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bers might consult their constituents. Before the adjournment, complaint was made of the new zeal of Bernard in enforcing the navigation acts and sending to Eng. land injurious affidavits secretly taken. “I knew the time,” interposed a member, “when the house would have readily assisted the governor in executing the laws of trade.” “The times," replied Otis, “are altered; we now know our rights."
Meantime, Shelburne sought to recover the affections of the colonies by acquiring and deserving their confidence. “Assure the assembly of Massachusetts,” he said with “frankness” to their correspondent, “they may be perfectly easy about the enjoyment of their rights and privileges under the present administration.” He enjoined moderation on every governor, and was resolved to make no appointments but of men of "the most generous principles." Through a letter to Bernard, whom he directed to pursue conciliatory measures, he invited the colonial legislature of itself to fall upon measures for terminating all local difficulties. The country people, as they read his words, agreed with one another that the compensation which he recommended should be made. « The king," said they, “has asked this of us as a favor; it would be ungenerous to refuse.”
On the reassembling of the legislature, Hawley's bill prevailed by large majorities; yet it was also voted that the sufferers had no just claim on the province, that the grant was of their own “free and good will,” and not from deference to “a requisition.” The governor assented to an act in which a colonial legislature exercised the prerogative of clemency; and Hutchinson, saying, “ Beggars must not be choosers,” gave thanks at the bar of the house. But he treasured up the feeling of revenge; and the next year, taking offence at some explanatory publication by Hawley, expelled him arbitrarily from the bar of the superior court.
The patriots of New England did not doubt Shelburne's attention to its interests and respect for its liberties; but they were exquisitely sensitive to every thing like an admission that the power of taxing them resided in parlia
ment. Bernard was rebuked, because, with consent of council, he had caused the billeting act to be printed by the printer of the colony laws; and had made that act his warrant for furnishing supplies at the colony's expense to two companies of artillery, who, in stress of weather, had put into Boston. Otis attributed the taxing of America by parliament to Bernard's advice. The jealous legislature dismissed Richard Jackson from the service of the province; and the house elected the honest but aged Dennys de Berdt as its own particular agent.
This is the time from which Hutchinson dated the revolt of the colonies; and his correspondence and advice conformed to the opinion. Samuel Adams divined the evil designs, now so near their execution. He instructed De Berdt to oppose the apprehended establishment of a military force in America, as needless for protection and dangerous to liberty. “Certainly," said he, “the best way for Great Britain to make her colonies a real and lasting benefit is to give them all consistent indulgence in trade, and to remove any occasion of their suspecting that their liberties are in danger. While any act of parliament is in force which has the least appearance of a design to raise a revenue out of them, their jealousy will be awake.”
At the same time, he wrote to the patriot most like
himself, Christopher Gadsden, of South Carolina, inquiring whether the billeting act “is not taxing the colonies as effectually as the stamp act;" and protesting against a standing army, especially in a time of peace, as in every respect dangerous to the civil community. “Surely,” said he, “ we cannot consent to their quartering among us; and how hard is it for us to be obliged to pay our money to subsist them !” Gadsden had already met patriots of South Carolina under the Live Oak, which was named their Tree of Liberty; had set before them the declaratory act, explained to them their rights, and leagued with them to oppose all foreign taxation.
At New York, the soldiery continued to irritate the people by insolent language, and by once more cutting down their flagstaff. Shelburne sought to reconcile their as
sembly to obedience to the billeting act, holding forth hope of a change of the law on a well-grounded representation of its hardship; and a prudent governor could have avoided a collision. But Moore was chiefly bent on establishing a play-house, against the wishes of the Presbyterians; and his thoughtless frivolity drove the house to a categorical conflict with the act of parliament, when they had really as an act of their own made provision for quartering two battalions and one company of artillery.” Their prudence secured unanimity in the assembly and among their constituents. In New York, as well as over all North America, the act declaratory of the absolute power of parliament was met by “the principle of the supreme power of the people in all cases whatsoever.”
