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[250] parliament, in which he was aided, among others, by
chap. X.} 1757.
Calvert, the Secretary of Maryland, residing in England. In January, 1757, the British press defended the scheme, which had been ‘often mentioned in private, to introduce a stamp-duty on vellum and paper, and to lower the duty upon foreign rum, sugar, and molasses, imported into the colonies.’1 A revenue of more than sixty thousand pounds sterling annually was confidently promised from this source. The project of an American stamp-act was pressed upon Pitt himself. ‘With the enemy at their backs, with English bayonets at their breast, in the day of their distress, perhaps the Americans,’ thought he, ‘would submit to the imposition.’2 But the heroic statesman scorned ‘to take an unjust and ungenerous advantage’ of them. He turned his eye to the mountains of Scotland for defenders of America, and two battalions, each of a thousand Highlanders,3 were raised for the service, under the command of Lord Eglinton and the Master of Lovat.

Still he possessed no real power, and was thwarted in his policy at every step during the short period of his stay in office. Soon the Duke of Cumberland was appointed to conduct the campaign in Germany, and was unwilling to leave England without a change in the cabinet. Temple was, therefore, dismissed; and as Pitt did not resign, the king, in the first week in April, discarded him, and his chancellor also. England was in a state of anarchy, to which the conduct of affairs in America aptly corresponded.

1 Proposals for uniting the Colonies, January, 1757.

2 Pitt in the House of Commons, 14 January, 1766.

3 Anecdotes of Lord Chatham, i. 298.

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