; but we are all cowards.' The tears 
rolling down his face gave strong effect to the voice and 



i8o4.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 459 

manner with which he pronounced this sentence. There 
is no braver man living, and yet I doubt whetlier he would 
so far brave the public opinion as to refuse a challenge." 

Together with others of General Hamilton's friends, 
Morris spent much time endeavoring to arrange his af- 
fairs, which were in sad disorder. " Our friend Hamil- 
ton," he wrote to Robert Morris, "has been suddenly- 
cut off in the midst of embarrassments which would have 
required several years of professional industry to set 
straight : a debt of between fifty thousand and sixty 
thousand dollars hanging over him, a property which in 
time may sell for seventy thousand or eighty thousand, 
but which, if brought to the hammer, would not, in all 
probability, fetch forty; a family of seven young children. 
We have opened a subscription to provide for these or- 
phans, and his warm-hearted friends, judging of others by 
themselves, expect more from it than I do." 

" I attend to-day," Morris notes in his diary for July 
17th, "a meeting of the Cincinnati. Order letters to be 
written by a committee to the Vice-President, General, and 
the Presidents of the State Societies ; also to Mrs. Hamil- 
ton. Order a monument to be raised in Trinity Church ; 
also desire Mr. Mason to pronounce a funeral oration. 
There is a question whether Mr. Pendleton should appear 
and answer, being summoned before the coroner's inquest. 
It is finally settled that it is not necessary. The declara- 
tion of the dying man is sufficient." 

"Goto town [July 31st] to attend the Cincinnati, and 
to hear the funeral oration made at their request by Dr. 
Mason." 

For many years Morris had maintained silence on the 
subject of calumnies, mentioned in a former chapter, 
which Mr. Dean had published in the columns of the 
Aurora against him at the time of his mission to France. 



46o DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLIV. 

But in August, 1804, it became necessary to take steps 
with regard to them, and also that he should have friends 
in France to vouch for his good name. When asking M. 
Leray de Chaumont and M. J. C. Mountflorence to act 
for him, he spoke of the affair in a letter to the latter, dated 
August 22d, as follows : 

" The publisher of the Aurora thought proper, some 
years ago, to publish, among other scurrilities against me, 
that I had been recalled because of an illicit correspond- 
ence with England. For this calumny I instituted a 
prosecution, and now, when the cause is near to maturity, 
he has asked a commission to examine witnesses in 
France, and has named as commissioners General Arm- 
strong, our new minister, and Mr. Joel Barlow ; and I 
have named you and my friend Leray de Chaumont. It 
will, I presume, be attempted to support the vile calumny 
by the testimony of false witnesses, or by the proof of 
what someone or other on some occasion may have said. 
I confidently rely that both you and Leray will do what 
may be proper to protect the reputation of an absent 
friend. General Armstrong ought in prudence to repel the 
vile attempt of a common libeller to tarnish the character 
of a predecessor — the chance and change of all human 
things may place him hereafter in a similar situation. 
Doubtless he counts on the good will of those men to- 
wards him and on their sense of his influence in the coun- 
cils of our degraded country. I am sure that neither of 
you will see with indifference the attempt to blast my 
reputation. The profligate and the perjured, who will be- 
lieve all that is said, and swear to all that is asked, may 
indeed give the required testimony. The attempt is not 
made, I am convinced, in any hope to establish the fact he 
had the audacity to charge, but with the desire to procure 
materials for new defamation. 



i8o4] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 461 



CHAPTER XLV. 

Letter to Mr. Parish. Reflections on Bonaparte's intervention in Ger- 
many. Ideas on the re-election of Jefferson. Letter to John Penn, 
of London. The pohtical world of America. Takes no active part 
in politics. Letter to Aaron Ogden. Believes the Constitution has 
received a mortal wound. Letter to the Duke of Orleans. Gives 
his opinion on the chances of the Bourbon restoration. Comments 
on European affairs. 

MORRIS never ceased, naturally, to take an active 
interest in the affairs of the Continent of Europe, 
as well as in the political condition of Great Britain, and 
from time to time gave Mr. Parish the benefit of his 
reflections. Bonaparte's intervention in Germany called 
forth a long letter on October 2d, in which he says : "In 
reflecting on the misfortunes which have befallen your 
city of Hamburg, I am forced to recollect a reproof I 
gave to one of your merchants for a want not only of 
Christian charity and national sentiment but, as it seemed 
to me, common humanity, when, the neutrality of the 
North being secured, Frankfort-on-the-Main was greatly 
distressed. I told him the time would probably come 
when Hamburg would, in her turn, experience the same 
distresses from the same cause. He seemed to suppose, 
and that opinion was indeed pretty general among you, 
that you were all safe under the protection of Russia. 
On all this subject I have had for many years of my life 
but one opinion. Ever since Frederick put himself at 
the head of the North to protect the rights of the Ger- 
manic body, there have, in my opinion, been two German 



I 



462 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

Emperors, and the fault which I have perceived in Aus- 
trian politics was not to see the affair in that simple light, 
and agree at once to a partition. This alone would, in 
my poor opinion, have saved that country from France. 

" It is now organized in such a way that of three parties, 
the Austrian, the Prussian, and the French, this last must 
be the strongest and, playing off the two first against each 
other, will govern the whole. Russia cannot, I think, act 
efficiently so far from home without deriving great re- 
source from Britain or making the scene of war support 
her troops. Both may be needful, and France will cer- 
tainly pursue those plans by which she has hitherto suc- 
ceeded. If, therefore, you are to be protected you must 
pay for that protection, and if you are conquered you 
must pay for being conquered, and if you are plundered 
alternately by both parties you must pay liberal contri- 
butions for the honor thus conferred upon you. After 
all, you will find that you are depending on a dream, 
which for people wide-awake is a strange economy. This 
dream is what you call the Constitution of the Empire ; 
in other words, the Treaty of Westphalia. Now when 
the constitution of a State exists only in and by a treaty 
it has, in effect, no constitution at all. Its fate must 
ever depend on its neighbors. Thus the condition of 
Germany depended on the relation of force between 
Austria and France till Prussia rose to a certain degree 
of eminence. Then the balance was destroyed ; France 
had an ally to whom she could give the North whenever 
sufficient objects elsewhere might require it. 

" The incidental circumstance that a King of Great 
Britain should be at the same time Elector of Hanover 
threw a small wheel into the machine which could only 
embarrass its progress without altering essentially the re- 
sults. His Britannic Majesty, in his royal capacity, was 



l8o4.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 463 

the natural enemy, and in his electoral capacity the natu- 
ral friend, of France. This single reflection will go fur- 
ther to unravel the policy of the Cabinet of St. James's 
since the accession of the Brunswick line than half a vol- 
ume of sterile facts. That we may come, then, to your 
situation, you are a fine prize to the neighbor to whom 
you may be allotted ; but, if you remain a sovereignty, it 
must be owing to incidents so much out of the way in 
which events usually proceed that it will appear to me as 
a miracle. Those who find fault with the politics of Ber- 
lin are not, I believe, well acquainted with the interior 
of that country. Prussia has grown up so fast that, like 
all other plants of rapid growth, there is a want of solid- 
ity. A metaphor, I know, is not a reason ; and I know, 
also, that to quote the text, * Those who live by the sword 
shall perish by the sword,' will not, in the present temper 
of mankind, be considered as a sufficient proof of any 
worldly proposition. I must, therefore, say that a French 
army would wholly disjoint that monarchy. Poland is 
indignant at her present condition, and especially at the 
policy (which she calls perfidy) by which she was reduced 
to it. The chief blame is laid by the Poles on the late 
King of Prussia. There exists another interior cause of 
weakness. Frederick the Great was, in one respect, a 
very little and short-sighted politician. His vanity led 
him to sacrifice the power and safety of his successors to 
purchase the incense of a few wits who had undertaken 
to destroy the Christian religion ; and here that hatl^ hap- 
pened which is written, 'The fathers ate sour grapes 
which hath set the children's teeth on edge.' The de- 
struction of religion has loosened the bonds of duty, and 
those of allegiance must ever be weak when there is a 
defect both o^ piety and morality. Frederick maintained 
his philosophy on the enthusiasm which his talents and 



464 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

good fortune had inspired. But when the talents went to 
the grave the blaze of enthusiasm naturally sank from the 
want of fuel ; and I see no such fuel in the ministers of 
His Majesty. 

"When I was at Berlin, the fate of Europe was in the 
hands of that Cabinet. I mentioned to one or two what, 
in my opinion, might be done. Among others, I de- 
tailed it to old Haugwitz. He pressed my hand, the tears 
rolling down his cheek, and cried out, ' Oh, my dear sir, 
if the great Frederick, my old master, were alive, this con- 
duct would indeed be as wise as it is great, but, alas !' The 
time, I think, is now gone by, and can only return by some 
heavy misfortune to the French Emperor. If that should 
happen, feeble counsellors would take advantage of it to 
show the wisdom of remaining quiet before, and thence 
deduce the wisdom of still remaining quiet. I suppose, 
throughout, that there is no corruption. If there be, and 
you wish to know it, you must apply to M. de la Foret 
and M. Talleyrand." 

Of the democratic principles and the politics of his own 
country Morris gave a short but pungent description, 
November 20th, in a letter to a friend in which he says : 
" Democratic principles are in the high-road of successful 
experiment, and we seem to be sailing before the wind in 
the old track towards monarchy, which has ever been the 
termination of mob government. Something may hap- 
pen to arrest this progress to anarchy and stop us short of 
the aj)yss, and I indulge flattering hopes, but should be 
puzzled to assign any rational ground." 

To Madame de Stael he wrote in December, to congratu- 
late her on her return to France : " J'ai vu par les gazettes 
allemandes, madame, qu'il vous est permis d'habiter la 
France, et sachant votre amour pour la patrie, je vous en 
fais mes felicitations. Vos affaires sont en si bonnes mains 



i8o5.] GOU VERNE UR MORRIS. 465 

ici qu'elles ne peuvent que s'en bien trouver. [A certain 
Mr. Cooper had charge of the lands Mr. Morris had pur- 
chased for her.] Les details, pourtant, ne peuvent vous 
etre nuisibles, puisque le canton ou sont vos terres est de 
plus en plus recherche par les colons de la Nouvelle 
Angleterre que nous appelons Yankees et qui sont, en effet, 
des meilleurs. Ainsi le prix ne manquera pas de devenir 
plus eleve." * 

Affairs of various descriptions occupied Morris during 
the winter and summer of 1805. His business corre- 
spondence was large, and he was, besides, deeply en- 
grossed in large land-schemes which required always the 
utmost knowledge and tact to successfully develop, and 
were rendered all the more difficult because many of the 
holders of land were foreigners, living in dififerent parts 
of Europe, and communication was slow and uncertain. 

Letters supply the history of this winter and spring 
better than the diary, but not before June 2d was there a 
letter of any particular interest written. Morris gives his 
friend Mr. Parish in this letter his ideas on the re-election of 
Mr. Jefferson, "who," he says, "notwithstanding your con- 
jectures, has been re-elected without opposition, although 
the talent of the country and most of its property is op- 
posed to him. But his party thrive by sacrificing perma- 
nent public interest to a fleeting popularity. Their oppo- 
nents therefore cannot expect favor from the people until 
the mischiefs that result from misconduct shall be felt. 
Mr. Jefferson's supporters (the knowing ones, I mean) are 

♦Translation. — I notice in the German gazettes, Madam, that you are 
allowed to live in France, and, knowing your patriotism, I felicitate you ac- 
cordingly. Your affairs here are in such good hands that they cannot but 
receive the benefit of the fact. Details of them, however, can do you no 
harm, since the region in which your land is situated is more and more 
sought by New England colonists, whom we call Yankees, and who are, in- 
deed, of the best Thus its value cannot fail to augment. 

Vol. II. — 30 



I 



466 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

all aware of his incapacity, but they have no person whom 
they can run, and their present object is to find out some 
new idol for the people to worship for the benefit of his 
priests. This party is split into two unequal portions : 
those who call themselves the moderates, and those who 
call themselves the genuine republicans ; in other words, 
the few who enjoy, and the many who covet emolument. 
The former think as such folk always think, that measures 
which brought them into power deserve the name of re- 
form, but that a continuance of such measures, annoy- 
ing them in the exercise of power, is a flagrant abuse. 
They, of course, cry up the advantages of moderation, 
while their opponents point out their well-known vices 
and acknowledged defects. These folk have agreed to 
speak well of Jefferson, abuse the federalists, and disagree 
about everything else. This honorable compact has 
hitherto been adhered to and, except the first article, will 
not be violated. But notwithstanding that gentleman's 
timid cunning, he will hardly be able so to trim for three 
years to come as not to be openly attacked before his 
time expires. If those who egged him on to violate his 
duty should hereafter punish him for it, you must not be 
surprised ; for this, also, is in the natural order of things. 
Remember me affectionately to Voght, and tell him he 
had better come and purchase a barony in America ; for if 
we should get revolutionized we must, in our turn, be be- 
starred and begartered, but if not, property must acquire 
its due weight, and, when joined to ability, secure to the 
possessor all that the world covets, so that he has a sure 
game to play." 

The following letter to the Honorable John Penn, 
Esq., M.P., of London, was written in consequence of a 
request from Mr. Penn for information of his ancestor, 
William Penn. 



i8os.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 467 

"Your ancestor," Morris wrote, "was a truly great 
man whose qualities are not so well known as they ought 
to be. I have written to a son of my uncle Robert Hunter 
Morris,* to examine his father's papers, and collect such 
materials as he may find among them suited to your pur- 
pose. The plan you mention is in every respect laudable. 
Our families have been connected in friendship from the 
reign of Charles the First, and when your father received 
the resignation of my uncle, he, in testifying his concern, 
said he had hoped, as long as there existed any of the 
name of Penn and Morris, the former would be the pro- 
prietors and the latter the governors of Pennsylvania. I 
cannot give authentication -to many facts of a delicate 
nature, which I therefore forbear to mention. In general, 
there rests in my mind a conviction that your family was 
about that time betrayed by some in whom they reposed 
confidence, and whom, unfortunately, they continued to 
trust after unquestionable evidence of perfidy. Your good 
sense and humanity will, I trust, lead you to tread lightly 
on the ashes even of those men. 

"I am glad that a personal acquaintance has enabled 
you to know the justice of that favorable opinion which I 
had formed and expressed of your royal family. The 
King is not only a well-bred gentleman, but (if I am able 
to form an opinion from conversations, not infrequent, at 
his levee) a man of much valuable information and sound 
sense. He is, moreover, religiously attached to his duty, 
and perfectly well knows what is required from a King, 
and from a British King. ... In the art of govern- 
ment we supposed ourselves adepts, but time and experi- 
ence will show, and perhaps remedy, our defects. ... In 
effect, our population is too sparse for much mischief, and 

* Robert Hunter Morris had been Governor of the Colonies of Pennsyl- 
vania and New Jersey. 



