“If by this means you can get a good new crew, I think it would be best that you are quite free of the old, for a mixture might introduce the infection of that sickness you complain of. But this may be left to your own discretion. Perhaps we shall join you with the Providence, Captain Whipple, a new Continental ship of thirty guns, which, in coming out of the river of Providence, gave the two frigates that were posted to intercept her each of them so heavy a dose of her 18- and 12-pounders that they had not the courage or were not able to pursue her. It seems to be desired that you will step up to Versailles (where one will meet you), in order to such a settlement of matters and plans with those who have the direction as can not well be done by letter. I wish it may be convenient to you to do it immediately.
“The project of giving you the command of this ship pleases me the more as it is a probable opening to the higher preferment you so justly merit.”
In obedience to this request Jones went privately to Versailles, where he spent some time in consultation with the commissioners and the French ministry discussing the exchange of prisoners, and proposed several plans of attack by which his services could be utilized. These plans well indicate the fertility of imagination, the resourceful genius, and the daring hardihood of the man. One of them was for making another descent upon Whitehaven, another was to attack the Bank of Ayr and destroy or ransom that town; another was to burn the shipping on the Clyde. Expeditions on the coast of Ireland were suggested. London might be distressed, he thought, by cutting off the supplies of coal from Newcastle; but the most feasible projects were the capture or destruction of the West Indian or Baltic fleets of merchantmen or the Hudson Bay ships.
The Minister of Marine, M. de Sartine, lent an attentive ear to all of the plans which were proposed, and Jones returned to Brest with high hopes that he should be soon employed in an expedition to carry out one or the other of these plans with adequate means to do it well. It is quite likely that the minister was as earnest and honest in his intentions as the king in his desire to make use of Jones, but the formal declaration of war rendered it possible to prosecute the enterprises which had been suggested by Jones, if it were thought expedient to attempt them, under the French flag and with French officers. As France had only intended to use him under the cover of the American flag to harass England before war was declared, and as that could now be done openly under her own flag, they did not see the same necessity for his services as before.
The matter of finding employment for him was further complicated by the fact that since a state of actual war existed the ministry was besieged with applications from numbers of French officers for command, and the ships which had been proposed for Jones were naturally appropriated to the French themselves. Even if a command could have been found for the American, there would have been a natural disinclination, so great as to be nearly prohibitive of success, on the part of the French officers to serving under a foreigner. Time brought him nothing but disappointment, and the high hopes he had cherished gradually waned.
Always a persistent and voluminous letter writer, in his desperation he overwhelmed everybody with correspondence. Inaction was killing to him. Not to be employed was like death itself to a man of his intensely energetic temperament. His pride would not permit him to return to the United States and seek a command when he had specifically announced, in a letter to Congress by the returning Ranger, that the King of France asked that he might make use of his services, and therefore no command in America need be reserved for him; and yet he now found himself a hanger on the outskirts of a court and a ministry which had no further use for him.
The delicate situation of the commissioners, who had been themselves scarcely more than on sufferance, did not permit them, in the interests of expediency and diplomacy, to insist as strongly as they would have liked to do, that the king and the ministry should keep their engagement with Jones, which was, of course, an engagement with them and with the United States. Diplomacy and persuasion were the only weapons at their command. They certainly made good use of them. Franklin, pending something else, procured the minister’s order that Jones should be received on the great French fleet of D’Orvilliers, which was about to put to sea to engage the English fleet under Keppel. He was very desirous of availing himself of this invitation, which he himself sought, for it would give him an opportunity he could not otherwise hope to enjoy, of perfecting himself in naval tactics and the fine art of maneuvering and governing a great fleet. He never allowed anything to interfere–so far as he was able to prevent it–with his advancement in professional study. The permission, however, to D’Orvilliers’ great regret, arrived too late, for the fleet sailed without him. The French admiral seems to have appreciated the American captain, and to have highly esteemed him. It is stated that the delay in transmitting the permission was intentional, and was due to the jealousy of the French naval service.
