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[418] heroic opposition to British authority. From that
chap. XVIII.} 1761.
time he declares that he could never read the Acts of Trade without anger, ‘nor any section of them without a curse.’1 The people of the town of Boston, a small provincial seaport of merchants and shipbuild-ers, with scarcely fifteen thousand inhabitants, became alive with political excitement. It seemed as if the words spoken on that day were a spell powerful enough to break the paper chains that left to America no free highway on the seas but that to England, and to open for the New World all the infinite paths of the ocean. Nay, more! As reason and the constitution are avowed to be paramount to the power of the British parliament, America becomes conscious of a life of her own. She sees in dim outlines along the future the vision of her own independence, with freedom of commerce and self-imposed laws. Her understanding is not yet enlightened and convinced, but her sentiments are just. Not from the intellect,

Out of the heart,
     Rises the bright ideal of that dream.

Longfellow's Spanish Student.

The old members of the Superior Court, after hearing the arguments of Thacher and Otis, the ‘friends to liberty,’ inclined to their side. ‘But I,’ said the ambitious Hutchinson, who never grew weary of recalling to the British ministry this claim to favor, ‘I prevailed with my brethren to continue the cause till the next term, and in the mean time wrote to England.’ The answer came; and the subservient court, obeying authority, and disregarding

1 John Adams to Wm. Tudor, in Appendix to Novanglus, 269.

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