Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/28

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8
DRAMATIC MOMENTS

(Translation of Undated Memorandum of Caron de Beaumarchais, Adventurer at Large)

To The King Only

Sire:

When considerations of State impel you to extend a helping hand to the Americans, policy requires that Your Majesty proceed with such caution, that aid secretly conveyed to America may not become in Europe a brand to kindle strife between France and England. Above all, it is the part of prudence to be certain that the money cannot possibly pass into other hands than those of your choice. Moreover, since the present state of the finances does not at once permit of as great an expenditure as events seem to require, it is my duty. Sire, to submit to your judgment the following plan, having for its principal object, under the semblance of a purely commercial affair, to remove all suspicion that Your Majesty or your Majesty's Council are at all interested in the matter.