468 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

it is evidently the interest of a majority, as it is certainly 
the general interest, to maintain order and support justice. 
When some storm shall arise from abroad, and who, in the 
changeable climate of political life, can expect a continued 
calm ? the mischiefs of our system will show themselves 
so clearly as to compel the most unwilling to submit to 
proper alterations. In short, my dear sir, men, like other 
animals, discover instinctively what is fit for them, and 
thus government becomes the result of character, man- 
ners, and condition. By the by, you mistake in suppos- 
ing that I hold an office. I am in what Mr. Madison 
calls the post of honor, viz., a private station." 

To Mr. Mountflorence Morris wrote on June 22d, 
rather despondingly, of the political world of America : 
"Our democrats are split (from New England southward) 
under various appellations, amounting, in effect, to the 
difference between the Mod^res and Jacobins in France, 
or between those who have got into power and those 
who are getting into power on the shoulders of the 
mob. By this word mob I mean not so much the in- 
digent as the vicious, hot-headed, and inconsiderate part 
of the community, together with that numerous host cf 
tools which knaves do work with called fools. These 
folks form the majority of all empires, kingdoms, and 
commonwealths, and, of course, when not restrained by 
political institutions or coerced by an armed force, pos- 
sess the efficient power. And as power so possessed 
must needs be abused, it follows, in direct consequence, 
that the affairs of a democracy will ever be in the hands 
of weak and wicked men, unless when distress or danger 
shall compel a reluctant people to choose a wise and vir- 
tuous administration. From this you will perhaps infer 
that democracy is a bad species of government ; but there 
we shall disagree, for I hold that it is no government at 



i8o5.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 469 

all, but, in fact, the death or dissolution of other systems, 
or the passage from one kind of government to another. 
What the new system may be time alone can discover." 

That philosophy which was one of Morris's strong 
characteristics he clearly showed in the following letter to 
Robert R. Livingston, in which he made a mild remon- 
strance against an imputed indifference to the public wel- 
fare from the fact of his not holding office under the 
Government. 

" I have always found," he says, " that the enmity of my 
enemies could be counted on with more certainty than 
the friendship of my friends. That I and my friends take 
no part in the politics of the day is not only natural but 
necessary, for if we should support either faction of a 
party whose point of union was their enmity to us, we 
should acknowledge as true the false and foul charges 
they brought against us. . . . But, my dear sir, when 
you speak of my indifference you do not sufficiently con- 
sider my situation. I never sought, avoided, or resigned 
an office, but continued at my last post to the latest mo- 
ment, and was then replaced by a gentleman who was, I 
presume, more worthy of the public confidence. 

" It becomes me, in submission to the will of my fellow- 
citizens, to doubt of my talents, for I cannot, neither can 
they, doubt of my integrity. Unworthy, then, of the hon- 
ors and offices of our country, what remains but to culti- 
vate quietly my farm and bring my sentiments to the level 
of my condition? My future conduct must be governed 
by circumstances which cannot now be foreseen, but as 
the people have thought proper to sever those ties by 
which I was formerly bound to their service, they have 
conferred a right to accept or refuse any future offer. I 
am connected with the members of my party by their 
worth and by their kindness. If I could for a moment 



4/0 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

suppose they harbored designs unfriendly to our country, 
that moment the connection would be dissolved. But I 
have all the evidence which the nature of the case admits, 
that their views are honorable, just, and patriotic. I be- 
lieve this, also, of many among your party and among your 
present adversaries. It is my wish that every such man 
were numbered in our fold, that so we might stand and 
fall together, I shall not, however, preach politics in the 
vain hope of making converts ; for a mind cooled by the 
winters of half a century has no disposition to become a 
moral Quixote. It is my duty to accept with resignation 
what the will of God has offered, and this becomes less 
difficult from a conviction that few men or things are worth 
one anxious thought." 

*' To-day I dine with the corporation," the diary for No- 
vember 25th mentions. "After dinner Mr. King and I 
visit a party to which we were invited — a large dinner 
given to General Moreau.* It seems certain that our Gov- 
ernment will adhere to the resolution of doing nothing. 
Great Britain will probably, increase the depredations on 
our commerce. Spain will perhaps give the Floridas for 
the country west of the Mississippi, provided we give boot. 
Miranda has been down, and, as we expected, met with no 
encouragement. He is now engaged in a project which 
would be wise if backed by this country, but appears wild 
in its present form." 

Being appealed to by Mr. Jonathan Dayton, during the 
autumn of this year, to enlighten the public, through the 
medium of the gazettes, on the foreign and domestic con- 
cerns of the country, Morris objected to this request the 
fact that the newspapers already abounded in articles 

* General Moreau had been banished in 1804 by Napoleon — first to Spam, 
and then to the United States, for conspiracy. He remained in this country 
seven years, when he returned to Europe, entered the service of the Czar, 
and was killed at the battle of Dresden, in 1813. 



i8o5.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 47 1 

which "few," he wrote, December i8th, "take the trouble 
to read, and it is not easy to enlighten those who are not 
already possessed of more information than men in gen- 
eral can spare time to acquire. And, after all, it would be 
presumptuous in me to obtrude the reflections and experi- 
ence of only thirty years on a community every member 
of which is a statesman born. That our administration is 
too feeble is, I believe, too true. What you say of their 
chief is curious. When he told you we have the choice of 
enemies, he stated a fact applicable at all times to all 
countries, since any blundering blockhead can make a 
war ; but when he acknowledged that we have not a 
choice of friends, he pronounced the severest satire on 
himself, since this misfortune can be attributed only to a 
series of false and foolish measures. The position of our 
country enables her, in general, to take the part which may 
best suit her interest ; and the state of Europe for several 
years past has been such that the exercise of a little com- 
mon-sense would not only have preserved us from our 
present ridiculous condition but placed us perfectly at 
ease both at home and abroad." 

"You ask me a question," Morris wrote, December 28th, 
to Mr. Aaron Ogden, of Elizabethtown, "telling me, at 
the same time, that it can be answered by none but a 
prophet. I hope you do not mean to confer that title on 
me, who pretend only to compare present events with 
what happened in the ancient days. Those who will not 
believe Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe 
though one should rise from the dead ; and those who 
will not trust the experience of history are incapable of 
political knowledge. Your question is a kind of dilemma. 
If by the former part you mean to ask whether the power 
of our Federal Constitution will be committed to able, re- 
spectable men — I answer, no. That Constitution received, 



472 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

through the judiciary, a mortal wound, and has declined 
more rapidly than was apprehended by the most fearful. 
To the second part of your dilemma I say that, if the 
morals of our country were sound, we might foster high 
hopes ; but, thanks to the present administration, we have 
travelled farther in the road to corruption during three 
years than England did in half a century. British cor- 
ruption has, indeed, been greatly exaggerated. It is far 
from general, either in the House of Commons or in the 
election of members to that house. A choice in the 
counties being made (as you know) by free-holders, is, 
generally speaking, out of the reach of corrupt influence, 
and it is to be noted, in reasoning on English affairs, that 
the ministers always, on important questions, consult the 
wishes of county members ; so that a measure is aban- 
doned if disagreeable to them. With us corruption begins 
where, by the analogies of England, it should have ended. 
Our people are deeply corrupted by that licentious spirit 
which seeks emolument in the prostration of authority. 
The outwork of respect has long since been carried, and 
every new election presents a more hideous picture of the 
public mind ; so that, if the character of the people is to be 
estimated by the objects of their choice, we shall find it 
diflBcult to support a claim to wisdom or virtue. No par- 
allel can perhaps be found to such morbid affection, un- 
less among the Athenians, and even the mob government 
of that extravagant tribe was in some respects preferable 
to representative democracy. A mob is, indeed, a whim- 
sical legislature and a wild tribunal, but it has, in the 
midst of its madness, some sense of national honor and 
some regard for justice. A body of representatives, when 
influenced by Faction, will do acts of cruelty and baseness 
which the most profligate among them would, in his 
personal character, be ashamed to avow. 



i8os] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 473 

" You conclude, perhaps, that I adopt the second part 
of your dilemma. If so, you are mistaken. Our popula- 
tion is sparse and (pardon a coarse allusion), like small 
beer, more susceptible of acetous than spirituous fermen- 
tation. It is probable tliat the relaxation of morals will 
operate chiefly on the judicial department, be more char- 
acterized by fraud than violence, and terminate rather 
in baseness than tyranny. But there is, as you know, a 
point of depression from which things return in a con- 
trary course. There are also chances which may befall 
us before we reach that ultimate point. Being in the great 
family of nations, our family cannot be ignorant of our 
condition. They must perceive that, without force to pro- 
tect a territory and commerce widely extended, without 
wisdom or vigor in our councils, we present a fair object 
to their cupidity. If, then, we do not receive a broad hint 
within ten years it must be numbered among the moral 
phenomena. Nations, like individuals, are not to be rea- 
soned out of vice much less out of folly, but learn wisdom 
and virtue in the school of affliction. . . . America, 
my good friend, will at length learn some of those things 
which an attentive study of the ancients long since taught 
you. The people of the United States will discover that 
every kind of government is liable to evil ; that the best 
is that which has fewest faults ; that the excellence even 
of that best depends more on its fitness for the nation 
where it is established than on intrinsic perfection. 
. . . How far the influence of habits, manners, and 
opinions will permit them to pursue the best road is a 
problem of no easy solution. One thing is certain, de- 
mocracy cannot last. It is not so much a government as 
the dissolution of government, being, indeed, the natural 
death of republics; so that, in reality, there are but two 
forms, monarchy and aristocracy. That either should exist 



474 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

unmixed is next to impossible. The despot must employ 
many who will both check and direct his power, and the 
most cunning senate cannot avoid giving to individuals 
a considerable share of authority. Moreover, be the com- 
plexion of a government monarchic or aristocratic, it can 
do little when unsupported by popular sentiment. 

" Our poor friend Hamilton bestrode his hobby, to the 
great annoyance of his friends and not without injury 
to himself. More a theoretic than a practical man, he 
was not sufficiently convinced that a system may be good 
in itself and bad in relation to particular circumstances. 
He well knew that his favorite form was inadmissible, un- 
less as the result of civil war, and I suspect that his belief 
in that which he called an approaching crisis arose from 
a conviction that the kind of government most suitable, 
in his opinion, to this extensive country, could be estab- 
lished in no other way. 

" When our population shall have reached a certain ex- 
tent his system may be proper, and the people may then 
be disposed to adopt it ; but under present circumstances 
they will not, neither would it answer any valuable pur- 
pose. Statesmen are frequently obliged to acknowledge 
that the things which they consider as best are unattain- 
able. It would be a misfortune, under present circum- 
stances, to be chosen member of a convention for the pur- 
pose of mending our Constitution. A man may easily put 
his finger on its faults : but let it be remembered that 
nothing human is perfect, and that every change is haz- 
ardous. 

" When a general question is raised as to the best form 
of government, it should be discussed under the considera- 
tion that this best, being presupposed, is, if unable to pre- 
serve itself, good for nothing ; wherefore permanency is 
an essential object to which minor advantage must be sac- 



i8os.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 475 

rificed. But an absolute, that is, an unmixed monarchy, 
would hardly last three lives. Perhaps, on impartial in- 
quiry, it may appear that a country is best governed (taking 
for a standard any long period, such as half a century) 
when the principal authority is vested in a permanent 
senate. But there seems little probability that such a 
body should be established here. Let it be proposed by 
the best men among us, and it would be considered as a 
plan for aggrandizing themselves. Experience alone can 
incline the people to such an institution. That a man 
should be born a legislator is now among unfledged wit- 
lings the frequent subject of ridicule. But experience, 
that wrinkled matron which genius contemns and youth 
abhors — experience, the mother of wisdom — will tell us 
that the man destined from the cradle to act an important 
part will not, in general, be so unfit as those who are ob- 
jects of popular choice. But hereditary senators could 
not long preserve their power. In order to strengthen the 
body it might be needful to weaken the members, and, fix- 
ing the office for life, fill up vacancies from (but not by) 
the people. When a general abuse of the right of election 
shall have robbed our government of respect, and its im- 
becility have involved it in difficulties, the people will feel 
what your friend once said, that they want something to 
protect them against themselves. 'Is thy servant,' said the 
Syrian general, *a dog, that he should do this thing?' Put 
down the names of fifty leading democrats from the North. 
You will, on a change of times, see them as obsequiously 
cringe to individuals as they now servilely flatter the pop- 
ulace ; for a courtier and demagogue differ only in forms, 
which, like clothes, are put on and off as suits the occa- 
sion. Interiorly there is the same rottenness, the same 
duplicity, the same fawning, the same treachery, the same 
baseness. Hold up to each his picture and each will, like 



476 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

the Syrian, exclaim, * Is it possible thy servant should be 
such a dog.' Yet dogs, vile dogs like these, possess them- 
selves of power under despotic or democratic rule." 

Just at this time, while looking over and adjusting his 
affairs, Morris found "some articles," as he expressed it, 
" at the debit of his Royal Highness the Duke of Orleans ; " 
but, with his accustomed delicacy in dealing with those 
among the ^migr^s who had appealed to him for sym- 
pathy in former years, in advising the Duke of his indebt- 
edness he wrote: "I send a note to my friends Messrs. 
Inglis and EUice on the subject. These gentlemen will 
do themselves the honor of applying to your Royal High- 
ness on the subject. The payment must depend entirely 
on your Royal Highness's convenience, for although it 
would, under present circumstances, be very convenient 
to me to receive — the principles which first led to the ad- 
vance will ever prevent me from pressing the payment at 
a moment unsuitable," 

The principal and interest of the debt amounted at this 
moment to upward of seven thousand dollars. " I hope," 
Morris wrote to Messrs. Inglis and Ellice, "it may suit 
the Duke of Orleans to pay ; but if not, it will be right to 
have the account settled and take a note for the amount." 
The Duke of Orleans finally, and after much reluctance, 
paid the original debt, but the interest never reached 
Morris. Whether it was ever paid, and the money kept 
back by some agent employed in the affair, will remain 
always uncertain. 

