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(Continued from Vol. 2. No. 3. page 195.) The friends of America in Europe were rejoiced at the conduct of the colonists. In Ireland, where the oppression of the people for five dreary centuries had excited a lively sympathy for the Bostonians, and a correspondent interest in their success, the gladness occasioned by the proceedings of their trans-atlantic fellow sufferers, was universal, and not very studiously concealed. Beneath the ruins of that country's independence, the spirit of freedom lay buried, but not extinguished; though not utterly destroyed, inert, because hopeless. The noble daring of a small dependency to assert its rights against a mighty empire, which if it did not altogether rule the stations of the Old World, held the balance of its power at her will, was a topic which they had long ceased to contemplate, or if they thought of at all, considered as an enterprise too desperate for madness to undertake. Their astonishment at the boldness of the Americans was proportioned to those feelings, and their joy at the vigorous and promising commencement of the opposition to British oppression, not less so. The bosoms of the Irish began to warm with a flame long unknown among them ; and for the first time for centuries they perceived that authority might be resisted with some prospect of success. The generous flame began to be confessed, and spread from breast to breast, and the ministers had the mortification to find that in the attempt to crush America, they had conjured up a spirit which it would be difficult, if not impracticable, ever to subdue. In parliament the opposition exulted, as justly they might, in the fulfilment of their predictions. The lofty tone of the ministers seemed for a while to be lowered, and one of them went so far as to declare in parliament that the petition of congress to the king was a

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proper one ; that he, in quality of a secretary of state for the colonies, had presented it to the king, and that his majesty had not only been pleased to receive it graciously, but would lay it before the two houses of parliament. The friends of peace, of justice, and of America, now began to entertain the most sanguine hopes of a speedy accommodation. It is highly probable, that if the cabinet had been sincerely dealt with by the servants of the crown in the colonies, an effectual salutary arrangement would have taken place. But they placed too much reliance

upon the information of placemen on this side of the Atlantic, who were intent in deceiving them, and who, on their part, having the utmost confidence in the power of government to coerce the colonies into compliance, felt no sort of reluctance to embroil the latter in a contest with their mother country, provided they could, by manifestation of zeal for Great Britain, promote their own private advantages. In this temper of mind, the colonial officers of government, whether executive or judicial, felt little remorse at suppressing the truth, and flattering the ministers by misrepresentations, and abusive and contemptuous expressions respecting the Americans. As such language was gratifying to administration, coinciding most aptly with their hopes and their wishes, it was re- / ceived with all the avidity with which truth ought to have been sought. Those who held a different language to them at home were proportionally disliked. Truth was exiled from the councils of St. James, and falsehood, with a whole train of consequent errors and evils occupied its place.

The opposition, who drew their information from the est sources, whose judgments were not perverted by private corruption, clearly saw the dangers which the empire was about to incur from the rashness, the folly, and the improbity of ministers. They naturally wished, no doubt, to remove such mischievous men from the helm ; but this became now only a secondary consideration. To save the country from a civil war, which at best would be disgraceful, and most probably would end in the dismemberment of the empire, and to prevent the committing to the issue of the sword a question on which the rights of a large portion of their fellow subjects immediately, and ultimately the rights of the whole people of Great Britain

depended, were their primary objects. Two of those men, one the principal orator in the lords, the other the leader in the commons, as if gifted by heaven, with the spirit of prophecy, pronounced from the outset the consequences which must necessarily follow the proceedings of the ministers, and excited their astonishing powers to avert them. Lord ChatHAM, feeble, emaciated, and scarcely able to move from the bed of sickness, animated by that love of country which had from infancy been the fondest passion of his soul, came down to the house of lords, and laid before them a plan for settling the disturbances in America. After a speech, in which he proved by facts that could not be denied, and by arguments which neither logic could refute, nor sophistry elude, the utter impractability of subjugating America, he proposed that the colonists should make a full acknowledgement of the supremacy of the parliament of Great Britain, and that no tollage tax, or other charges should be levied on America, except by common consent in their provincial assemblies. He asserted the rights of the king to send a legal army to any part of his dominions at all times; declaring however, that no military force could ever be lawfully employed to violate or destroy the just rights of the people. His bill legalized the holding a congress in the ensuing May, for the double purpose of recognizing the supreme legislative authority and superintending power of parliament over the colonies, and of making a free grant to the crown of a certain perpetual revenue, subject to the disposal of parliament, applicable to the alleviation of the national debt. These were the conditions on which his bill went to restrain the power of the admiralty courts to their ancient limits, and to suspend, for a given time, the acts of which congress had complained. Furthermore, it went to place the judges in America on the same footing, so far as the holding their offices and salaries, with those in England, and to secure to the colonies all the privileges, fanchises and immunities granted by their several charters and constitutions.

