I have had the honor of enclosing to Mr. Jay, Commodore Jones’s receipts for one hundred and eighty-one thousand and thirty-nine livres, one sol and ten deniers, prize-money, which (after deducting his own proportion) he is to remit to you, for the officers and soldiers who were under his command. I take the liberty of suggesting, whether the expense and risk of double remittances might not be saved, by ordering it into the hands of Mr. Grand immediately, for the purposes of the treasury in Europe, while you could make provision at home for the officers and soldiers, whose demands will come in so slowly, as to leave you the use of a great proportion of this money for a considerable time, and some of it for ever. We could then, immediately, quiet the French officers.
I have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect and esteem, Gentlemen,
your most obedient
and most humble servant,
LETTER CLV.—TO MESSRS. BUCHANAN AND HAY, January 26, 1786
TO MESSRS. BUCHANAN AND HAY.
Paris, January 26, 1786.
I had the honor of writing to you on the receipt of your orders to procure draughts for the public buildings, and again on the 13th of August. In the execution of these orders, two methods of proceeding presented themselves to my mind. The one was, to leave to some architect to draw an external according to his fancy, in which way, experience shows, that about once in a thousand times a pleasing form is hit upon; the other was, to take some model already devised, and approved by the general suffrage of the world. I had no hesitation in deciding that the latter was best, nor after the decision, was there any doubt what model to take, There is at Nismes, in the south of France, a building, called the Maison Quarree, erected in the time of the Caesars, and which is allowed, without contradiction, to be the most perfect and precious remain of antiquity in existence. Its superiority over any thing at Rome, in Greece, at Balbec, or Palmyra, is allowed on all hands; and this single object has placed Nismes in the general tour of travellers. Having not yet had leisure to visit it, I could only judge of it from drawings, and from the relation of numbers who had been to see it. I determined, therefore, to adopt this model, and to have all its proportions justly observed. As it was impossible for a foreign artist to know what number and sizes of apartments would suit the different corps of our government, nor how they should be connected with one another, I undertook to form that arrangement, and this being done, I committed them to an architect (Monsieur Clerissauk), who had studied this art twenty years in Rome, who had particularly studied and measured the Maison Quarree of Nismes, and had published a book containing most excellent plans, descriptions,