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[363] by the counsels of the collected wisdom of the na-
Chap. LXIII.} 1776. May.
tion; but he now stood without any support in the cabinet; and his want of influence had appeared in the discussions on America. One of two things must therefore follow; either Turgot must become all prevailing and establish his system, or go into private life. Maurepas, roused by jealousy, insinuated to the right-minded king, that discontent pervaded France, and that it had Turgot alone for its object; that it was not best to wait for his resignation, for he might give as his reason for the act that he was hindered in the accomplishment of good. On the twelfth of May he was therefore dismissed, as one who was not suited to his place. For a moment the friends of the people had a beautiful and a peaceful dream; but it soon passed away, leaving the monarchy of France to sway and fall, and the people to be awakened by the example of the western world. The new minister of finance was De Clugny; a passionate and intemperate rogue, a gamester, and a debauchee, who at once conciliated support by giving out that he would do nothing disagreeable to the farmers general of the revenue. ‘To what masters, ye great gods, do ye give up the universe!’ exclaimed Condorcet. In parting with Malesherbes, the king discarded his truest personal friend; in Turgot, French monarchy lost its firmest support, the nobility its only possible saviour; but for America the result was very different; no one was left in the cabinet who was able to restrain the government from yielding to the rising enthusiasm for America. So tangled is the web of history! The retirement of the two men who were the apostles of liberty pushed

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