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be told to perceive our inability to oppose the mother country," cried the youthful Quincy, “we boldly answer that, in defence of our civil and religious rights, with the God of armies on our side, we fear not the hour of trial.” As the lawyers of England decided that American taxation by parliament was legal and constitutional, the press of Boston sought support in the law of nature, which," said they,“ is the law of God, irreversible itself and superseding all human law.” Men called to mind the words of Locke, that, when the constitution is broken by the obstinacy of the prince, “the people must appeal to Heaven.” A petition to the governor to convene the legislature having been rejected with “contempt,” the inhabitants of Boston, ever sensitive to “the sound of Liberty," assembled on the twenty-eighth of October, in town meeting, and voted to forbear the importation and use of a great number of articles of British produce and manufacture. They appointed a committee for obtaining a general subscription to such an agreement, and ordered their resolves to be sent to all the towns in the province, and also to the other colonies.

Otis, heretofore so fervid, on this occasion warned against giving offence to Great Britain. Even the

twentieth of November, the day on which the tax act was to go into effect, passed away in quiet. Images and placards were exhibited ; but they were removed by the friends of the people. In a town meeting convened to discountenance riot, Otis went so far as to assert the king's right to appoint officers of the customs in what manner and by what denominations he pleased ; and he advised the town to make no opposition to the new duties. But province called to province.

" A revolution must inevitably ensue,” said a great student of Scripture prophecies, in a village of Connecticut. “We have discouraging tidings from a mother country,” thought Trumbull. “ The Americans have been firmly attached to Great Britain; nothing but severity will dissolve the union."

On the banks of the Delaware, John Dickinson, the illustrious Farmer, of Pennsylvania, who had been taught froni his infancy to love humanity and liberty, came before the

1767. Nov.

continent to plead for American rights. He was an enthusiast in his love for England, and accepted the undefined relations of the parliament to the colonies as a perpetual compromise which neither party was to disturb by pursuing an abstract theory to its ultimate conclusions.

“ If once we are separated from the mother country,” he asked, in the sincerity of sorrow, “what new form of government shall we adopt? or where shall we find another Britain to supply our loss? Torn from the body to which we were united by religion, liberty, laws, affections, relation, language, and commerce, we must bleed at every vein.” He admitted that parliament possessed a legal authority to regulate the trade of every part of the empire. Examining all the statutes relating to America from its first settlement, he found every one of them rested on that principle till the administration of Grenville. Never before did the British commons think of imposing duties in the colonies for the purpose of raising a revenue. Grenville first asserted, in the preamble of one act, that it was just and necessary for them to give and grant such duties ; and, in the preamble of another, that it was “ just and necessary to raise a further revenue in the same way; while the preamble of the last act, granting duties upon paper, glass, colors, and tea, disregarding ancient precedents under cover of these modern ones, declared that it was moreover pedient” that a revenue should be so raised. This," said the Farmer, “is an INNOVATION, and a most dangerous innovation. Great Britain claims and exercises the right to prohibit manufactures in America. Once adınit that she may lay duties upon her exportations to us, for the purpose of levying money on us only, she then will have nothing to do but to lay those duties on the articles which she prohibits us to manufacture, and the tragedy of American liberty is finished. We are in the situation of a besieged city, surrounded in every part but one. If that is closed up, no step can be taken but to surrender at discretion.

“I would persuade the people of these colonies, immediately, vigorously, and unanimously, to exert themselves in


1767. Nov.

the most firm but the most peaceable manner for obtaining relief. If an inveterate resolution is formed to annihilate the liberties of the governed, English history affords examples of resistance by force.”

The Farmer's Letters carried conviction through all the thirteen colonies.





1767. Nov.

On the twenty-fourth of November, the twelfth parliament came together for the last time previous to its dissolution. Its members were too busy in preparing for the coming elections to interfere with America, about which the king's speech was silent; and, when Grenville descanted on two or three papers in the “ Boston Gazette," as infamous libels on parliament, the house showed weariness. Bedford objected to Grenville's test for America, and "preferred making an example of some one seditious fellow.” The king kept the ministry from breaking, and proved himself the most efficient man among them. “He makes each of them,” said Mansfield, “ believe that he is in love with him, and fools them all. They will stand their ground,” he added, “unless that mad man, Lord Chatham, should come and throw a fire-ball in the midst of them." But Chatham's long illness had for the time overthrown his powers. When his health began to give out, it was his passion to appear possessed of the unbounded confidence of the king. A morbid restlessness led him to vie in expense with his equals in the peerage, who were the inheritors of vast estates. He would drive out with ten outriders, and with two carriages, each drawn by six horses. His vain magnificence deceived no one. “He is allowed to retain office, as a livelihood," observed Bedford. The king complained of him as “a charlatan, who in difficult times affected ill-health to render himself the more sought after;" and saying that politics was a vile trade, more fit for a hack than for a gentleman, he proceeded to construct a ministry that would be disunited and docile.

1767. Dec.

On the fifth of December, Bedford, just before the removal

of cataracts from his eyes, renounced his connection with Grenville, saying to him, by way of excuse, that

his age, his infirmities, and his tastes disinclined him to war on the court, which was willing to enter into a treaty with him, and each member of the opposition would do well to exercise a like freedom. “ He chooses to give bread to his kinsmen and friends," said those whom he deserted. Grenville could not conceal his despair. To his junction with Bedford, he had sacrificed the favor of the king. Left to battle alone by the ally for whom he had been a martyr, the famed financier saw “the nothingness of the calculations of party.” His health began to fail; the little that remained to him of life became steeped in bitterness; he seemed ready to curse his former associates and to die. At the time when the public indignation was roused by the news of the general agreement which the town of Boston was promoting, the ministry was revolutionized, but without benefit to Grenville. The colonies were taken from Shelburne and consigned to a separate department of state, with Lord Hillsborough as its secretary. Conway made room for Lord Weymouth, a vehement but not forcible speaker, yet a man of ability. Gower became president of the council; the post-office was assigned to Sandwich, the ablest of them all, as well as the most malignant against America ; while Rigby was made vice-treasurer of Ireland, till he could get the pay-office. All five were friends of the Duke of Bedford, and united in opinion respecting America. Jenkinson, whose noiseless industry at the treasury board exercised a prevailing influence over the negligence of Grafton and the ease of Lord North, formed the active and confidential bond between the treasury and the office-holders in Boston.

To maintain the authority of parliament over America was the principle on which the friends of Bedford entered the ministry. Their partisans professed to think it desirable that “the colonies should forget themselves still further.” “Five or six frigates," they clamored, “ acting at sea, and three regiments on land, will soon bring them to reason

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