The wisdom of this measure is now apparent, and was then, no doubt, sufficiently obvious to obtain the assent of all but those whom the ministers of the day had rendered as weak and as corrupt as themselves. Yet not only it was rejected, but its re

jection was attended with circumstances disgraceful to the persons with whom it originated, and mortifying to human pride; as they serve to shew to what lengths of vice and degeneracy a spirit depraved by avarice, or low ambition will carry the heart of man. Had the illustrious personage

who proposed the measure, offered one of inferior concern, it would have derived from his august character, a degree of consequence, which ought to obtain for it a respectful and ample discussion, even though it should not be found ultimately worthy of adoption. But, that a measure of so much wisdom, sound policy, and importance to the empire, carrying with it the weight of that great man's recommendation along with its own, should be dismissed by a majority of two to one, without being allowed to go to a committee, or even to lie on the table, will be contemplated by posterity with astonishment, and remain an indelible record of the abominable corruption of the times, and make the authors of that corruption abhorred, when the wages by which it was purchased shall have melted away, and left to the base men who received it, or to their descendants, the consciousness without the profits of their family's disgrace. But a few years had elapsed since this inspired statesman had snatched the British nation from a state of the most inglorious despair,trampled upon her enemies, given victory to her naval and military armaments, where defeat might have been expected, and in a word, crowned her with glory; yet did all those claims fade away before the influence of the favourite and his suborned creatures. One of those (lord SANDWICH) whose private life was as reproachable, as his conduct in his ministerial capacity was contemptible, went so far as to say, that lord CHATHAM's bill ought to be rejected with contempt, and insinuated, that it was not that great statesman's own measure,

but one to which he was suborned ; that it was rather, he believed, the work of some American, one of the bitterest and most mischievous enemies England had ever known: and then, by way of elucidating his meaning, which was already sufficiently understood by many, he turned his eyes to doctor FRANKLIN, who was standing by the bar of the house, and said that he had that American in his eye. The attention of all present, peers as well as strangers, was by this


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practical trope drawn upon the great and virtuous champion of his country's rights, who on his part, conscious of his own superiority and firm in the conviction that his cause was righteous, stood collected and unmoved, looking down with just disdain upon the venal statesman, who had so far dishonoured his elevated rank and traduced the dignity of manhood, as to insult so venerable a man in such a situation.

Confident in their strength, the ministers now began to speak in a higher tone of crimination of the colonists, and to breathe more furious vengeance. Lord North proposed, and obtained by a majority of 288 to 106, an address to the king, stating in direct terms, that a rebellion did then actually exist in the province of Massachusetts bay. The lords agreed to join in it. And now the junto were preparing to pour fourth the whole contents of their hearts upon the inhabitants of that devoted colony. The public mind stood in a pause of expectation for the event. Some incipient measures, such as a bill for restraining the New England provinces from their commercial rights, and from fishing on the banks of Newfoundland, were proposed in parliament ; when unexpectedly, and indeed unaccountably, lord Norty laid before the commons a proposition, which he called conciliatory, but which, it is not trespassing upon candour to affirm, his lordship knew would not be accepted. This proposition greatly astonished the parliament and the people. The more wise and patriotic men of the country were disgusted with it, looking upon it as at once contradictory to the late address and restraining acts, and therefore, too inconsistent for parliament to adopt, and considering it to be founded in treachery. By the address, the minister had pledged himself to reduce the province of Massachusetts to obedience. It stated that colony to be in rebellion. The conciliatory proposition, if it had any meaning at all, went to compromise that rebellion and to disclaim coercion. The greater part of the house, abandoning for the time their former pliancy, received the conciliatory proposition with no less indignation than surprise, and shewed a marked determination to reject it, till the minister, whose talents and address in that kird of parliamentary management, have never been surpassed, perhaps never equalled, gave such an explanation to the

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