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way, and repealed all Townshend's taxes except on tea. Of that duty Lord North maintained that it was no innovation, but a reduction of the ancient duty of a shilling a pound to one of threepence only; and that the change of the place where the duty was to be collected, was no more than a regulation of trade to prevent smuggling tea from Holland. The statement, so far as the tax was concerned, was unanswer- Chap. Xlviii} 1775. Aug. able; but the sting of the tax act lay in its preamble: Rockingham's declaratory act affirmed the power of parliament in all cases whatsoever; Townshend's preamble declared the expediency of using that power to raise a very large colonial revenue. Still collision was practically averted, for the Americans, in their desire for peace, gave up the importation of tea. No revenue, therefore, was collected; and by resolute self-denial, the colonies escaped the mark of the brand which was to show whose property they were. At this the king, against the opinio
Chapter 50: How George the Third Fared in his Bid for Russians. September, October—1775. the king's proclamation was a contemptuous defi- Chap. L.} 1775. Sept. ance of the opposition, alike of the party of Rockingham and the party of Chatham, as the instigators, correspondents, and accomplices of the American rebels. Party spirit was exasperated and embittered, and Rochford was heard repeatedly to foretell, that before the winter should pass over, heads would fall on the block. The king of England, said Wilkes, the lord mayor of London, in conversation at a public dinner, hates me; I have always despised him: the time is come to decide which of us understands the other best, and in what direction heads are to fall. The French statesmen who, with wonderful powers of penetration, analyzed the public men and their acts, but neither the institutions nor the people of England, complacently contrasted its seeming anarchy with their own happiness in living peacefully under a
el Adams proposed to take up the question of lengthening the time of enlistments, which had originally been limited from the hope of a speedy reconciliation. Some members would not yet admit the thought of a protracted war; some rested hope on Rockingham and Chatham; some wished first to ascertain the powers of the coming commissioners; some wished to wait for an explicit declaration from France; from the revolution of 1688 opposition to a standing army had been the watchword of liberty; the Neh of March a committee of the whole considered the propriety of authorizing the inhabitants of the colonies to fit out privateers. Again it appeared that there were those who still listened to the hope of relief Chap. LX.} 1776. Mar. through Rockingham, or of redress through the royal commissioners, though the act of parliament conferred on them no power but to pardon. On the other hand, Franklin wished that the measure should be preceded by a declaration of war, as of one independent nation