In January, 1806, Morris made occasion to write to 
the Duke, and, first giving him his opinion in regard to 
the chances of a restoration of the Bourbons to the throne 
of France, he further said : 

" Si je ne me suis pas permis d'ecrire souvent a votre 
Altesse Royale, ce n'est pas que j'aie perdu de vue ses 



i8o6.J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 477 

interets ou ceux de son auguste famille, mais dans la 
conviction qii'il m'^tait impossible de lui etre utile. J'ai 
cru devoir deplorer en silence ses malheurs et ceux de 
la France — malheurs qui ne m'etaient point inattendus 
et que j'avais meme predits il y a quinze ans. Les circon- 
stances actuelles, suites necessaires de celles qui les ont 
precedees, me frapperent fortement I'esprit lors du trait6 
d'Amiens.* Je supplie votre Altesse Royale de vouloir 
bien me permettre d'y jeter un coup d'oeil rapide. 

" II me semble que les grandes puissances n'ont aucune 
envie de remettre sur le trone la Maison royale de France. 
A commencer par I'Autriche, il n'est pas douteux que les 
Bourbons, qui se sont opposes a son agrandissement, en 
Italic comme en Espagne et lui ont arrache I'Espagne, 
seront toujours les objets de sa haine ; au ressentiment 
du passe se joindra la crain'te de I'av^enir. Je ne crois pas 
non plus que I'Angleterre desire une revolution en 
France. Le moment d'enthousiasme passe, la saine poli- 
tique lui defend maintenant de reunir la France k I'Es- 
pagne. II est de son int^ret que les royaumes en dega et 
au dela des Pyrenees soient rivaux. La France, dans sa 
qualite de protectrice de I'Allemagne, est la ressource des 
princes faibles centre I'Empereur. lis comptent d'autant 
plus sur elle qu'il est de sa politique d'^loigner les armees 
autrichiennes du Rhin, et d'y entretenir de petites puis- 
sances lesquelles lui seront devouees par la relation de 
leur faiblesse avec sa force. Sous ce point de vue, il est 
indifferent a la Prusse que Louis ou Napoleon soit assis 
sur le trone ; mais il ne lui est pas indifferent que la 
France soit ouverte du cote de I'Espagne, de I'Angleterre 
et de ritalie, puisque plus ses dangers sont grands plus 
elle recherchera Talliance de la Prusse. Si Bonaparte 
s'est permis, en dernier lieu, de negliger lacour de Berlin, 

* March 27, x8o2. 



478 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

c'est par la seule conscience de sa propre force. Aussi la 
preponderance de cette force a-t-elle fait ouvrir enfin les 
yeux de Sa Majesty prussienne aux dangers de I'Europe. 
Mais elle renouera ses anciennes liaisons au moment ou 
Napoleon ne pourra plus attenter aux droits des autres 
nations. 

" La Russie, par suite de son eloignement et de sa force 
colossale, peut se dispenser de prendre un vif int^ret a la 
politique interieure de la France ; mais, vu I'instinct natu- 
ral aux souverains, elle ne sera pas fachee de voir une 
puissance mediocre k la place d'une tr^s grande. II est 
vrai qu'un mouvement passager, soit d'indignation soit de 
gen^rosit^, peut deranger pour un moment les calculs 
politiques qui, a la longue pourtant, dirigent les cabi- 
nets. 

"Ainsi je crois, Monseigneur, que dans les circon- 
stances actuelles on ne doit pas esperer la r6tablissement 
de la famille royale en France, et j'ose batir, sur cette 
consideration meme, son agrandissement ^ventuel. A cet 
effet, voyons un instant le but poursuivi par I'alliance et les 
Allies. On cherche, d'abord, k diminuer la force d'un con- 
querant redoutable — but d'ordre g^n^ral provenant d'un 
interet tout aussi general. Aussi, c'est I'objet unique de 
la Russie du cote de I'occident. L'Autriche convoite la 
Bavi^re dont I'Electeur, en s'alliant a la France, lui donne 
beau jeu. Elle desire, aussi, se rehabiliter en Italic, mais 
ses allies n'ont point le meme desir. La Prusse veut 
acquerir I'Electorat de Hanovre, avec les Villes Hanse- 
atiques, Hambourg, Liibeck et Breme, II me semble que 
le roi d'Angleterre doit s'y preter, pourvu que les Pays-Bas 
autrichiens, y compris I'Eveche de Li^ge, lui soient ac- 
cord^s en ^change. La Hollande tomberait alors en 
^change du pays de Fulde, en partage ^ la Maison 
d'Orange, sous le titre de duche-principaute ou tel autre 



i8o6.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 479 

qu'on voudra. Dans tout etat de choses, les Allies seront 
d'accord pour prendre a Bonaparte ses possessions en 
Italie ; et voila, je crois, ce qu'il faut demander pour le roi 
de France, en y comprenant la Savoie. Les Allies, a I'ex- 
ception de I'Empereur, doivent le desirer, puisqu'on s'as- 
surera par ce moyen une barriere centre la France et 
contre I'Autriche ; choses utiles a I'Angleterre, a la Prusse 
et a I'Espagne, mais essentielles au pape et au roi de 
Naples. . II me semble que I'Autriche meme n'en sera pas 
tres eloignee, parce qu'il lui vaudra mieux renoncer a ses 
projets sur I'ltalie que de s'exposer a etre envahie par la 
France. Je suis meme persuade qu'elle y consentira de 
bonne grace si on lui accorde la Baviere. Dans ce cas 
pourtant, il conviendrait de prendre en echange pour le 
roi de Sardaigne le territoire de Venise et que le roi de 
Prusse fasse la cession d'Anspach et de Bayreuth a 
I'Electeur de Baviere. 

"Au reste, on ne peut pas plaire a tout le monde, et on 
ne doit pas faire dependre les plus grands interets des 
plus petits. Or, le plus grand interet, ou (ce qui revient 
au meme) celui qui parait I'etre, est d'eriger une forte 
puissance dans le nord de I'ltalie, pour en fermer les 
portes aux voisins. 

" La renonciation du roi au trone de France pourra bien 
le revolter, mais cette renonciation me parait I'unique 
moyen de s'en assurer. Un acte de ce genre est nul, par 
la constitution de la monarchie, et lorsque les Fran^ais 
rappelleront leur roi, il ne sera plus le maitre de diflferer ; 
or, il m'est demontre qu'ils lui adresseront cette invitation, 
surtout s'il se trouve en etat de leur faire cadeau du 
Pigment, etc. En supposant que Bonaparte soit vive- 
ment presse par ses ennemis — et certes, il doit a la longue 
flechir sous le poids de leurs armes — il sera fort aise de 
ceder le royaume d'ltalie pour s'assurer de la France. 



480 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

Mais la France, reduite a ses anciennes limites et voyant 
se dissiper le prestige dont on I'a bercee, ne souffrira plus 
le regime actuel. Les ainbitieux qu'elle recele dans son 
sein s'entredechireront jusqu'a ce qu'il se trouve un chef 
assez sage pour rechercher la famille de Bourbon, qui 
seule peut retablir le calme et le bonheur. Mais il est de 
laderniere importance qu'au moment ou les vrais Franfais 
reviendront k leurs anciens sentiments, leur roi soit dans 
une position ou il pourra les appuyer d'une force con- 
siderable. A cet effet, s'etant menage, par une economic 
sage, de quoi faire marcher un corps de troupes suisses et 
s'etant assure d'une puissante diversion du cote de I'Es- 
pagne, le coup sera frappe avant que les grandes puis- 
ances ne s'en melent; et, la chose faite, elles enverront a 
Sa Majeste des ambassadeurs, lui temoigner une satisfac- 
tion qu'elles ne ressentiront pas. Je vous demande mille 
pardons, Monseigneur, d'avoir tant abuse de votre pa- 
tience, et vous prie de croire que je suis, avec le plus 
respectueux attachement, de votre Altesse Royale le tres 
humble serviteur."* 

* Translation. — If I have not allowed myself to write often to your 
Royal Highness, it was not because I had lost sight of your interests or those 
of your august family, but because I felt convinced of my inability to be 
of use. I thought best to deplore silently your Royal Highness's misfor- 
tunes and those of France — misfortunes by no means unexpected to me, as 
I had predicted their advent fifteen years ago. The present circumstances, 
the natural sequel of the preceding state of things, struck my mind strongly 
at the time of the Treaty of Amiens. I earnestly beg your Royal Highness 
to glance rapidly over it all with me. 

It appears to me that the great powers have no desire whatever to place the 
Royal House of France again upon the throne. To begin with Austria, there 
is no doubt that the Bourbons, who always opposed her aggrandizement, 
both in Italy and in Spain, and who have torn away Spain from her posses- 
sion, will be the constant object of her hatred. To the rancor for the past 
will be added the fear for the future. I do not believe, either, that England 
desires a revolution in France. The first moment of enthusiasm over, sane 
politics will prevent England from allowing the reunion of France and 
Spain. It is to her interest that the kingdoms on either side of the Pyrenees 
should be rivals. France, acting as the protector of Germany, is the main-stay 



i8o6.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 48 1 

Accounts from Europe were at this moment unfavora- 
ble to the Allied Powers. Napoleon was over the Inn, and 
marching against the Austrians ; the Russians were not 
yet collected to oppose him with effect. Commenting on 
this state of affairs, January 3d, i8o6, to Messrs. Inglis, 
EUice & Co., his bankers in London, Morris says : 

" By activity alone Bonaparte can avoid being crushed 

of the weak princes against the Emperor. They count all the more upon 
France that it is in the interest of her politics to keep the Austrian armies 
away from the Rhine by maintaining small powers whose weakness will be 
devoted to her strength. 

From this point of view Prussia hardly cares whether Napoleon or Louis is 
on the throne, but she cares very much that France should be unprotected as 
far as Italy, Spain, and England go, and she will look for her alliance in the 
very proportion of the dangers she is exposed to. If Bonaparte has allowed 
himself, of late, to neglect the Berlin Court, it is solely due to his feeling of 
strength. The overwhelming influence of such a power has at last opened 
the eyes of His Prussian Majesty to the dangers of Europe. But His Majesty 
will renew his previous bonds as soon as Napoleon shall have become nnable 
to attack the rights of the other nations. 

Russia, on account of her far-off situation and of her colossal power, can 
dispense with a lively interest in the interior politics of France ; but, obey- 
ing the instinct inborn in all sovereigns, she will be pleased to see a me- 
diocre power succeed a very great one. It is true that a passing access 
of indignation or generosity may disturb, for a time, the political calcula- 
tions which, in the long run, however, are sure to rule the cabinets. 

I do not believe therefore, Monseigneur, that under present circum- 
stances one can hope for the re-establishment of the royal family in France, 
but I venture to build on this very fact its future aggrandizement. To prove 
this, let us examine for one moment what is the object of the alliance and 
of the Allied Powers. They want, first of all, to reduce the power of a feared 
conqueror, a measure of general security based upon interests just as gen- 
eral. The eastern frontier is the only aim of Russia. Austria craves for 
Bavaria, whose Elector, in allying himself to France, falls into her game. 
Austria also wants to regain her preponderance in Italy, but her allies have 
no such desire. Prussia aims at possessing herself of the Electorate of Han- 
over and of the Hanseatic cities, Hamburg, Lubeck, Bremen. It seems to 
me that the King of England might agree to all that, provided he be grant- 
ed, for his share, the Austrian Netherlands, including the Bishopric of 
Liege. Holland would then— in exchange for the Fulda country — be ceded 
to the House of Orange, with a ducal or princely title attached to it. In any 
case, the Allies will agree to tal^ from Bonaparte his Italian possessions; 
and this it is that ought to be asked for the appanage of the King of France, 
Savoy included. With the exception of the Emperor, the Allies ought to 
Vol. II.— 31 



482 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

by the weight of the Allies, if, as I take it, both Prussia 
and Denmark, with Saxony and Hesse-Cassel, are opposed 
to him. This contest must terminate by reducing the 
power of France, or leaving the world at her mercy for 
some time to come. 

"Your glorious sea-combat under Lord Nelson shows 

agree to that, as it would constitute a barrier against France and against 
Austria, a useful combination for England, Prussia, and Spain ; an indis- 
pensable one for the Pope and the King of Naples. It seems to me that 
Austria herself might not be very adverse to it, since it is better for her to 
give up her plans upon Italy than to be invaded by France. She will even 
— I feel certain of it — agree to it willingly if she is granted Bavaria. In that 
case, however, it would be proper to give the territory of Venice to the King 
of Sardinia, and to induce the King of Prussia to cede Anspach and Bay- 
reuth to the Elector of Bavaria. 

Of course, one cannot satisfy everybody, and the weightier interests must 
not be made dependent on the minor ones. And the greatest interest of all 
— or, at least, that which appears so — consists in the creation of a power in 
Northern Italy strong enough lo close the gates against her neighbors. 

The King may well revolt against his renunciation of the throne of France, 
but such a renunciation seems the only means toward regaining it. Such a 
deed is null and void, according to the essence of monarchical constitution, 
and when the French recall their King he will not be allowed to hesitate ; 
and it is undoubted that they will be disposed to address to His Majesty such 
an invitation if they know that he will bring with him, as a present. Pied- 
mont, etc. Let us suppose that Bonaparte be severely pushed by his ene- 
mies — and it is evident that he will sooner or later succumb- under the 
weight of their arms — he may be very much disposed to give up the King- 
dom of Italy to secure to himself France. Then the French, thrown back 
behind their old limits and finding the prestige that deceived them vanished, 
will find their present i^'ule unbearable. The ambitious men France shelters 
will begin devouring one another, until there shall appear a chief wise 
enough to send for the Bourbon family, who alone can reinstate calm and 
happiness. But it is of the utmost importance that, at the moment when the 
French return to their old feelings, their King shall be in a position to help 
his friends with a considerable force. To that effect, having accumulated, 
through wise economy, enough money to bring forward a corps of Swiss 
troops, and having prepared a powerful diversion on the Spanish frontier, 
the blow can be struck before there is any interference from the great pow- 
ers ; and, matters once settled, they will send ambassadors to His Majesty to 
manifest a satisfaction they certainly will not feeL 

I ask, Monseigneur, a thousand pardons for having thus abused your 
Royal Highness's patience, and I beg ^ou to believe that I am, with the 
most respectful attachment to your Royal Highness, your very humble ser- 
vant 



i8o6.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 483 

what those who attended to the subject were long since 
convinced of — that you are completely masters of the 
ocean. In the consciousness of power you will, I fear, 
overleap the bounds both of prudence and justice, of 
which we, in the first instance, and you in the last, will be 
victims. I know it must be unpleasant to your mercan- 
tile spirit to see a large, and, we may add, a disproportion- 
ate share of the world's commerce under the American 
flag, and the cupidity of your seamen may cast a longing 
eye at the spoil which might be torn from us almost with- 
out an effort. But it would be wise to consider that now, 
as heretofore, the results of our industry are poured into 
your lap, and that in the vicissitude of human affairs you 
may find it needful to invoke principles which it may now 
be convenient to neglect. I will not make this letter a 
treatise on national law, but simply observe that, if to 
carry to your enemy the implements of war be unjustifi- 
able, it is certainly justifiable to supply him with bread ; 
and if it is justifiable to supply him with necessaries, it is 
more than justifiable to supply him with luxuries. Far 
from blaming, you should praise us for sending tea and 
coffee to France and Spain, taking from them as we do, in 
return, their money — the sinews of war. That our admin- 
istration and their friends and servants^ have not treated 
you with the friendship and respect which good men 
among us wish is true ; but we ought not, on that ac- 
count, to be embroiled, for in the course of a contest the 
cause is frequently forgotten. Irritation supplies the 
place of reason and lasting enmities arise from accidental 
circumstances. I hope this will not be." 

