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[256] the totality of the New World; and whether the

Chap. XXXIX.} 1769. Jan.
weakening of a common enemy can compensate the risk of such an example to their own Colonies.

If this question is answered in the affirmative, no precautions must be omitted, to profit by the favorable circumstances, which imprudence alone could have created, and which human wisdom could hardly have foreseen. The inflammatory remedies applied by the Parliament of England, the spirit of revolt, and still more the spirit of contempt shown by a factious people for a vacillating and humiliated Administration, the disunion and indecision which reign in the British cabinet, the acknowledged weakness and instability of the principles of the King's government, all presage coming calamities to England; the only man whose genius might still be feared, is removed from affairs, and enfeebled by gout; and his state of mind is a problem. The others whom birth, credit, wealth or eloquence, may destine to high places, are known to us, and not one of them appears likely to become a formidable enemy.

Du Chatelet to Choiseul, London, 28 January, 1769.

This letter from Du Chatelet to Choiseul, was

Feb.
inspired neither by the Courtiers, nor the Parliaments, nor the Aristocracy, nor even by the Burgesses of France; it was the philosophy of the Eighteenth Century, the ripened wisdom of the ages from Descartes to Turgot, uttering its oracles and its counsels in the palaces of absolute monarchs. It excited the most attentive curiosity of Louis the Fifteenth and of every one of his council. An extract of it

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