Imatges de pàgina

[85 This revenue act of 1767, formed the fourth period of American policy. How we have fired since then--what woeful variety of scheines have been adopted; what enforcing, and what r;jealing; what bullying, and what submitting; what doing, and undoing; what straining, and what relaxing; what affemblies diffolving for not obeying, and called again without obedience; what troops sent out to quell resiliance, and on meet. ing that resistance recalled; what thiftings, and changes, and jumblings of all kinds of men at home, which left no poflibility of order, confiftency, vigour, or even so much as a decent unity of colour in any one public mcasure. ---It is a tedious irksome task. My duty may call me to open it out some other time; on a former occasion * I tried

your temper on a part of it; for the present I fall forbear.

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After all these changes and agitations, your immediate situation upon the question on your paper is at length brought to this. You have an act of parliament, Nating, that “it is expedient to raise a “ revenue in America.” By a partial repeil, you annihilated the greatest part of that revenue, which this preamble declares to be so expedient. You have substituted no other in the place of it. A secretary of state has disclaimed, in the king's name, all thoughts of such a substitution in future. The principle of this disclaimer goes to what has been left, as well as what has been repealed. The'i which lingers after its companions, (under a preamble declaring an American revenue expedient, und oh Resolutions moved in May 1770.

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and for the sole purpose of supporting the theory of that preamble) militates with the assurance authentically conveyed to the Colonies; and is an exhaustless source of jealousy and animosity. On this state, which I take to be a fair one; not being able to discern any grounds of honour, advantage, peace, or power, for adhering, either to the act or to the preamble, I shall vote for the question which leads to the repeal of both.


you do not fall in with this motion, then secure something to fight for, consistent in theory and valuable in practice. If you must employ, your strength, employ it to uphold you in some honourable right, or some profitable wrong. If you are apprehensive that the concession recominended to you, though proper, should be a means of drawing on you further but unreasonable claims--why then employ your force in supporting that realonable concession against those unrealonable demands. You will employ it with more grace; with better effect; and with great probable concurrence of all the quiet and rational people in the provinces; who are now united with, and hurried away by, the violent; having indeed different dispositions, but a common interest, If you apprehend that on a concession you shall be pushed by metaphysical process to the extreme lines, and argued out of your whole authority, my

advice is this; when you have recovered your old, your strong, your tenable position, then face about-stop short-do nothing more-rcafon not at al--o; pose the ancient policy and practice of the empire, as a rampart ag: init the speculations


of innovators on both sides of the question; and you will stand on great, manly, and sure ground. On this folid basis fix your machines, and they will draw worlds towards you.

Your ministers, in their own and his Majesty's name, have already adopted the American distinction of internal and external duties. It is a diftinction, whatever merit it inay have, that was originally moved by the Americans themselves; and I think they will acquiesce in it, if they are not pushed with too much logic and too little sense, in all the consequences. That is, if external taxation be understood, as they and you understand it when you please, to be not a distinction of geography, but of policy; that it is a power for regulating trade, and not for supporting establishments. The distinction, which is as nothing with regard to right, is of most weighty consideration in practice. Recover your old ground, and your old tranquillity-try it-I am persuaded the Americans will compromise with you. When confidence is once restored, the odious and suspicious fummum jus will perish of courfe. The spirit of practicability, of moderation, and mutual convenience, will never call in geometrical exactneis as the arbitrator of an amicable settlement. Con. fult and follow your experience. Let not the long story with which I have exercised your patience, prove fruitless to your interests.

For my part, I should choose (if I could have my wih) that the proposition of the * Hon.

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Gentleman for the repeal, could go to America
without the attendance of the penal bills. Alone
I could almost antwer for its fuccess. I cannot be
certain of its reception in the bad company. it may
keep. In such heterogeneous affortments, the moit
ivnocent person will lole the effect of his inno-
cency. Though you should send out this angel
of pence, yet you are fending out a destroying
angel too; and what would be the effect of the
conflict of thele two adverse spirits, or which
would predominate in the end, is what I dare pot
say : whether the lenient measures would cause
American patrion to subside, or the levere would
increase its fury-All this is in the hand of Prod
vidence; yet now, even now, I should confide in
the prevailing virtue, and efficacious operation of,
levity, though working in darknets, and in chaos,
in the midst of all this unnatural and turbid com-,
bination, I should hope it might produce order
and beauty in the end,

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Let us, Sir, embrace some system or other ben:
fore we end this fellion. Do you mean to tax;
America, and to draw a productive revenue from
tbelce? If you do, speak out: name, fix, ascer- :
tain this revenue ; dettle its quantity ; define its
objects; provide for its collection; and then figlio
when you have something to fight for. If you
murder rob! If you kill, take poffeffion; and
do not appear in the character of madmen, as well
as afiarlins, violent, vindictive, bloody, and tyran-
nical, without an object. But may

Lutter coupsels
guide you !:6,
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Again, and again, revert to your old principles seek peace, and ensue it leave Americà, if the has taxable matter in her, to tax herself. I am not here going into the distinctions of rights, nor attempting to mark their boundaries. I do not enter into these metaphysical distinctions; I hate the very found of them. Leave the Americans as they antiently stood; and these distinctions, born of our unhappy contest, will die along with itoi They, and we, and their and our ancestors, have been happy under that system. Let the memory of all actions, in contradiction to that good old mode, on both sides, be extinguished for ever, Be content to bind America by laws of trade; you have always done it. Let this be your reason for binding their trade. Do not burthen them by taxes; you were not used to do so from the ben ginning. Let this be your reaton for not taxing. These are the arguments of states and kingdoms. Leave the rest to the schools ; for there only they may be discussed with safety. But if, intemperately, i unwilely, fatally, you sophisticate and poifon the very source of government, by urging fubtle deductions, and consequences odious to those

you gavern, from the unlimited and illimitable nature

of supreme fovereignty, you will teach
them by these means to call that lovereigoty itself
in queition. When you drive him hard, the boat

will surely turn upon the hunters. If that fove-
reignty and their freedom cannot be reconciled,
which will they take. They will cast you

reigoty in your face. Nobody will be argued
into slavery. Sir, let the gentlemen on the other:
fide call forth all their ability; let the best of them


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