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[391] that the removal of the restriction on his vote by the
Chap. LXV.} 1776 June.
Pennsylvania assembly on that morning, did not change his view of his obligation to resist independence. On the other hand, John Adams defended the proposed measures as ‘objects of the most stupendous magnitude, in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn were intimately interested;’ as the consummation ‘of a revolution, the most complete, unexpected, and remarkable, of any in the history of nations.’ The power of all New England, Virginia, and Georgia was put forth on the same side; and the discussion was kept up till seven in the evening. A majority of the colonies, including North Carolina, appeared to be unalterably fixed in favor of an immediate declaration of independence; but the vote on the question was postponed till Monday.

On the day of rest which intervened, Keith, the British minister at the court of Vienna, obtained an audience of Joseph the Second, and afterwards of the empress Maria Theresa. The emperor referred to the proclamation which the joint sovereigns had issued, most strictly prohibiting all commerce between their subjects in the Low Countries and the rebel colonies in America, and went on to say: ‘I am very sorry for the difficulties which have arisen to distress the king's government; the cause in which he is engaged, is in fact the cause of all sovereigns, for they have a joint interest in the maintenance of a just subordination and obedience to law, in all the monarchies which surround them; I saw with pleasure the vigorous exertions of the national strength, which he is now employing to bring his rebellious subjects to a speedy submission, and I most sincerely wish success to those ’

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