THE HAGUE OCTOBER 5. 1782. SATURDAY.
Money of the Low countries
The Florin = 2 Scallings & 6. Sols
The Scalling = 7s. = 12s. 6d. of France.
Crown = g Scallings = 5: its: 6d. of France.
17 Patars = 1 [l.t.] 12s. of France.
The Plaquette = 6s: 3d.
9 liards = 3s: 9d.
In conference with the G. [Grand] Pen. [Pensionary ]Bleiswick. He told me, it was determined to sign the Treaty of Commerce, on Monday next at Noon. That I should not find the Greffier Fagel for that being Saturday, he would spend it at his Country Seat and not come to Town. That the Revolution in the Crimea and the commotions among the Tartars would probably find Employment enough for Russia. That there were some Symptoms of Anglomanie, in Sweeden. That there was no News from Paris about Peace, that Mr. Brantzen had not, when the last Advices came away, had his first Audience, of the King.
I went next to Mr. Fagels house, but the Answer was that on Saturdays the Greffier never came to Town.
There is in the Rotterdamche Courant of to day the following Article from Philadelphia of the 7. August. Het is opmerklyk dat de Staaten Generaal, de Onafhanglykheit der Vereenigde Staaten, juist op den 19 April dezes Jaars erkend hebben, zynde die dag de zevende Verjaring van
den Veldslag by Lexington, en dat deze zaak nog opmerklyker maakt is, dat de Eerste Memorie van den Heer Adams, die zulk een grooten Indruk op de Hollandsche Natie gemaakt heeft, gedagteekend is den 19 April 1781.
OCT 7. MONDAY.
Mr. D. [Dumas] has been out, upon the Discovery. -- Neither Mr. V.Mr. G. could guess the Reason, why their H. [High] M. [Mightiness] sent their Agent De Spieringshoek to desire me to postpone the signature of the Treaty untill tomorrow.Mr. B. whom he met in the Street explained it. He says the Prince had sent Word to their High M. that he desired a Conference with them to day, and as the Signature would take up some time they should be obliged to make the Prince or me wait. He learn'd afterwards from Mr. K. that the Council of War of the Navy Officers at the Texel, have sent an express to day, to inform the States, that it is impossible for the Fleet to go to Brest, according to the Resolution of their H.M. because they were not ready. They are in Want of Men, of Provisions, of Stores. Every Ship in the Fleet is in Want of Something essential. The Blame of this, will fall upon the Prince.
The Prince, in his Conference, to day
communicated his orders Correspondence relative to the Navy.
OCT. 8. TUESDAY.
Mr. D. is indefatigable in his Way. He visits, every Day, the French Am. [Ambassador], Mr. G., Mr. V. -- and occasionally Mr. K. and sometimes the Prince de Gallitzin, Mr. D'Asp, &c.
No American Minister could do this. It would ruin his Character. I dont know whether it would do for a Secretary of Legation to do this. I can, however, make an excellent Use of him in this Way. I can get or communicate Intelligence this Way, better than any other, from and to various Persons and Places.
I have been indirectly put upon my Guard against "un Chien puanant," made Use of as a Tool, in the Friesland Affair, which I read of, in C. S.s journal. -- He now makes his Court to both Sides. Llano the other day made a grand Eloge, of the Man and his Wife, of their peaceable amiable Character, and excellent Reputation. Thus it is when Parties run high. One Side crys crucify, and the other hozanna.
At Breakfast Comte Sarsefield came in, and put into my Hand, more of his Speculations. -- I have read through his journal of his journeys to Holland in 1777 and in 1780 and he has promised me that of 1782. The Piece he lent me to day is on Slavery. He has assembles every Appearance of Argument in favour of the Slavery of the Glebe. (Villenage) or domestic Slavery, and has refuted them all.
At twelve went to the State House, was received as usual, at the head of the Stairs by Mr. De Santheuvel, and Mr. De Linden, Deputies from Holland and Zealand, and conducted into the Truce Chamber where We signed and sealed the Treaty of Commerce and the Convention concerning Recaptures.
Waited on the Duke de la Vauguion, to inform him, as I did, and also that I had received a Letter from Mr. Jay, 28 Septr., informing me that the Day before, Mr. Oswald received a Commission to treat of Peace with the Commissioners of the United States of America, and that I believed I should set out, according to Mr. Jays earnest desire, for Paris the latter End of next Weeks The Duke was pleased to say, and with a warmth that proved him sincere, that he rejoiced to hear it, for it seemed by it, that Mr. Jay and I were cordial, and he thought further it was absolutely necessary I should be there, for that the immoveable Firmness that Heaven had given me, would be usefull and necessary upon this Occasion. I could not help laughing at this and replying, that I had often occasion however for cooler Blood than had fallen to my Share, to regulate that same Firmness.
The Duke then entered into an History of his Negotiations with the States and the Prince to get the Fleet to Brest. He thinks there has been a secret Communication between Prince and Officers to represent the Fleet destitute of Sails, and Provisions &c.
While the Clerks were sealing the Treaties to day I cast an Eye on the Collection of Pictures of Claudius Civilis, and asked the Gentlemen who was the Painter. Secretary Fagel answered me that it was Otto Oevenius a Dutch Painter, Author of the Emblemata Horatiana. That each of those Pictures was formed upon some Passage of Tacitus. That his Father had been at the Pains to transcribe all those Passages and affix them to the back of the Picture. Upon this I turned one of them round, and found a Paragraph.
OCTOBER 9 WEDNESDAY.
Went this Morning to the Secretary Fagel and returned him the original Treaty, and the original Convention which was designed for their High Mightinesses. The others designed for Congress, I kept. We run over together the few litteral
Variations, and corrected all, indeed
all the Inaccuracies were found to be in my Copy which I kept to compare. Mr. Fagel said that one day this Week he would call upon me with the Copies, which he and I were to sign to be sent to Congress. That to day
, the Committee would make report, their H.M. would thank them for the Pains they had taken, and each Province would take the Treaty and Convention ad Referendum, and lay them before their Constituents for Ratification. -- He told me that his Intelligence from France, by the last Post, led him to expect Peace in the Course of this Winter. He asked me if mine did not? I answered, smiling, that I could not deny that there appeared some Symptoms of it.
