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[254] the government would willingly punish for his out-
Chap. VII.}
rages, might involve the colony in the horrors of savage warfare.

But the restless Clayborne, urged, perhaps, by the

1643 to 1646.
conviction of having been wronged, and still more by the hope of revenge, proved a far more dangerous enemy. Now that the civil war in England left nothing to be hoped from royal patronage, he declared for the popular party, and, with the assistance of one Ingle, who obtained sufficient notoriety to be proclaimed a traitor to the king,1 he was able to promote a
1644. Jan.
rebellion. By the very nature of the proprietary frame of government, the lord paramount could derive physical strength and resources only from his own private fortunes, or from the willing attachment of his lieges. His power depended on a union with his people. In times of peace, this condition was eminently favorable to the progress of liberty; the royal governors were often able, were still more often disposed, to use oppressive and exacting measures; the deputies of the proprietaries were always compelled to struggle for the assertion of the interests of their employer; they could never become successful aggressors on the liberties of the people. Besides, the crown, always jealous of the immense powers which had been carelessly lavished on the proprietary, was usually willing to favor the people in every reasonable effort to improve their condition, or limit the authority of the intermediate sovereign. At present, when the commotions in England left every colony in America almost unheeded, and Virginia and New England were pursuing a course of nearly independent legislation, the power of the proprietary was

1 Bacon's Preface. Chalmers, 217.

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