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own defence, but at their own pleasure; and that they shall not be included, like millions of their fellow-subjects, in the general system of representation; involves such an accumulation of absurdity, as nothing but the show of patriotism could palliate.

He that accepts protection, stipulates obedience. We have always protected the Americans; we may therefore subject them to govern


perhaps not adequate to the clamour; nor is it very certain, that the possible good of this privilege was not more than equal to the possible evil. It is, however, plain, that whether they save any thing or not to the public, they at least lost something from themselves. They divested their dignity of a very splendid distinction, and showed that they were more willing than their predecessors to stand on a level with their fellow-subjects.

The new mode of trying elections, if it be found effectual, will diffuse its consequences further than seems yet to be foreseen. It is, I

The less is included in the greater. That power which can take away life, may seize upon property. The parliament may enact for America a law of capital punishment; it may there-believe, generally considered as advantageous fore establish a mode and proportion of taxation. only to those who claim seats in parliament; But there are some who lament the state of but, if to choose representatives be one of the the poor Bostonians, because they cannot all be most valuable rights of Englishmen, every voter supposed to have committed acts of rebellion, must consider that law as adding to his hapyet all are involved in the penalty imposed.-piness, which makes his suffrage efficacious This, they say, is to violate the first rule of jus- since it was vain to choose, while the election tice, by condemning the innocent to suffer with could be controlled by any other power. the guilty.


With what imperious contempt of ancient This deserves some notice, as it seems dictated rights, and what audaciousness of arbitrary auby equity and humanity, however it may raise thority, former parliaments have judged the discontempt by the ignorance which it betrays of putes about elections, it is not necessary to rethe state of man, and the system of things.-iate. The claim of a candidate, and the right of That the innocent should be confounded with electors, are said scarcely to have been, even in the guilty, is undoubtedly an evil; but it is an appearance, referred to conscience; but to have evil which no care or caution can prevent. Na- been decided by party, by passion, by prejudice, tional crimes require national punishments, of or by frolic. To have friends in the borough which many must necessarily have their part, was of little use to him who wanted friends in who have not incurred them by personal guilt. the house; a pretence was easily found to evade If rebels should fortify a town, the cannon of a majority, and the seat was at last his, that was lawful authority will endanger equally the harm- chosen not by his electors, but his fellow-senators. less burghers and the criminal garrison.

In some cases, those suffer most who are least intended to be hurt. If the French, in the late war, had taken an English city, and permitted the natives to keep their dwellings, how could it have been recovered, but by the slaughter of our friends? A bomb_might as well destroy an Englishman as a Frenchman; and by famine we know that the inhabitants would be the first that should perish.

This infliction of promiscuous evil may therefore be lamented, but cannot be blamed. The power of lawful government must be maintained; and the miseries which rebellion produces can be charged only on the rebels.

Thus the nation was insulted with a mock

election, and the parliament was filled with spurious representatives; one of the most important claims, that of right to sit in the supreme council of the kingdom, was debated in jest, and no man could be confident of success from the justice of his cause.

A disputed election is now tried with the same scrupulousness and solemnity as any other title. The candidate that has deserved well of his neighbours, may now be certain of enjoying the effect of their approbation; and the elector, who has voted honestly for known merit, may be certain that he has not voted in vain.

Such was the parliament, which some of those, who are now aspiring to sit in another, have taught the rabble to consider as an unlawful convention of men, worthless, venal, and prostitute, slaves of the court and tyrants of the people.

