My heart has always been truly convinced that in serving the cause of America, I am fighting for the interests of France.
The continental troops have as much courage and real discipline as those that are opposed to them. They are more inured to privation, more patient than Europeans, who, on these two points, cannot be compared to them.
I experience for the American officers and soldiers that friendship which arises from having shared with them for a length of time dangers, sufferings, and both good and evil fortune.
In America there are none poor, and none even that can be called peasants. Each citizen has some property, and all citizens have the same rights as the richest individual, or landed proprietor, in the country.
The Spaniards are slow in their motions but strong in their attachments.
My grand affair appears settled, for America is certain of her independence, humanity has gained her cause, and liberty will never be without a place of refuge.
During my last voyage to America, I enjoyed the happiness of seeing that revolution completed, and, thinking of the one that would probably occur in France, I said in a speech to Congress, published everywhere except in the ‘French Gazette,’ ‘May this revolution serve as a lesson to oppressors and as an example to the oppressed!’
I became obnoxious to the Jacobins because I reprobated their aristocracy, which aimed at usurping all legitimate authority.
May the friends of America rejoice! May her enemies be humbled and her censors silenced at the news of her noble exertions in continuance of those principles which have placed her so high in the annals of history and among the nations of the earth.
I feel happy that twenty-five years of vicissitudes in my fortune, and firmness in my principles, warrant me in repeating here that if, to recover her rights, it is sufficient for a nation to resolve to do so, she can preserve them only by rigid fidelity to her civil and moral duties.