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PEACE WITH OTHER NATIONS.
Observations on the value of peace with other nations are unnecessary. It would be wise, however, by timely provisions to guard against those acts of our own citizens, which might tend to disturb it, and to put ourselves in a condition to give that satisfaction to foreign nations which we may sometimes have occasion to require from them.
I particularly recommend to your consideration, the means of preventing those aggressions by our citizens on the territory of other nations, and other infractions of the law of nations, which, furnishing just subject of complaint, might endanger our peace with them.
Where individuals shall, within the United States, array themselves in hostility against any of the powers at war, or enter upon military expeditions or enterprises within the jurisdiction of the United States, or usurp or exercise judicial authority within the United States, or where the penalties or violation of the law of nations may have been indistinctly marked or are inadequate, these offences cannot receive too early and close an attention, and require prompt and decisive remedies.
True to our duties and interests as Americans,
firm to our purpose as lovers of peace, let us unite our fervent prayers to the great Ruler of the Universe, that the justice and moderation of all concerned may permit us to continue in the uninterrupted enjoyment of a blessing, which we so greatly prize, and of which we ardently wish them a speedy and permanent participation.
PEACE WITH ALL THE WORLD.
My policy, in our foreign transactions, has been, to cultivate peace with all the world; to observe the treaties with pure and absolute faith; to check every deviation from the line of impartiality; to explain what may have been misapprehended, and correct what may have been injurious to any nation; and having thus acquired the right, to lose no time in acquiring the ability, to insist upon justice being done to ourselves.
If, by prudence and moderation on every side, the extinguishment of all causes of external discord which have hitherto menaced our tranquillity, on terms compatible with our national rights and honor, shall be the happy result, how firm and how precious a foundation will have been laid, for accelerating, maturing, and establishing the prosperity of our country.
PEACE, OUR POLICY.
I rejoice, most exceedingly, that there is an end of our warfare, and that such a field is opening to our view, as will, with wisdom to direct the cultivation of it, make us a great, a respectable, and happy people.
Would to God, the harmony of nations were an object that lay nearest to the hearts of sovereigns; and that the incentives to peace, of which commerce, and facility of understanding each other, are not the most inconsiderable, might be daily increased.
Peace with all the world, is my sincere wish. I am sure it is our true policy, and am persuaded it is the ardent desire of the government.
The affairs of the country are in a violent paroxysm; and it is the duty of its old and uniform friends, to assist in piloting the vessel in which we are all embarked, between the rocks of Scylla and Charybdis; for more pains never were taken, I believe, than at this moment, to throw it upon one or the other, and to embroil us in the disputes of Europe.
Standing as it were in the midst of falling empires, it should be our aim to assume a station and attitude, which will preserve us from being overwhelmed in their ruins.
It is not uncommon, in prosperous gales, to forget, that adverse winds may blow. Such was the case with France. Such may be the case with the coalesced powers against her.
A bystander sees more of the game, generally, than those who are playing it. So neutral nations may be better able to draw a line between the contending parties, than those who are actors in the war. My own wish is, to see every thing settled upon the best and surest foundation, for the peace and happiness of mankind, without regard to this, that, or the other nation.
A more destructive sword never was drawn, at least in modern times, than this war has produced. It is time to sheathe it, and give peace to mankind.
I pray devoutly, that we may both witness, and that shortly, the return of peace; for a more bloody, expensive, and eventful war is not recorded in modern, if to be found in ancient, history.
The satisfaction I have, in any successes that attend us, even in the alleviation of misfortunes, is always allayed by a fear that it will lull us into security. Supineness, and a disposition to flatter ourselves,
* He is addressing the Earl of Radnor.
seem to make parts of our national character. we receive a check, and are not quite undone, we are apt to fancy we have gained a victory; and, when we do gain any little advantage, we imagine it decisive, and expect the war immediately at an end.
The history of the war is a history of false hopes, and temporary expedients. Would to God, they were to end here.
THE FLATTERY OF SUCCESS.
Particular successes, obtained against all the chances of war, have had too much influence, to the prejudice of general and substantial principles.
Although we cannot, by the best concerted plans, absolutely command success, although the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, yet, without presumptuously waiting for miracles to be wrought, in our favor, it is our indispensable duty, with the deepest gratitude to Heaven for the past, and humble confidence in its smiles on our future operations, to make use of all means in our power for our defence and security.