That man, likewise, is not a Patriot, who denies his governors their due praise, and who conceals from the people the benefits which they receive. Those, therefore, can lay no claim to this illustrious appellation, who impute want of public spirit to the late parliament; an assembly That the next House of Commons may act of men, whom, notwithstanding some fluctu-upon the principles of the last, with more conation of counsel, and some weakness of agency, stancy and higher spirit, must be the wish of all the nation must always remember with grati- who wish well to the public; and it is surely tude, since it is indebted to them for a very am- not too much to expect that the nation will reple concession in the resignation of protections, cover from its delusion, and unite in a general and a wise and honest attempt to improve the abhorrence of those who, by deceiving the creconstitution, in the new judicature instituted for dulous with fictitious mischiefs, overbearing the the trial of elections. weak by audacity of falsehood, by appealing to the jugment of ignorance, and flattering the vanity of meanness, by slandering honesty and insulting dignity, have gathered round them whatever the kingdom can supply of base, and gross, and profligate; ad, raised by merit to this bad eminence, arrogate to themselves the name of PATRIOTS.

The right of protection, which might be necessary when it was first claimed, and was very consistent with that liberality of immunities in which the feudal constitution delighted, was, by its nature, liable to abuse, and had in reality been sometimes misapplied, to the evasion of the law, and the defeat of justice. The evil was


The nation is sometimes to be mollified by a rocks and deserts, and is persuaded to lose all tender tale of men who fled from tyranny to claims of justice, and all sense of dignity, in compassion for a harmless people, who having worked hard for bread in a wild country, and obtained by the slow progression of manual in

AN ANSWER TO THE RESOLUTIONS AND ADDRESS OF THE AMERICAN CONGRESS, 1775. In all the parts of human knowledge, whether terminating in science merely speculative, or operating upon life private or civil, are admitted some fundamental principles, or common ax-dustry the accommodations of life, are now inioms, which being generally received are little doubted, and being little doubted have been rarely proved.

Of these gratuitous and acknowledged truths it is often the fate to become less evident by endeavours to explain them, however necessary such endeavours may be made by the misapprehensions of absurdity, or the sophistries of interest. It is difficult to prove the principles of science; because notions cannot always be found more intelligible than those which are questioned. It is difficult to prove the principles of practice, because they have for the most part not been discovered by investigation, but obtruded by experience; and the demonstrator will find, after an operose deduction, that he has been trying to make that seen which can be only felt.

Of this kind is the position, that "the supreme power of every community has the right of requiring from all its subjects, such contributions as are necessary to the public safety or public prosperity," which was considered by all mankind as comprising the primary and essential condition of all political society, till it became disputed by those zealots of anarchy, who have denied to the parliament of Britain the right of taxing the American Colonies.

In favour of this exemption of the Americans from the authority of their lawful sovereign, and the dominion of their mother-country, very loud clamours have been raised, and many wild assertions advanced, which by such as borrow their opinions from the reigning fashion have been admitted as arguments; and, what is strange, though their tendency is to lessen English honour, and English power, have been heard by Englishmen with a wish to find them true. Passion has in its first violence controlled interest, as the eddy for a while runs against the stream.

To be prejudiced is always to be weak; yet there are prejudices so near to laudable, that they have been often praised, and are always pardoned. To love their country has been considered as virtue in men, whose love could not be otherwise than blind, because their preference was made without a comparison; but it has never been my fortune to find, either in ancient or modern writers, any honourable mention of those who have with equal blindness hated their country.

These antipatriotic prejudices are the abortions of folly impregnated by faction, which being produced against the standing order of nature, have not strength sufficient for long life. They are born only to scream and perish, and leave those to contempt or detestation, whose kindness was employed to nurse them into mischief.

To perplex the opinion of the public, many artifices have been used, which, as usually happens when falsehood is to be maintained by fraud, lose their force by counteracting one another.

vaded by unprecedented oppression, and plundered of their properties by the harpies of taxation.

We are told how their industry is obstructed by unnatural restraints, and their trade confined by rigorous prohibitions; how they are forbid den to enjoy the products of their own soil, to manufacture the materials which nature spreads before them, or to carry their own goods to the nearest market: and surely the generosity of English virtue will never heap new weight upon those that are already overladen; will never delight in that dominion, which cannot be exer cised but by cruelty and outrage.

