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[333] as well as furnish resources for the extin-
Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar.
guishment of their national debt.

In the midst of so many perils, the strong love of peace, which is the preference of the king and the king of Spain, seems to prescribe the most measured course. If the dispositions of these two princes were for war, if they were disposed to follow the impulse of their interests and perhaps of the justice of their cause, which is the cause of humanity, so often outraged by England, if their military and financial means were in a state of development proportionate to their substantial power, it would, without doubt, be necessary to say to them, that Providence has marked out this moment for the humiliation of England, that it has struck her with the blindness which is the surest precursor of destruction, and that it is time to avenge upon her, the evils which since the commencement of the century she has inflicted on those who have had the misfortune to be her neighbors or her rivals. It would then be necessary not to neglect any of the means suited to render the next campaign as animated as possible and procure advantages to the Americans; and the degree of passion and exhaustion would determine the moment to strike the decisive blows, which would make England step back into the rank of secondary powers, ravish from her the empire which she claims in the four quarters of the world, and deliver the universe from a greedy tyrant who is bent on absorbing all power and all wealth. But this is not the point of view chosen by the two monarchs; and their part appears under actual circumstances to limit itself, with one exception, to a circumspect but active foresight.

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