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[193] not set his name to the treaty of peace with Great
chap. X.} 1764. April.
Britain, issued the order1 in April, 1764, for the transfer of the island of New-Orleans and all Louisiana to Spain. And he did it without mental reserve. He knew that the time was coming when the whole colonial system would be changed; and in the same year,2 while he was still minister of the marine, he sent de Pontleroy, a lieutenant in the navy of the Department of Rochefort, to travel through America, under the name of Beaulieu, in the guise of an Acadian wanderer; and while England was taxing America by act of parliament, France was already counting its steps towards independence.3

The world was making progress; restrictive laws and the oppression of industry were passing away, not less than the inquisition and the oppression of free thought. ‘Every thing that I see,’ wrote Voltaire, in April; “every thing is scattering the seeds of a revolution, which will come inevitably. Light has so spread from neighbor to neighbor, that on the first occasion it will kindle and burst forth. Happy are the young, for their eyes shall see it.”

The impulse to the revolution was to proceed from the new world, which was roused by the rumor of the bill for the impending regulations. ‘My heart bleeds for America,’ said Whitefield, at Portsmouth, in New Hampshire. ‘O poor New-England, there is a deep-laid plot against both your civil and religious liberties; and they will be lost. Your golden days are at an end.’

1 Le Due de Choiseul à M. d'abbadie, à Versailles le 21 Avril, 1764.

2 Choiseul to Durand, 15 Sept. 1766. Les idees sur l'amerique, soit militaires, soit politiques, sont infiniment changes depuis 30 ans.

3 Depeche de M. le Cte. de Guerchy à M. le Due de Choiseul, 19 Oct. 1766.

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