Letter from a Gentleman in the Service of an Officer of State at Paris
MY DEAR CHEVALIER: You are nearly of my opinion respecting the affairs between Great Britain and her Colonies. Believe me, some years have elapsed since the scheme was projected for the alteration of Government. As soon as the project was resolved upon the Cabinet of Great Britain used all possible means to procure peace with her neighbouring Nations. The fall of the Duke de Chl was a mark of the highest complaisance to her. It is well known that this Minister (though in disgrace) directed all or at least the greater part of the business of our Cabinet. Britain was well enough assured that they could keep the House of Bourbon still; but Spain had given such instructions to her ambassador as would have caused a rupture, had they been observed. But Prince Masserano was recalled.
The death of Louis the Fifteenth, set the spirits of our people in agitation, the old Parliament made remonstrances, and our clergy murmurs, on account of the new regulations against them. It was then Lord North caused a report to circulate at London, of his being ill, that he might come to Paris incog˙ in order to ascertain himself of the disposition of our Court. He remained there but two days, which time he spent in conference with the Ministry, who, like Another Danaes, were tempered by the British gold scattered by Jupiter North. His policy was seducing, and retained us in the same state of inaction we now continue, that he might be at liberty to set your part of the world in confusion.
Assure yourself that Great Britain is not much more quiet than you are. It is almost the general opinion here
v2:174that a revolt will take place in England, if the trade be interrupted between that Kingdom and the Colonies.
The Royal family of England is too numerous for the taxes of the Nation to maintain them alone. Besides the great debt under which they now labour, they expend much for the support of Hanover; this accounts why King George thinks himself obliged to deal with America as Frederick does with his neighbours.
Orders are given to Isle of Rhe for the transport of four thousand men, in two Frigates and three Ships-of-the-Line, to our Colonies: I cannot tell you their destination.
We are busy to complete all the Regiments that are deficient. The King has caused a general state of his Marine Force to be laid before him; and, to conclude, I assure you that a rupture between Spain and England is at no great distance.