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Care must be taken to avoid being compromised,

Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar.
and not to provoke the ills which it is wished to prevent; yet we must not flatter ourselves, that the most absolute and the most rigorous inaction will guarantee us from suspicion. The continuance of the war for at least one year is desirable for the two crowns. To that end the British ministry must be maintained in the persuasion that France and Spain are pacific, so that it may not fear to embark in an active and costly campaign; whilst on the other hand the courage of the Americans might be kept up by secret favors and vague hopes, which would prevent an accommodation, and assist to develop ideas of independence. The evils which the British will make them suffer, will imbitter their minds; their passions will be more and more inflamed by the war; and should the mother country be victorious, she would for a long time need all her strength to keep down their spirit; so that she would never dare to expose herself to their efforts for the recovery of their liberty in connection with a foreign enemy.

If all these considerations are judged to be as true and as well grounded as they are probable, we ought to continue with dexterity to tranquillize the English ministry as to the intentions of France and Spain. It will also be proper for the two monarchies to extend to the insurgents secret aid in military stores and money, without seeking any return for it beyond the political object of the moment; but it would not comport with the dignity or interest of the king to treat with the insurgents, till the liberty of English America shall have acquired consistency.

It is at all times useful and proper, in this moment

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