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[29] Russia with her own hand minuted an edict for uni-
Chap. XXVI.} 1766. Oct.
versal tolerance. ‘Can you tell me,’ writes Voltaire1 exultingly to D'Alembert, ‘what will come within thirty years of the revolution which is taking effect in the minds of men from Naples to Moscow? I, who am too old to hope to see any thing, commend to you the age which is forming.’ But though so far stricken in years, Voltaire shall himself witness and applaud the greatest step in this progress; shall see insurgent colonies become a Republic, and welcome before Paris and the Academy of France a runaway apprentice as its envoy to the most polished Court of Europe.

Meantime Choiseul dismissed from the Council of his King all former theories about America, alike in policy and war;2 and looked more nearly into the condition of the British colonies, that his new system might rest on the surest ground.

1 Voltaire to D'Alembert, 15 Oct. 1766.

2 Choiseul to Durand, 15 Sept. 1766.

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