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‘ [215] to prevent any step of that kind from being
chap. IX.} 1755.
taken.’ Thus was the jealousy of the British government excited, and thus was it soothed. Little was it foreseen, that the measures proposed to secure the colonies, were to be the means of effecting their union and separate existence.

The topic which Shirley discussed with the ministry, engaged the thoughts of the Americans, who saw visions of coming glory. At Worcester, a thriving village, of about a thousand people, or perhaps less, the whole town was immersed in politics. The interests of nations and the horrors of war made the subject of every conversation. The master of the town school, where the highest wages were sixty dollars for the season, a young man of hardly twenty, just from Harvard College, and at that time meditating to become a preacher, would sit and hear, and, escaping from a maze of observations, would sometimes retire, and, by ‘laying things together, form some reflections pleasing’ to himself; for he loved the shady thickets and gloomy grottoes, where he would sit by the hour and listen to the falls of water.1 ‘All creation,’ he would say in his musings, ‘is liable to change. Mighty states are not exempted. Soon after the reformation, a few people came over into this new world for conscience' sake. This apparently trivial incident may transfer the great seat of empire into America. If we can remove the turbulent Gallics, our people, according to the exactest calculations, will, in another century, become more numerous than England itself. All Europe will not be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves is to disunite ’

1 John Adams' Diary, 264.

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