George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Louis-Philippe, comte [de] Ségur, 4 August 1796

à paris ce 4 aout 17 thermidor l’an 4º de la Republique 4 August 1796

Monsieur

J’espere que Votre Excellence Me permettra de me rappeller à Son Souvenir, Vous avez trop accoutume mês parents Et moi à Vôs bontés Pour que Je craigne de Vous importuner en Vous Priant de bien faire Parvenir la lettre ci jointe á Mon Neveu Mr de la fayette. Vous Etes Son Second pere Et j’espere que Vous pardonnerez à ce Motif La liberté que je prends de mettre Sous Votre adresse la lettre que je lui écris.

J’ai recu indirectement dês Nouvelles de Son malheureux Pere Sa Santé Est meilleure mais Sa Captivité ne S’adoucit point, Et Sa femme ne peut rien obtenir de l’Empereur. lês passions qui S’usent Et S’amortissent ici, Commencent à laisser Sentir à plus d’une Personne influente qu’il Seroit honteux de faire La Paix Sans obtenir de la Cour de vienne l’Elargissement dês francois detenus Pour la Cause de la liberté. mais cette heureuse disposition n’est encor ni assez generale, ni assez Prononcées. tout ce que Je desire Seroit que ce fut la Sagesse, Et le Credit du gouvernement Americain qui determina le gouvernement francois à cette honorable demarche.

Je Sais que Mon ami jouiroit doublement de la liberté en Vous La devant. Et il me Semble que le temps est arrivée ou le Conseil dont je parle peut etre donné au directoire Sans Compromettre le ministre qui en Sera chargé.

Recevez Je Vous Supplie avec Votre bonté ordinaire l’assurance du tendre attachement, Et du Profond Respect avec le quel J’ai l’honneur d’Etre

Monsieur de Votre Excellence le três humble Et três obeissant Serviteur

L. P. Ségur

Translation

Paris August the 4th Thermidor the 17th the 4th year of the Republic 4 August 1796

Sir,

I hope that your excellency will permit me to remember myself to you. you have so much accustomed my relations and myself to your kindnesses that I don’t fear to be troublesome in begging of you to be so kind as to forward the inclosed letter to Mr Lafayette my nephew. you are his second father, and I hope this motive will make you forgive the liberty which I take to put under your direction the letter which I write to him.

I have received by an undirect way some news of his unfortunate father, his health is better, but his captivity does not soften at all, and his wife cannot obtain any thing from the Emperor. the passions which weaken and wear themselves out here, begin to let more than one influential person feel that it should be shameful to make peace without obtaining from the court of Vienna the liberation of the french men arrested for the cause of Liberty but this happy disposition is not as yet sufficiently general or pronounced. all what I desire is that it would be the wisdom [and] interest of the American government which would determine the french government to that measure. I know that my friend would doubly enjoy his liberty if he owed it to you. and it appears to me that the moment is arrived when the advice that I speak of, could be given to the directory without compromising the minister who would be entrusted with the commission.

I beg you would permit me with your usual Kindness to assure you of the tender attachement and of the profound respect with which I have the honour to be

Sir of your excellency the most humble and most obedient servant

signed L. P. Segur

PHi: Gratz Collection.

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