The Discourse on the Dissensions in Athens and Rome (September 1701), written to repel the tactics of the Tory commons in their attack on the Partition Treaties "without humour and without satire," and intended as a dissuasive from the pending impeachment of Somers, Orford, Halifax and Portland, received the honour, extraordinary for the maiden publication of a young politician, of being generally attributed to Somers himself or to Burnet, the latter of whom found a public disavowal necessary.
To Chevalier Hiilsemann, then representing Austria at Washington, who had demanded from the United States the disavowal of the acts of its agents, the complete surrender of Koszta, and " satisfaction proportionate to the magnitude of the outrage," Marcy wrote on the 26th of September 1853, that Koszta " when seized and imprisoned was invested with the nationality of the United States " and had a right to the protection of the United States government, and added: " Whenever by the law of nations an individual becomes clothed with our national state paper, and the principles it enunciates have been approved by leading authorities on international law.
Both combatants had, according to the absurd habit of the time, to disown their works, Desfontaines's disavowal being formal and procured by the exertion of all Voltaire's own influence both at home and abroad.
The accusation against him was that he had written in contravention of the decree of 1616, and in defiance of the command of the Holy Office communicated to him by Cardinal Bellarmin; and his defence consisted mainly in a disavowal of his opinions, and an appeal to his good intentions.
It accepted the status quo as a working basis, but no amount of pressure could wring from it a disavowal of Trumbic and his colleagues.