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[405] to declare war against England, unless contrary to
chap. XVII.} 1761. Aug.
all expectation, peace should be concluded between France and England before the first day of May, 1762. Extending his eye to all the states interested in the rights of neutral flags, to Portugal, Savoy, Holland, and Denmark, Choiseul covenanted with Spain that Portugal should be compelled, and the others invited, to join the federative union ‘for the common advantage of all maritime powers.’1

Yet, still anxious for peace, and certain either to

secure it or to place the sympathy of all Europe on the side of France, Choiseul resolved on a last ‘most ultimate’ attempt at reconciliation by abundant concessions; and on the thirteenth day of September, just five days after the youthful sovereign of England had taken as his consort the blue-eyed, considerate, but not very lovely German princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz,—a girl of seventeen, who became well known as the parsimonious and correct Queen Charlotte,—Bussy presented the final propositions of France. By Pitt, who was accurately acquainted with the special convention between France

1 Article VI: and VII. of the Special Convention. Flassan, VI. 322, 323.

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