" I have just read the memoirs of Talleyrand," Mor- 
ris wrote to his friend Mr. Parish, February i8th, "in 
which I find some truth with a great deal of falsehood. 
Everything is exaggerated, even his wealth of talents. 



•484 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLV. 

His character, also, is mistaken. He is not exactly of 
criminal disposition, though certainly indifferent between 
virtue and vice ; he would rather do right than do wrong, 
and would not, I believe, perpetrate a great crime. The 
story of poisoning, and the like, cannot be true. Many 
similar publications have lately fallen into my hands, and 
the French Revolutionists are painted in them as black as 
the deviL Unquestionably there has been more of crime 
acted within the last ten years on the French theatre than 
is usually to be found in the records of history ; and as 
unquestionably the systems reared on such abominable 
foundations must soon crumble into ruin. Such is the 
unalterable law of God, attested by the undeviating expe- 
rience of past ages, but it will not be by hands perfectly 
pure that the present powers will be overthrown, or new 
ones raised. Crime begets crime, and one abomination 
succeeds to another, until mankind are driven back to- 
wards innocence by the sore experience of guilt. From 
the banks of the Elbe, now alive with navigation, you will 
look calmly at the storm of nations." 

Again on March 19th he wrote to Mr. Parish: "We 
have not sufficient information to decide on the actual or 
probable state of things in Europe, but it would seem that 
the power of Austria lies prostrate at the foot of France. 
If this be so, Napoleon will consult merely his own inter- 
est. To make up a judgment of this sort, more talent and 
more intelligence are required than I pretend to possess ; 
of course, my best calculations are but guess-work. I 
guess, however, that the territory of Venice, and perhaps 
the Tyrolese, will be taken from Austria, together with 
everything which belongs to it in Suabia. I guess that 
Poland will be again formed into a kingdom, and perhaps 
Prussia may be compensated by Hanover for the loss of 
territory elsewhere. Perhaps Silesia may be restored to 



i8o6.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 485 

Austria. I will not make any further guesses, but I con- 
clude that the peace will be terminated just in season for 
the operations of the next campaign, and that in the 
mean time the French armies will subsist on the con- 
quered countries. Prussia will hardly contend single- 
handed against France, and Napoleon will probably re- 
serve his decisions as to his friend in Prussia till he has 
finished his enemy in Austria. Whether he will do more 
than threaten us will, I presume, depend on the counsel of 
Britain. Mr. Pitt will perhaps be removed and an ad- 
ministration be formed from the friends of Fox and Gren- 
ville in spite of the King, and any new administration 
must adopt something new in its conduct- Fox, to pre- 
serve anything like consistency, must try to make peace ; 
and Grenville must, for the same reason, insist on war till 
a better peace can be made than the Treaty of Amiens. 
Thus the facts which regard us are purely conjectural, 
and, of course, the conclusions to be drawn from them. 
We are not even a secondary consideration in the coun- 
cils of France. If, to get a breathing spell, some new 
compact be patched up with England, Napoleon will 
certainly be troublesome to us, and he will push Spain 
forward (as the injured party), reserving to himself the 
game of a faithful ally to Spain. 

*' There, my dear sir, I have given you the best result 
of my speculations." 



1 



486 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

The summer of 1806. Letter to Samuel Hunt. Morris fears war. Con- 
duct of the administration. Letter to Madame de Stael. General 
Moreau. Letter to Chief Justice Marshall. Washington's character. 
Details relative to Lafayette's liberation in 1796. Waiting for Euro- 
pean news. Begs Madame de Stael to come to Morrisania. Napo- 
leon's victory at Friedland. Letter to Madame Foucault. Letter to 
the Marquis of Stafford. 

SEVERAL short tours through New York and New 
England occupied and interested Morris during 
the summer of 1806. The pretty farms and picturesque 
country through which he passed, over hills, and down 
into valleys along the banks of streams, made a charming 
variety. " I do not remember," he says, " to have seen 
anywhere so beautiful a country." At home again by the 
24th of September, he once more resumed the thread of 
his daily routine. That war was an inevitable conse- 
quence of the conduct of the administration Morris was 
at this time fully convinced, and, writing to Samuel Hunt, 
of Marietta, on October 3d, he gave vent to his impressions 
of the general demoralization in high places, as follows : 

" It is to be noted that sound heads are rarely found in 
the company of rotten hearts. Vice corrupts alike the 
judgment and the will ; whereby it happens that bad 
projects are seldom well matured. . . . Let us take 
up certain suggestions respecting plans agitated in your 
quarter. It seems far from impossible that some foreign 
powers should wish to see a severance of our Union, and 
that they would, at a suitable moment, take under their 



i8o6.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 487 

protection the ultramontane republic. It is not there- 
fore impossible that their agents should listen attentively 
to propositions tending that way, and it is not improbable 
that, if a scheme of this sort should be in agitation, com- 
munications would be made by leading characters with a 
view to foreign aid. Disobedience would be encouraged, 
and the noise of needy retainers to conspiracy would be 
called the voice of the people, and then, by blasphemous 
transition, the voice of God. But these subtle contrivers 
will find themselves egregiously mistaken and find, to 
their cost, that they have merely given to the body politic 
a sufficient stimulus to throw off its foul humors. Our 
politicians have been much alarmed, I hear, by the ap- 
prehension of a peace between England and France, 
which will, they suppose, be followed by such measures 
on the part of the latter as may compromise our indepen- 
dence. Our rulers, like the sluggard, ask a little more 
sleep and a little more slumber, but sooner or later they 
will be awakened in no pleasant manner. The war be- 
tween France and England cannot be eternal. It seems 
to me that sundry untoward circumstances are like to 
arise, and, considering the divided and defenceless state 
of our country, no common firmness, skill, and dexterity 
will be required in the management of our most impor- 
tant concerns. Perhaps these ideas flow from the timid- 
ity incident to age. At any rate, I will not, by publishing 
them, become an alarmist. That Jefferson should lose his 
popularity is natural enough, but those who were wedded 
to his opinions should not now be permitted to claim a 
divorce. He, poor creature, could have done nothing had 
he not been supported by others. If, indeed, he had, after 
getting into power, displayed any glaring and enormous 
vice, his adherents might be allowed to plead their igno- 
rance and his hypocrisy. But his folly is the great evil 



488 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

under which America groans, and his adherents boasted 
of his wisdom. Let them be reminded of this, and take to 
themselves the resulting alternative." 

A yearly letter, at least, to M. Necker and Madame de 
Stael kept them informed of the state of their property 
in America, and of the sales, when the agents were fortu- 
nate enough to make any. Morris's letters to Madame 
de Stael were, however, not wholly devoted to the dis- 
cussion of acres and tenants and rents, as the following 
epistle, in answer (October 7th) to one from her, will tes- 
tify. From her letter lie quoted the initial sentence. 

" 'Si je n'avais que vingt-cinq ans au lieu de trente-cinq, 
je crois que j'irais vous voir. Vous ne me croyez, done, 
propre qu'a la societe des jeunes demoiselles. Soyez per- 
suadee, je vous prie, du contraire. Croyez, aussi, que I'age 
de raison est celui qui convient aux voyages. On en 
profite mieux, on y risque moins. Batir des chateaux en 
Espagne, est una folic amusante : en batir aux Etats-Unis, 
serait une folic ruineuse ; la main-d'oeuvre est trop chere. 
Mais faire un petit 6tablissement d'ete dans un pays neuf 
qui avance rapidement, y passer trois a cinq mois de la 
belle saison, sejournir quatre autres mois, soit k Philadel- 
phie soit a New York, et employer en voyages ce qui reste 
de I'annee : voila, je crois, une maniere de vivre qui ne 
manque pas de sens commun, surtout par le temps qu'il 
fait. Votre petite lettre du 3 juillet m'a fait d'autant plus 
de plaisir, madame, que votre coeur y parle aussi bien que 
votre esprit. Heureux celui qui pent jouir de votre soci- 
ete. Ne frondez pas, cependant, la petite brochure. Son 
auteur ne desire pas la mort du pecheur, mais qu'il aban- 
donne son impiete. Les rois renoncent k I'independance, 
parce qu'en vrais philosophes ils pref^rent la vie a I'hon- 
neur. Lorsqu'il se trouve une exception k la regie g^ne- 
rale du siecle, tout en approuvant I'orgueil qui I'inspire, 



i8o6.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 489 

il faut le ramener au sentiment de ce qu'il doit aux au- 
tres : cela n'est pas lui faire tort. Au contraire> en aiguillo- 
nant partout I'esprit d'independance, on prepare des allies a 
ceux qui se battent pour la liberte des nations. Vous me 
direz, peut-etre, que c'est trop finement filer la politique. 
Mais je ne suis pas homme politique, madame, et d'ailleurs, 
c'est le sentiment de I'auteur que j'exprime ; le mien, a la 
verite, ne s'en eloigne pas beaucoup. Je crois qu'il faut 
tout hasarder, tout sacrifier pour I'honneur national, dans 
la conviction qu'il ne reste plus rien k perdre lorsqu'on a 
perdu I'honneur."* 

The news of the Battle of Jena, fought in October, had 
apparently just reached America, to judge from the fol- 
lowing letter, written the 12th of November, to Mr. Par- 
ish, at Neusteden : "You mention," Morris says, "that 

* " If I were only twenty-five instead of thirty-five years old, I think that I 
would visit you." You believe me, then, to be only fit for the society of 
young ladies. Kindly persuade yourself of the contrary. Believe, also, that 
the age of reason is the best age for travelling ; one derives greater profit, 
one risks less. 

To build castles in Spain is an amusing folly ; to build castles in the United 
States would be a ruinous one, for labor is too expensive. But to organize a 
small summer establishment in a country that develops rapidly ; to stay there 
during three to five months of the fair season ; then to sojourn four months 
in Philadelphia or New York, and devote the rest of one's time to travelling 
— that constitutes a mode of life which lacks not in common-sense, especially 
in our times. 

Your short letter of July 3d was all the more pleasing, madame, since 
your heart spoke in it as well as your mind. Happy the man who can enjoy 
your society ! But do not make fun of my little pamphlet ; its author does 
not wish for the sinner's death, but for him to give up his infidehty. Kings 
renounce their independence because t>iey are true philosophers and prefer 
life to honor ; if an exception to the rule of the century looms up, we can ap- 
prove the pride that induced it, but its author has to be brought down to the 
consciousness of what he owes to others. It is doing him no harm. Quite 
the contrary, in goading everywhere the spirit of independence, allies are pre- 
pared for those who fight for the freedom of nations. You will say, perhaps, 
that this is cutting politics too fine. But I am no politician, madam, and, 
besides, I am but expressing the ideas of the author — not very foreign to 
mine, however. I think that one must risk everything, sacrifice everything, 
for the sake of national honor, for when that is lost nothing remains. 



490 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

Prussia was at the feet of Bonaparte without a struggle. 
This I distinctly predicted to the Count Haugwitz and 
Baron Alvensleben in July, 1796, and stated publicly to 
the American Senate in February, 1803 ; and that France 
would become the dominant power of the world, unless 
restrained by wise and vigorous application of superior 
force, was my decided opinion, expressed to those whom 
it might concern in 1795, 1796, and 1797. That opinion 
has not changed. It was taiien in 1789 and suggested, 
early in the year 1790, for the consideration of those who 
could then have prevented much mischief, not only with- 
out effort but without hazard, securing at the same time 
the gratitude and applause of millions. But Providence 
had otherwise ordained. It is still possible, however, to 
overturn that colossal power. The French armies will not 
resist the attack of British and German troops, if these be 
well led. They have not sufficient steadiness. The Rus- 
sians will certainly beat them under any tolerable manage- 
ment. The new Emperor, if his armies are dis(5omfited, 
will hardly be able to preserve his authority. Your Danes 
are brave, though not inured to war, and rather sluggish, 
but the Swedes are incomparable stuff for soldiers. They 
can, if need be, live on the bark of trees, and nothing 
earthly is braver. They are active, also. The Dutch, the 
Swiss, the Italians, the Bavarians, will gladly shake off 
the yoke if they can. Depend upon it, if the French are 
ferried a little way up the Danube Prince Charles will 
not be idle. If, on the other hand, France be successful, 
all the South will be hushed as mice when they see the 
cat coming. And yet they will get nothing by lying still; 
the fatter and sleeker they are, the better will pussy be 
pleased. 

" You think Hanover will return to its old master. This 
may be. I rather think it is the iriterest of Europe that 



i8o7] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 49I 

it should not, but that England should receive Holland 
and the Low Countries. . . . Will Hamburg and Lii- 
beck fall to Prussia or Denmark ? I really cannot answer 
that question, my good friend. ... As a ci-devant 
Hambourgeois, you may perhaps prefer the interest of that 
city, which would be much promoted by an union with 
Prussia and the consequent opening of the Elbe. Let me 
tell you, further, that if England were in possession of 
Flanders, and Prussia of Hanover, these nations would be 
sincere allies. Prussia would court the protection of the 
British navy, and England the aid of Prussian armies. 
Pray make my compliments to the King of Prussia, 
and desire him to pull down the walls of Hamburg. If 
ever I pay that place another visit I should like to have 
the liberty of coming and going at pleasure with regard 
to hours. Seriously, remember me to your family and my 
friends." 

Morris was certainly prophetic in the views he held of 
what would be the future of the city of New York, for 
in his diary, on the loth of January, 1807, he mentioned 
the fact that " some speculators are about to build a village 
at Harlem Cove, which they call Manhattan. It seems as 
if the whole island of New York were soon to become a 
village or a town. In less than twenty years, if things 
move on in their present course, it will be divided in small 
lots as far up as what are called Harlem Heights, where 
stood Fort Washington." 

