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[103] He had been driven from St. Domingo by the climate,
Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Aug.
had returned by way of the English colonies, had, at Philadelphia, New York, Providence, and near Boston, become acquainted with insurgent Americans; and he reported that in America every man was turned soldier; that all the world crowded to the camp of liberty. The proposition to send him back to America was submitted by the ambassador at London through Vergennes to Louis the Sixteenth, who consented. Here is the beginning of his intervention in the American revolution. Neither his principles nor his sentiments inclined him to aid insurgents; but the danger of an attack from the English was held before his eyes, and on the seventh of August Vergennes could reply to De Guines: ‘Be assured, sir, the king very much approves sending Bonvouloir with such precaution that we can in no event be compromised by his mission. His instructions should be verbal and confined to the two most essential objects; the one, to make to you a faithful report of events and of the prevailing disposition of the public mind; the other, to secure the Americans against that jealousy of us, with which so much pains will be taken to inspire them. Canada is for them the object of distrust; they must be made to understand that we do not think of it at all; and that far from envying them the liberty and independence which they labor to secure, we admire the nobleness and the grandeur of their efforts, have no interest to injure them, and shall with pleasure see happy circumstances place them at liberty to frequent our ports; the facilities that they will find there for their commerce will soon prove to them our esteem.’ With

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