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[246] of the empress under the plea, that the
Chap. XI.} 1779. June 16.
conduct of England had made his acceptance of it inconsistent with his honor; and on the sixteenth of June, between twelve and one o'clock, his ambassador in London delivered to Lord Weymouth a declaration of war; but neither there nor in his manifesto was there one word relating to the war in America. Now that Great Britain, without a single ally, was to confront Spain and France and the United States, no man showed more resoluteness than its king. He was impatient at the ‘over-caution’ of his admirals, and sought to breathe his own courage into his ministers.

Spain stood self-condemned; for an offer of mediation implies impartiality, and her declaration of war showed the malice of a pre-determined enemy. In reply to that declaration, Burke, Fox, and their friends joined in pledging the house of commons and the nation to the support of the crown. Fifty thousand troops defended the coasts, and as many more of the militia were enrolled to repel invasion. The oscillation of the funds did not exceed one per cent. But opinion more and more condemned the war of England with her children, denied to parliament the right of taxing unrepresented colonies, and prepared to accept the necessity of recognising their independence. In the commons, Lord John Cavendish, true to the idea of Chatham, moved for orders to withdraw the British forces employed in America; to the lords, the Duke of Richmond proposed a total change of measures in America and Ireland; and both were supported by increasing numbers. The great landowners were grown sick of taxing America. Lord

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