About two O Clock, the Cte. de Sanaf made me a Visit, in Ceremony, to congratulate me, on the Signature of the Treaty. I told him I hoped by this Time the Cte. Daranda had signed a Treaty with Mr. Jay
, with equal Advantage and Satisfaction. He enquired about the 22 and 23 Articles, and said he understood that I had met with Difficulty to get the States to agree with me upon a Substitute. I read to him in French, the Article as it now stands in the Treaty, which he was fully satisfied with. He enquired concerning the Prussian Minister at Madrid notifying to Mr. Jay
his Presentation to the King and Royal Family -- asked if it was true? Observed
That Mr. Jay
was not at Madrid but at Paris. I answered, the Visit was made to Mr. Charmichael, as Charg des Affairs at Mr. Jays
House. He asked me if told it to Mr. Thulemeyer. I answered in the Affirmative. He asked me what I thought, of the late Behaviour
, respecting the Dutch Fleet going to Brest -- an Order of the States General and refusal of Obedience, on the Part of the Navy. I answered it was very extraordinary and very allarming
. He said, he did not think this People would ever do any Thing
. But the Requisition to send Ships to Brest was very well calculated to try them.
I shewed him the Paragraph in the London Evening Post which says that a Commission under the Royal Sign Manual has passed the great Seal of the Court of Chancery, authorizing Mr. Oswald of Philpot Lane, to treat of Peace with the United States of America...
Mr. D. has learned, to day from our Friend, that the two Captains, Welderen and Van Hoey, did in Truth come with the Message that if the Fleet was ordered to Brest, all the Officers and Crews would resign, but finding that the States were likely to take Fire they were perswaded to soften it down to a Want of Sails, Provisions, Stores &c. This, all agree must have been a Plot. The Prince must be as daring in his System, as his Cousin has been.
The States of Holland have printed the Treaty, a Member has given one to Mr. D. who has sent it to day with his French Translation, to Leyden to be inserted in Mr. Luzacs Gazette.
Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Storer have agreed to accompany me to Paris.
OCT. 10 THURSDAY.
The Comte de Sanaf wrote a Card to Mr. Dumas desiring a Copy in French of the 22d Article. Said that I had read it to him in french but his Memory had not retained it. I desired Mr. Dumas to send it. -- Mr. D. at my desire had asked the Duke de la Vauguion what was the Usage in my Case, who am going to Paris. He brought me Answer, to take Leave of the President,Secretary Fagel and Grand Pensionary and after of the Prince and Princess.Mr. D. added that I should mention who I left as Charge des Affairs and present him. I told him there was none, and I had not Authority to constitute one.
Mr. Van heukelom has been here. -- 1400 Persons in Leyden have signed an Address of Thanks to the Regency, for their Proposition to enquire into the Administration of the Navy. Mr. John Luzac is now he says universally beloved. A Change of System, has made a Change of Circumstances. Mr. Elie Luzac was the most respected, and had the most Influence but his Anglomanie had brought him into Contempt. Elie Luzac's Father and Johns Father were Brothers. Elies Father is dead. He is called at Leyden een Agt en Veertiger. [These ]Nicknames of Agt en Veertiger and Twee en Agtiger, Eight and Fortyer and Two and Eightyer, are adopted as Party Distinctions instead of Whig and Tory, Anglomane and Republican &c.
Received this day a Card, from the Baron de Linden de Blitterswyk, first Noble of Zealand, Brother of him who was Envoy in Sweeden, and his Lady to dine with them next Wednesday.
As the Commerce of Bruges and Ostend, have grown out of the American Revolution, and the Neutral Confederation, it may be worth while to make the following Extract.
Extract from the journal of C. [Comte] Sarsfield, 5 June 1782.
J'ay trouv Bruges dans un grand Mouvement, par le Commerce qui y arrive. J'ai compt de 20 a 25 navires dans le Bassin, il en peut tenir beaucoup plus et on va l'agrandir. On abbat les fortifications, tous les magazins de la Ville sont remplis : on en construit de nouveaux, qui seront fort grands. La Journ e d'un homme qui n'a que ses bras est de 16s. et nourri. 16s. du Pays font 1 l.t. 10s de France.
La Raison de cela est qu'Ostende est trop petit, pour toutes les affairs qui s'y font. Beaucoup de navires viennent a Bruges, ce qui est d'autant plus commode, qu'il faut toujous que les marchandizes y payent lors qu'on ne veut pas les expedier par mer. On m'a dit qu'en particulier les Espagnols expedioient toujous pour Bruges, ou ils n'ont point les memes lenteurs que le defaut de Emplacement occasionne a Ostende. On m'assure que le Canal a 21 Pieds de Profondeur. Tout ce que Je viens de dire se fait par les ordres qu'a donne, L'Empereur, lorsqu'il est venu ici. Il a declar qu'on ne devoit regarder Ostende et Bruges que comme la meme Ville. L'Effect de cette Augmentation de Commerce, se fait sentir sur le Prix des Maisons, et s'etend surement sur tout.
6 Juin Ostende. Il y a deux Chemins pour y aller. L'Un suit le Canal. Il faut passer the Port en batteau pour entrer dans la ville. L'autre est plus long De 2 1/2 Lieus a ce qu'on m'a dit. J'ay mis un peu moins de 4 1/2 heurs a le faire. Il est pave et pass par St. Andr, Wassenaar, un autre Village, dont J'ay oubli le nom et Ghistele. Il y a quelques barrieres a payer, except sur ce qui depend du Franc de Bruges, que fait et entretient les Chemins a ses frais. On demolit aussi les fortifications d'Ostende, pour y construire des Magazins. Le nombre des Vaisseaux que J'y ai vus est tres
considerable: le mouvement prodigieux.