"General Moreau, and the three gentlemen who accom- 
panied him and dined with me yesterday, leave me this 
morning [January T2th]. Among many pleasant and some 
curious anecdotes Moreau mentions the filthy conduct of 
the Bonaparte family. Madame Leclerc, as all the world 
knows, the present Princess Borghese, is a Messalina. 
Moreau says the Empress told him that her husband and 



492 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

his sister, Madame Leclerc, were too intimate. He told 
this to Madame Leclerc, who denied it, at first, by saying 
the Empress was no better than she should be herself. 
At length she acknowledged it. Bonaparte wanted Mo- 
reau to marry his sister, Madame Murat, or his daughter- 
in-law, now Queen of Holland. The refusal was perhaps 
the primary cause of Moreau's exile." 

" By an arrival yesterday [January 29th] it would seem 
that Bonaparte is still successful in the North of Europe. 
He possesses all Westphalia, Lower Saxony, and Lusatia, 
aS well as Upper Saxony, Holstein excepted. It seems, 
also, that our negotiation with Britain has failed. If so, 
the wise men at Washington will have troublesome work." 

June 26th, Morris, having just finished reading the 
fourth volume of Chief Justice Marshall's history, took 
occasion to write to the author of the pleasure he had 
found in it, adding, " I cannot refrain from expressing 
to you my grateful sense of the kindness with which 
you have mentioned my name." The letter continues : 
" In approving highly your character of Washington, 
permit me to add that few men of such steady, perse- 
vering industry ever existed, and perhaps no one who 
so completely commanded himself. Thousands have 
learned to restrain their passions, though few among 
them had to contend with passions so violent. But the 
self-command to which I allude was of higher grade. He 
could, at the dictate of reason, control his will and com- 
mand himself to act. Others may have acquired a portion 
of the same authority ; but who could, like Washington, 
at any moment command the energies of his mind to a 
cheerful exertion? After citing his letter to the Emperor 
of Germany, you say it remains unascertained how far it 
operated in mitigating the rigor of Lafayette's confine- 
ment, or obtaining his liberation. Permit me to trouble 



iSor.J GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 493 

you with some facts relating to that affair. At Vienna, in 
October, 1796, I was asked by a confidential friend of the 
Emperor's, Prime Minister Baron de Thugut being pres- 
ent, whether it was true (as reported) that I was charged 
with a mission from Congress to ask the liberty of Lafa- 
yette. I laughed at the question, and, assuring the ques- 
tioner there was no truth in the report, expressed my 
opinion that it was a folly to detain him. A conversation 
on the subject ensued in which, without contesting the 
right of the Emperor to keep Lafayette and his compan- 
ions in prison, if he deemed it needful to the public safety, 
I urged that, whatever might have been intended had the 
French Revolution been crushed in the first campaign, 
there were now so many who participated in shedding the 
blood of Louis XVI. that, even if France were conquered, 
it would be impossible to execute the prisoners at Olmtitz. 
Of course there was no object in keeping them, and it 
worked injury to the Allies by uniting the French nation. 
Some time after, I received a letter from Madame de Mon- 
tagu, Madame de Lafayette's sister, mentioning the harsh 
treatment she experienced. I thereupon asked an inter- 
view of the Baron de Thugut, without mentioning any 
definite object, and saw him by appointment the i8th of 
December. We had a long conversation on public affairs, 
and discussed sundry things which appeared to me advan- 
tageous to Flis Majesty. The Baron gave me his thanks, 
and then I put in his hands Madame de Montagu's letter. 
After reading it he indignantly contradicted the account 
of ill-treatment to M. and Madame de Lafayette, and ex- 
pressed a wish that they had never had anything to do 
with him. I seized the occasion to observe that unques- 
tionably the changes which had happened since he was 
made prisoner rendered it difficult to say what course 
should now be pursued, because the same spirit which 



494 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

asked why he was confined might ask why he was not 
liberated. Since, however, he must sooner or later be re- 
leased, the sooner it was done the better; therefore I 
permitted myself to ask that it be done immediately. He 
told me he would probably be discharged at the peace. 
I told him that of this I never doubted, and had ventured 
to assure his friends that it must be so. * But consider, I 
pray you, monsieur le baron, that you will then get noth- 
ing by his freedom, whereas now you may turn it to ac- 
count.' I then assigned reasons why it would produce a 
good effect, not only in France but in England. * If (said 
he) England will ask for him, we shall be very glad to get 
rid of him in that way, and they may turn him loose in 
London.' I knew that nothing would be done about it in 
England, for I had taken occasion to suggest the matter 
to Lord Grenville in December, 1795, who told me there 
were strong prejudices against him. I therefore told M. 
de Thugut I thought it improbable the British Minister 
would touch this matter unless he should suggest a wish 
for their interference, and presumed that he would make 
no such suggestion. There appeared to me, however, two 
modes in which the affair might be managed : one, that on 
the receipt of good news several prisons should be opened, 
and among them that of Olmiltz ; the other, that liberty^ 
should be given to M. de Lafayette and his companions 
as a favor to the United States, which (in that view of the 
subject) I presumed to ask in their name. Next day I 
enclosed to the Baron a letter for Madame de Lafayette, 
and again pressed for the release of her husband. I left 
Vienna the loth of January, 1797, and learned at Hamburg, 
in the September following, that these prisoners were, by 
order of the Imperial Court to be delivered up to Mr. 
Parish (supposed to be) the American Consul, which 
place he had filled with advantage to our country and 



i8o7.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 495 

honor to himself, but (on representations from the French 
Republic) had been superseded. The 27th of that month, 
on adjusting with the Imperial Minister the manner in 
which Lafayette should be delivered over to Mr. Parish, 
M. de Thugut's letter was communicated, and that stated 
expressly that M. de Lafayette was not liberated at the 
instance of France, but merely to show the Emperor's 
consideration for the United States of America. 

" On the 4th of October I was present when M. Buol de 
Schauenstein, the Imperial Minister at Hamburg, deliv- 
ered M. de Lafayette into the hands of John Parish, Esq., 
as Consul for the United States of America. Notwith- 
standing this, it appeared to me that M. de Lafayette 
chose to consider himself as freed by the influence of 
General Bonaparte, and I did not choose to contest the 
matter, because, believing my applications at Vienna had 
procured his liberty, it would have looked like claiming 
acknowledgments. Had I known of the President's letter 
I should certainly have connected with it the manner in 
which he was delivered over, and drawn the natural infer- 
ence." 

"We are all gaping for news from the North of Europe," 
Morris wrote to John Parish the ist of July. "A victory 
there would go far to decide the fate of all nations, and 
make an epoch in the history of mankind. I cannot cease 
to wonder at what I see. Great Britain has an army, arms, 
ammunition, and provision. Is it possible the ministers of 
that country should not have seen that a re-enforcement of 
thirty to fifty thousand men, with an abundant supply of 
forage and provisions, should have enabled the Swedes to 
march from Stralsund to Berlin and intercept the supplies 
and re-enforcements destined for the French armies in Po- 
land and Silesia ? Can it have escaped the view of intelli- 
gent men that vigorous operations in the rear of Napoleon 



49^ DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

would be seconded by a considerable part of. Germany ? 
Is it not evident that his army, deprived of recruits and 
provisions, must have sunk beneath the force now opposed 
to him ? Pusillanimity might indeed say that he would 
detach a superior corps or fall back with his whole army. 
But to make such detachment would have exposed him 
to immediate ruin, and to fall back without magazines, 
especially of forage, was literally impossible. Truly, my 
friend, this skirmishing at Alexandria and Constantinople 
is a poor expedient. If the Russians are beaten. Napoleon 
dictates his own terms. If they are victorious, Turks and 
Persians must submit to the law of Alexander. But I 
say no more. God's will be done. We are occupied here 
in trying Burr. Much time and breath have already been 
expended to little purpose. He shall not be prejudged 
by me, but the effort to keep back information from the 
grand jury will convince many that he is afraid. But 
guilt and fear being closely connected, the proof of one 
induces belief in the other." 

Ever solicitous for the welfare of the French exiles 
whom he knew, and fully persuaded that they might 
learn to content themselves, at least for a time, on Ameri- 
can soil, Morris lost no opportunity to place before them 
the advantages of the climate, the hospitalities of Mor- 
risania, and, above all, the quiet and rest from wars 
and rumors of wars which awaited them in the United 
States, 

Notwithstanding her advanced age of thirty-five years, 
Madame de Stael was almost induced to trust her life to 
the sea, by his persuasive eloquence, for, wrote Morris to 
her in August of this year : 

" Puisqu'il n'y a de France que Paris et que Ton vous 
en defend I'entrde, il me semble qu'il ne vous reste qu'a 
choisir une autre patrie. Or, vous ne vous deciderez pas 



i8o7.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 497 

a devenir Suisse. Le pays est tres beau, sans doute, et ses 
habitants sont tres courageux. On peut en dire du bien, 
beaucoup de bien, mais, apres tout, je ne crois pas qu'il vous 
convienne d'y passer vos jours. Napoleon va toujours 
grand train, de sorte que, s'il ne bronche pas, toute I'Europe 
desormais sera France, k I'exception des Isles Britan- 
niques, ou (faute de pont) il est difficile de faire passer les 
armees imperiales. Ainsi, pour n'etre plus Francpaise, il 
vous faudra devenir Anglaise ou Americaine. Mais la 
societe anglaise est un peu trop froide. D'ailleurs, lorsqu'il 
s'agit de passer la mer, soit pour venir ici soit pour aller 
en Angleterre, ce n'est qu'une question de plus ou de 
moins. Ainsi, madame, je me flatte qu'au printenips pro- 
chain vous ferez le voyage d'Amerique. A cet effet, a la 
mi-avril vous vous embarquerez a Nantes, avec monsieur 
votre fils, pour New York. Aussitot arrivee, vous viendrez 
ici prendre du laitage et vous rafraichir. Au commence- 
ment de juillet vous vous mettrez en route pour voir vos 
terres et celles d'autres. Vous reviendrez a la mi-septem- 
bre vous reposer de vos fatigues, cueillir des peches, faire 
des promenades, des vers, des romans — enfin, tout ce qu'il 
vous plaira. Lorsque mon hermitage aura perdu ses at- 
traits, vous vous 6tablirez en ville oii, k I'aide d'un bon cui- 
sinier, vous ferez tres bonne chere. On s'y amuse, comme 
ailleurs, a digerer, dire de bons mots, m^dire du prochain 
et le reste. Au bout du compte, madame, la vie se ressem- 
ble partout. Partout les circonstances y sont pour quelque 
chose ; le reste depend de la tournure de I'esprit, de la 
maniere de voir les objets, de I'art de s'occuper, de I'amitie 
enfin, dont les sentiments nous attachent a notre existence 
et en banissent I'ennuie. Vous vous moquerez, peut-etre, 
d'un tableau ou, parmi les agrements de la vie humaine, 
on ne voit gu^re la figure de I'amour. Eh bien ! vous 
n'avez qu'i I'y mettre. Agreez, je vous prie, madame, 
Vol. II. — 32 



498 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

rhommage de mon respect et de mon sincere attachement. 
God bless us ! " * 

To his much admired friend, Madame Foucault, then 
living at Plessis, whither the Duke of Orleans had also 
gone and settled himself, to aid his relations in the man- 
agement of the domain, Morris wrote in August, thank- 
ing her for news of herself and the details of her occu- 
pations. " Elles sont essentielles au bonheur," he con- 
tinued. "L'homme s'ennuie du bien et se blase sur les 
plaisirs. S'il faut parler de I'etre chetif qui s'appelle moi, 
vous saurez que je releve d'un acces de goutte. Voila 

* Translation. — Since there is for you no France outside of Paris, and 
since access to that city is forbidden you, it seems to me that you have 
nothing left but to choose another fatherland. I am sure, however, that 
you will never decide to become a Swiss. There is no doubt that the 
country is very beautiful, and its inhabitants most courageous ; there is 
much good to be said of it, but, all the same, I hardly think that you 
can be induced to spend your life there. Besides, Napoleon is going on 
at such a rate that, if he does not recoil, all Europe will soon be France, 
with the exception of the British Islands, which, for want of a bridge, the 
imperial armies cannot reach. Thus, ceasing to be French, you will 
have to become English or American. Now English society is a little 
too cold, and, besides, if you have to cross the sea at all, either to go 
to England or to come here, it all reduces itself to a question of a 
shorter or longer voyage. Therefore, madame, I flatter myself that next 
spring you will cross over to America. To that end you will embark, about 
the middle of April, at Nantes, with your son, for New York. Upon arriving, 
you will come straight here, to begin a refreshing milk-diet. About the 
beginning of July you will start on a tour of inspection over your estates 
and other people's. You will return to us in the middle of September, to 
rest from your fatigues, to pluck our peaches, to take walks, to write verses, 
novels ; in a word, to do all you care for. When my hermitage shall have 
lost its attractiveness you will settle in town, where, a good cook helping, 
you will keep a dainty table. There, as everywhere else, they manage to 
spend the time digesting, cracking jokes, gossiping, and so forth. After all, 
madame, life is about the same all the world over. Everywhere circum- 
stances have something to do with it, the rest depends on the turn of mind, 
on the manner of considering things, on the art of occupying one's self; 
finally, on friendship, the ties ol which bind us to life and rob it of its weari- 
someness. You will perhaps laugh at this sketch, in which, among the pleas- 
ures of life, the figure of love has no place. Well, place it in the picture 
yourself. I beg that you will accept, madame, the homage of my respect 
and of my sincere attachment. 



i8o7.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 499 

treize ans dcoul^s depuis qu'elle ra'a fait visite pour la 
premiere fois. Je n'ai point, comme alors, une amie qui 
m'en console ; le souvenir m'en sera toujours precieux. 
. . . Quant a mes occupations, je suis cultivateur ; je 
m'isole autant que possible des affaires, et je travaille pour 
ne plus travailler. Illusion douce ! esperance trompeuse ! 
C'est la fable d'lxion, qui embrassa un nuage au lieu de 
Junon. Reste k savoir si le nuage n'est pas preferable 4 
une ddesse du caractere acariatre et jaloux dont les 
poetes nous ont depeint Sa Majeste Imperiale des cieux. 
Adieu, madame, donnez-moi souvent de vos nouvelles, 
quand ce ne serait que deux lignes pour dire : * J'existe, et 
je pense a mon ami.' II vous aime toujours."* 

In the autumn came the news of the victory of Napo- 
leon at Friedland on the 14th of June, of the successes 
of the French armies, of Europe subjugated "from the 
British seas across prostrate Germany to the distant verge 
of the Russian Empire." "Voila done la derniere main 
mise au nouvel arrangement de I'Europe," Morris wrote 
to his friend Count Woronzow, at London, September 
4th ; " k moins," he goes on to say, " que Napoleon ne 
s'avise de donner le Portugal a I'Espagne.f Les raisonne- 

* Translation. — Occupations are essential to happiness. Man gets 
weary of doing good, and tired of his pleasures ; if I may be allowed to 
speak of that weakling, my own self, you must know that I am just recov- 
ering from an access of gout. It was thirteen years ago that gout paid me 
its first call. I have not now, as I had then, a friend to console me ; I 
will keep her remembrance ever green. As for my occupations, I am a 
farmer ; I remain as far away as possible from political affairs, and I work 
so as not to have to work any more. Pleasant illusion ! deceitful hope ! 
It is the fable of Ixion, embracing a cloud instead of Juno. Perhaps, af- 
ter all, the cloud was better than the goddess, if she really had the jealous 
and cross-grained temper the poets have attributed to her Imperial Majesty 
of the Heavens. Good-by, madame, let me hear often from you, were it 
only to send me two lines saying : ' I exist, and I think of my friend.' He 
loves you always. 

t In October, 1807, France and Spain, in the treaty of Fontainebleau, agreed 
to divide Portugal between them, and Napoleon dethroned the House of 
Braganza. 



