, who cherished the traditions of the past,
chap. XVII.} 1761.
he said, ‘I may one day be your subject, your servant never.’
A free-thinker, an enemy to the clergy, and above all to the Jesuits, he united himself closely with the parliaments, and seemed to know that public opinion was beginning to outweigh that of the monarch.
Perceiving that America
was lost to France
, he proposed, as the basis of the treaty, that ‘the two crowns should remain each in the possession of what it had conquered from the other;’ and while he named epochs from which possession was to date in every continent, he was willing that England
itself should suggest other periods.
On this footing, which left all Canada
, perhaps Goree
also, and the ascendency in the East Indies
, and to France
nothing but Minorca to exchange for her losses in the West Indies
, all Paris
believed peace to be certain.
George the Third wished it from his heart; and though Fuentes, the Spanish
ambassador at London
, irritated by the haughtiness of Pitt
, breathed nothing but war, though the king of Spain
proposed to France
an alliance offensive and defensive, Choiseul
, consulting the well-being of his exhausted country, sincerely desired repose.
But the hardy and unaccommodating nature of Pitt
, inflamed by success, was unfit for the work of reconciliation.
He expected, and had led his countrymen to expect, that the marked superiority of England
would be imprinted on the treaty of peace.
He accepted as the basis, that each nation should retain its acquisitions; but delayed the settlement of the epochs, till the fleet of one hundred and fifteen vessels, which had sailed on the very day of his answer to the proposition of Choiseul
, could make the