On m'a dit a Middelbourg, que le Commerce se fait tres mal a Ostende: les Commercans sont, dit on, tres negligens, quelquefois meme infideles. Il m'a paru dans le detail, qu'il pouvoit bien n'y avoir pas de leur faute, mais les affairs y sont si multipliees qu'ils ne peuvent y satisfaire, et comme les Magazins leur manquent, ils ne peuvent empecher bien des Marchandizes d'etre avariees. Ainsi les reproches, qu'on leur fait pourront cesser d'etre merit s, mais ceux qu'on fait a leur Port ne se dissiperont pas de meme. On en dit l'entree difficile, et effectivement la maniere dont on m'en a parl a Ostende meme, me le persuade.
It is an Observation in this Country, that the Wines of the Rhine and Moselle, have in them the Principles both of the Stone and the Gout, but that they loose these Principles, as they Advance in Age.
Extract from the journal of C. Sarsefield,
1. July at the Hague.
Tout ce qui vient de se passer en Hollande, la Revolution qui s'y est faite dans les Esprits en favour
de la France, la maniere dont Le Duc Louis de Brunswic a t ecarte des affairs, au moins en Apparence; enfin cet ouvrage
de Mr. Le Duc de la Vauguion, merite que J'en parle un peu. Je dis un peu, parce qu'il m'est impossible d'en dire tout ce que l'on desireroit d'en savoir, M. de la Vauguion n'en parlant Jamais, et etant d'un Secret impenetrable sur lequel d'ailleurs J'ai t fort eloignee de vouloir l'attaquer. Tout Le monde connoit les liaisons de ce pays cy avec L'Angleterre. On n'en connoit pas moins le Principe, qui a t, si efficace que pendant long tems on a cru que ces deux nations etoient
necessairement attach es l'une a l'autre, de maniere, a ne pouvoir s'en detacher. On eut dit que cette Union etoit l'ouvrage de la nature m me. Et Il y a peut etre encore quelques gens chez lesquels ce Prejug n'est pas entierement effac. Le Stathouder n'a suivant toutes les Apparences aucun autre motif pour etre rest dans les Interets de L'Angleterre, au point ou Il Pest. Les liens du Sang ne seroient pas suffisans, puis qu'il a les memes, et Plus intimes avec la Prusse dont le Sisteme est tout a fait oppos a celui de la prosperite de L'Angleterre. Son Abbaisement est essentiel a sa Suret. Il faut donc que le Prince soit conduit par l'habitude de penser d'une certain maniere, et par le prejug que je viens de dire. Il se peut aussi, et cela est meme vraisemblable que la Crainte des Armes Angloises l'y ait engag. Je remarquerai, a cette occasion, que ce Sentiment a opere certainement sur plusieurs des membres de la Republique.
Ainsi voicy, comme je me la represente, au commencement de cette guerre cy. Le Chef decide en favour des Anglois, la plus grande Partie des Hollandois memes, ayant confusement dans la tete, L'Idee d'une Liaison avec L'Angleterre, necessaire, impossible a rompre ou tout au plus, pour des momens, effray s d'ailleurs des Suites d'une conduite hardie, qui pourroit les entrainer dans une guerre, pour laquelle ils n'ont aucunes mesures prises. De grandes difficult s a vaincre, le danger de perdre les juissance du moment, une tres ancienne habitude de Paresse, toute la nation semblant dans une sorte d'Etat de Lethargie, qui ne permet que difhcilement d'en rien attendre, qui reponde a ce qu'elle a t autrefois.
Il n'est pas aussi facile de rendre raison de la Conduite
de M. le Duc de Brunswic. Il est trop homme D'Etat, pour que les memes causes qui ont engourdi le Stathouder, et la nation, aient agi sur lui. On doit croire qu'il est trop eclair, pour n'avoir pas senti des le premier moment, combien il etoit important pour elle de se montrer dans cette occasion; et, cependant Il est toujours reste attache a L'Angleterre. Il a toujours agi pour elle. Il a meme maneuvr, suivant toute Apparence. Il y a, au moins, un fait, de ce genre qu'on ne peut nier, c'est la proposition fait en
d'augmenter l'armee de terre, au moment ou on alloit commencer, une Guerre de Mer. Quelques gens ont dit qu'il etoit pay, par l'Angleterre. J'en ai trouv qui le defend sur ce point, et disent qu'il en est incapable. Et, quoiqu'ils ne l'aiment pas, rejettent cette Idee, avec une Sorte d'indignation. Il faut alors croire, que c'est l'attachment qu'il a pour son nom, qui le seduit, et lui fait penser qu'il est de l'interest de la Hollande de se soumettre a L'Angleterre de borner son commerce a la portion a laquelle elle jugera apropos de la reduire: d'etre, en un mot, aux terms d'une de ses Colonies, et de perdre sa place dans la Liste des Souverains d'Europe.
C'est en effet a quoi les decisions du Ministere Anglois, auroient conduit la Republique, si le Roy avoit envoy un Ministre moins actif, moins penetrant, moins capable que Mr. de la Vauguion qui a scu, au tres grand Etonnement des Hollandois meme, demonter tous les moyens de leur Administration, et ouvrir aux gens bien intentionnes, les Routes, pour faire parvenir leurs Sentiments a l'assemblee des Etats et la ramener a des Principes plus conformes a ses vrais Interets, on pourroit dire a la raison, et a leur honneur.
Quelques Gens pensent que malgre tous les Talens, et tout l'Art qu'il a develloppes, il auroit Eu beaucoup de peine a reussir, si l'Administration, n'avoit pas fait des fautes capitales. Je vais en exposer quelqu'unes. 1. Elle avoit pouss la Pusillanimit, jusqu'a defendre, aux commandans des Escortes de prendre, sous leur Protection, les navires, charg s pour la France, D'Effets utiles a la marine. Cette resolution secrette, fut squ.M. de la V. presenta un memoire. On y repondit, et par l, on avouoit le fait, qui auroit t bien difficile a prouver si on s'etoit contente de le nier.
