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[396] conquest of the island of Belle-Isle. This is the
chap. XVII.} 1761. April.
great stain on the fame of William Pitt. Every object of the war had been accomplished; but he insisted on its continuance for the purpose of making more extended acquisitions. England may forgive a lofty and impassioned attachment to her greatness: impartial history awards the palm to the tempered ambition of the young sovereign, who desired the purer glory of arresting victory by a reasonable peace.

‘There may be quarrelling yet,’ predicted Grimaldi. To further the negotiations, Bussy repaired

to London, furnished with authority to offer bribes to members of the English cabinet;1 and the circumspect, distrustful Hans Stanley, who dared only reflect the will of his employer, made his way to Paris. But the frank haughtiness and inflexibility of Pitt were apparent from the beginning; and Choiseul, deluding himself no more with belief in peace, employed the remaining years of his ministry to unite around France the defenders of the freedom of the seas.

Still the negotiation continued, and subjects of

detail were brought into discussion. Here the greatness of Pitt appeared, in his quickness of perception, his comprehensiveness, and sagacity; in the energy of his nervous, imperative dialectics, resting on exact information, and throwing light on the most abstruse questions. Concede that a continuance of the war was no crime against humanity, and the courage, sagacity, and prudent preparations of Pitt must extort admiration.

1 Flassan: Hist. de la Diplomatie Francaise, VI. 399.

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