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[152] much repugnance to having her troops employed in
Chap. L.} 1775. Sept.
America. ‘And could not his majesty,’ asked Panin, ‘make use of Hanoverians?’

Gunning replied at great length: ‘Would the refusal of troops be a suitable return for our conduct during the late war, for our having foregone the commercial advantages which the Porte would undoubtedly have granted us, could she only have obtained a real neutrality on our part, which our partiality for Russia prevented us from observing. Were not the king's harbors, his subjects, and the credit and influence of the nation at her service during the whole war? Did not her majesty, at the risk of a rupture with France and Spain, forbid those powers to molest the Russian fleet which they would otherwise have annihilated? And though these services were rendered from the most pure and disinterested motives, yet as it had pleased the empress so frequently to express her wishes for an occasion of showing her sense of their merit, it is with the utmost astonishment I see her decline the present occasion of evincing it. I conjure you, by regard for the honor of your sovereign, to reflect on the light in which such a refusal must be looked upon by us, as well as by all the powers in Europe, and on the effect it might have on the conduct of some of them.’ And as he was refused an audience, he desired Panin himself to deliver the autograph letter of George the Third.

The next morning, Gunning went to Panin before

he was up, and to remove objections, offered to be content with a corps of fifteen thousand men. At court, though it was the grand duke's birthday, he found that the empress would not appear. He returned

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