Jones was exasperated by all these happenings almost to the breaking point. In one letter he says: “I think of going to L’Orient, being heartily sick of Brest.” I should think he would be! As days passed without bringing him any nearer to the fruition of his hope, he became more modest in his demands and propositions. One significant phrase culled from one of his letters well indicates the bold, dashing character of the man: “I do not wish to have command of any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.” In the sentence which follows this statement, we get another touch of that entire consciousness of his own ability and high quality which, though warranted, it were better, perhaps, for his reputation if it were not so evident in his writing: “I know, I believe, that this is no other person’s intention. Therefore, buy a frigate that sails fast and is sufficiently large to carry twenty-six or twenty-eight guns on one deck.”
His state of mind may well be understood from this citation: “I have, to show my gratitude to France, lost so much time, and with it such opportunities as I can not regain. I have almost killed myself with grief.”
Chafing, fretting, writing letters, the time dragged on. At last he addressed to the Minister of Marine, M. de Sartine, this emphatic protest and statement which he calls, and justly, an explicit letter. It is certainly sufficiently definite and clear, and shows that rank and position did not deter him from a free and somewhat sarcastic expression of his grievances and wrongs:
“Brest, September 13, 1778.
“Honoured Sir: When his excellency Doctor Franklin informed me that you had condescended to think me worthy of your notice, I took such pleasure in reflecting on the happy alliance between France and America that I was really flattered, and entertained the most grateful sense of the honour which you proposed for me, as well as the favour which the king proposed for America, by putting so fine a ship as the Indien under my command, and under its flag, with unlimited orders.
“In obedience to your desire, I came to Versailles, and was taught to believe that my intended ship was in deep water, and ready for sea; but when the Prince [de Nassau] returned I received from him a different account; I was told that the Indien could not be got afloat within a shorter period than three months at the approaching equinox.
“To employ this interval usefully, I first offered to go from Brest with Count D’Orvilliers as a volunteer, which you thought fit to reject. I had then the satisfaction to find that you approved in general of a variety of hints for private enterprises which I had drawn up for your consideration, and I was flattered with assurances from Messieurs de Chaumont and Baudouin that three of the finest frigates in France, with two tenders and a number of troops, would be immediately put under my command; and that I should have unlimited orders, and be at free liberty to pursue such of my own projects as I thought proper. But this plan fell to nothing in the moment when I was taught to think that nothing was wanting but the king’s signature.
“Another much inferior armament from L’Orient was proposed to be put under my command, which was by no means equal to the services that were expected from it; for speed and force, though both requisite, were both wanting. Happily for me, this also failed, and I was thereby saved from a dreadful prospect of ruin and dishonour.
“I had so entire a reliance that you would desire nothing of me inconsistent with my honour and rank, that the moment you required me to come down here, in order to proceed round to St. Malo, though I had received no written orders, and neither knew your intention respecting my destination or command, I obeyed with such haste, that although my curiosity led me to look at the armament at L’Orient, yet I was but three days from Passy till I reached Brest. Here, too, I drew a blank; but when I saw the Lively it was no disappointment, as that ship, both in sailing and equipment, is far inferior to the Ranger.
“My only disappointment here was my being precluded from embarking in pursuit of marine knowledge with Count D’Orvilliers, who did not sail till seven days after my return. He is my friend, and expressed his wishes for my company; I accompanied him out of the road when the fleet sailed, and he always lamented that neither himself nor any person in authority in Brest had received from you any order that mentioned my name. I am astonished therefore to be informed that you attribute
my not being in the fleet to my stay at L’Orient.
“I am not a mere adventurer of fortune. Stimulated by principles of reason and philanthropy, I laid aside my enjoyments in private life, and embarked under the flag of America when it was first displayed. In that line my desire of fame is infinite, and I must not now so far forget my own honour, and what I owe to my friends and America, as to remain inactive.
“My rank knows no superior in the American marine. I have long since been appointed to command an expedition with five of its ships, and I can receive orders from no junior or inferior officer whatever.
