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[170] with France and Spain. They may want
Chap. XXXIV.} 1768. July.
confidence in the strength of our navy; they may raise suspicions of our fidelity to our engagements; they may fear the English squadrons; they may hope for success against the Spaniards and against ourselves. I see all these difficulties and do not dissemble their extent; but I see also the controlling interest of the Americans to profit by the opportunity of a rupture to establish their independence. This cannot be done without risks; but he that stops at difficulties will never attempt any thing.

We have every reason to hope, that the Government on this side will conduct itself in a manner to increase the breach, not to close it up. Such is its way. True, some sagacious observers think it not only possible but easy to reconcile the interests of the Colonies and the mother country; but I see many obstacles in the way, I meet too many persons of my way of thinking, and the course pursued thus far by the British Government seems to me completely opposite to what it ought to be to effect this conciliation.

While time and humanity, the principles of English liberty, the impulse of European Philosophy, and the policy of France were all assisting to emancipate America, the British colonial Administration, which was to place itself as a barrier against destiny and stop the natural force of moral causes in their influence on the affairs of men, vibrated in its choice of measures between terror and artifice. From a prevailing opinion of Hillsborough's abilities, American affairs were left by the other Ministers very

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