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to bind them round her own hands, and wear them patiently. u Luxuria incubuit, victumque ulciscitur orbem-savior armis.
Happily, beyond the Atlantic, this poison has not reached the heart. When then will infatuated administration begin to fear that freedom they cannot destroy, and which they do not know how to love ?”
In another letter, he says-_-" I have not words to express my satisfaction, that the congress has conducted this most arduous and delicate business with such manly wisdom and calm resolution, as does the highest honour to their deliberations. Very few things are contained in their resolves, that I could wish had been otherwise. Upon the whole, I think it must be evident to every unprejudiced man in England, who feels for the rights of mankind, that America, under all her oppressions and provocations, holds forth to us the most fair and just opening, for restoring harmony and affectionate intercourse, as heretofore. I trust, that the minds of men are more than beginning to change on this great subject; and that it will be found impossible for freemen in England, to wish to see three millions of Englishmen, slaves in America."
In the beginning of the year 1775, soon after the American papers had been laid before the peers, he made another speech becoming
, his splendid fame. These were some of his expressions “ This universal opposition to your arbitrary system of taxation, might have been foreseen ; it was obvious from the nature of things, and from the nature of man, and above all, from the confirmed habits of thinking, from the spirit of whiggiSm flourishing in America. The spirit which now pervadęs America, is the same which formerly opposed loans, benevolences, and ship-money in this country; is the same spirit which roused all England to action at the revolution, and which established at a remote æra, your liberties, on the basis of that grand fundamental maxim of the constitution, that no subject of England shall be taxed, but by his own consent.
“ To maintain this principle, is the common cause of the whigs, on the other side of the Atlantic, and on this. It is liberty to liberty engaged. In this great cause they are immoveably allied. It is the alliance of God and nature, immutable, eternal, fixed as the firmament of heaven.
“ As an Englishman, I recognize to the Americans, their supreme
unalterable right of property. As an American, I would equally recognize to England, her supreme right of regulating commerce and navigation. This distinction is
Arbitrary taxation is plunder authorized by law; it is the support and
; the essence of tyranny; and has done more mischief to mankind, than those other three scourges from heaven, famine, pestilence, and the sword.
“ I need not carry your lordships out of your own knowledge, or out of your own dominions, to make you conceive what misery this right of taxation is capable of producing in a provincial government.
“We need only recollect, that our countrymen in India have, in the space of five or six years, in virtue of this right, destroyed, starved, and driven away more inhabitants from Bengal, than are to be found at present in all our American colonies. This is no exaggeration, my lords, but plain matter of fact."
Shipler, bishop of St. Asaph, against the bill for altering the charter of
“ We seem not to be sensible of the high and important trust, which Providence has committed to our charge. The most precious remains of civil liberty, that the world can now boast of, are now lodged in our hands; and God forbid, that we should violate so sacred a deposite.
“ By enslaving your colonies, you not only ruin the peace, the commerce, and the fortunes of both countries ; but you extinguish the fairest hopes, shut up the last asylum of mankind.
“ I think, my lords, without being weakly superstitious, that a good man may hope, that heaven will take part against the execution of a plan, which seems big not only with mischief, but impiety."
involved in the abstract nature of things : property is private, individual, absolute : the touch of another annihilates it. Trade is an extended and complicated consideration ; it reaches as far as ships can sail, or winds can blow ; it is a vast and various machine. To regulate the numberless movements of its several parts, and combine them into one harmonious effect, for the good of the whole, requires the superintending wisdom and energy of the supreme power of the empire.
On this grand practical distinction, then let us rest: taxation is theirs, commercial regulation is ours. As to the metaphysical refinements, attempting to shew, that the Americans are equally free from legislative controul, and commercial restraint, as from taxation, for the purpose of revenue, I pronounce them futile, frivolous, and groundless.
“ When your lordships have perused the papers transmitted to us from America, when you consider the dignity, the firmness, and the
wisdom with which the Americans have acted, you cannot but respect their cause.
“ History, my lords, has been
favourite study, and in the celebrated writings of antiquity, have I often admired the patriotism of Greece and Rome : but, my lords, I must declare and avow, that in the master states of the world, I know not the people or the senate, who, in such a complication of difficult circumstances, can stand in preference to the delegates of America, assembled in general congress at Philadelphia. I trust, it is obvious to your lordships, that all attempts to impose servitude upon
such men, to establish despotism over such a mighty continental nation, must be vain.”
Lord Chatham was ably supported by his friend, the excellent lord Camden, who among other things said-_" when the famous Sel
. den was asked, by what statute resistance to tyranny could be justified ?" his reply was-_"it is to be justified by the custom of England, which is part of the laru of the land."