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last three or four years, and it was upon that ground I gave them credit for an increasing disposition towards peace. Some dropped off; others sunk under the load of folly; and at last they all failed. My argument ad homines to the late ministry, might be stated thus. If you don't kill them, they will kill you. But the war is impracticable on your part; ergo, the best thing you can do for your own sake is to make peace. This was reasoning to men, and through men to things. But there is no measure of rage in pride and disappointment,

Spicula cæca relinquit

Infira venis, animasque in rulnere ponunt. So much for the argument of the Breviate as far as it rer spected the late ministry. It was a test which proved that they were not sincere to their professions. If they had been in earnest to have given the war a turn towards the house of Bourbon, and to have dropped the Americau war, a plain road lay before them. The sentiment of the people of England was conformable to the argument of that breviate; or rather I should say what is the real truth, that the argument of the breviate was dictated by the notoriety of that sentiment in the people of England. My object and wish always has been to strike at the root of the evil, the American war, If the British nation have jealousies and resentments against the house of Bourbon, yet still the first step in every case would be to rescind the American war, and pot to keep it lurking in the rear, to become hereafter, in case of certain events, a reversionary war with America for unconditional terms. This reversionary war was never the object of the people of England: therefore the argument of the breviate was calculated bona fide to accomplish their views, and to discriminate the fallacious pretences of the late administration from the real wishes of the country, as expressed in the circular resoJution of many counties in the year 1780, first moved at York on March 28, 1780. Every other principle and every mode of conduct only imply, as you very justly express it, a secret hope that war may still produce success, and thenThe designs which have been lurking under this pretext could not mean any thing else than this. Who knows but that we may still talk to America at last. The only test of clear intentions would have been this, to have cut up the American war and all possible returir to it for any cause, or under any pretext. I am confident that the sentiment of the people of England is and always has been to procure peace and reconciliation with America, and to viudicate the national honor in the contest with the house of Bourbon. If this intention bad been pursued in a simple and direct manner, I am confident that the honor and safety of the British nation would long ago have been established in a general peace with all the belligerent powers. These are the sentiments to which I bave always acted in those negociations which I have had upon the subject of peace with the late ministry. Recon. ciliation with America and peace with all the world upon terms consistent with the honor and safety of my own country.

Peace must be sought in such ways as promise the greatest degree of practicability. The sentiments of individuals as philanthropists may be overborne by the power of ancient prejudices which too frequently prevail in the aggregates of nations. In such case the philanthropist who wishes the good of his own country, and of mankind, must be the bullrush bending to the storm, and not the sturdy oak unavailingly resisting. National prejudices are, I hope, generally upon the decline. Reason and humanity gain ground every day against their natural enemies, folly and injustice. The ideas of nations being natural enemies to each other are generally reprobated. But still jealousies and ancient rivalships remain, which obstruct the road to peace among men. If one belligerent nation will entertain a standing force of three or four hundred thousand tighting men, other nations must have defended frontiers and barrier towns, and the barrier of a neighbouring island whose constitution does not allow a standing military force, must consist in a superiority at sea. It is necessary for her own defence. If all nations by mutual consent will reduce their offensive powers, which they only claim under the pretext of necessary defence, and bring forward the reign of the Millenium ; then away with your frontiers and barriers, and your Gibraltars, and the key of the Baltic, and all the hostile array of nations.

Aspere compositis mitescant secula bellis. These must be the sentiments of every philanthropist in his interior thoughts. But if we are not to seek peace by some practicable method accommodated to the remaining prejudices of the multitude, we shall not in our time, I fear, see that happy day. If Great Britain and France are ancient rivals; then, until the reign of the Millenium shall approach, arrange that rivalship upon equitable terms; as the two leading nations of Europe, set them in balance to each other; the one by land, the other by sea. Give to France her elevated rank among the nations of Europe. Give to Great Britain the honor of her flag, and the security of her island by her wooden walls, and there would be no obstruction to general and perpetual peace. The prejudices of disrespect between nations prevail only among the inferior ranks. Believe me, for one at least, I have the highest sentiments of respect for the nation of France. I have no other sentiments of hostility but wbat are honorable towards them, and which as a member of a rival state at war with theni, consists in the duty of vigilance which I owe towards the honor and interests of my own country. I am not conscious of a word or a thought which on the point of honor I would wishi to have concealed from a French minister. In the mode which I have proposed of unravelling the present subjects of jealousy and contest, I would make my proposals openly to France herself. Let America be free, and enjoy happiness and peace for ever. If France and Great Britain have jealousies or rivalships between themselves as European nations, I then say to France; let us settle these points between ourselves; if unfortunately we shall not be able by honorable negociation to compromise the indispensable points of national honor and safety. This would be my language to France, open and undisguised. In the mean while I desire you to observe that it would not be with reluctance that I should offer eternal freedom, happiness and peace to America. You know my thoughts too well to suspect that. I speak only as in a state of war desirous to arrange the complicated interests and to secure the respective honor of nations. My wishes are and always have been for the peace, liberty and safety of mankind. In the pursuit of those blessed objects not only this country and America, but France herself and the house of Bourbon, may justly claim the conspiring exertions of every free and liberal mind, even among their temporary enemies and rivals. I am, &c.


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[Enclosed in the Letter of DAVID HARTLEY, Esg. of

May 1, 1782.]
Breviate, Feb. 7, 1782,

It is stated that America is disposed to enter into a negociation of peace with Great Britain without requiring any formal recognition of Independence; always understood that they are to act in conjunction with their allies, conformable to treaties.

It is therefore recommended to give for reply that the ministers of Great Britain are likewise disposed to enter into

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a negociation for peace, and that they are ready to open a general treaty for that purpose.

If the British ministers should see any objection to a general treaty, but should still be disposed to enter into a separate treaty with America, it is then recommended to them to offer such terms to America as shall induce her to apply to her allies for their consent that she should be permitted to enter into a separate treaty with Great Britain. The condition of which being the consent of allies, no proposition of any breach of faith can be understood to be required by them by the requisition of a separate treaty.

The British ministers are free to make any propositions to America which they may think proper, provided they be not dishonorable in themselves, which in the present case is barred by the supposition of consent being obtained. In this case therefore if they should be inclined to offer a separate treaty it is recommended to them to offer such terms to America, as should induce her to be desirous of closing with the proposal of a separate treaty on the grounds of national security and interests, and likewise such as may constitute to them a case of reason and justice upon make requisition to their allies for their consent. It is "suggested that the offer to America of a truce of sufficient length, together with the removal of the British troops, would be equivalent to that case which is provided for in the treaty of February 6, 1778, between America and France, viz. tacit independence; and the declared ends of that alliance being accomplished it would not be reasonable that America should be dragged on by their allies in a war, the continuance of which between France and Great Britain could only be caused by separate European jealousies and resentments (if unfortunately for the public peace any such should arise) between themselves, independent and unconnected with the American cause. It is to be presumed that France would

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