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[385] precarious, that I may not be able to attend on the

chap. XXI.} 1766. Jan.
day that may be fixed by the house for the consideration of America, I must now, though somewhat unseasonably—leaving the expediency of the Stamp Act to another time—speak to a point of infinite moment, I mean to the right. Some seem to have considered it as a point of honor, and leave all measures of right and wrong, to follow a delusion that may lead us to destruction. On a question that may mortally wound the freedom of three millions of virtuous and brave subjects beyond the Atlantic ocean, I cannot be silent. America being neither really nor virtually represented in Westminster, cannot be held legally, or constitutionally, or reasonably subject to obedience to any money bill of this kingdom. The colonies are equally entitled with yourselves to all the natural rights of mankind and the peculiar privileges of Englishmen; equally bound by the laws, and equally participating of the constitution of this free country. The Americans are the sons, not the bastards of England. As subjects, they are entitled to the common right of representation, and cannot be bound to pay taxes without their consent.

Taxation is no part of the governing power. The taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the commons alone. In an American tax, what do we do? We, your majesty's Commons of Great Britain, give and grant to your majesty,—What? Our own property No. We give and grant to your majesty the property of your majesty's Commons in America. It is an absurdity in terms.

There is an idea in some, that the colonies are virtually represented in this house. They never have been represented at all in parliament; they were not

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