can be effected only by flattering the national
hatred and jealousy; on the third, through the necessity of the ministry to divert the rage of the English people by a useful and brilliant acquisition, which would be the prize of victory, or the compensation for defeat, or the pledge of reconciliation. The state of the colonies of the two nations is such, that, with the exception of Havana, perhaps no one is in a condition to resist the smallest part of the forces which England now sends to America. The physical possibility of the conquest is, therefore, too evident: as to the moral probability of an invasion, which would be unprovoked and contrary to public faith and to treaties, we should abuse ourselves strangely by believing the English susceptible of being held back by such motives. Experience has but too well proved, that they regard as just and honorable whatever is advantageous to their own nation or destructive to their rivals. Their statesmen never calculate the actual amount of ill which France does them, but the amount of ill which she may one day be able to do them. The opposition seem to have embraced the same general maxims; and the ministry may seize the only way of extricating themselves from their embarrassment by giving up the reins to Chatham, who, with Shelburne, Sandwich, Richmond, and Weymouth, may come to terms with the Americans, and employ the enormous mass of forces put in activity, to rectify the conditions of the last treaty of peace, against which they have ever passionately protested. Englishmen of all parties are persuaded that a popular war against France or an invasion of Mexico would terminate, or at least allay, their domestic dissensions,
Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.