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[400] fisheries. Without these, he would himself decline
chap. XVII.} 1761. June.
further negotiation. In those days, maritime power was thought to depend on the encouragement of the fisheries; and to renounce them seemed like renouncing the power of manning a navy. Pitt refused the fisheries altogether. The union of France with Spain was the necessary consequence, and was promoted by the reduction of Belle-Isle. ‘You have effectually roused France in every part of it,’ wrote Keppel, in June, just after that success; ‘they feel themselves so hurt and dishonored, that they will risk their ships and every thing to wipe it off.’1 Towards such efforts Pitt looked in the proud serenity of conscious strength; and yet it was observed that he was becoming sombre and anxious;2 for his own king had prepared for him opposition in the cabinet.

‘The peace which is offered,’ said Granville, the

Lord President, ‘is more advantageous to England than any ever concluded with France, since King Henry the Fifth's time.’ ‘I pray to God,’ said Bedford to Bute, in July, ‘his majesty may avail himself of this opportunity of excelling in glory and magnanimity the most famous of his predecessors, by giving his people a reasonable and lasting peace.’ Did any argue that efforts could be made during the summer from Belle-Isle? Bedford expected nothing, but ‘possibly the taking another island, or burning a few more miserable villages on the continent.’3 Did Pitt say, ‘Before December, I will take Martinico?’ ‘Will that,’ rejoined Bedford, ‘be the means of obtaining a better peace than we can command at ’

1 Keppel to Pitt, 18 June, 1761.

2 Flassan, VI. 406.

3 Wiffen's House of Russell, II. 468, 469, 470, 471.

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