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[271] of Rhode Island, had written, and that colony had
chap. XIII.} 1765. April.
authoritatively published their common belief, that ‘the glorious constitution of Great Britain is the best that ever existed among men.’ Such was the universal opinion. Massachusetts had been led to rely on the inviolability of English freedom, and on the equity of parliament; and, when the blow fell, which, though visibly foreshown, had not been certainly expected, ‘the people looked upon their liberties as gone,’ giving way for a time to listless agony. ‘Tears,’ said Otis, ‘relieve me a moment;’ and repelling the imputation, ‘that the continent of America was about to become insurgent,’ ‘it is the duty of all,’ he added, ‘humbly and silently to acquiesce in all the decisions of the supreme legislature. Nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand of the colonists, will never once entertain a thought but of submission to our sovereign, and to the authority of parliament in all possible contingencies.’1 ‘They undoubtedly have the right to levy internal taxes on the colonies.’2 ‘From my soul,’ said he, ‘I detest and abhor the
May.
thought of making a question of jurisdiction.’3

No person appeared to wish for national selfexistence. In North Carolina, where Tryon4 acted as Governor, the majority of the legislature were even persuaded by him to make provision for the support of the Church of England, so that dissenters themselves, who more and more abounded in that colony, should not be exempted from sharing the cost of the

1 Brief Remarks on the Defence of the Halifax Libel on the British American Colonies. Boston: print ed by Edmund Gill in Queen-street.

2 Vindication of the British Colonies, 21, 26.

3 Otis: Vindication, 26.

4 Tryon's Speech to the General Assembly of North Carolina, 2 May, 1765.

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