But while we are melting in silent sorrow, and in the transports of delirious pity dropping both the sword and balance from our hands, another friend of the Americans thinks it better

to awaken another passion, and tries to alarm our interest, or excite our veneration, by accounts of their greatness and their opulence, of the fertility of their land, and the splendour of their towns. We then begin to consider the question with more evenness of mind, are ready to conclude that those restrictions are not very oppres sive which have been found consistent with this speedy growth of prosperity; and begin to think it reasonable that they, who thus flourish under the protection of our government, should contribute something towards its expense.

But we are soon told that the Americans, however wealthy, cannot be taxed; that they are the descendants of men who left all for liberty, and that they have constantly preserved the principles and stubbornness of their progenitors; that they are too obstinate for persuasion, and too powerful for constraint; that they will laugh at argument, and defeat violence; that the continent of North America contains three millions, not of men merely, but of Whigs, of Whigs fierce for liberty, and disdainful of dominion; that they multiply with the fecundity of their own rattlesnakes, so that every quarter of a century doubles their numbers.

Men accustomed to think themselves masters, do not love to be threatened. This talk is, I hope, commonly thrown away, or raises passions different from those which it was intended to excite. Instead of terrifying the English hearer to tame acquiesence, it disposes him to hasten the experiment of bending obstinacy before it is become yet more obdurate, and convinces him that it is necessary to attack a nation thus prolific while we may yet hope to prevail. When he is told through what extent of territory we must travel to subdue them, he recollects how far, a few years ago, we travelled in their defence. When it is urged that they will shoot up like the hydra, he naturally considers how the hydra was destroyed.

Nothing dejects a trader like the interruption of his profits. A commercial people, however magnanimous, shrinks at the thought of declining traffic, and an unfavourable balance. The

effect of this terror has been tried. We have been stunned with the importance of our American commerce, and heard of merchants with warehouses that are never to be emptied, and of manufacturers starving for want of work.

That our commerce with America is profitable, however less than ostentatious or deceitful estimates have made it, and that it is our interest to preserve it, has never been denied; but surely it will most effectually be preserved, by being kept always in our own power. Concessions may promote it for a moment, but superiority only can ensure its continuance. There will always be a part, and always a very large part, of every community that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little farther than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good. The blind are said to feel with peculiar nicety. They who look but little into futurity, have perhaps the quickest sensation of the present. A merchant's desire is not of glory, but of gain; not of public wealth, but of private emolument; he is therefore rarely to be consulted about war and peace, or any designs of wide extent and distant consequence.

Yet this, like other general characters, will sometimes fail. The traders of Birmingham have rescued themselves from all imputation of narrow selfishness by a manly recommendation to parliament of the rights and dignity of their native country.

To these men I do not intend to ascribe an absurd and enthusiastic contempt of interest, but to give them the rational and just praise of distinguishing real from seeming good, of being able to see through the cloud of interposing difficulties, to the lasting and solid happiness of victory and settlement.

Lest all these topics of persuasion should fail, the greater actor of patriotism has tried another, in which terror and pity are happily combined, not without a proper superaddition of that admiration which latter ages have brought into the drama. The heroes of Boston, he tells us, if the stamp act had not been repealed, would have left their town, their port, and their trade, have resigned the splendour of opulence, and quitted the delights of neighbourhood, to disperse themselves over the country, where they would till the ground, and fish in the rivers, and range the mountains, AND BE FREE.

These surely are brave words. If the mere sound of freedom can operate thus powerfully, let no man hereafter doubt the story of the Pied Piper. The removal of the people of Boston into the country, seems even to the Congress not only difficult in its execution, but important in its consequences. The difficulty of execution is best known to the Bostonians themselves; the consequence, alas! will only be, that they will leave good houses to wiser men.