“I have been here in the most tormenting suspense for more than a month since my return; and, agreeable to your desire, as mentioned to me by Monsieur Chaumont, a lieutenant has been appointed, and is with me, who speaks the French as well as the English. Circular letters
have been written, and sent the 8th of last month from the English admiralty, because they expected me to pay another visit with four ships. Therefore I trust that, if the Indien is not to be got out, you will not, at the approaching season, substitute a force that is not at least equal both in strength and sailing to any of the enemy’s cruising ships.
“I do not wish to interfere with the harmony of the French marine; but, if I am still thought worthy of your attention, I shall hope for a separate command, with liberal orders. If, on the contrary, you should now have no further occasion for my services, the only favour I can ask is that you will bestow on me the Alert, with a few seamen, and permit me to return, and carry with me your good opinion in that small vessel, before the winter, to America.”
His intense, burning desire for action, however, did not permit him to
degrade, as he thought, his Government and station by accepting the command of a privateer which was tendered to him. In the command of a speedy, smart privateer there is no limit to the plundering he might have done and the treasure he might have gained, if that had been what he wished. Many naval officers before and since his time have done this and thought it not derogatory to their dignity. It is therefore to Jones’ credit that he was very jealous in this and many other instances on the point of honor of serving in no ship, under no flag, and with no commission save that of the United States. We shall see this spirit again and again. The citizen of the world was beginning to feel that the world as his country was hardly adequate to his needs; in theory it was a very pretty proposition, but in practice it was necessary to form and maintain a more definite and particular relationship. As a final effort to better his condition and secure that opportunity for which he thirsted, he prepared the following letter to the king:
“Brest, October 19, 1778.
“Sire: After my return to Brest in the American ship of war the Ranger, from the Irish Channel, his excellency Doctor Franklin informed me by letter, dated June the 1st, that M. de Sartine, having a high opinion of my conduct and bravery, had determined, with your Majesty’s consent and approbation, to give me the command of the ship of war the Indien, which was built at Amsterdam for America, but afterward, for political reasons, made the property of France.
“I was to act with unlimited orders under the commission and flag of America; and the Prince de Nassau proposed to accompany me on the ocean.
“I was deeply penetrated with the sense of the honour done me by this generous proposition, as well as of the favour your Majesty intended thereby to confer on America. And I accepted the offer with the greater pleasure as the Congress had sent me to Europe in the Ranger to command the Indien before the ownership of that vessel was changed.
“The minister desired to see me at Versailles to settle future plans of operation, and I attended him for that purpose. I was told that the Indien was at the Texel completely armed and fitted for sea; but the Prince de Nassau was sent express to Holland, and returned with a very different account. The ship was at Amsterdam, and could not be got afloat or armed before the September equinox. The American plenipotentiaries proposed that I should return to America; and, as I have repeatedly been appointed to the chief command of an American squadron to execute secret enterprises, it was not doubted but that Congress would again show me a preference. M. de Sartine, however, thought proper to prevent my departure, by writing to the plenipotentiaries (without 佛山桑拿按摩全套图 my knowledge), requesting that I might be permitted to remain in Europe, and that the Ranger might be sent back to America under another commander, he having special services which he wished me to execute. This request they readily granted, and I was flattered by the prospect of being enabled to testify, by my services, my gratitude to your Majesty, as the first prince who has so generously acknowledged our independence.
“There was an interval of more than three months before the Indien could be gotten afloat. To employ that period usefully, when your Majesty’s fleet was ordered to sail from Brest, I proposed to the minister to embark in it as a volunteer, in pursuit of marine knowledge. He objected to this, at the same time approved of a variety of hints for private enterprises, which I had drawn up for his consideration. Two 佛山桑拿q群 gentlemen were appointed to settle with me the plans that were to be adopted, who gave me the assurance that three of the best frigates in France, with two tenders, and a number of troops, should be immediately put under my command, to pursue such of my own projects as I thought proper; but this fell to nothing, when I believed that your Majesty’s signature only was wanting.
