now very weak.’
From the king, Stormont
went to Vergennes
, who expressed the desire to live in perfect harmony with England
; ‘far from wishing to increase your embarrassments,’ said he,‘we see them with some uneasiness.’
‘The consequences,’ observed Stormont
, ‘cannot escape a man of your penetration and extensive views.’
‘Indeed they are very obvious,’ responded Vergennes
; ‘they are as obvious as the consequences of the cession of Canada
I was at Constantinople
when the last peace was made; when I heard its conditions, I told several of my friends there, that England
would ere long have reason to repent of having removed the only check that could keep her colonies in awe. My prediction has been but too well verified.
I equally see the consequences that must follow the independence of North America
, if your colonies should carry that point, at which they now so visibly aim. They might, when they pleased, conquer both your islands and ours.
I am persuaded that they would not stop there, but would in process of time advance to the southern continent of America
, and either subdue its inhabitants or carry them along with them, and in the end not leave a foot of that hemisphere in the possession of any European
All these consequences will not indeed be immediate Neither you nor I shall live to see them; but for be ing remote they are not less sure.’
The moderate men among British statesmen saw
no less clearly that the king's policy was forcing independence upon the colonies.
On the first of November the Duke
said to the lords: ‘The violence of the times has wrested America from the British
crown, and spurned the jewel because ’