Yet before they quit the comforts of a warm home for the sounding something which they think better, he cannot be thought their enemy who advises them to consider well whether they shall find it. By turning fishermen or hunters, woodmen or shepherds, they may become wild, but it is not so easy to conceive them free; for who can be more a slave than he that is driven by force from the comforts of life, is compelled to leave his house to a casual comer, and what

ever he does, or wherever he wanders, finds every moment some new testimony of his own subjection? If choice of evil be freedom, the felon in the galleys has his option of labour or of stripes. The Bostonian may quit his house to starve in the fields; his dog may refuse to set, and smart under the lash, and they may then congratulate each other upon the smiles of liberty, profuse of bliss and pregnant with delight.

To treat such designs as serious, would be to think too contemptuously of Bostonian understandings. The artifice indeed is not new; the blusterer who threatened in vain to destroy his opponent, has sometimes obtained his end, by making it believed that he would hang himself. But terrors and pity are not the only means by which the taxation of the Americans is opposed. There are those who profess to use them only as auxiliaries to reason and justice, who tell us, that to tax the colonies is usurpation and oppression, an invasion of natural and legal rights, and a violation of those principles which support the constitution of English government.

This question is of great importance. That the Americans are able to bear taxation is indubitable; that their refusal may be overruled, is highly probable; but power is no sufficient evidence of truth. Let us examine our own claim, and the objections of the recusants, with caution proportioned to the event of the decision, which must convict one part of robbery, or the other of rebellion.

A tax is a payment exacted by authority from part of the community for the benefit of the whole. From whom, and in what proportion, such payment shall be required, and to what uses it shall be applied, those only are to judge to whom government is intrusted. In the Eritish dominions taxes are apportioned, levied, and appropriated by the states assembled in parliament.

Of every empire all the subordinate communities are liable to taxation, because they all share the benefits of government, and therefore ought all to furnish their proportion of the expense.

This the Americans have never openly denied. That it is their duty to pay the costs of their own safety, they seem to admit; nor do they refuse their contribution to the exigencies, whatever they may be, of the British empire; but they make this participation of the public burden a duty of very uncertain extent, and imperfect obligation, a duty temporary, occasional, and elective, of which they reserve to themselves the right of settling the degree, the time, and the duration, of judging when it may be required, and when it has been performed.

They allow to the supreme power nothing more than the liberty of notifying to them its demands or its necessities. Of this notification they profess to think for themselves, how far it shall influence their counsels, and of the necessities alleged, how far they shall endeavour to relieve them. They assume the exclusive power of settling not only the mode but the quantity of this payment. They are ready to co-operate with all the other dominions of the king; but they will co-operate by no means which they do not like, and at no greater charge than they are willing to bear.

This claim, wild as it may seem, this claim, which supposes dominion without authority, and subjects without subordination, has found

among the libertines of policy many clamorous and hardy vindicators. The laws of nature, the rights of humanity, the faith of charters, the danger of liberty, the encroachments of usurpation, have been thundered in our ears, sometimes by interested faction, and sometimes by honest stupidity.

It is said by Fontenelle, that if twenty philosophers should resolutely deny that the presence of the sun makes the day, he will not despair but whole nations may adopt the opinion. So many political dogmatists have denied to the Mother-country the power of taxing the Colonies, and have enforced their denial with so much violence of outcry, that their sect is already very numerous, and the public voice suspends its de


In moral and political questions the contest between interest and justice has been often tedious and often fierce, but perhaps it never happened before, that justice found much opposition with interest on her side.

For the satisfaction of this inquiry, it is necessary to consider how a Colony is constituted, what are the terms of migration as dictated by nature, or settled by compact, and what social or political rights the man loses, or acquires, that leaves his country to establish himself in a distant plantation.

Of two modes of migration the history of mankind informs us, and so far as I can yet discover, of two only.

In countries where life was yet unadjusted, and policy unformed, it sometimes happened that by the dissensions of heads of families, by the ambition of daring adventurers, by some accidental pressure of distress, or by the mere discontent of idleness, one part of the community broke off from the rest, and numbers, greater or smaller, forsook their habitations, put themselves under the command of some favourite of fortune, and with or without the consent of their countrymen or governors, went out to see what better regions they could occupy, and in what place, by conquest or by treaty, they could gain a habitation.