“Another armament, composed of cutters and small vessels, at L’Orient, was proposed to be put under my command, to alarm the coasts of England and check the Jersey privateers; but happily for me this also failed, and I was saved from ruin and dishonour, as I now find that all the vessels sailed slow, and their united force is very insignificant. The minister then thought fit that I should return to Brest to command the Lively, and join some frigates on 佛山桑拿按摩兼职qq女 an expedition from St. Malo to the North Sea. I returned in haste for that purpose, and found that the Lively had been bestowed at Brest before the minister had mentioned that ship to me at Versailles. This was, however, another fortunate disappointment, as the Lively proves, both in sailing and equipment, much inferior to the Ranger; but, more especially, if it be true, as I have since understood, that the minister intended to give the chief command of an expedition to a lieutenant, which would have occasioned a very disagreeable misunderstanding; for, as an officer of the first rank in the American marine, who has ever been honoured with the favour and friendship of Congress, I can receive orders from no inferior officer whatever. My plan was the destruction of the English Baltic fleet, of great consequence to the enemy’s 佛山南海桑拿休闲会所 marine, and then only protected by a single frigate. I would have held myself responsible for its success had I commanded the expedition.
“M. de Sartine afterward sent orders to Count D’Orvilliers to receive me on board the fleet agreeably to my former proposal; but the order did not arrive until after the departure of the fleet the last time from Brest, nor was I made acquainted with the circumstance before the fleet returned here.
“Thus have I been chained down to shameful inactivity for nearly five months. I have lost the best season of the year, and such opportunities of serving my country and acquiring honour as I can not again expect this war; and, to my infinite mortification, having no command, I am considered everywhere an officer cast off and in disgrace for secret reasons.
“I have written respectful letters to 佛山桑拿浴服务价格 the minister, none of which he has condescended to answer; I have written to the Prince de Nassau with as little effect; and I do not understand that any apology has been made to the great and venerable Dr. Franklin, whom the minister has made the instrument of bringing me into such unmerited trouble.
“Having written to Congress to reserve no command for me in America, my sensibility is the more affected by this unworthy situation in the sight of your Majesty’s fleet. I, however, make no remark on the treatment I have received.
“Although I wish not to become my own panegyrist, I must beg your Majesty’s permission to observe that I am not an adventurer in search of fortune, of which, thank God, I have a sufficiency.
“When the American banner was first displayed I drew my sword in support of the violated dignity and rights of 佛山桑拿js human nature; and both honour and duty prompt me steadfastly to continue the righteous pursuit, and to sacrifice to it not only my own private enjoyments, but even life, if necessary. I must acknowledge that the generous praise which I have received from Congress and others exceeds the merit of my past services, therefore I the more ardently wish for future opportunities of testifying my gratitude by my activity.
“As your Majesty, by espousing the cause of America, hath become the protector of the rights of human nature, I am persuaded that you will not disregard my situation, nor suffer me to remain any longer in this unsupportable disgrace.
“I am, with perfect gratitude and profound respect, Sire, your Majesty’s very obliged, very obedient, and very humble servant,
“J. Paul Jones.”
This letter, at once dignified, forceful, 佛山桑拿技师招聘 respectful, and modest, was inclosed to Dr. Franklin with the request that it should be delivered to the king. The deference paid to Franklin’s opinion, the eager desire to please him, the respect in which he held him, is not the least pleasing feature of Jones’ character, by the way. The letter in question was withheld by Franklin with Jones’ knowledge and acquiescence, and the king, it is probable, never saw it. There was, in fact, no necessity for its delivery, for the appeals, prayers, and importunities had at last evoked a response. The minister, worn out by the persistence of Jones, determined, since none of the French naval vessels were available, to buy him a ship and assemble a squadron and send him forth.
The inquiry naturally arises why the French Government should care to go to the trouble and expense of doing this. Before the war was declared their action was understandable, but afterward the then operating cause disappeared. Yet there was another reason aside from the fact that M. de Sartine was willing to keep his promise if he could, and that was this: