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tion, they were of a fiduciary nature, adapted to the comparative state of the contracting parties, for the purpose of temporary expedience, and must of course vary conformably to such other relative alterations as lapse of time and the vicis situde of human affairs may effect. Acts of parliaments, or other diplomatic titles, may be produced to shew a formal, and perhaps uncontested assumption of power at some given period of time, but will not countervail the primeval and indefeasible rights of mankind, whenever such rights shall be asserted by a clear major part of the community. On this ground, and this ground only, rests our spiritual reform under Harry the 8th, and that most glorious of all civil revolutions-the Revolution by which James 2 lost the throne of these realms. Those gentlemen who plead for the omnipotence of parliaments, and the infallibility of their codes, should advert to the many absurd, contradictory positions and doctrines laid down during the contention of the several pretenders of the Plantagenet line, and afterwards of the heiresses of the House of Tudor.

In fact, Sir, your statutes of those days borrowed too frequently their maxims and complexion from whatsoever brow might happen to be encircled with the regal diadem. In the reign of Richard 2, a law passed to transfer the power of both Houses of Parliament to twelve barons. By an act under one of the Henries, the King's proclamation, with the consent of his privy-council, was thenceforward to carry with it the force and efficacy of a law of the land. And we all know that the parliament of 1641 voted itself perpetual, never to be dissolved nor prorogued but by its own consent; and the Act read by an honourable member to the committee on the present Resolution, and which he treated with so much deference, because it declared the people of the Massachuset's Bay in a state of revolt, was passed by this immaculate parliament.

mentary edicts, and of which no form of government whatever can deprive them. Laws not founded on constitutional justice, are in themselves null and void; nor are the makers of them legislators, but usurpers. A very wise and learned writer, judge Blackstone, has in his Commentaries the following passage: "If the sovereign power advance with gigantic strides and threaten desolation to a state, mankind will not be reasoned out of the feelings of humanity, nor will sacrifice their liberty by a scrupulous adherence to those political maxims, which were originally esta blished to preserve that liberty."

If the powers and pretensions of a few adventurers and fugitives, occupying about two centuries ago a small corner of a graceless desart, and possessed of none of the good things of this life, are to ascertain the powers and pretensions of three millions of people, spread over a land flowing with milk and honey, and a thousand leagues in circumference, they may, with the same justice and propriety, be brought two centuries hence to ascer tain the rights and pretensions of 30 millions, when the inhabitants of this diminutive isle shall scarce reach a fourth part of that number: neither can I own such dis parity in the calculation of increase to be at all exaggerated, if we consider the va rious drains from this country, and the daily influx of persons of both sexes at the very meridian of life into these inviting regions; besides, new settlers usually restrict themselves to hunting and agricul ture, to toils which afford vigour to the body, and enterprise to the mind. They live on plain, wholesome diet; their progeny is healthful, and of boundless increase; whereas in nations that have reached their full zenith of luxury, the mass of the people are occupied at sedentary arts and manufactures, drawing in, from morn to eve, an impure, confined atmosphere, or brooding over unwhole some furnaces: hence the vital stamina are hurt, the appetites soon appaled, the spirits easily depressed; they become enfeebled ere the sand of their mortal glass be half run out; their offspring is sapless and emasculate.

Now, Sir, let us suppose (what in these our uncorrupt days there can be no reason to apprehend) that a statute should be procured by some future minister and minion of the sovereign, vesting the whole legislative as well as executive power in America has been loudly charged with the crown, totally to abolish both Houses ingratitude towards the parent country, of Parliament; would such statute be from whom she received protection during valid and binding on the subject through- the late conflict of war. 'Tis not quite out Great Britain and America? All per- clear how far the balance of that account sons have natural rights a free people is in her disfavour: however, she cannot have legal rights, independent of parlia-be so ignorant of the real springs of war

or peace, as to persuade herself that your numerous embattled legions, under triumphant fleets sent to her coasts, were supplied purely from motives of parental affection, or sympathetic benevolence. Had, Sir, that vast territory been planted with Portuguese scions, instead of those from your own stock, ponderating as the political scales of Europe then were, would you not have afforded to a people, in their natural and moral character as far from unison with yourselves as discord is from harmony, an equal supply of men and treasure? Remember, Sir, ycur prowess at the eve of that same war, near the banks of the Tagus.

The love or enmity of one people to another, cannot be estimated by their occasional alliances, compacts, or guarantees, as a body politic. It is but a century ago that our English brigades served with unparalleled ardour in the army of that archenemy to civil and religious liberty, Lewis 14 of France; the execrated revocator of the edict of Nantz; the aspirer to universal despotism. We served, Sir, against a people, whose tolerance and charity of religion, whose whole system and freedom of government we at that very time held in emulative veneration; a people whose assistance we supplicated and obtained, scarce 20 years after, to deliver us from monarchical tyranny.

