Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/55

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suffered, at two great Courts, such contemptuous treatment as had then fallen to Monroe's lot. That he should have been mortified and anxious for escape was natural. He returned to England, meaning to sail as quickly as possible for America. " It was very much my wish," he wrote. [1] Hoping to sail at latest by November 1, he selected his ship, and gave notice to the British Foreign Office. In his own interests no step could have been wiser, but it was taken too late; the time lost in Spain and at Paris had been fatal to his plan, and he could no longer avoid an other defeat more serious, and even more public, than the two which had already disturbed his temper.

That the American minister in London at any time should for six months leave his post, even in obedience to instructions, was surprising; but that he should have done this in 1804, after Pitt's return to power, was matter of amazement. Monroe expected an unfriendly change of policy in the British government. As early as June, 1804, he wrote to Madison: "My most earnest advice is to look to the possibility of such a change." [2] Four months later, although the attitude of the British ministry had become more threatening, Monroe started for Madrid, leaving Pitt in peace, unwatched, to take his measures and to fix beyond recall his change of policy. July 23, 1805, when the American minister at last returned from his Spanish journey and arrived

  1. Monroe to Madison, Oct. 18, 1805; State Papers, iii. 106.
  2. Monroe to Madison, June 3, 1805; State Papers, iii. 93.