Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/232

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question that is put to you when you arrive, is: 'Do you come here to sell or to buy?' "

I have given, as nearly as I can remember it, all that passed between the soldier-lawyer and me at this interview, but I cannot forget the singularly wise reflection that I heard him make one day, on the subject of the French interference in the American War.

"Considering the question by itself," I said to him, "the Cabinet of Versailles would seem to have committed a political fault in having openly supported the Americans in the War of Independence, and more particularly for having sent over here all the young nobility of the Court, who returned embued with republican principles. It has been maintained that the proper action for France was to remain neutral, and take advantage of the difficulties of England, to occupy, and thus make her restore, Canada, which has always remained French at heart. This double opportunity of war, or re-occupation, would have furnished an outlet for surplus population,