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‘ [399] could say it before the Lord, he had the comfort of
Chap XVI.}
having approved himself a faithful steward to his understanding and ability.’1

Meanwhile the Quaker legislators in the woods of Pennsylvania were serving their novitiate in popular legislation. To complain, to impeach, to institute committees of inquiry, to send for persons and papers, to quarrel with the executive,—all was attempted, and all without permanent harm. But the character of parties was already evident; and the people, with an irresistible propension, tended towards the fixed design of impairing the revenues, and diminishing the little remaining authority, of their feudal sovereign.2 Penn had reserved large tracts of territory as his private property; he alone could purchase the soil from the natives; and he reserved quitrents on the lands which he sold. Pennsylvania, for nearly a century, sought to impair the exclusive right to preemption, and to compel an appropriation of the income from quitrents, in part at least, to the public service. Colonial jealousy of a feudal chief was early and perseveringly displayed. The maker of

1686 Jan. 9
the first Pennsylvania almanac was censured for publishing Penn as a lord.3 The assembly originated
bills without scruple; they attempted a new organization of the judiciary; they alarmed the merchants by their lenity towards debtors; they would vote no taxes; they claimed the right of inspecting the
1686 March 15.
records, and displacing the officers of the courts; they expelled a member who reminded them of their contravening

1 Penn, in Proud, i. 291.

2 The Historical Review, attributed to Franklin, and much cited by tile enemies of Penn's fame, is an uncandid, ex parte, political argument. The author's aim in work is not truth, but victory. Its historic matter is better found in the original documents which he quotes. Tyson's judgment on it is correct.

3 Hazard's Register, i. 16.

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