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[543] made America independent, and that American inde-
Chap. XXVII.} 1782. May 10.
pendence was not the only cause of the war. On the next day, Grenville, unaccompanied by Franklin, met Vergennes and de Aranda, and offered peace on the basis of the independence of the United States and the treaty of 1763. ‘That treaty,’ said Vergennes, ‘I can never read without a shudder. The king, my master, cannot in any treaty consider the independence of America as ceded to him. To do so would be injurious to the dignity of his Britannic Majesty.’ The Spanish ambassador urged with vehemence, that the griefs of the king of Spain were totally distinct from the independence of America.

With regard to America, the frequent conversations of the young envoy with Franklin, who received him with constant hospitality, cleared up his views. It was explained to him with precision that the United States were free from every sort of engagement with France except those contained in the public treaties of commerce and alliance. Grenville asked if these obligations extended to the recovery of Gibraltar for Spain; and Franklin answered: ‘It is nothing to America who has Gibraltar.’ But Franklin saw in Grenville a young statesman ambitious of recommending himself as an able negotiator; in Oswald, a man who free from interested motives earnestly sought a final settlement of all differences between Great Britain and America. To the former he had no objection, but he would have been loath to lose the latter; and, before beginning to treat of the conditions of peace, he wrote to Shelburne his belief that the ‘moderation, prudent counsels, and sound judgment of Oswald might contribute much not only to the speedy conelusion ’

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