Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/49

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by detaining Monroe; he had won every advantage which could be wrung from the situation, except that of proving the defeat of the United States by publishing it to the world. For this, he could trust Monroe.

After writing an angry letter to the French ambassador at Madrid, Monroe went his way, May 26, leaving Pinckney to maintain the forms of diplomatic relations with the Spanish government. Pinckney had still more to suffer before escaping from the scene of his diplomatic trials. The Spaniards began to plunder American commerce; the spoliations of 1798 were renewed; the garrisons in West Florida and Texas were reinforced; Cevallos paid no attention to complaints or threats. In October Pinckney took leave and returned to America, and George W. Erving was sent from London to take charge of the legation at Madrid. Erving made an excellent representative within the narrow field of action open to him as a mere chargé d'affaires; but he could do little to stem the current of Spanish desperation. The Prince of Peace, driven by France, England, and America nearer and nearer to the precipice that yawned for the destruction of Spain, was willing to see the world embroiled, in the hope of finding some last chance in his favor. When Erving in December, five months after Monroe's departure, went to remonstrate against seizures of American ships in flagrant violation of the treaty of 1795, Godoy received him with the good-natured courtesy which marked his