Such coercion was highly impolitic, because it is from the prosperity, peace, and contentment of her colonies, that resources of wealth and laurels of honour are won to a mother country. History teaches us, that populousness and affluence are the product of that clime alone, where the people may reap in security a full harvest of their labour; where they have affluence in their leaders and governors; where no exactions are inflicted by an alien hand; where the municipal, if not the imperial jurisdiction, together with the power of levying taxes, are vested in substitutes of their own free choice or approbation.

That saying of a despot, " Oderint dum metuant," may be applicable to the swarthy sons of the opposite division of the globe; but, Sir, it will never accord with the sentiments of our brethren in America. Threats and violence used against hearts of the same sturdy temper with your own, must induce the most calamitous events to both parties. There will be seeds of equal courage and perseverance found in the one battle as in the other, with this

difference at the onset, that the arm of the aggrieved is usually braced to bolder, more decisive efforts of rage and despair, than that of the aggressor: Aquila non generant columbus." Let us, Sir, rather rejoice that our breed has not degenerated; that these colonists have a sense of rational freedom, becoming the sons of such high-mettled progenitors. I would it answer your purpose to bring their bodies under a short-lived subjection, and to leave impressed upon their minds an unabated rancour and aptness for revolt. Revenge is an unchristian passion; yet how rarely do we find the human soul possessed of a sublimer heroism, without this alloy.

Neither, Sir, am I altogether unȧcquainted with the people of whom I am now speaking. Curiosity once led me to travel many hundreds of miles along their flourishing and hospitable provinces. I found in most of them the Spartan temperance, in many the urbanity of Athens; and, notwithstanding the base and groundless imputations on their spirit, which the cankered tongue of prejudice and slander has with so licentious a virulence here poured forth against them, they will, I am confident, if set to the proof, evince the Roman magnanimity, ere Rome fell under sceptered usurpation. But, Sir, if a foreign enemy should appear at your gates and you need their assistance, will there then be found among them many a Coric lanus? He stands single as the prodigy of forgiveness, in the annals of a people whose attachment to their native land was carried to the utmost height of enthu siasm. How soon that foreign enemy may appear at your gates, I know not. According to the horological predictions of a most enlightened state soothsayer, we have about seven years more of profound tranquillity with the House of Bourbon to trust to; but, from the symp toms of our domestic distraction, and the improved state of the government and finances of our neighbours, I should judge it prudent to be somewhat better provided than we are at present for an early rupture; not entirely to dismantle our ports and our coasts of soldiers and seamen, sent to immolate, the martyrs to liberty of their own flesh and blood, on the distant continent of America.

It has been made evident to you, that a defection of the northern colonies will soon bring on the complete ruin of your West India settlements, which cannot

elsewhere affordably provide themselves with cattle, lumber, and divers other articles requisite for the support of a plantation.

Let us turn our eyes to the inland trading towns here at home; those large iron founderies which used to supply the anchors of commerce and implements for husbandry and the ingenious arts, are now set at work in moulding the sword and the bayonet to enslave America. From the former commissions there accrued constant returns of profit, and numberless comforts; from the latter, what can be expected but poverty, dejection, and mourning! Peace with America will make your thousands of manufacturers and artisans a thriving, obedient people; war with America will make them idle, profligate, and tumultuary. In short, the first open hostilities committed by your troops on that continent, will realize to the race of man, from one extremity of the earth to the other, more fatal evils than were even contained in the fabled box of Pandora.

It is well known, through melancholy observation, drawn from the fate of the Assyrian, Persian, and Roman empires, that national societies, as well as the individual mortals of whom those societies are composed, have their non-age, their adult vigour, and their decline. Whatsoever share of indulgence and independency Great Britain shall, in this her florid and athletic stage, generously bestow on her rising colonies, they will, no doubt, amply repay to her in some future generation, when she is verging towards that aweful goal which must close her race of glory.

racy and carnage of York and Lancaster, will here be joined to all the elementary hardships and maladies of a bigot crusade. Shall not such dreadful æras in our earlier chronicle, serve us for beacons at this perilous crisis? Those rash expeditions, indeed, undertaken by a few martial zealots on misconceived piety, began to decline at the death of the hot-brained, savagehearted king, under whom they were first enterprized; and the sluices of kindred blood, which had long inundated the land in the red and white roses, were at length happily put a stop to, by a single matrimonial contract. Now, Sir, who can look forward to a probable epoch in the red volume of time, when the sword drawn in this quarrel shall be sheathed in peace! I can see no end, till slaughter, proscription, extirpation, shall totally have annihilated either one or the other people.

