connection founded on the identity of origin,
language, and manners, without the opposition of interests; to offer them liberty as a gift instead of yielding it to force. Nothing is more worthy of the wisdom of the king of Spain and his council than from this present time to fix their attention on the possibility of this forced separation, and on the measures to be taken to prepare for it. It is a very delicate question to know, if we can underhand help the Americans to ammunition or money. There is no difficulty in shutting our eyes on their purchases in our ports; our merchants are free to sell to any who will buy of them; we do not distinguish the colonists from the English themselves; but to aid the Americans with money would excite in the English just complaints. The idea of sending troops and squadrons into our colonies for their security against invasion, must be rejected as ruinous, insufficient, and dangerous. We ought to limit ourselves to measures of caution, less expensive, and less approaching to a state of hostility; to precipitate nothing unless the conduct of England shall give us reason to believe that she really thinks of attacking us. In combining all circumstances, it may certainly be believed that the English ministry does not desire war, and our preparations ought to tend only to the maintenance of peace. Peace is the choice of the king of France and the king of Spain. Every plan of aggression ought to be rejected, first of all from moral reasons. To these are to be added the reasons of interest, drawn from the situation of the two powers. Spain has not in its magazines the requirements
Chap. LXI.} 1776. Apr.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.