In England, a spirit was rising very different from that which had prevailed in the previous winter. “So long as I am in office,” said Charles Townshend, on the floor of the house of commons, “ the authority of the laws shall not be trampled upon.” He did not fear to flatter the king, and court Grenville and Bedford; for Chatham was incurring the hatred of every branch of the aristocracy. Eight or nine whigs resigned their employments, on account of his headstrong removal of Lord Edgecombe from an unimportant post. Saunders and Keppel left the admiralty, and Keppel's place fell to Jenkinson. The Bedford party knew the weakness of the English Ximenes, and scorned his moderate bid for their support; but the king cheered him on “to rout out" the grandees of England, now “banded together.” “Their unions,” said Chatham, "give me no terrors; “the king is firm, and there is nothing to fear.”
To Shelburne, who was charged with the care of the colonies, he
gave his confidence and his support. He claimed for the supreme government the right of dominion over the conquests in India, and the disposition of its territorial revenue; and, as Townshend crossed his plans by leaning to the East India company, he proposed to Grafton the dismissal of Townshend as “incurable.” Burke indulged in sarcasm at “the great person, so immeasurably high ” as
not to be reached by argument, and travestied the litany in a solemn invocation to “the minister above.” And the next day, in the house of lords, Chatham marked his contempt of all such mockery by saying to the Duke of Richmond : “When the people shall condemn me, I shall tremble ; but I will set my face against the proudest connection of this country.” “I hope," cried Richmond, “the nobility will not be browbeaten by an insolent minister;" and Chatham retorted the charge of insolence.
But it was the last time during his ministry that he appeared in the house of lords. His broken health was unequal to the conflict which he had invited. On the eighteenth of December, he repaired to Bath, with a nervous system so weak that he was easily fluttered and moved to tears; yet still he sent to the representatives of Massachusetts his friendly acknowledgment of their vote of gratitude.
Townshend saw his opportunity, and no longer
concealed his intention. Knowing the king's dislike of Shelburne, he took advantage of his own greater age, his authority as the ablest orator in the house of commons, his long acquaintance with American affairs, and the fact that they turned chiefly on questions of finance, to assume their direction. His ambition deceived him into the hope of succeeding where Grenville had failed; and in concert with Paxton, from Boston, he was devising a scheme for a board of customs in America, and duties to be collected in its ports. He would thus obtain an American fund for a civil list, and concentre the power of government, where Grenville looked only for revenue. He expected his dismissal, , if Chatham regained health ; and he also saw the clearest prospect of advancement by setting his colleagues at defiance. He therefore prepared to solve the questions of Asia and America in his own way, and trod the ground which he had chosen with fearless audacity. On the twenty-sixth of January, the house of commons, in committee of supply, considered the estimates for the land forces and garrisons in the plantations. Grenville seized the occasion to declaim on the repeal of the stamp act. He enforced the necessity
of relieving Great Britain from a burden which the colonies ought to bear, and which with contingencies exceeded four hundred thousand pounds; reminding the country gentlemen that this sum was nearly equal to one shilling in the pound of the land-tax. He spoke elaborately, and against Chatham was even more rancorous than usual.
“ Administration,” replied Townshend, “has applied its attention to give relief to Great Britain from bearing the whole expense of securing, defending, and protecting America and the West India Islands; I shall bring into the house some propositions that I hope may tend, in time, to ease the people of England upon this head, and yet not be heavy in any manner upon the people in the colonies. I know the mode by which a revenue may be drawn from America without offence.” As he spoke, the house shook with applause ; "hear him!” “hear him!” now swelling loudest from his own side, now from the benches of the opposition. “I am still,” he continued, “a firm advocate for the stamp act, for its principle, and for the duty itself, only the heats which prevailed made it an improper time to press it. I laugh at the absurd distinction between internal and external taxes. I know no such distinction. It is a distinction without a difference; it is perfect nonsense; if we have a right to impose the one, we have a right to impose the other; the distinction is ridiculous in the opinion of everybody except the Americans." Looking up where the colony agents usually sat, he added with emotion : “ I speak this aloud, that all you who are in the galleries may hear me; and, after this, I do not expect to have my statue erected in America." Then, laying his hand on the table in front of him, he declared to the house : “England is undone, if this taxation of America is given up.”
Grenville at once demanded of him to pledge himself to his declaration : he did so most willingly; and his promise received a tumultuous welcome.
Lord George Sackville pressed for a revenue that should be adequate; and Townshend engaged himself to the house to find a revenue, if not adequate, yet nearly sufficient to