2. Lorsque les Deputes d'Amsterdam vinrent presenter au Prince leur memoire, contre M. le Duc de Brunswic, ils annoncerent eux m mes, que tout ce qu'ils alloient lui dire devoit etre renferm sous un Secret impenetrable. On dit qu'ils paroissoient fort emus. Si le Prince avoit mis leur memoire dans sa poche, leur en avoit fait bien des Remerciemens, et les eut renvoyes en leur faisant sentir la necessit du Secret, que seroit devenue l'affaire? Rien probablement. Mais il leur rendit ce memoire, on les ranima, ils le publierent, ou plutot le rendirent public. Car je ne sache pas qu'il y ait la de publication legale. 3. Alors M. Le Duc de Brunswic avoit un parti a prendre, qui etoit de laisser tomber, L'Affair, au moins jusqu'au moment ou on feroit quelque Allegation speciale contre lui, ce qui auroit ete fort difficile. Au lieu de cela il se plaignit aux Etats Generaux, mit les formes contre lui tant parce qu'au lieu d'une requete ou d'un memoire, il fit une simple Lettre, que parce qu'il s'addressa, aux Etats Generaux pendant que c'etoient les seuls Etats de Hollande a qui il appartenoit de connoitre de cette affaire. On a vu les Suites qu'elle a eus, mais si le Duc, n'avoit rien dit, s'il avoit
laiss aux Magistrats D'Amsterdam le Soin de donner le mouvement a cette affair, ils auroient pu se trouver fort embarrass s.
4. Avant le tems dont je viens de parler, l'Administration fit encore une grande faute contre ses vues. Elle vouloit que les Anglois fissent ce qui leur plairoit, et ce qui leur plaisoit, etoit de prendre tous les Vaisseaux charges pour la France, de matieres propres a L'Usage d'une flotte. Il falloit leur dire, de payer aux prix courant les effets qu'ils auroient saisis. Le Commerce n'auroit peut etre jamais remu. Alors les villes seroient probablement restees tranquilles par les raisons que J'ay indiqu es, au Commencement de cette note. Il est certain que ce ne Sont que les Negotians qui les ont mis en Activite, ou au moins, Its y ont bien contribues. Ceux qui parmi eux avoient le Sentiment de la Dignite de la Republique et qui souffroient de la voir aneantie, se sont fort appuyes sur les petitions des Negotians, mais quand les Negotians auroient t bien pay s de leur Cargaisons, il auroit ete facile au parti anglois de les ecarter en leur repondant, qu'ils n'avoient aucun droit de se plaindre, aucun fondement legitime pour leurs representations. Etant pay s suivant leurs factures, Its ne pouvoient alors parler que du manque de respect pour le Pavillion, Chose qui ne les regardoit pas.
Cela auroit ete d'autant plus aise a etablir que les Regences, seroient fort fachees qu'on crut que c'est le Commerce qui les conduit, ou, si Yon veut qui les engage a telle ou telle demarche. Plus elles sentent que c'est au commerce que le Republique doit
L'Existence qu'elle conserve, et plus elles veulent cacher cette Verite, afain de ne jamais dependre d'un corps qui leur est a quelques egards etranger. Les magistrats, surtout ceux D'Amsterdam, seroient bien fach s que l'on crut qu'ils font le Commerce, Its veulent meme cacher que leurs Ancetres aient ete commercans. Et Il y a tel homme, qui sauroit fort mauvais gre a celui qui lui diroit que son pere ou son grand Pere, avoit le premier Comptoir D'Amsterdam.
5. Une autre faute a t, dans la celebre affaire du pensionaire D'Amsterdam, de rendre aux Deput s de cette Ville la Sentence que la Cour de Hollande, avoit prononc. C'etoit une Arme qu'il falloit conserver, quitte a ne jamais s'en servir. Des qu'on l'eut abandon e, La Regence D'Amsterdam n'eut plus rien a craindre et se trouva en Liberte d'agir, comme elle l'a fait.
Nota. On ne m'a pas bien expliqu comment cette Sentence, n'existoit que Bans un seul papier, ce que les notaires appellent en Brevet. Les Tribunaux ont des registres, ou sont leurs Sentences, et la Public ne peut en avoir que des Expeditions. Quand J'ay fait cette question, on ne s'est pas trouvee en Etat, d'y repondre. Voila
Voila une partie des fautes qu'on reproche a L'Administration. La premiere de toutes, fort anterieure a celles cy, a t, peut tre de se laisser voir de trop pres, mais certainement de ne s'etre pas attach e les gens les plus accredit s dans les provinces pour en former son Conseil.
Le Duc scait tres mauvais gr a ceux qui vont a L'hotel de
France. Il affecte le contraire, leur dit m me non seulment qu'il y faut aller, mais qu'ils feront bien, et cherche ensuite de les desservir.
C.S. came in familiarly at Breakfast, and I had a hours Conversation with him upon the foregoing Extract. I shew him some Papers. He thinks the American Cause ought to come in.
Walked to the House in the Wood.
Near 3 O Clock Mr. Fagel came in Person, and in Ceremony to make me a Visit, and delivered to me, the four other Copies of the Treaty attested by himself, to be sent to America. Complaisant as usual.
At 6 Mr. Van der Burg van Spieringshoek, the Agent of their H.M., came and delivered me their Resolution relative to Mr. Dubble de mutz's Vessell desiring me to transmitt it to Congress which I promised to do.
Spent most of the day in signing Obligations, for the United States. It is hard work to sign ones Name 1600 times after dinner.
Spent the day in signing Obligations and packing the Treaties and dispatches.
Sent 3 Copies of the Treaty of Commerce and as many of the Convention concerning Recaptures, by Mr. Storer to Amsterdam to go by three different Vessells.
Finished packing my Papers for my journey to Paris. Mr. Storer is to prepare every Thing for Us to set off, from the Arms of Amsterdam, on Fryday Morning.Mr. Thaxter and I are to be there on Thursday night.
Walked the Tour of the Wood twice. Met the Court twice.
