for Messrs. Bravay, and if the two most powerful maritime nations in the world have not been able to resist the importunities of the United States, it would be simply absurd to hope for success through the medium of Denmark, a weak power at best, and just now struggling, almost hopelessly, for her very existence.1 The proposition was therefore declined, as it only involved an increased and useless expenditure of money without a hope of profit. * * * * This case may be summed up in a very few words. It is one of simple deception. I never should have entered into such large undertakings except with the assurance of success. I was not as a private individual, but as an agent of the Confederate States, invited to build ships-of-war in France, and so far at least as the corvettes are concerned, received every possible assurance that they might be actually armed in the ports of construction. During three or four months after the contracts were made, the work advanced very rapidly, but latterly there has been a gradual falling off, which caused me to fear that the builders had received some discouraging intimations from the government. I am not fully convinced on this point, but the result would seem to indicate that my suspicions were not unfounded. By affording refuge to our ships at Calais, Brest and Cherbourg, the Imperial government has shown us more favor than that of her Britannic Majesty, and I presume that the Emperor, trusting to the chances of war and diplomacy, hoped that, before the completion of the ships, affairs both in America and Europe would be in such a condition as would enable him to let them go without apprehension. He now favors us so far as to tell us frankly to sell out and save our money, but this can scarcely ameliorate the disappointment. The two Bordeaux ironclads and the four corvettes would have been a formidable attacking squadron, and would have enabled its commander to strike severe and telling blows upon the Northern seaboard. The loss of the ironclads changes the whole character of the force, and deprives it of its real power of offence. It is difficult to predict what may be the state of Europe even a month hence, and how the progress of events may affect the chances of getting the wooden ships to sea. I shall, however, make every effort to get at least two of them out to supply the places of our present cruisers should the casualties of the sea reduce their number. There really seems but
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