‘is very far from being an enlightened one.
Chap. XXXIV.} 1768. July.
none is thoroughly so. But tyranny combined with superstition, vainly strives to stifle light and liberty by methods alike atrocious and useless; the world will be conducted through transient disorders to a happier condition.’
In that progress the emancipation of America
was to form a glorious part; and was the great object of the French Minister
for Foreign Affairs.
‘We must put aside projects and attend to facts,’ wrote Choiseul1
to Du Chatelet
in July, after a conversation of six hours with a person intimately acquainted with America.
My idea, which perhaps is but a reverie, is, to examine the possibility of a treaty of commerce, both of importation and exportation, of which the obvious advantages might attract the Americans.
Will it not be possible to present them, at the moment of a rupture, an interest powerful enough to detach them at once from their Metropolis?
According to the prognostications of sensible men, who have had opportunity to study the character of the Americans, and to measure their progress from day to day in the spirit of independence, this separation of the American Colonies from the metropolis, sooner or later, must come.
The plan I propose hastens its epoch.
It is the true interest of the Colonies to secure for ever their entire liberty, and establish their direct commerce with France and with the world.
The great point will be to secure their neutrality, which will necessarily bring on a treaty of alliance