Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/23

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King Louis's Private Messenger Makes a Discovery in London—Beaumarchais, America's First Friend, Writes a Letter—A Secret Conference of State in Philadelphia—Timothy Jones, Alias Silas Deane, the First American Diplomat—The Continental Army Saved by "Roderique Hortalez."—Some Revolutionary Correspondence Showing that All is Not Neutral that Protests. Clandestine Diplomacy.

Secret diplomacy is almost a lost art. The Hohenzollerns still affect a fondness for this most thrilling and romantic pastime. But the Hohenzollern ministers have not been able to achieve the dizzy heights of deception and the infinite finesse and delicate touch which were the characteristics of the fine game of intrigue and counter-plot as concocted in the mystic chambers of subtle cardinals and imaginative ministers of the Talleyrand period a hundred years ago. Then a