Far be it from me to anticipate by conjecture to either country so dreadful a sentence; but, Sir, without a gift of preternatural foresight, I may remark, that there are features in the aspect of infant America, which denote at maturer years a most colossal force. The Helvetic and Flemish confederacies have demonstrated what extraordinary obstacles a small band of insurgents may surmount in the cause of liberty. The Helvetic confederacy consisted of a few straggling peasants, bannered against a mighty prince; yet firmness and desperation supplied that energy, which the best disciplined num bers could not resist. The tragic scenes of Numantia, and of Saguntum, shew to how dire a catastrophe a spirited people The military coercion of America will will devote themselves, sooner than submit be impracticable. What has been the fate to an unjust dominion. It appears from of your famous Bills passed in the last one of the American letters of a late date session of the deceased parliament? I brought to your table, that the inhabitants mean, Sir, the Boston Port Bill, and the of Boston were inclined to copy in part Bill for altering the charter of Massachu- these dire examples; that they meditated set's Bay. America, as an earnest of her to abandon the town with their wives and triumph over the future labours for which families, and the reducing it to ashes. envy and malice may reserve her, has, Did not we ourselves give a very striking like another Hercules in the cradle, al-proof at the commencement of the twelfth ready grappled with those two serpents sent for her destruction. Neither shall we be long able to sustain the unhallowed war at so remote a distance ;-unexplored desarts, wood-land ambuscades, latitudes to which few of our soldiery have been seasoned ;-the southern provinces scarce to be endured in the summer months, the northern provinces not approachable in the winter season ;-shipwrecks, pestilence, famine. The unrelenting inveté

century, to what an incendiary height the flame of vengeance might reach, when we invited over, and received into the very center of this island, a whole army of Frenchmen to aid us against a tyrant mo narch and his iniquitous counsellors? We owe perhaps that sacred palladium of our liberty, Magna Charta, as much to a dauphin of France, as to a king of England.

The Americans allege, that what they

now contend for is that reasonable portion of liberty with which they were chartered as their birthright, not by any earthly potentate, but by the King of kings," to make their lives happy, in the possession of which liberty they do now hourly invoke that King of kings, or to make their death glorious in its just defence."

What is the aim and scope of the resolution before you? To lure some of the less refractory provinces of America, to dissociate from, and betray their fellowsufferers; to join in raising a contribution throughout one half of the colonies, to support your armaments and outrages against the other half, with a view to annihilate trade, cut off every natural channel of livelihood and subsistence, and butcher the disobedient; and how are these seceders to be recompensed for such signal perfidy? Why, by a temporary exercise of certain empty forms and modes of taxation, confirming at the same time a right in the crown and parliament of Great Britain, to fix the gross amount of all continental subsidies whatsoever; that is, in fact, they are to be still subject to a ministerial majority in this House, which may levy imposts on them, not by any fair scale of proportion to the burthen laid on the mother country, but the demand may perhaps be carried beyond their abilities, or they may be liable to the discharge of an immense national debt. By way of earnest, however, against the numerous abuses in future to which this curious plan lies open, they shall instantly repose entire faith and confidence in the present set of the King's ministers at Westminster, so remarkable for consistency, lenity, and wisdom.

The noble lord puts me in mind of king Arthur, in our modern dramatic mask, where that first of the British worthies stands balancing between Grimbald and Philadel. He has just caught a glympse of the cloven foot of the infernal fiend by whose dazzling snares and incantations he has been thus long fascinated, and is turning to the fair, heavenly spirit, who would guide him into the ways of happiness and honour. Let him not stop short, but pursue the only track that can save his country-perhaps save himself from per

dition.

I should be as strenuous an advocate for the just authority of parliament as any man; but I think we ought candidly and effectually to relinquish all vain pretences to supreme sovereignty, in cases

where they are not maintainable on principles of justice, of sound policy, or the constitution of the land. If you persist in pride and error, what will be the consequence? Intestine enmities will be encreased-devastation and havock must ensue. When questions of such weight and magnitude as these now in agitation, concerning America, shall come before you, every member ought to reflect, that the fate of a whole nation may possibly depend on his single vote. Whosoever gives the power of oppression, is in fact a tyrant-whosoever gives the power of murder, is in fact an assassin. I am against this resolution, because I think, that so far from extinguishing the flame, it will only throw oil upon it to aggravate its fury; and, however conciliatory it may seem at first sight, when it comes to be analyzed on the other side of the water, it cannot possibly have any other construction put upon it, than that of adding insult to injury.

