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[451]

Chapter 20:

England, grasping at the colonies of France and Spain, risks the loss of her own.—Bute's ministry.


1762-1763.

while it was yet uncertain who among British
chap. XX.} 1762.
statesmen would be selected to establish British authority in the colonies, the king, on the twentysixth of October, offering to return Havana to Spain for either the Floridas or Porto Rico, urged the instant consummation of the treaty. ‘The best dispatch I can receive from you will be these preliminaries signed. May Providence, in compassion to human misery, give you the means of executing this great and noble work.’ Thus beautifully wrote the young monarch to Bedford, not dazzled by victory, and repressing the thirst for conquest; a rare instance of moderation, of which history must gratefully preserve the record. The terms proposed to the French were severe, and even humiliating. ‘But what can we do?’ said Choiseul, who in his despair had for a time resigned the foreign department to the Duke de Praslin. ‘The English are furiously imperious; they are drunk with success; and, unfortunately, we are not in a condition to abase their pride.’ France

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