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‘ [96] greater than England in extent, and perhaps becom-
Chap. XXX.} 1767. Aug.
ing more populous, having fisheries, forests, shipping, corn, iron and the like, will easily and fearlessly separate themselves from the mother country.’ ‘Do not calculate,’ replied Durand,1 ‘on a near revolution in the American Colonies. They aspire not to independence but to equality of rights with the mother country. A plan of union will always be a means in reserve by which England may shun the greater evil.—When the separation comes, the other Colonies of Europe will be the prey of those, whom excessive vigor may have detached from their parent stock. The loss of the Colonies of France and of Spain will be the consequence of the revolution in the Colonies of England.’2

The idea of emancipating the whole colonial world was alluring to Choiseul; and he judged correctly of the nearness of the conflict. ‘The die is thrown,’ said men in Boston, on hearing the Revenue Act had been carried through. ‘The Rubicon is past.’3—‘We will form one universal combination,’ it was whispered, ‘to eat nothing, drink nothing, and wear nothing imported from Great Britain.’4 The Fourteenth of August was commemorated as the Anniversary of the first resistance to the Stamp Act.5 The intended appropriation of the new revenue, to make the crown officers independent of the people, stung the patriots to madness. ‘Such counsels,’ they said, ‘will deprive ’

1 Durand to Choiseul, 30 August, 1767.

2 Durand to Choiseul, 5 Sept. 1767.

3 Compare the Narrative in Bernard to Shelburne, 14 Sept. 1767.

4 Compare Letter of Hutchinson, 18 July, 1767.

5 Memorial of Commissioners of Customs in America, to the Lord of the Treasury, 12 February, 1768.

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