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Extract of a Letter from Paris



We hear that the Court of Great Britain have lately presented a memorial to our Court, and also to that of Spain, strongly complaining of the trade which is so industriously carried on by the French and Spanish merchants with the rebellious Colonies of North America; and at the same time inquiring the reason of the great armament carrying on in both these Kingdoms, supposed to be against the States of Africa, whilst the latter sit quiet and inactive, as if they had nothing to fear. The answer given by both the above Courts is publickly spoken to be this: That with regard to the complaints of trading with the Rebels, it is a mere smuggling and illicit trade, which, notwithstanding the risk of being confiscated, according to law, merchants of every maritime country will always venture, and act contrary to the positive commands of the Legislature. But with regard to the armament, both France and Spain find themselves highly necessitated to send strong forces to their Colonies of South America and the West Indies, in order to prevent a rebellion there, to which they might be induced by the seeming success of the British Colonies in North America. Feasible, however, as this answer may appear, yet it is certain, that our squadron, lately sailed from Brest and Toulon, met and united themselves with a Spanish squadron near the Cape of St˙ Vincent; and there are authentick advices of the latest date, mentioning that the Spanish fleet destined for Cuba was observed steering towards Jamaica.