If the king refuses the constitution, I shall oppose him; if he accepts it, I shall defend him; and the day on which he gave himself up as my prisoner secured me more fully to his service than if he had promised me half his kingdom.
The king knows with what ardor and perseverance I have at all times been devoted to the cause of liberty and to the principles of humanity, equality and justice.
May these happy United States attain that complete splendour and prosperity which will illustrate the blessings of their government, and for ages to come rejoice the departed souls of their founders!
The more I see, hear, and think in Europe, the more I wish for every measure that can ensure to the United States dignity, power, and public confidence.
Whatever may be my feelings of personal gratitude to the Navy of the United States, I feel myself under still greater obligations to them for the honor they have done to the American name in every part of the globe.
An irresistible passion that would induce me to believe in innate ideas and the truth of prophecy has decided my career. I have always loved liberty with the enthusiasm which actuates the religious man with the passion of a lover and with the conviction of a geometrician.
Do not calculate what I have done, for I shall accept no recompense. Calculate the public advantage, the welfare and liberty of my country, and believe that I shall refuse no burden, no danger, provided that, at the hour of tranquillity, I may return to private life, for there now remains but one step for my ambition – that of arriving at zero.
No person is more convinced than I am of the necessity of giving great splendour and energy to the great hereditary magistracy exercised by the king; but in a free country, there can only be citizens and public officers.
I had displeased the jacobins by blaming their aristocratic usurpation of legitimate powers; the priests of all sorts by claiming religious liberty; the anarchists by repressing them; and the conspirators by rejecting their offers.
It was by a Maryland colonel in the year 1777 that the British received, in the gallant defense of an important fort, one of the first lessons of what they were to expect from American valor and patriotism.