500 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

ments politiques se reduis'^nt maintenant a des calculs 
sur la vie de I'Empereur corse. La Confederation du 
Rhin, si on a le bon esprit d'en faire un corps d'etats, et 
non une anarchic comme la ci-devant Confederation germa- 
nique, deviendra le frein de la France et le salut du monde. 
Que Ton mette a sa tete un grand homme, en y ajoutant 
TAlsacC; tout est sauve. Ah! la belle residence que 
Frankfort-sur-le-Main ! et la belle armee que 25,000 AUe- 
mands bien vetus, bien nourris, bien disciplines ! II me 
semble que tout ce que Ton pourra faire pour I'Angle- 
terre dans le moment actuel, sera de persuader k Napoleon 
d'incorporer les Pays-Bas (ci-devant autrichiens) avec le 
royaume de Hollande. 

"Adieu, mon cher comte, pensez quelquefois a un 
homme qui vous a vou6, pour la vie, I'attachement le plus 
respectueux et le plus vrai."* 

The following letter to the Marquis of Stafford, written 
on September 14th, is not without some of the same fire 
and force that so strongly characterized Morris's thoughts 
and expressions during the early days of the American 
Revolution. 

" It is now, my lord, I believe, seventeen years since I 
took the liberty of mentioning to your lordship my opin- 

Translation. — So the finishing touch has been put to the new arrange- 
ment of Europe . . . unless Napoleon should decide to give Portugal to 
Spain. Political conjectures all centre upon calculating the probable life 
of the Corsican Emperor. The Confederation of the Rhine — if they have 
the good sense to make of it a body of States, and not an anarchy, as was 
the defunct German Confederation — will put a brake upon France, and 
prove the salvation of the world. Let them add Alsace and place a great 
man at the head of it all, and everything will be saved. Oh ! what a fine 
residence is Frankfort-on-the-Main, and what a fine army could be formed 
out of 25,000 Germans, well dressed, well nourished, well disciplined. It 
seems to me that all that could be done for England, just now, would be to 
persuade Napoleon to incorporate the (late Austrian) Netherlands with the 
Kingdom of Holland. 

Good-by, my dear count, think sometimes of a man who has vowed you, 
for life, the most respectful and truest attachment. 



i8o7]. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 5OI 

ion that, if the French Revolution was not arrested in its 
progress, it would become dangerous and perhaps fatal 
to the liberties of Europe. Your lordship, admitting that 
France might (as I supposed) pass through anarchy to a 
military despotism, did me the honor to observe that wise 
alliances would set a bound to her power. To this I per- 
mitted myself to reply that it might be difficult to find a 
Marlborough and Eugene ; that, when found, it would be 
more difficult to prevent discord between them. My mind 
was then filled with sinister forebodings, and although I 
have occasionally forced myself from the dreary precincts 
of reflection into the more cheerful regions of imagina- 
tion, reason, stubborn and unyielding, has always brought 
me back. I have never indeed doubted the physical 
power of Europe to confine France within safe limits, but 
I have not been able to discover the moral energies need- 
ful to employ that power with effect. 

" I took the liberty of mentioning this subject to your 
lordship at that early period because I thought the occa- 
sion pressing, and because Great Britain seemed more 
deeply interested than any other power ; having, in effect, 
more to lose, and being the object at which the blows of 
France would be specially directed. Much of what I 
feared is realized. You stand alone, and those who ought 
to side with you keep aloof, are awed, and subdued. It 
gives me pain, my lord, to see that, in this dangerous mo- 
ment when the energy and talents of your country should 
be cultivated to a point, there is a divergency of efforts 
and views which may bring the government into disre- 
spect and impair its authority. It would be a task both 
useless and odious to mark the mistakes which have been 
made. One thing, however, I must notice. If your af- 
fairs with this country had been well managed we should 
now, in all probability, be your firm and useful ally. As 



502 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVI. 

it is, you have duped our feeble administration in a com- 
mercial treaty, and, should it be ratified, you will gain 
advantages which, however flattering to your merchants, 
are not worth a rush when placed in competition with your 
great political interest. I long since told your lordship 
that you should have here a man of high rank and great 
talents ; permit me to add that he should be invested with 
great latitude of power. The rest would follow. 

" But the most material object now is to form an ad- 
ministration sufficient to take charge of you. I have no 
apprehension that, in this year or the next, a serious inva- 
sion of your island can be made with effect ; but a totter- 
ing administration may patch up a truce (and call it a 
peace) by which Flanders will remain an integral part of 
France. Your safety is, I believe, from that moment com- 
mitted. The annexation of the Low Lands to Holland 
would be better, because, although the same family might 
occupy both thrones, national interest will prove too 
strong for family feeling. Whether you make a miser- 
able peace or carry on a fatiguing war, much is to be ap- 
prehended ; but more in the former than in the latter 
case, because it is doubtful whether your constitution can 
resist a licentious spirit aided by French intrigue. If you 
are subdued by force of arms, which God forbid, rank 
and landed property, though impaired, will not be de- 
stroyed ; but either conquest or revolution would obliter- 
ate your funded debt. Indeed, I apprehend that a contin- 
uance of the war will injure that species of property. 
When, looking across the Atlantic, I see such prodigious 
power and talents on one side and on the other — 

Cet esprit de vertige et d'erreur, 

De la chute des rois funeste avant-coureur, 

it strikes cold to my heart. Indeed, my lord, it angers me 
that you should strive to acquire distant possessions when 



i8o7.1 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 503 

necessity calls for a concentration of force. Of what use 
Monte Video, Ceylon, the Cape, or Egypt, should a French 
army land in Yorkshire. According to my poor compre- 
hension, your conquests are not worth half the cost of 
making, nor one-tenth the risk of defending them. That 
counting-house policy which sees nothing but money, 
thinks of nothing but money, values nothing but money, 
is a poor, short-sighted, half-witted, mean, and miserable 
thing — as far removed from wisdom as a monkey from a 
man. 

" Perhaps Bonaparte will give you something conven- 
ient in Europe for what you have taken from Spain and 
Holland ; especially if Gibraltar, which is useless, be given 
up, and Malta, which may become useful, retained. If, 
instead of trying to possess yourselves of everyone's colo- 
nies, you would persuade everyone to have colonies, each 
would be exposed to your power ; but, at the rate you go 
on, your fleet as a means of offence will be a nullity. It 
will, I know, be said that by extending your possessions 
you extend your commerce, and thereby increase your 
means of revenue. But the truth of these assertions may 
well be questioned, and, even if admitted, is not conclu- 
sive, because there are other circumstances of important 
influence. That, by holding a post on the River of Plate, 
you may enable Spanish colonists to consume British 
goods cheaper than before is true, and that your mer- 
chants may gain on their first adventures shall be ad- 
mitted, although it remains to be proved; but that your 
manufacturers will gain is not true, because they will sup- 
ply the merchant trading to Buenos Ayres on the same 
terms they formerly supplied the merchant trading to 
Cadiz. Thus the national advantage which is suggested 
does not exist, and that which your merchants expect will 
hardly be realized. Thus the profit from distant posses- 



504 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVL 

sions is more than problematical, and the cost of defend- 
ing them is certain ; your taxes, your seamen and sol- 
diers, however and wherever expended, must be levied at 
home. 

" In the spring of the year 1790, while I was soliciting 
your ministers to surrender some posts detained within 
our limits, I found that a strong oppositidn was made on 
account of the fur-trade, I observed to Mr. Pitt and the 
Duke of Leeds that it was a matter of indifference to 
Britain by what hands that trade should be carried on, 
because, in every contingency, the goods for the Indians 
would be purchased, and the furs sold, in England. The 
stress laid on the supposed advantages of your trade to 
Canada led me to inquire into its value, and I learned, 
from good authority, that your civil and military establish- 
ment cost a little, though very little, more than the gross 
sales of your imports from that country. This is one in- 
stance of the value of foreign possessions for the purposes 
of trade ; and I much fear, my lord, that your India Com- 
pany, vvlien its accounts are wound up, will present another 
of the same sort and of imposing magnitude. Sometimes 
I suppose you to have lost everything except your Euro- 
pean islands, and I hold you then totus, teres atque rotundas — 
in condition to bid the world a proud defiance. Some- 
times I suppose that, closely allied to America, the old 
continent, isolated from the commercial world, were by 
your act deprived of your manufactures, and then, behold 
the proudest among them, literally sans culottes, offering 
carte blanche to obtain peace and clothing. 

" But what, you will say, is the object of this tedious 
epistle from another world ? It is to recommend that your 
lordship and the men who, like you, have a right to com- 
mand attention should unite firmly together and put the 
political talents of your country, without distinction of 



i8o7.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 505 

party, in possession of power. Make a general real re- 
form, concentre your force — in short, do what is needful to 
save yourselves and preserve what is left of liberty in the 
world. But, should your patriot efforts be unavailing and 
the demon of discord prevail, make timely provision out 
of Great Britain for events which must happen. One 
hundred thousand pounds, well employed in this country, 
would purchase from two to three hundred thousand acres 
of land, which, in twenty to thirty years, would rent for 
twenty thousand pounds. Money well secured will pro- 
duce here six per cent, interest regularly paid. This, as 
the merchants say, for your government ; by which they 
mean, information. I will not apologize for this letter, be- 
cause, if it be not its own apology, I can make none, and 
therefore will not give you the trouble of perusing or my- 
self of making the lame attempt. I detain your lordsliip 
but a moment longer, to express the hope that no assur- 
ances can be necessary of my readiness to obey your com- 
mands in any thing or in any way I can be useful. As- 
sure your amiable lady of my constant respect, and be- 
lieve me, my lord, with sincere esteem." 



506 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

Long interview with General Moreau. The first steam-boat on the Hudson 
River. Convinced that war is imminent. Distrusts the Administra- 
tion. Letter to Madame de Stael. Letter to Madame de Damas. 
Autumn in the woods of New York. Marriage with Miss Randolph. 
Letter to Timothy Pickering. Journey to inspect the country for the 
Erie Canal. Niagara. Writes on public topics. Horror of war. 
Discusses the Constitution. 

IN the diary for the loth of October is mentioned a long 
interview with General Moreau, who had gone out to 
breakfast at Morrisania. " I walk with the General and 
try to dissuade him from his projected journey to New 
Orleans. He is at length shaken, and would renounce it 
if his preparations were not too far advanced. I persist, 
and at length render it doubtful in his mind. I am certain 
this journey will be imputed, by many well-meaning men, 
to improper motives. He treats the chattering of idlers 
with contempt, but I tell him such idlers form a power in 
republics ; that he must not suppose himself as free here 
as he would be in an absolute monarchy ; that his reputa- 
tion makes him a slave to public opinion ; that he cannot 
with impunity do many things here which would be of no 
consequence in a country where he was surrounded by 
spies in the service of the government, because the minis- 
ters having convinced themselves that his views are inno- 
cent and his conduct irr^prochable, he might safely laugh 
at the suspicions both of the great vulgar, and of the small ; 
but here, where the same modes of knowing what men do 
are not adopted, everyone is at liberty to suspect, and 



i8o7.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 50/ 

will decide rashly on appearances, after which it may be 
impossible to dissipate the ideas hastily, lightly, and un- 
justly assumed. In the course of our conversation, touch- 
ing very gently the idea of his serving (in case of necessity) 
against France, he declares frankly that when the occa- 
sion arrives he shall feel no reluctance ; that France, hav- 
ing cast him out, he is a citizen of the country in which 
he lives, and has the same right to follow his trade here 
with any other man ; and as it would be unjust to prevent 
a French hatter whom Bonaparte might banish from mak- 
ing hats, so it would be unjust to prevent a French gen- 
eral from making war. I assent to the truth of this ob- 
servation, not- because I believe it true, but because I will 
not impeach the reasons he may find it convenient to give 
to himself for his own conduct, should he hereafter be 
employed in our service." 

" Mr. Walton, of Ballstown, dines with me [November 
nth]. He tells me that, by means of the steam-boat, he 
can leave his own house on Monday morning and dine 
with me on Tuesday, do some business in New York on 
Wednesday morning, and be again at home on Thursday 
evening." 

So much for the first steam-boat which plied between 
New York and Albany. Later, Morris trusted his life to 
the new invention, with more or less agreeable results. 

" Dine at Mr. Boyd's [November i6th]. On table, 
among other things, were a haunch of fine venison, a wild 
turkey, a wild goose, and a pair of canvas-back ducks." 

The conviction that the administration would plunge 
the country into a war was ever present with Morris ; 
and though he put himself under the constraint of not 
prophesying evil, the tone of all his letters showed a deep 
distrust of the President. He yearned for the agricultural 
prosperity of the country as well as its commercial sue- 



508 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

cess, but peace was essential to both. This is plainly 
shown in the following letter, written to Mr. Simeon Devvitt 
at Albany on December i8th, in which he spoke of tiie 
*' desirability of cultivating fine wool, as our climate is fa- 
vorable, especially in the northern part of our State, We 
have also great facilities for the manufacture of cloth. 
Time and peace are the two things needful to wealth. 
How far it may corrupt our minds is a problem on which 
the patriot should meditate. Perhaps the turbulent scenes 
with which we are menaced may (in the bounty of Prov- 
idence) be intended to give proper exercise to the polit- 
ical body, I cannot, however, help wishing the storm 
may blow over, and leave my evening tranquil. In the 
pamphlet you send, the portrait of Madison is, I believe, 
just, though 1 am told that he has credit for a degree of 
industry which he does not possess. I think him unfit for 
the station of President, but shall make no effort either 
way. That business lies with your political friends. A 
federal administration is wholly out of the question, and, 
were it otherwise, the propriety of accepting it is, to say 
the best, doubtful. Speak of my political friends, for as 
to myself, there is no doubt that a private station is most 
suitable. 