Sons of enterprise like these, who committed to their own swords their hopes and their lives, when they left their country, became another nation, with designs, and prospects, and interests of their own. They looked back no more to their former home; they expected no help from those whom they had left behind; if they conquered, they conquered for themselves; if they were destroyed, they were not by any other power either lamented or revenged.

enemies and the same friends; the government protected individuals, and individuals were required to refer their designs to the prosperity of the government.

By this principle it is, that states are formed and consolidated. Every man is taught to consider his own happiness as combined with the public prosperity, and to think himself great and powerful, in proportion to the greatness and power of his governors.

Had the western continent been discovered between the fourth and tenth century, when all the northern world was in motion; and had navigation been at that time sufficiently advanced to make so long a passage easily practi cable, there is little reason for doubting but the intumescence of nations would have found its vent, like all other expansive violence, where there was least resistance; and that Huns and Vandals, instead of fighting their way to the south of Europe, would have gone by thousands and by myriads under their several chiefs to take possession of regions smiling with pleasure and waving with fertility, from which the naked inhabitants were unable to repel them.

Every expedition would in those days of laxity have produced a distinct and independent state. The Scandinavian heroes might have divided the country among them, and have spread the feudal subdivision of regality from Hudson's Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

But Columbus came five or six hundred years too late for the candidates of sovereignty. When he formed his project of discovery, the fluctua tions of military turbulence had subsided, and Europe began to regain a settled form, by esta blished government and regular subordination. No man could any longer erect himself into a chieftain, and lead out his fellow-subjects by his own authority to plunder or to war. He that committed any act of hostility by land or sea, without the commission of some acknowledged sovereign, was considered by all mankind as robber or pirate, names which were now of little credit, and of which therefore no man was ambitious.

Columbus in a remoter time would have found his way to some discontented lord, or some younger brother of a petty sovereign, who would have taken fire at his proposal, and have quickly kindled with equal heat a troop of followers; they would have built ships, or have seized them, and have wandered with him at all adventures as far as they could keep hope in their company. But the age being now past of vagrant excursion and fortuitous hostility, he was under the neces Of this kind seem to have been all the migra-sity of travelling from court to court, scored tions of the early world, whether historical or and repulsed as a wild projector, an idle profabulous, and of this kind were the eruptions of miser of kingdoms in the clouds; nor has any those nations which from the North invaded the part of the world yet had reason to rejoice that Roman empire, and filled Europe with new sovereignties.

But when by the gradual admission of wiser laws and gentler manners, society became more compacted and better regulated, it was found that the power of every people consisted in union, produced by one common interest, and operating in joint efforts and consistent coun


From this time independence perceptibly wasted away. No part of the nation was permitted to act for itself. All now had the same

he found at last reception and employment.

In the same year, in a year hitherto disastrous to mankind, by the Portuguese was discovered the passage of the Indies, and by the Spaniards the coast of America. The nations of Europe were fired with boundless expectations, and the discoverers pursuing their enterprise, made conquests in both hemispheres of wide extent. But the adventurers were not contented with plunder: though they took gold and silver to themselves, they seized islands and kingdoms in the name of their sovereigns. When a new region

was gained, a governor was appointed by that power which had given the commission to the conqueror; nor have I met with any European but Stukeley of London that formed a design of exalting himself in the newly-found countries to independent dominion.

thority, that it has forgotten whence that authority was originally derived.

To their charters the colonies owe, like other corporations, their political existence. The solemnities of legislation, the administration of justice, the security of property, are all bestowed To secure a conquest, it was always necessary upon them by the royal grant. Without their to plant a colony, and territories thus occupied charter there would be no power among them, and settled were rightly considered as mere ex-by which any law could be made, or duties entensions, or processes of empire; as ramifica-joined, any debt recovered, or criminal punished. tions which, by the circulation of one public inte- A charter is a grant of certain powers or prirest, communicated with the original source of vileges given to a part of the community for the dominion, and which were kept flourishing and advantage of the whole, and is therefore liable spreading by the radical vigour of the Mother-by its nature to change or to revocation. Every country.

