Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/99

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79
IN AMERICAN DIPLOMACY

else. That the Kingdom of Etruria belonged to the Duke of Tuscany, and that Talleyrand's promises were an international joke made no difference to Napoleon. The Prince of Peace squirmed and stalled. John Adams, who knew everything, and wrote it in his diary, says he was as cool and adroit as a picador manœuvring before a maddened bull. He bribed Lucien Bonaparte, the First Consul's brother, who had been sent to close the deal. He put off the signing of the deed by every subterfuge known to diplomacy. Napoleon knew how to handle this. Whatever he was, he was not a bluffer. His next dispatch was in his most masterful style:

"It is at the moment when the First Consul gives such strong proofs of his consideration for the King of Spain and places a prince of his house upon the throne which is fruit of the victories of French arms, that a tone is taken toward the French Republic such as might be taken with impunity toward the Republic of San Marino."