“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 杭州spa养生馆 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. 杭州品茶sn微信 Two 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 杭州足浴店比较好的品牌 on 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’杭州夜生活杭州百花坊s 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 杭州足浴休闲 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 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.