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Speculatists have been, a long time, foretelling Great Britain's downfall; but we see no symptoms of the catastrophe being very near. I am persuaded, it will at least last out the war; and then, in the opinion of many of the best politicians, it will be a national advantage. If the war should terminate successfully, the Crown will have acquired such influence and power, that it may attempt any thing; and a bankruptcy will probably be made the ladder to climb to absolute authority.
The Administration may, perhaps, wish to drive matters to this issue. At any rate, they will not be restrained, by an apprehension of it, from forcing the resources of the State. It will promote their present purposes, on which their all is at stake; and it may pave the way to triumph more effectually over the Constitution. With this disposition, I have no doubt that ample means will be found, to prosecute the war with the greatest vigor.
The Maritime Resources of Great Britain are more substantial and real, than those of France and Spain united. Her commerce is more extensive than that of both her rivals; and it is an axiom, that the nation which has the most extensive commerce, will always have the most powerful marine.
THE BRITISH NAVY.
If the Spaniards, under this favorable beginning, would unite their fleet to that of France, together they would soon humble the pride of haughty Britain, and no longer suffer her to reign sovereign of the seas, and claim the privilege of giving laws to the main.
The opening is now fair; and God grant, that they may embrace the opportunity of bidding an eternal adieu to our (once quit of them) happy land.
If the Spaniards would but join their fleets to those of France, and commence hostilities, my doubts would subside; without it, I fear the British navy has it too much in its power to counteract the schemes of France.
In this age of free inquiry and enlightened reason, it is to be hoped, that the condition of the people in every country will be bettered, and the happiness of mankind promoted. Spain appears to be so much behind the other nations of Europe in liberal policy, that a long time will undoubtedly elapse, before the people of that kingdom can taste the sweets
*The defeat of the British squadron, by the French Admiral d'Orvilliers.
of liberty, and enjoy the natural advantages of their country.
THE MEDIATION OF SPAIN.
The conduct of England in rejecting the mediation of Spain, is more strongly tinctured with insanity, than any thing she has done in the course of the contest, unless she be sure of very powerful aid from some of the northern powers.
The glorious success of Count d'Estaing in the West Indies, at the same time that it adds dominion to France, and fresh lustre to her arms, is a source of new and unexpected misfortune to our tender and generous parent, and must serve to convince her of the folly of quitting the substance, in pursuit of the shadow; and, as there is no experience equal to that which is bought, I trust she will have the superabundance of this kind of knowledge, and be convinced, as I hope all the world and every tyrant in it will be, that the best and only safe road to honor, glory, and true dignity, is justice.
AMERICA'S FALSE SECURITY.
I very much fear, that we, taking it for granted, that we have nothing more to do, because France has acknowledged our Independency, and formed an alliance with us, shall relapse into a state of supineness and false security.
I think it more than probable, from the situation of affairs in Europe, that the enemy will receive no considerable, if any, reinforcements. But suppose they should not, their remaining force, if well directed, is far from being contemptible. In the desperate state of British affairs, it is worth a desperate attempt to extricate themselves; and a blow at our main army, if successful, would have a wonderful effect upon the minds of a number of people, still wishing to embrace the present terms, or indeed any terms offered by Great Britain.
FRANCE AND AMERICA.
The Court of France has made a glorious effort for our deliverance, and if we disappoint her intentions, by our supineness, we must become contemptible in the eyes of all mankind. Nor can we, after that, venture to confide, that our allies will persist in an attempt to establish what, it will appear, we want inclination or ability to assist them in.
The present instance of the friendship of the Court of France, is attended with every circumstance that can render it important and agreeable, that can interest our gratitude, or fix our emulation.
FRENCH OFFICERS IN AMERICA.
In the midst of a war, the nature and difficulties of which are peculiar and uncommon, I cannot flatter myself in any way to recompense the sacrifices they have made, but by giving them such opportunities in the field of glory, as will enable them to display that gallantry, and those talents, which we shall always be happy to acknowledge with applause.
FRENCH MILITARY CHARACTER.
To call your nation brave, were to pronounce but common praise. Wonderful people! Ages to come will read with astonishment the history of your brilliant exploits.
It is a country to which I shall ever feel a warm