" It has been said by a confidential friend of Mr. Jeffer- 
son and Mr, Madison that they are determined on going 
to war with England as soon as they can bring public 
opinion up to that measure ; but I think there must be 
some mistake, for they cannot seriously desire to plunge 
the country into a situation distressing to all, but ruinous 
to the Southern States, That we, the people of America, 
should engage in ruinous warfare to support a rash opin- 
ion that foreign sailors in our merchant-ships are to be 
protected against the power of their sovereign is down- 
right madness, and the attempt to frighten England by 



i8o8.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 509 

combining a non-importation law with a mosquito fleet of 
gun-boats is truly absurd. It has been rashly assumed as 
a position that our merchants alone would sufifer by war — 
a great and dangerous mistake. They would indeed lose 
the ships and cargoes now afloat, to the ruin of insurers, 
and some of them would become bankrupt, whereby not 
only the banks, but many tradesmen and farmers would 
suffer severely. After the hurricane had blown over, mer- 
chants who have goods left in their stores would hold 
them at prices which few could reach, while all the prod- 
uce now exported would be unsalable." 

" I hear [January 13th] that Clinton, the Vice-President, 
has written to one of his friends in New York that there 
is not the least reason to apprehend a rupture with Eng- 
land." 

It was to thank Madame de Stael that Morris wrote 
the following letter, January i8th. After wishing that 
this year " may bring you much felicity," he said : " I am 
to thank you again for your kind present. When I took 
up 'Corinne,' I was determined to mark in my memory 
everything which might look like a fault, and so I did. 
But before I got half-way through they were all forgot- 
ten. Rare quality of genius ! to lead us in the ripe days, 
as love in the green ones, wheresoever it will. God for- 
give me, but I cannot help regretting that your Scotch 
lord was not un peu plus entreprenant, that fine moonlight 
evening on the shores of the ocean. La pativre Corintu 
serait morte au mains avec connaissance de cause. I remember 
to have heard of a little German girl to whom it was an- 
nounced by her physician that she could not live, upon 
which she turned round, poor creature, whining to her 
mother, 'Nein, nein, ich kann nicht sterben ; erst muss ich 
ein wenig heirathen.' Truly, my dear madame, it is a pity 
the world should be deprived of such wonderful talents 



5IO DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

as those which heaven has bestowed on Corinne. Now 
it is known, by manifold experience, that sensibility is a 
most noxious thing when improperly confined, but, if the 
cork be drawn, there is no longer any danger of bursting 
the bottle. 

"I shall expect to see you with your son next spring, 
and shall say nothing about your affairs, because I know 
your friend Leray keeps you well informed. One thing, 
however, I will permit myself to observe : that if your 
landed property were all lying together it would be more 
valuable, because it could be managed with more ease 
and less expense. It is foolish enough, by the by, to tell 
you this, which your own good sense cannot fail to have 
told you long ago." 

To Madame de Damas he wrote a letter of condolence 
at this time, on the death of a member of her family. 
"This sore affliction," he says, "in which I truly sym- 
pathize, gives me much pain, which I would endeavor to 
relieve by endeavoring to speak to you words of comfort, 
but I know that such attempts can be of little avail. 
Fortunately yours has already been schooled by suffer- 
ing, and has learnt, as well by the possession as by the 
deprivation of what the world deems needful for happi- 
ness, how little of happiness the world can bestow. Con- 
templation on the Divine perfections, while it teaches us 
how little we are, cannot fail to make us feel how little 
are all our cares and all our woes. In life, which is but a 
moment, pleasure and pain occupy but a very small part ; 
more short and transitory than life itself. Eternal Benefi- 
cence, who scourges not to wound but to correct, is then 
most exquisitely kind when most we sufifer under his wise 
dispensations. The universal parent kindly weans us 
from the solace of earthly joys, that we may be seasonably 
prepared for that state of being which we are soon to 



i8o8.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 51I 

commence. What it may be we know not — we cannot 
know ; but there is sometliing within us which says it 
will be happy. Anticipate, then, my dear, aiBicted friend, 
this happiness, and correct the frowardness which might 
lead you to murmur at what the Almighty has ordained. 
They are happy who know the road they are to travel, 
and the entertainment it affords, before they reach the 
end of their journey ; they travel not only content but 
pleased. It is of little moment what may be the vehicle 
or the mode, they know that every object and every cir- 
cumstance are transitory. They enjoy, therefore, the 
good while it lasts moderately, knowing that it cannot en- 
dure ; and they bear unavoidable ills with patience, from 
the certainty that they also must pass away. Make my 
love to the afflicted Zephinne, and tell her that I press 
her to ray bosom with paternal affection. God bless, 
keep, and comfort you. Adieu." 

Again the diary takes up the history of events, but with 
little aid from letters, during the rest of the year. There 
were at this time new roads proposed through Westches- 
ter County and through Morris's land, and this work, in 
connection with general plans for better means of getting 
off the island on which New York stands to the surround- 
ing country, occupied much of his time. The peculiar po- 
sition of New York made it rather a difficult subject to 
deal with successfully. 

"The geographical position of New York," he wrote to 
Simeon Dewitt, "while it confers uncommon advantages for 
commerce, involves considerable and unavoidable incon- 
veniences. The idle project for making bridges across the 
North and East Rivers can never occupy the attention of 
considerate men. To say they are impracticable would be 
rash, but they certainly cannot be built but at an expense 
infinitely beyond any advantages they can offer ; and, what 



512 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

is more, if they were already built, the city of New York 
would find it a cheap bargain to get them taken away for a 
million of dollars. Such being the facts, it follows that 
the only tract of country which is easily and constantly ac- 
cessible is the County of Westchester." 

"A paper is brought to me to day [February 25th] con- 
taining a state of our negotiation with Britain. Our ad- 
ministration seems to be infatuated." 

"Go to church [March 6th]. In the evening meet, at 
Mr. King's, Mr. Wolcot, Mr. Hammond, and Mr. Rad- 
cliflfe, to consider what may be proper on the present oc- 
casion ; whether to make an effort to put good men in 
power or remain quiet spectators. I am of the latter 
opinion. Mr. Radcliffe reads a letter from Albany, in- 
forming that they have determined on making a general 
effort. He says they have applied in vain for information 
as to opinions here. To this I observe that no such ap- 
plication has been made to me ; and Mr. King says that 
none has been made to him. I declare my opposition to 
any such effort, notwithstanding that agreement." 

In March Morris made a visit to Philadelphia, where 
going to the play, dining at home, and sitting "with a 
party of young bucks until late," visiting his old friends — 
among them Mrs. Robert Morris, " who looks beautiful 
as ever and elegant " — and dining with them, and sitting 
daily for his picture, occupied the time until April, when 
he returned home. The next three or four months were 
uneventful. 

"On Sunday [July 24th] General Moreau dines with me. 
It stands confirmed that Bonaparte, after inveigling the 
Spanish monarch and his whole family into his clutches, 
has forced them to resign to him the throne, and now he 
keeps them in confinement. A great part of Spain, it is 
said, is in arms to expel the French. I give it as my opin- 



i8o9] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 513 

ion that they will succeed unless they place some of the 
great nobles at their head. In this case they will be sold, 
such is the corruption of morals among the descendants of 
the brave and most honorable cavaliers in the midst of a 
nation honest and loyal." 

Morris spent the autumn and part of the summer in 
the northern woods. Indeed, the winter of 1809 was well 
advanced before he reached home. Early in January, 
while at Schenectady, a very alarming illness overtook 
him, which threatened fatal consequences. " I am pre- 
pared to set off after breakfast," he says, January 23d, 
" but am arrested by some alarming symptoms ; send for a 
physician, and make my will." By the 9th of February, 
however, he was able to get to Albany, where, he says, "it 
is very cold. When I began to write, though sitting be- 
fore a good fire, the ink froze so in my pen that I could 
scarcely get along. The thermometer was, I am told 
in the morning, ten below naught." On his arrival at 
home Morris found some views made of his house by the 
pencil of his friend Mrs. R. Macomb awaiting him ; it 
would seem, as a gentle reproof for leaving that beautiful 
home so long untenanted. His acknowledgment of the 
attention shows that his pen had not lost the art of deli- 
cate flattery nor of the gracefully turned phrase which had, 
in his younger days, so attracted the clever women of 
France. 

"I did not, my dear madame," he wrote, "acknowledge 
your valuable present immediately, test my expressions 
should have more warmth than consists with established 
forms ; for it is not uncommon that, when one is at the 
same time under the influence of several feelings, the 
glowing color which some of them assume should dimin- 
ish the appearance of others. You know so well the effect 
of light and shade that to say more would be impertinent, 
Vol. II. — 3 J 



514 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

and you have, I trust, so good an opinion of me as to be 
convinced tiiat I would not have enjoyed the pleasure of 
your society with indifference. Accept sincere thanks for 
those views of my house, in which ' we see fancy outwork 
nature.' To others they prove the extent of your charm- 
ing talent ; to me they prove more, and possess for me 
the dearer charm of your kindness. But is it fair to bind 
me so fast and add thus the tie of gratitude to those of 
sentiment ? Think of my condition should you bid me 
break them ; no infrequent command, I am told, of ladies, 
beautiful and young, to humble servants of a certain age. 

*' In the apprehension that such may be my fate, I am 
resolved to be beforehand in ray revenge. I send you 
the works of that witty, wicked devil Voltaire — to destroy 
every Christian principle of your heart. When converted 
by the great apostle of infidelity into a downright hea- 
then, it may b§ proper for you to indulge the vainglory of 
dragging captives at the wheels of a triumphal car. But 
while you profess yourself to be a Christian, remember 
that you must love your neighbor as yourself, and, above 
all things, do not forget that among the neighbors who 
acknowledge that duty towards you, is your obedient ser- 
vant." 

Enclosed in this letter were the following lines : 

While over weary wilds I stray 
And drag along the tedious way, 
With skilful hand your kindly care 
Portrays my house, so wondrous fair 
That none who see it can conceive 
How I that pleasing home could leave. 
And when, with raptur'd gaze, I view 
The vivid charms bestow'd by you ; 
And think of those which you possess, 
And think you sometimes deign to bless 
The home your hand has made so fair. 



V 



i8o9.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. « 5^5 

Delighted fancy brings you there 
And whispers sweetly to my heart : 
' 'Tis folly from your home to part.' 

" The February packet has arrived [April 6th], and 
brought the news that the French have driven the British 
out of the North of Spain, Dine with General Moreau, 
and discharge my servant William Wells, who declined 
going behind my carriage. Wherefore I am in town 
without a servant." 

" Return home [April 9th], bringing behind my carriage 
Dominique, who entered last Friday at ^13 per month." 

" The differences between England and America are, at 
length, it seems, about to be settled [April 24th]. This 
may bring on a war with France, unless the French Em- 
peror, finding full employment in Germany and obliged, 
therefore, to abandon Spain, should put some water to his 
wine." 

The summer of 1809 was an uneventful one at Mor- 
risania. Possibly Morris was more agreeably occupied 
in making his own arrangements for the future than in 
following the movements of Napoleon's armies or the 
workings of the United States Government. There is no 
mention in the diary of any important change coming into 
his life, but there is no doubt that for some months it had 
been his intention to marry the daughter of his friend 
Thomas Mann Randolph, of Tuckahoe, whom he had 
known as a very beautiful young girl in Virginia before 
he went to Europe. Since that time Miss Randolph's 
life had been a sad one. Obliged by her father's ill- 
advised second marriage to leave her home, she had 
struggled for some time with but poor success to support 
herself. Morris, the old and trusted friend of her father 
and mother, hearing of her reduced pecuniary condition, 
and that she was teaching in New England, proposed, in 



5^6 DIARY AND LETTERS OF fCHAP. XLVII. 

the most delitate terms, that she should accept the shel- 
ter of his roof, and take charge of his household. This 
offer was accepted by Miss Randolph in the spirit in 
which it was made, and the spring of 1809 found her 
duly installed. On Christmas-day there was a family din- 
ner party at Morrisania. Morris enumerates his guests, 
but says he had expected many more members of his 
family, '* who are detained by the bad weather. I marry 
this day Anne Gary Randolph, no small surprise to my 
guests," is the only mention he made of this event at 
the moment. There was, indeed, no small surprise oc- 
casioned by the step he had taken, and no little indigna- 
tion, as may be gathered from the following letter to his 
niece Mrs. Meredith, of Philadelphia, who undertook to 
call him to account for the audacity he had shown in tak- 
ing to himself a wife at his time of life. "I received your 
letter, my dear child, yesterday, and perceive in it two 
charges ; viz., that I have committed a folly in marrying, 
and have acted undutifully in not consulting you. I can 
only say to the first that I have not yet found cause to 
repent, and to the second that I hope you will pardon me 
for violating an obligation of which I was not apprised. 
The decision of that great question, whether the liberty 
of a bachelor be more virtuous than the bondage of a 
married man, must be left to you and your friend Cato ; 
it is beyond my competence. If I had married a rich 
woman of seventy the world might think it wiser than to 
take one of half that age without a farthing, and, if the 
world were to live with my wife, I should certainly have 
consulted its taste ; but as that happens not to be the case, 
I thought I might, without offending others, endeavor to 
suit myself, and look rather into the head and heart than 
into the pocket. Perhaps it would gratify a laudable 
curiosity to say what I discovered ; but that must be 



i8io.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 5 17 

omitted, to avoid the charge of partiality — and the rather 
as the step I have taken gives sufficient evidence of my 
opinion. When we have the pleasure to see you at Mor- 
risania, it is possible you may approve of my choice, and 
^^ou will certainly find that I am, as ever, affectionately 
yours." 

"Immediately after twelve o'clock last night," says the 
diary for January i, 1810, "we took, in compliance with 
a custom more honored in the breach than the observ- 
ance, a glass to the New Year, my male guests having 
already more than will do tliem good ; the ladies not 
present. And thus anotlier year is added to the thou- 
sands which have elapsed. A very fine and almost sum- 
mer's day." 

