was planning how to drive the English
from the Falkland Islands
, and called on France
to prepare to go to war in two years; ‘for Spain
’ said Grimaldi
, ‘cannot longer postpone inflicting chastisement on English insolence.’1
‘This is the rhodomontade of a Don Quixote
,’ said the French Minister
, and Choiseul
kept the guidance of affairs in his own hand, and for the time was resolved not to disturb the peace.
Executive moderation might still have saved England
from a conflict.
Undismayed by the disorder in the cabinet, the ill health of Chatham
, the factions in a corrupt Parliament, or the unpromising aspect of foreign relations, and impressed with the necessity of giving up trifles that created uneasiness,2
Shelburne proceeded diligently to make himself master of each American3
question, and to prepare its solution.
The subject of the greatest consequence was the forming an American fund.
To this end, without exercising rigor in respect to quit-rents long due, he proposed to break up the system of forestalling lands by speculators, to require that the engrossing proprietors should fulfil the conditions of their grants, and to make all future grants on a system of quitrents, which should be applied to defray the American
expenses then borne by the Exchequer of Great Britain