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My dear Sir
I have yours of the 28 ulto. and am much gratified to find that we agree in every circumstance as to the dangers with which we are menac d by the late events in France, and the precautions we ought to take to avoid them. It would I think be improper to suffer our squadron to sail for the Mediteranean or to disband our army, untill we saw more distinctly what were likely to be the consequences of those events, especially as to the U States. It is probable, or rather certain, that Boniparte will claim to the Rhine; and that will produce a war with England, if she can form such a combination of force as promises to make head against him. If Austria is on his side I should not be surprised if there should be a general acquiescence in his restoration, provided all France is in his favor(?), as circumstances indicate. The British nation must be fatigued with the war in Europe, with that with the U States, and its disasterous termination at N. Orl: Their finances are embarrassed. Repose has been caught at with avidity, and the mortification must be extreme when it is seen that the prospect of it is snatched from them, and that a new struggle is to be encountered, more burthensome perhaps than that through which they have already passed, to place them at the point at which they lately stood, if it is (?) even practicable. It is equally doubtful, whether, as Russia may have relinquished her claims on Poland, she can be brought to bear on France, and without her aid, the attempt of England & Prussia would be a desperate one. I think it is not improbable that Spain will be neutralized, by events at home. Per* 1 . 1 has cut off the heads of many of those who fought for his restoration; reinstated the inquisition, and revolted the feelings of the whole nation. The contest for him was a kind of revolutionary movement; it was certainly a national one, in which a species of popular gov't. ruled. He has put himself against that gov't., and against that movement. The restoration of Bonaparte by the will of the nation, operating as it were by free suffrage, will revive revolutionary feelings in France, which may extend to Spain, under the existing circumstances there. If however Bonaparte takes to the Rhine, & Egld declares war, she may strike at us as in the former wars. This is the moment when we may fix our entring in such a struggle, sho d . it occur; for on the part which we now act, it may depend, whether we shall [have] pass d successfully thro it, possessed of the firmness & gallantry displayed in the late war, or made their exertions in vain. If we take a decisive tone at once, we may & probably shall command the respect of both parties. If we hesitate, we shall [be] as sure of their contempt. . . .
- The correspondence of Nicholas Biddle Dealing With National Affairs 1807