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‘ [388] wish it.’1 Lord North gained honor by allowing
Chap. XLVI.} 1770. Dec.
Weymouth to retire, and standing firmly for peace; but it was Choiseul's moderation which prevented a rupture. On the twenty-fourth of December the ablest French Minister of the century was dismissed from office and exiled to Chanteloupe, not because he was impassioned for war, as his enemies pretended, but because he was the friend of philosophy, freedom of industry, and colonial independence. Thoroughly a Frenchman, as Chatham was thoroughly an Englishman, he longed to renovate France that she might revenge the wounds inflicted on her glory. For this end he had sought to improve her finances, restore her marine, reform her army, and surround her by allies. Marie Antoinette, the wife of the Dauphin, was a pledge for the friendship of Austria; Prussia was conciliated; while the Family Compact insured at Naples and in the Spanish peninsula the predominance of France, which had nothing but friends from the Bosphorus to Cadiz.

It marks the sway of philosophy that crowds paid their homage to the retiring Statesman; he was dear to the Parliaments he had defended, to men of letters he had encouraged, and to Frenchmen whose hearts beat for the honor of their land in its rivalry with England. His policy was so identified with the passions, the sympathies, and the culture of his country; was so thoroughly national, and so liberal,

1 Choiseul to Frances, 5 December, 1770. Si les Anglais la veulent, [la guerre] tout ce que je mande est inutile; mais vous serez temoin que je ne la voulois pas, comme on le suppose. Compare also the dispatches of the British Ambassador to Lord Weymouth, 14 and 16 December, 1770, which confirm exactly the desire of peace expressed by Choiseul.

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