Britain and the united Kings
gave hope of ‘happy effects.’1
But this also failed.
, following the impulse given by Lord Egmont during the administration of Grenville
, had taken possession of the Falkland Islands
, as forming the key to the Pacific
, claiming all that part of the world as her own, sent a fleet of five frigates which drove the English
from their wooden block-house, and after detaining them twenty days, left them to return to England
The English Ministry, willing to abandon Port Egmont, demanded of the Spanish Government
a disavowal of the seizure and its temporary restoration.
Spanish pride would have rejected the terms with disdain.
‘They are the only propositions, which the British Ministry
could make;’ said Choiseul
, scoffing at the Spanish
‘For heaven's sake,’ he wrote to the French Minister
, ‘do the impossible; and persuade Prince Masserano to follow my instructions rather than those of his own court, which have not common sense.’
Determined to preserve peace, Choiseul
, who would not have feared war for a great cause like the emancipation of the colonial world, checked the rashness of Spain
and assumed the direction of its diplomacy.2
was haughty and unreasonable.
‘War is inevitable,’ said Harcourt
‘If the English
are bent on war,’ wrote Choiseul
to Frances, ‘all that I can say is unavailing.
But you will be witness, that I did not ’