right to tax them entirely upon this, that they are
virtually represented in parliament. It is said that they are in the same situation as the inhabitants of Leeds, Halifax, Birmingham, Manchester, and several other corporate towns; and that the right of electing does not comprehend above one-tenth part of the people of England. And in this land of liberty, for so it was our glory to call it, are there really men so insensible to shame, as before the awful tribunal of reason, to mention the hardships which, through their practices, some places in England are obliged to bear without redress, as precedents for imposing still greater hardships and wrongs upon America? It has long been the complaint of the most judicious in England, as the greatest misfortune to the nation, that its people are so unequally represented. Time and change of circumstances have occasioned defects in the rules or forms of choosing representatives for parliament. Some large towns send none to represent them; while several insignificant places, of only a few indigent persons, whose chief support is the sale of their votes, send many members. Seats are purchased with the nation's money; and a corrupt administration, by bribing others with places and pensions, can command a majority in the House of Commons that will pass what laws they please. These evils are too notorious to escape general observation, and too atrocious to be palliated. Why are not these crying grievances redressed? Only because they afford the greatest opportunities for bribery and corruption. The fundamental principle of the English constitution is reason and natural right. It has within itself the principle of self-preservation, correction, and
chap. XIII.} 1765. May.
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