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[244]

Chapter 39:

A way to take off the Incendiaries.—Hillsborough's Ad-Ministration of the Colonies continued.


December, 1768—February, 1769.

the opinion of Parliament was hardly pro-
Chap. XXXIX.} 1768. Dec.
nounced, when Du Chatelet again pressed America on the attention of Choiseul. ‘Without exaggerating the projects or the union of the Colonies,’ said he,

the time of their independence is very near. Their prudent men believe the moment not yet come; but if the English government undertakes vigorous measures, who can tell how far the fanaticism for liberty may carry an immense people, dwelling for the most part in the interior of a continent, remote from imminent danger? And if the metropolis should persevere, can the union, which is now their strength, be maintained without succor from abroad? Even if the rupture should be premature, can France and Spain neglect to profit by the opportunity which they may never find again? Three years ago the separation of the English Colonies was looked upon as an object of attention for the next generation; the germs were observed, but no one could foresee that they would be so speedily developed. This new order of things, this

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