Sir P. J. Clerke said he should not be surprised, such was the fluctuating state of our counsels, to see another resolution proposed in a few days, totally contradicting the present, and those persons who are most zealous in support of this resolution, equally warm in support of the next.

Mr. Hartley. I am called upon on this occasion particularly as I made a conciliatory proposition on this subject of the American disputes to the House before Christmas, which I shall, at a proper time, offer to the House as a regular motion. The proposition alluded to, was to make a free requisition to the colonies for a supply towards the expence of defending, protecting, and securing the colonies. The present motion is not free but compulsory; it is attended with menaces and threats, therefore not a lenient or conciliatory measure, but only thrown out as such for a pretext. To say, Give me as much money as I wish, till I say enough, or I will take it from you, and then to call such a proposition conciliatory for peace, is insult added to oppression. The proposition which I made before Christmas, was, what it appeared, a free requisition. A requi sition by a secretary of state is an ancient, legal, approved, constitutional way. It states the case, represents the services necessary to be done, and requires the free aid of the subject for those necessary services, leaving, as a constitutional controul, to the subject whose money is required, the judgment upon the necessity of the

services stated, and the right of appropriating the money so granted. How totally different from this proposition is that before us now, which says neither more nor less than this; Give me what I ask, leaving likewise the quantity to my discretion, or I will take it by force. Besides, this proposition is a direct breach of faith towards America, who have been assured by a circular letter from the secretary of state, that his Majesty's ministers never meant, nor ever would entertain the thought of raising a revenue in America by taxing. This proposition before us is a direct breach of the public faith so pledged to America, by a circular letter from a secretary of state, in which his Majesty's royal word was particularly plighted. The noble lord's proposition, who was upon the same bench when the above mentioned circular letter was written, is that we will forbear to tax just so long as they will give us a revenue to our content. What is this if it be not extorting a revenue by threats of taxing? The only concession contained in this proposition is, that it gives up at once the mode of our proceedings with America for these last ten years, as it confesses that it would be proper to proceed in the way of requisitions. This proposition pretends to condemn the exercise of taxation before you have made a requisition at least, and have met with a refusal, though by uniting them in the same proposition, it destroys the very nature of the requisition by making it compulsory. Let us enquire now whether ever North America did refuse to contribute to the common defence upon requisition so far from it that they ever have contributed in case of necessity, even beyond their abilities, as the records of thanks, to them, and retribution for the excess of the zeal and fidelity, which stand annually upon your Journals during the late war, do fully and incontestibly prove. Throughout the whole course of this contest since the war, they have over and over offered to contribute to the necessary supply when called upon in a constitutional way. I have extracted proofs of these from addresses, petitions, &c. for the whole period of the last ten years. Their petitions you have thrown out of your doors, their repeated addresses, remonstrances, letters and memorials you have treated with contempt. I have now in my hand a score of proofs that they have offered to pay upon requisition according to the utmost of their abilities, if those re

quisitions were made in a legal and constitutional way. I have collected offers of this kind, and I have got them from, I think, almost every colony. I can shew them repeatedly from Massachuset's Bay, from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Carolina, and these repeated from time to time during the whole of this contest. I have them in my hand, and will beg to read them to the House. [Reads them.] And to conclude the whole, North America assembled at the continental congress pledge themselves, "that whenever the exigencies of the state shall require a supply, they will as they have always heretofore done, contribute their full proportion of men and money." The terms in which all these offers are expressed, are clear, uniform and explicit. All that they require, is that they may stand upon the footing of freemen and free British subjects, and giving and granting their own money; for these reasons I object to the motion before us, and shall, with the permission of the House, endeavour to put the proposition upon its proper grounds by another motion on some future day.

Mr. Thomas Powys wanted to know the sum each colony was to raise, the manner it was to be appropriated, and whether it was to be granted annually, or for a de finite number of years.

Lord North was for preserving the right of parliament to tax the colonies; but for transferring the exercise of that right to the colony assemblies. He was for leaving the colonies at liberty to con tribute voluntarily to the alleviating the public burdens; and for reserving to par liament, a right of rejecting or increasing those voluntary aids at pleasure. Among other things, he said, if the colonies reject just conditions, they must be reduced to unconditional obedience; that such of the colonies as did not comply with the Reso lution, would have the Acts rigidly enforced against them; that he did not nor could, at present, pretend to specify the exact sum they ought to raise, as it would probably fluctuate by bearing a certain pro portion to the sums raised in Great Bri tain; and that whatever propositions they might make, would be received in a legal way from an assembly lawfully and properly constituted, in order to be laid be fore parliament for their final approbation. In answer to the hon. gentleman, who asked whether the grant was to be an an nual one, or for a term of years, he re

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