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‘ [274] what I have got by all this, besides the curse causeless
chap. XIII.} 1765. May.
of thousands, for whose welfare my heart has bled yearly, and is now ready to burst?1 Were it lawful to get at the cause of all your calamities, I would leap like the roe to purchase your ransom with my life or his.’

The town of Boston remained faithful to the most genial of its patriots; and though his conduct was often wild, and wayward, and contradictory, never failed to show him honor, so long as he retained enough of the light of reason to be sensible of its confidence.

Thus opinion was fermenting at the North, but as yet without a declared purpose in action.

Virginia received the plan to tax America by parliament with consternation. At first the planters foreboded universal ruin; but soon they resolved that the act should recoil on England, and began to be proud of frugality; articles of luxury of English manufacture were banished; and thread-bare coats were most in fashion. A large and embarrassing provincial debt enforced the policy of thrift.

Happily, the legislature of Virginia was then assembled; and the electors of Louisa county had just filled a sudden vacancy in their representation by making choice of Patrick Henry. He had resided among them scarcely a year, but his benignity of temper, pure life, and simplicity of habits, had already won their love. Devoted from his heart to their interest, he never flattered the people, and was never forsaken by them. As he took his place, not yet

1 James Otis: To the Freeholders and other inhabitants of Boston. In Boston Gazette, 13 May.

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