University of Virginia Library

3422. GENET (E. C.), Instructions.—

is impossible for anything to be more affectionate,
more magnanimous than the purport of [M.
Genet's] mission. “We know that under present
circumstances we have a right to call upon
you for the guarantee of our Islands. But we
do not desire it. We wish you to do nothing
but what is for your own good, and we will
do all in our power to promote it. Cherish
your own peace and prosperity. You have
expressed a willingness to enter into a more
liberal treaty of commerce with us; I bring full
powers (and he produced them) to form such
a treaty, and a preliminary decree of the National
Convention to lay open our country and
its Colonies to you for every purpose of utility,
without your participating the burthens of
maintaining and defending them. We see in
you the only person on earth who can love us
sincerely, and merit to be so loved.” In short,
he offers everything, and asks nothing. Yet I
know the offers will be opposed, and suspect
they will not be accepted. In short, it is impossible
for you to conceive what is passing in
our conclave; and it is evident that one or two
at least, under pretence of avoiding war on
the one side have no great antipathy to run foul
of it on the other, and to make a part in the
confederacy of princes against human liberty.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 563. Ford ed., vi, 260.
(Pa., May. 1793)