The Names of the Lords the Deputies of the Committee of foreign Affairs who signed with me, the Treaty of [illegible] Commerce and the Convention concerning Recaptures, on the 8 of this Month are
George Van Randwick of Guelderland
Van den Santheuvel of Holland
P. Van Bleiswyck of Holland
W C. H. Van Lynden of Zeeland
D.S. [i.e. J.] Van Heeckeren of Utrecht
Joan Van Kuffeler of Friesland
H. Tjassens of Groningen.
Vischer and Gyselaer have been pumping D, to get out of him my Secret. But luckily it was not in him. They insinuated to him that bent had received Instructions to exchange full Powers with American Ministers. That these were about to speak in a high "tenir une haute Langage." That there would be no Congress Vienna nor Brussells, but the Peace would be made at Paris. This they learn I suppose from the Dispatches of their Ministers Berkenrode and Brantzen.
1782 OCT. 14 MONDAY.
Not long after my Reception here I was invited by Mr. Le Vaillant At Amsterdam, to dine with him in Company with Mr. Van Berckell, Bikker, and their Connections. When, according to the Ton in this country, We came to that Period of the Feast, when the Toasts begin, Mr. Le Vaillant produced a beautifull Glass, round the Rim which was engraved Aurea Libertas. He filled it, and first addressing himself to the Glass and then to me, pronounced these Words, with a profound Bow.
Aurea Libertas gaude: Pars altera mundi
Vindice te, renuit subdere colla jugo.
Haec tibi, Legatum quern consors Belga recipit,
Pectore sincero pocula plena fero.
Utraque Gens nectet, mox suspicienda Tyrannis
Quae Libertati vincula sacra precor.
Never was Bumper quaffed with more good Will.
The Duke de la Vauguion has invited me and my Family to dine him to day. He advises me to present Mr. Dumas, to the President, Greffier and Grand Pensionary as my Charg des Affairs in my abscence. As Mr. D. has no Commission as Secretary to this Legation, nor any other Character than that of Correspondent of Mr. Franklin, most of an ancient Committee of Congress, which I suppose has ceased, I have some difficulty about this. Some members of Congress at least may think that I advance too fast.
At have after 9 I waited on Mr. Bleiswyck, to give him Notice that I intended to set off, on Thursday Morning for Paris.
He cryes "C'es une bonne Augure, Monsieur." -- "Oui Monsieur, Je m'en vais, ave la rameau d'olivier, dans la bouche, dans le Coeur et a la main." -- He seemed to be very happy to learn it. I asked him, if their Minister at Paris, had given them any late Information, concerning the Negotiations for Peace. He said Yes, they had informed him that the Court of Great Britain had fully acknowledged the Independence of America. That Mr. Fitzherbert was instructed to exchange Full Powers with the American Ministers. -- I told him that I was invited an pressed by my Colleagues to go to Paris, and that I should be happy to take his Commands, on Wednesday. -- I went next to Mr. Fagel, an informed him of my intended journey. He seemed really overjoyed Said "C'est un bon Mark" &c. He repeated to me, that their Ministers had written, that Mr. Fitzherbert had received such Instructions, an that the Comte de Vergennes
had told them that he was now fully perswaded
, that Great Britain, i.e. the British Ministry, were now sincerely disposed to Peace. Mr. Fagel said he did not expect that should have gone so soon. I told him, that I was urged by my Colleague to come. That I had the Honour
to be at the head of this Commission. That I was sent to Europe 3 Years ago, with a Commission as sole Minister Plenipotentiary, for Peace. But that last Year Congress had thought fit to change the Plan a little. They had sent me a Commission to this Republick
, and had associated with me in the Commission for Peace, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Jay,Mr. Laurens and Mr. Jefferson. Mr. Laurens had resigned, or rather not accepted. Mr. Jeferson was in America, so that there remained only Mr. Franklin, Mr. Jay
That Mr. Franklin was infirm -- had the Gout and Gravel or Strangury and could not Sleep -- so that it became more necessary for me to go. He asked how old Mr. Franklin was? I told him 76. That he was born in 1706. -- He said that is my Age. I am of 1706, but I have no Disorders -- no Pains or Uneasiness at all. In my Youth I was very infirm, had the Gravel and several Disorders, but they are all worn away with time. -- I asked him if he took the Air much? He said Yes, a great deal, and he was very fond of Walking. He walked Yesterday four hours in the Downs from 10 to 2., and he was very well. He asked me when I should return? I answered, that if the Negotiations for Peace, should begin and go on, it was impossible to say: but that otherwise I should return in three Weeks... He said he hoped, then, I should not return before next Spring.
This Gentleman has a very young Look -- much younger than Mr. Franklin. A Countenance, fresh and ruddy, clear, unclouded. A small, spare Man.
Dined with M. de la Vauguion, with M. De Llano,Renovalles,Sarsefield,Fenelon,Berenger,Dumas, Thaxter,Cremou,Creanci -- very gay and social.
Fell into Conversation after Dinner with Sarsefield,Renovalles &c. about Biscay, Friesland &c. S. said the Genius of certain People had preserved them Priviledges. -- What is the Genius of People? says I. It is a Manufacture, it is the Effect of Government and Education &c -- S. run on about the Panurge, Pantagruel &c. of Rabelais, the Romeo and Julliet of Shakespeare, the Mandragore of Machiavel, the Tartuff of Moliere, &c. &c.
OCT. 15. TUESDAY.
This Morning at 10 made my Visit to the President Van Randwick of Guelderland to take Leave of their H. [High]
and presented Mr. Dumas as Charg des Affairs in my Absence. Went next to the Hotel de Dordrecht to take Leave of Mr. Gyselaer
, and next to that of Amsterdam, to take Leave of Mr. Vischer, who was more bold and open than ever I knew him. Said it was the Statholder
who was the greatest; le plus g. t. de ce Pays ci -- entete come une Mule, &c. He shewed
me a Letter from Mr. Brantzen at Paris, which contained that the C. de Vergennes
told him, Mr. Fitzherbert had informed him that the Independence of America, would meet with no longer Difficulty. That he had received a special Commission to treat with the Ministers of the United States of America.
At 12 The Agent Vander Burg Van Spieringshoek enquired at the House If I could receive him at one. I answered in the affirmative. Accordingly at one he came, and said that he had it in Command from their High Mightinesses to inform me, that the President Mr. Van Randwyk had informed them of my Intention to take a journey to France, that they had charged him to make me their Compliments, to wish me a good journey, and a speedy Return in good Health.
At 3 I went to the House in the Wood and took Leave of the Princess and afterwards of the Prince. He asked me, several Questions. What were my Sentiments of the Negotiation at Paris? Whether I thought the King of Great Britain had taken upon himself, without an Act of Parliament to acknowledge the Independance of America? Who were the Ministers on the Part of America to treat of Peace. -- Mr. Franklin, Monsieur. -- And who is the other. -- Mr. Jay says I. -- He who has been at Madrid? says he. -- The same.
In the Evening, Mr. Gyselaer
came in, and We had a long Conversation. He told me, that a few Weeks ago, Mr. Thulemeyer visited the Duke de la Vauguion
, and informed him that the King, (of Prussia) his Master, would not take it well that the Court of Versailles, or his Minister here, should intermeddle with the Interiour Parties and Disputes in the Republick
. And at the same Time the Duke received a Letter from the C. De Vergennes
, informing him that the Prussian Minister at Versailles had said the same Things to him: but that he had convinced him that all jealousy of that kind was groundless. -- He told me, that upon this Occasion
He entered deep into Conversation, and said that he did not desire Versailles to intermeddle, unless as a Counterpoise to Prussias intermeddling. There was an Affair of 1714 which had made the Prince absolute in Utrech, Guelderland and Overyssell. That if the Patriots should attempt to change that, and Prussia should interpose to prevent it, unless they should be supported by France, they must succumb and pass for the Dupes. That he must be sensible, if they determined upon this Measure, and France should desert them, they must look out elsewhere. -- Ay where? -- Perhaps to the Emperor. -- Furious. -- Ay, but you must be sensible that I ought [not]
to quit your House, without Satisfaction upon this Point.
He says the Prince has lately said that some Foreigner would soon interest himself in the Affairs of the Republick. He wished, if I could be usefull to them at Versailles, or here with the Duke that I would.
OCT. 16. WEDNESDAY.
Dined with the Baron De Linden de Blitterswick, the first Noble of Zealand.Llano, Almeida,Thulemeyer, Mirabel,Gallitzin and Markow, were all there.Geelwink, Sarsefield,Heyden, Boreel &c. 16 in all.
Mr. De Linden told me that their H.M. had lately consulted with all their Amirals and best Master Builders and had endeavoured to discover the best possible Model of a Ship, and that he would send it to me, as he did the next Morning. I have desired Mr. Dumas to send it to Congress. -- Received an Invitation from Court to sup, tomorrow night. Sent an Excuse.
OCT. 17. THURSDAY.
Began my journey to Paris from the Hague, dined at Harlem and drank Tea at five O Clock at Amsterdam. Paid Mr. Bromfield 200 Ducats 1050 Guilders and took his Receipt upon Account... Met Mr. Willink upon the Road, going to the Hague, with a Lady. He has left for me a Letter of Credit upon Paris, unlimited. He wished my journey to Paris might have a Tendency towards Peace.
OCTOBER 18. FRYDAY.
Sat off, at ten from the Arms of Amsterdam with Mr. John Thaxter and Mr. Charles Storer. Refreshed our Horses at Loenen a Village, half Way to Utrecht, passed the Villages Bruykelen, Massen and Suylen.
It is 8 hours, Stones, or Leagues from Amsterdam to Utrecht. The Village of Suylen and its Neighbourhood is full of Brick Killns. The Clay is found in that Neighborhood, and they burn the Bricks with Turf, Wood and Coal. Put up at Utrecht at the New Castle of Antwerp, which is now kept by Oblet, who speaks English very well, altho born at Leyden. The grand Canal, which runs through this Town is a great Curiosity. The paved Street upon each Side of it, is a covered Way, or rather, the Cover of a Cellar. The Cellars of the Houses are all continued out, under this Paved Street, to the Canal. And there are Doors through which Men pass from the Canal, under the Street into the Cellars of the Houses and a contra from the Cellars to the Canal and the Boats, Barks, or Schuits in it. The city maintains the Pavement but the Vaults underneath are maintained by the Proprietors.Oblet tells me, that the Spanish and Prussian Ambassadors were here, a few days ago. Came in an hired Carriage. That Lord Stormont and his Lady were once here. Travelled only with 2 Men Servants. Very near. My Lady had not so much as a Maid, with her.Peterson is much hated.Oostergo makes a damned noise to day, about the fleets not going to Brest.
OCTOBER 19. SATURDAY.
From Utrecht to Gorcum is 8 Leagues. Here we dined, at the Doele kept by Mr. Van Dongen. He told Us that as soon as We should get out of Town We should come to the River, near the Junction of the Maes with the Wahal, a Branch of the Rhine, that if We looked up the River We should have a full View of the Castle of Louvestein. We had accordingly a fair View of it. It stands upon an Island in the Middle of the River. There is an high and large square Tour of a Church at no great Distance from it. Gorinchem or Gorcum is one of the 18 Cities of the Province of Holland.
We dined at Gorcum, but as it was impossible to reach Breda before half after 6, when the Gates of that City are shut, my Servant rode forward on Horseback, and went to the Prince Cardinal a publick House, the Keeper of which applied to General Marsdam, the Governor, so that when We arrived at near 9 O Clock, We found an officer and a Guard at the Gate, who said he had orders to admit Mr. Adams the Ambassador of America. I gave the Guards 4 Guilders on the Spot and sent em 2 ducats afterwards.
The 4 last Leagues being Sand, were tolerable, but the former 4 being Clay were very bad -- muddy, and deep.
OCT. 20. SUNDAY.
Rising early this Morning and ringing for a Servant, was told that my Servant and most of those of the House were gone to Mass. -- The Name of the Keeper of the Prince Cardinal is Van Opdorp.
