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‘ [150] will not conceal from you,’ wrote Suffolk to Gunning,
Chap. L.} 1775. Sept.
‘that this accession of force being very earnestly desired, expense is not so much an object as in ordinary cases.’

Scarcely had the project of a treaty left England, when, on the tenth of September, Gunning at court poured out to the empress assurances of the most inviolable attachment on the part of England. ‘Has any progress been made,’ asked the empress with the utmost coolness, ‘towards settling your dispute in America?’ and without waiting for an answer, she added: ‘For God's sake put an end to it as soon as possible, and do not confine yourselves to one method of accomplishing this desirable end; there are other means of doing it than force of arms, and they ought all to be tried. You know my situation has lately been full as embarrassing, and, believe me, I did not rest my certainty of success upon one mode of acting. There are moments when we must not be too rigorous. The interest I take in everything that concerns you, makes me speak thus freely upon this subject.’

‘The measures which are pursuing to suppress the rebellion,’ answered Gunning, who found himself most unexpectedly put upon the defensive, ‘are such as are consistent with his majesty's dignity and that of the nation, and I am persuaded that your majesty would neither advise nor approve of any that were not so; resentment has not yet found its way into his majesty's councils.’ But Catharine only repeated her wishes for a speedy and a peaceful end to the difference; thus reading the king of England a lesson in humanity, and citing her own example of lenity and

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