"We are told," Morris wrote on the 6th of January, to 
the Honorable Timothy Pickering, then Senator from Mas- 
sachusetts, at Washington, "that your President means to 
send you a war message. I can hardly believe this, but 
suppose that, if true, it will be done in the hope of such 
strong opposition as may enable him to pretend that he 
was prevented b}.' Americans, acting under British influ- 
ence, vindicating our national honor. To avoid this trap, 
it seems to me that, if I were a member of either House of 
Congress, I would not say a word on the main question, 
but assign the following motives for my silence : First, 
that frequent experience has shown the inutility of rea- 
soning ; secondly, that the message proves the majority to 
have made up their minds ; thirdly, that as arguments 
against the war must rest on the dangers to which it will ex- 
pose us, they might be considered by some as indications 
to the enemy where to assail us ; fourthly, that as the 
honor of success will belong to those who shall conduct the 
business, it is just that they have also the credit of com- 
mencing it ; and, lastly, that it would be improper to do 



5l8 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

aught which may impair the confidence of the people in the 
moment when it is most necessary to the Government. 
Wherefore, since arguments cannot prevent the war, and 
must, if they have any effect at all, prove injurious, it is fit 
that our rulers add this last experiment to those already 
made on our prosperity." 

In March, 1810, the two Houses of the Legislature of 
New York, by concurrent vote, declared that the agricult- 
ural and commercial interests of the State required that 
the inland navigation from Hudson's River to Lake On- 
tario and Lake Erie should be increased, and accordingly 
appointed seven commissioners to explore the whole route, 
examine the existing condition of the navigation, and con- 
sider what further improvement ought to be made therein. 

Morris was appointed among the commissioners. Speak- 
ing of the duties of the commissioners, in a letter dated 
April 25th, to Mr. Henry Latrobe at Washington, he says : 
" An appropriation of three thousand dollars has been 
made to this and another object referred to the same 
commissioners, who conceive, from the smallness of the 
sum, that the legislature did not contemplate the employ- 
ment of an engineer with the needful assistants. My own 
view of the subject is tolerably clear, but that other gen- 
tlemen will see it in the light in which I do is very doubt- 
ful. Supposing, moreover, that we should agree on a 
plan, no discreet man would undertake to say that it 
will meet the approbation of the next legislature ; and, 
even if it should, what ground is there to believe that the 
General Government will do their part ? And yet a great 
part must be performed by them. Their territory lying 
round the lakes will, by a proper inland navigation, be 
rendered more valuable than the w^hole of this State, and» 
it cannot be expected that she will bear all, or even the 
greater part, of the burden, when the far greater part of 



i8io.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 519 

the benefit must result to the Union. ... I hope the 
business may be effected in a proper manner, for it is (I 
believe) the most extensive theatre for the display of 
skill and industry which can be found on this globe. 
But I fear that our minds are not yet enlarged to the size 
of so great an object, and I am thoroughly persuaded that 
the attempt at, and still more the execution of, any little 
scheme may probably frustrate, and certainly postpone, 
that which is alone worthy of notice." 

On the 2ist of June Mr. and Mrs. Morris started on 
their journey through New York, to inspect the country 
through which the new canal was to be built. Their route 
lay, after reaching Albany, through what is now the admir- 
ably cultivated, picturesque farming country of the State. 
Then it required a far-seeing vision to picture what it 
might be in the future ; for the woods were still standing, 
the roads of the most questionable description, and the 
inns, as a rule, insufferably bad. " I am perfectly con- 
vinced," Morris said, after a careful inspection of rivers 
and creeks, " that unless the waters of Lake Erie are 
used, every attempt at a useful inland navigation must 
fail." 

Arrived at Niagara, on the Canada side, July 23d, Mor- 
ris notes : "Very little improvement here since my last 
visit, and in that short space the other side, from being a 
wilderness, has become in a degree a cultivated country. 
Say what they will of republican government, and it has 
no doubt its dark side, none other is so favorable to the 
multiplication of the human race and the decoration of the 
earth within its limits." 

"About noon [July 25th] I walk to a shop, and ask for 
hair-ribbon. There is but one piece, and that very bad, 
such as I purchased at Utica for five cents. The honest 
dealer asks twelve and a half. The Utica man gave twenty 



520 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

yards for a dollar instead of thirty, which might be the 
fair price had it been of good quality ; the Chippeway 
man gives only eight. I express my surprise and do not 
purchase, but ask where he got it. He says in New York. 
This seems to me a phenomenon about as great as the 
cataract which is thundering in our ears, for the duties on 
goods are here little or nothing, and with us about seven- 
teen and a half per cent. However, they must be intro- 
duced into Canada from the United States in contraband. 
We learn that our brother-commissioners were at Oswego 
last Sunday, heartily tired of their progress by water, and 
determined, if possible, to come on by land." 

On the 3d of August the commissioners met at Lewis- 
ton, and dined at Judge Porter's. They transacted their 
business, but there was a doubt in Morris's mind that, in 
the variety of opinions, "the most correct will not be the 
most prevalent." On the return journey, which com- 
menced on the 3d of August, the travellers were not a 
little disconcerted by the reception they met, in the vari- 
ous inns along the way, in most of which were fully de- 
veloped the independent ways of the Republic, which in 
theory Morris approved of, but which in practice were not 
always so acceptable. 

"The landlady, her daughters, and their guests are sitting 
to a comfortable breakfast," he says, on one occasion, 
" when we arrive,and in two hours after we sit down to ours, 
so rapid are the movements of a country where the young 
women wear fine caps amd leave their mothers to scour the 
kettle. After leaving Mrs. Burry's inn we come on to Mr. 
Steele's, who is in his fields, and his wife too much engaged 
to trouble herself about us. A pert damsel, who assumes 
to be Mrs. Steele, says we cannot be accommodated with a 
bed-chamber because they have none that has not several 
beds. This is no objection to us, but we are told that, if 



j8io.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 521 

more guests arrive, they will be lodged in the same room. 
We are obliged to come on to Canandaigua." 

" Sunday [September 2d], we stop at Lebanon Springs. 
Ride to see the divine service of tlie Shaking Quakers. 
The preacliing is comnienced before we arrive. We have 
a short address of invitation to us, the by-standers, to be- 
come members of their fraternity, after which tliey sing 
a liymn to the tune of ' Jolly mortals, fill your glasses," 
and dance, moving backwards and f(jrwards to the tune 
of an old country-dance — the men on one side and women 
on the otlier, each company regularly arranged in rank 
and file. I3efore the hymn they all (being thereto in- 
vited by tlie preacher) fall on their knees, and, closing 
their eyes, arc, or appear to be, wrapt in meditation. 
After two dances, with a short pause between, a young 
preacher comes forward and addresses us in a sensible 
discourse (disfigured, indeed, by useless repetition), the 
object of which is to prove that we ought to abandon 
worldly pursuits, pleasures, and enjoyments, and, more es- 
pecially, the conjugal pleasures, for the sake of that pure 
felicity which attends celibacy. The usual texts by which 
the Romish Church defends that luinatural (and there- 
fore inn)ious) doctrine are quoted, and, with the vainglory 
usual amcjug sectaries, the smooth-chinned doctor assures 
us that they are the true disciples, the chosen of (»od, 
who see, feel, and know him. Alas! poor creatures. They 
know that inconii)rehensible Being who fills immensity, 
everywhere present, everywhere operating before time be- 
gan and tlH"ough eternity ! At this proud boast we leave the 
preacher and his congregation to return to our quarters. 
How true that saving of Solomon, that there is nothing new 
under the sun, and how ridiculous the notion, entertained 
by some, of the perfectibility of human nature. Now, in 
tlie nineteenth century, we see the same contrivances of 



522 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

superstition and enthusiasm succeed in this enlightened 
country which duped our ignorant forefathers seven cen- 
turies ago ; and while these forlorn Shakers pursue that 
beaten track to perfecting which, if generally followed, 
must occasion the extinction of mankind, our self-suffi- 
cient philosophers expect, it would seem, to reach the same 
pinnacle by mathematical abstractions and chemical solu- 
tions, but, above all, by giving new names to old things 
and tricking themselves into a belief that science is ex- 
tended in proportion as the size of the dictionary is swol- 
len by terms borrowed from the Greek." 

Morris had for months imposed upon himself a strict 
silence on public affairs, but after the beginning of the 
year 1811 his letters became more full of the alarming 
questions agitating the country. He spoke in a letter to 
Robert Walsh, of Philadelphia (February 5th), of " his 
natural indolence, which," he said, " is increased by the 
love of ease which is incident to age on one side, and, on 
the other, a greater mass of business than I can conven- 
iently get through deters me from engagements which 
may require effort or consume time. At different times 
I have taken up my pen to communicate what I believed 
might be useful, and laid it down again from recollection 
of the text, ' If they will not believe Moses and the proph- 
ets, neither would they believe though one should rise 
from the dead.' Montesquieu said, tritely, he did not 
write to make people read, but to make them think. Did 
he live in our day and our country, he would find it no 
easy matter to make them read. Truth is, that the adhe- 
rents of the ruling party shun information. Such of them 
as are deceived do not wish to be undeceived. The mis- 
chief lies deeper, I fear, than is generally supposed by 
good men. Ignorant as the mass of mankind must of 
necessity and forever be of the great political subjects, it 



i8ii.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. 523 

is not so much the ignorance as the depravity of our citi- 
zens which causes their misfortunes. So much has been 
said on certain subjects that it is almost impossible not to 
comprehend, and so much has been felt that the most 
stubborn are brought to a practical conviction. But the 
choice of rulers continues the same, because those who 
choose and, more especially, those by whom they are 
influenced and led have a personal interest in the con- 
stitution and continuation of a bad government ; they do 
themselves the justice to feel that by a wise and good ad- 
ministration they would neither be employed nor trusted. 
Many, therefore, who think with us, act against us. A 
national condition of this sort cannot long continue. 
National misfortune, which is the certain consequence, is 
also the natural correction of national corruption. All 
history bears witness to this truth, so often proclaimed in 
the sacred writings. Excuse me ; perhaps I am not suf- 
ficiently philosophical for the fashion of our day, but that 
which, from reading, was faith, has by experience become 
conviction. 

"Speaking of General Hamilton, he had little share in 
forming the Constitution. He disliked it, believing all 
republican government to be radically defective. He ad- 
mired, nevertheless, the British constitution, which I con- 
sider as an aristocracy in fact, though a monarchy in name. 
General Hamilton hated republican government, because 
he confounded it with democratical government ; and he 
detested the latter, because he believed it must end in 
despotism, and, be in the mean time, destructive to public 
morality. He believed that our administration would be 
enfeebled progressively at every new election, and become 
at last contemptible. He apprehended that the minions 
of faction would sell themselves and their country as soon 
as foreign powers should think it worth while to make the 



524 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII.: 

purchase. In short, his study of ancient history impressed 
on his mind a conviction that democracy, ending in ty- 
ranny, is, while it lasts, a cruel and oppressing domination. 
One marked trait of the General's character was the per- 
tinacious adherence to opinions he had once formed. 
From his situation in early life, it was not to be expected 
that he should have a fellow-feeling with those who idly 
supposed themselves to be the natural aristocracy of this 
country. In maturer age, his observation and good sense 
demonstrated that the materials for an aristocracy do not 
exist in America ; wherefore, taking the people as a mass 
in which there was nothing of family, wealth, prejudice, 
or habit to raise a permanent mound of distinction — in 
which, moreover, the torrent of opinion had already 
washed away every mole-hill of respect raised by the in- 
dustry of individual pride, he considered the fate of Rome 
in her meridian splendor, and that of Athens from the 
dawn to the sunset of her glory, as the portraits of our 
future fortune. Moreover, the extent of the United States 
led him to fear a defect of national sentiment. That 
which, at the time our Constitution was formed, had been 
generated by friendship in the Revolutionary War, was 
sinking under the pressure of State interest, commercial 
rivalry, the pursuit of wealth, and those thousand giddy 
projects which the intoxication of independence, an ex- 
travagant idea of our own importance, a profound igno- 
rance of other nations, the prostration of public credit, and 
the paucity of our resources had engendered. He heart-- 
ily assented, nevertheless, to the Constitution, because he 
considered it as a band which might hold us together for 
some time, and he knew that national sentiment is the off- 
spring of national existence. He trusted, moreover, that 
in the chances and changes of time we should be involved 
in some war which might strengthen our union and nerve 



i8ii.] GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. $2$ 

the Executive. He was not (as some have supposed) so 
blind as not to see that the President could purchase 
power, and shelter himself from responsibility by sacrific- 
ing the rights and duties of his office at the shrine of in- 
fluence ; but he was too proud, and, let me add, too virtu- 
ous to recommend or tolerate measures eventually fatal to 
liberty and honor. 

" It was not, then, because he thought the Executive 
Magistrate too feeble to carry on the business of the State 
that he wished him to possess more authority ; but be- 
cause he thought there was not sufficient power to carry 
on the business honestly. He apprehended a corrupt 
understanding between the Executive and a dominating 
party in the Legislature which would destroy the Presi- 
dent's responsibility, and he was not to be taught (what 
everyone knows) that where responsibility ends, fraud, in- 
justice, tyranny, and treachery begin. General Hamilton 
was of that kind of man which may most safely be trusted ; 
for he was more covetous of glory than of wealth or poWer. 
But he was of all men the most indiscreet. He knew 
that a limited monarchy, even if established, could not 
preserve itself in this country. He knew, also, that it 
could not be established, because there is not the regular 
gradation of ranks among our citizens which is essential 
to that species of government, and he very well knew that 
no monarchy whatever could be established but by the 
mob. When a multitude of indigent, profligate people 
can be collected and organized, their envy of wealth, tal- 
ents, and reputation will induce them to give themselves 
a master, provided that, in so doing, they can mortify and 
humble their superiors. But there is no instance to prove, 
and it is, indeed, flatly absurd to suppose, that the upper 
ranks of society will, by setting up a king, put down them- 
selves. Fortunately for us, no such mass of people can be 



526 DIARY AND LETTERS OF [Chap. XLVII. 

collected in America. None such exists. But although 
General Hamilton knew these things, from the study of 
history, he never failed, on every occasion, to advocate the 
excellence of and avow his attachment to monarchical gov- 
ernment. By this course he not only cut himself off from 
all chance of rising into office, but singularly promoted 
the views of his opponents, who, with the fondness for 
wealth and power which he had not, affected a love for 
the people which he had and which they had not. Thus, 
meaning very well, he acted very ill, and approached the 
evils he apprehended by his very solicitude to keep them 
at a distance. Those who formed our Constitution were 
not blind to its defects. They beli