The colonies of England differ no otherwise from those of other nations, than as the English constitution differs from theirs. All government is ultimately and essentially absolute, but subordinate societies may have more immunities, or individuals greater liberty, as the operations of government are differently conducted. An Engfishman in the common course of life and action feels no restraint. An English colony has very liberal powers of regulating its own manners and adjusting its own affairs. But an English individual may by the supreme authority be deprived of liberty, and a colony divested of its powers for reasons of which that authority is the only judge.

act of government aims at public good. A charter, which experience has shown to be detrimental to the nation is to be repealed; because general prosperity must always be preferred to particular interest. If a charter be used to evil purposes, it is forfeited, as the weapon is taken away which is injuriously employed.

The charter therefore by which provincial governments are constituted, may be always legally, and where it is either inconvenient in its nature or misapplied in its use, may be equitably repealed; by such repeal the whole fabric of subordination is immediately destroyed, and the constitution sunk at once into a chaos: the society is dissolved into a tumult of individuals, without authority to command, or obligation to obey; without any punishment of wrongs but by personal resentment, or any protection of right but by the hand of the possessor.

A colony is to the Mother-country as a member to the body, deriving its action and its strength from the general principle of vitality; receiving from the body, and communicating to it all the benefits and evils of health and disease; liable in dangerous maladies to sharp applications, of which the body however must partake the pain; and exposed, if incurably tainted, to amputation, by which the body likewise will be

In sovereignty there are no gradations. There may be limited royalty, there may be limited consulship; but there can be no limited government. There must in every society be some power or other from which there is no appeal, which admits no restrictions, which pervades the whole mass of the community, regulates and adjusts all subordination, enacts laws or repeals them, erects or annuls judicatures, extends or contracts privileges, exempt itself from question or control, and bounded only by physical necessity. By this power, wherever it subsists, all legis-mutilated. lation and jurisdiction is animated and maintained. From this all legal rights are emanations, which, whether equitably or not, may be legally recalled. It is not infallible, for it may do wrong; but it is irresistible, for it can be resisted only by rebellion, by an act which makes it questionable what shall be thenceforward the supreme power.

An English colony is a number of persons, to whom the king grants a charter, permitting them to settle in some distant country, and enabling them to constitute a corporation, enjoying such powers as the charter grants, to be administered in such forms as the charter prescribes. As a corporation, they make laws for themselves; but as a corporation subsisting by a grant from higher authority, to the control of that authority they continue subject.

The Mother-country always considers the colonies thus connected, as parts of itself; the prosperity or unhappiness of either, is the prosperity or unhappiness of both: not perhaps of both in the same degree, for the body may subsist, though less commodiously, without a limb, but the limb must perish if it be parted from the body.

Our colonies therefore, however distant, have been hitherto treated as constituent parts of the British empire. The inhabitants incorporated by English charters, are entitled to all the rights of Englishmen. They are governed by English laws, entitled to English dignities, regulated by English counsels, and protected by English arms; and it seems to follow by consequence not easily avoided, that they are subject to English government, and chargeable by English taxation.

As men are placed at a greater distance from To him that considers the nature, the original, the supreme council of the kingdom, they must the progress, and the constitution of the colonies, be intrusted with ampler liberty of regulating who remembers that the first discoverers had their conduct by their own wisdom. As they commissions from the crown, that the first settlers are more secluded from easy recourse to national owe to a charter their civil forms and regular majudicature, they must be more extensively com-gistracy, and that all personal immunities and missioned to pass judgment on each other. legal securities, by which the condition of the For this reason our more important and opulent colonies see the appearance and feel the effect of a regular legislature, which in some places has acted so long with unquestioned au

subject has been from time to time improved, have been extended to the colonists, it will not be doubted but the parliament of England has a right to bind them by statutes, and to bind them

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