Spent the whole day in travelling from Breda to Antwerp, without eating or drinking. The Distance is only ten Leagues. Put up at the grand Laboureur, opposite the Church with the Statue of the Prophet Elias upon it. The Coaches in great Numbers were driving backwards and forwards upon the Place Demier, as upon the Boulevards at Paris. It was Sunday Evening, and this March and Countermarch was for Pleasure and for Health.
Thus four days have been compleatly consumed in passing from the Hague to Antwerp, and We have seen nothing and conversed with Nobody, so bad have been the Roads and so cold and rainy the Weather. -- Reached Antwerp at Night and lodged at the Gran Laboureur upon the Place de Mier, where the Emperor lodged last Year and left his Portrait, which We saw, and an Inscription, in the Entry.
Joseph 2d loge ici day of 1781 .
This Evening all the Carriages of the Town were parading in the place de Mier, full of Ladies and Gentlemen as on the Boulvards at Paris.
OCT. 21. MONDAY.
Went to the Cathedral Church, where We saw the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the famous Altar Piece of Reubens, the Figures and Colouring are beautifull beyond description -- and the Descent of Jesus from the Cross. Reubens has placed in this Piece his three Wives and Daughter, and his own head. The Colouring is all gloomy, accommodated to the Subject.
In this Church each Trade has its Altar. We remarked the Martyrdom of Crispin, Patron of the Shoemakers, in another Part the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian shot by Arrows. This Church is remarkably clean. No Dust upon any of the Figures.
Went next to the Church of St. James, principally
To see the Tomb of Rubens. There is a Picture drawn by Rubens, containing in one Piece the Figures of his Grandfather, Father, two of his Wives and three of his Children. An Inscription at the Door, Ostium Monumenti Familiae Rubenianae.
Rubens was born at Cologne, but removed at the Age of 10 Years, with his Family to Antwerp. He travelled into Italy. Mass is said 4 times a day at this Altar.
Went next to see the private Collection of Jaques Van Lancker. Here is an Head of his second Wife by Reubens and a larger Picture of the Saviour delivering the Keys to St. Peter. There is a jealousy very remarkable in the face of one of the Apostles. A Christ by Reubens, a Magdalene by Paul Veronese, an Italian, A Man and his Wife by Rembrant, and several other Pieces by him,Vandyke &c.
We went in the last Place to see the private Collection of Pilaer and Beekmans, Negotiants en Dentelles, Diamans, Tableaux, Desseins, Estampes &c. Place de Mier.
The most remarkable Piece in this Collection is an old Woman, his Mother, with a Bible on the Table before her, by Rembrant. This is called his Master Piece. It is indeed an Admirable Picture.
The Son in Law of this house told me, there was a Society formed in this Town, which had
begun to send Ventures to America.
After Dinner, We rode to Bruxelles, and put up, at the Hotel de belle Vue.Mr. Jennings came in, and We had a very agreable hour with him.
The Gate was shut before our Arrival. The Porter demanded my Name and Quality, in order to send them to a Burgomaster of the City, for a Billet du Porte. The Messenger returned with an order to admit Mr. Adams Minister Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis &c. in stronger terms than usual. I did not know but the Burgomaster would have omitted the Quality in the order. But I am told that every body here is American.
OCTOBER 22. TUESDAY.
Visited Mr. William Lee, in the Place de St. Mitchell with Mr. Jennings.Mr. Lee said that the Swallow was a Sign of Summer. My Appearance denoted Peace.
Mr. Jennings let me into the Character of Mr. Fitsherbert. . . . His Father was prevailed on by Ld. North to vote with him, but he was never easy in his mind about it, and finally cut his own Throat. The Gentleman at Paris is about 33, wholly dependent on Ld. Shelbourne. Has Parts but very conceited, and assuming. Not liked by the English while at Brussells, because he did not keep a Table. He was only Resident and his Appointment small, not more than 1500
He writes from Paris, that the C. de Vergennes has a Great Character, but that he sees nothing in him .... This is evidence of Vanity, for that Minister has at least a vast Experience, and too much reserve to give Proofs of Great or little Qualities so soon to this young Gentleman .... His Parts are quick and his Education has been good .... He has sometimes treated the English with cool Contempt and sometimes with hot Pride.
We set off on our journey about Twelve but before We reached Halle, the Iron Axletree of our fore Weels snapped off like a Piece of Glass, our Carriage fell, and We were put to great difficulty to drag it, to the Porte Verde a Tavern in this Village. Being thus detained for the Reparation of our Carriage, after Dinner We walked about the Village and visited the Church of Notre Dame de Halle, but saw nothing but what is very common. The Village is dirty and poor .... What a Contrast to the Villages of Holland.
OCT. 23. WEDNESDAY.
Rode to Mons in a great Rain, dined at the Couronne De L'Impereur, very well and very cheap, rode to Valenciennes and found our Axletree broken again. Put up at the Post house.
Walked about the Town, the Churches all shut, and nothing remarkable.
The bright rosy morning, peeps over the Hills
With blushes adorning, the Meadows and Fields.
The merry, merry, merry horn, calls come, come away
Awake from your Slumbers, and hail the new Day.
The Stag rous'd before Us, away seems to fly
And pants to the Chorus of Hounds in full Cry.
The follow, follow, follow, follow, the musical Chase
While Pleasure and Vigour each other embrace.
The day Sports being over, makes blood circle right
And gives the brisk Lover, fresh Charms for the night.
Then Let Us, Let us now enjoy, all We can while We may
Let Love crown the night Boys, as our Sports crown the day.
The Banks of the Dee.
T'was Summer, when softly the Breezes were blowing
And sweetly the Nightingale sang from the Tree
At the Foot of a Rock, where the River was flowing
I sat myself down on the Banks of the Dee.
Flow on lovely Dee! flow on thou sweet River
Thy Bank's, purest Stream! shall be dear to me, ever
For then I first gain'd the Affections and favour
Of Jemmy, the Glory and Pride of the Dee.
But now he is gone and has left me, thus mourning
To quel the proud Tyrant, for valiant is he
And Ah! There's nae hope of his speedy returning
To stroll here again on the Banks of the Dee.
He's gone hapless youth, o'er the wide roaring Billows
The kindest the sweetest of all the young Fellows
And has left me to wander among the green Willows
The loneliest Lass, on the Banks of the Dee.
But time and my Prayers may perhaps yet restore him
Sweet Peace may return my dear Soldier to me
And when he returns, with such Care, I'll watch o'er him
He n'eer shall again leave the Banks of the Dee.
The Dee then shall flow all its Beauties displaying
The Lambs shall again on its Banks be seen playing
Whilst I with my Jemmy, am carelessly straying
And tasting afresh all the Sweets of the Dee.
All the Cities and Villages of Brabant are very different from those of Holland. The Streets very foul. The Houses very dirty, the Doors and Windows broken, Bricks and Glass wanting. The People, Men, Women and Children filthy and ragged.
OCT. 24 THURSDAY.
Visited the Church at Valenciennes. Saw a notre Dame De Hall. She appears pregnant. A Collection of Portraits ancient and modern, and a Picture of the Virgin Mary in the Air, sending by Angels a Cord round the City with an Inscription importing, Valenciennes surrounded with a Cord by the blessed Virgin, and saved from the Plague Anno 1008
Dined at Cambray, visited the Cathedral, saw the Tomb of Fenelon, his Statue, Picture &c. Saw the Chapter where the Chanoines meet twice a Week, and saw also the
Room where are the Portraits of all the Archbishops and Bishops ancient and Modern, and Fenelon among the rest. There is also in this Church a curious Piece of Clock Work, which represents the whole Proscess
with Jesus Christ like that in the 7 Chappells
of Mount Calvare. -- Lodged at Peronne.
Dined at Gourney. Carriage broke again. Arrived at Night, at PontSainte -- Maxence, two Posts from Chantilly and one and an half from Senlis.
The Ecchoing horn
The ecchoing horn calls the Sportsmen abroad
To horse, my brave Boys, and away
The morning is up and the Cry of the hounds
Upbraids our too tedious Delay.
What Pleasure We find in pursuing the Fox
O'er hills and o'er Valleys he flies
Then follow, W'ell soon overtake him. Huzza
The Traitor is seized on and dies.
Tryumphant returning at night with our Spoils
Like Bacchanals shouting and gay
How Sweet with a Bottle and Lass to refresh
And loose the Fatigues of the Day.
With Sport, Love and Wine fickle Fortune defy
Dull Wisdom all Happiness sours
Since Life is no more than a Passage at best
Let's strew the Way over with Flowers.
1782 OCTOBER 26 SATURDAY.
Parted from Pont Sainte Maxence, for Chantilly. The distance is two Postes, and We found the Road very good. We went to see the Stables, and Horses. I had on my travelling Gloves, and one of the Grooms run up to Us, with 3 Whip Sticks, and presented them to Us. This is an Air which the Grooms give themselves, in order to get Something to drink. They do the same to the Prince of Conde himself, if he enters the Stables with Gloves on his hands. I gave them six Livres, but if I had been in a private Character, I should have thought 24s. or even half of it, enough.
We went round the Castle, and took a Look at the Statue of the grande Conde, in marble, half Way up the great Stair Case, and saw the Statue on Horseback in Bronze, of the grand Constable Montmorency. Walked round the Gardens, Fish Ponds, Grottoes and Waterspouts. And looked at the Carps and Swan that came up to Us for Bread. Nothing is more curious than this. Whistle or throw a Bit of Bread into the Water and hundreds of Carps large and fat as butter will be seen swimming near the Top of the Water towards you, and will assemble all in a huddle, before you. Some of them will thrust up their Mouths to the Surface, and gape
at you like young Birds in a Nest to their Parents for Food.
While We were viewing the Statue of Montmorency Mademoiselle de Bourbon came out into the Round house at the Corner of the Castle dressed in beautifull White, her Hair uncombed hanging and flowing about her Showlders, with a Book in her Hand, and leaned over the Bar of Iron, but soon perceiving that she had caught my Eye, and that I viewed her more attentively than she fancied, she rose up with that Majesty and Grace, which Persons of her Birth affect, if they are not taught, turned her Hair off of both her Showlders, with her Hands, in a manner that I could not comprehend, and decently stepped back into the Chamber and was seen no more. The Book in her hand is consistent, with what I heard 4 Years ago at the Palais de Bourbon in Paris, that she was fond of Reading . . . .
The Managery, where they exercise the Horses is near the end of the Stables and is a magnificent Piece of Architecture. The orangery appears large, but We did not look into it.
The Village of Chantilly, appears a small Thing. In the Forest or Park We saw Bucks, Hares, Pheasants, Partridges &c. but not in such Plenty as one would expect.
We took a Cutlet and glass of Wine, at ten at Chantilly, that We might not be tempted to stop again, accordingly We arrived, in very good Season at the Hotel de Valois, Rue de Richelieu, where the House however was so full that We found but bad Accommodations.
Now the Hill Tops are burnished, with Azure and Gold
And the Prospect around Us most bright to behold
The hounds are all trying the Mazes to trace
The Steeds are all neighing and pant for the Chase
Then rouse each true Sportsman, and join at the Dawn
The Song of the Huntsman, and Sound of the Horn.
The Horn, The Horn, the Song of the Huntsman
and Sound of the Horn.
Wherever We go Pleasure waits on Us still
If We sink in the Valley, or rise on the Hill
See the Downs now we leave, and the Coverts appear
As eager We follow, the Fox or the Hare.
The Horn, The Horn, the Song of the Huntsman
and Sound of the Horn.
O'er Hedges and Ditches We valiantly fly
For fearless of Death We ne'er think we shall die.
From Ages long past by the Poets we are told
That Hunting was lov'd by the Sages of old
That the Soldier and Huntsman were both on a Par
That the health giving Chase made them bold in the War.
The Chase being over away to the Bowl
The full flowing Bumper shall chear up our Soul
Whilst jocund our Songs shall with Chorus's ring
A Toast to our Lasses, our Country and King.
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