even virtually represented at the time when this law,
as captious as it is iniquitous, was passed to deprive them of the most inestimable of their privileges.1 I would fain know by whom an American is represented here? Is he represented by any knight of the shire, in any county of this kingdom? Would to God that respectable representation was augmented to a greater number. Or will you tell him, that he is represented by any representative of a borough? a borough, which, perhaps, no man ever saw. This is what is called the rotten part of the constitution. It cannot endure the century. If it does not drop, it must be amputated. The idea of a virtual representation of America in this house is the most contemptible that ever entered into the head of a man. It does not deserve a serious refutation. The commons of America, represented in their several assemblies, have ever been in possession of the exercise of this, their constitutional right, of giving and granting their own money. They would have been slaves if they had not enjoyed it. And how is the right of taxing the colonies internally compatible with that of framing regulations without number for their trade? The laws of this kind, which parliament is daily making, prove that they form a body separate from Great Britain. While you hold their manufactures in the most servile restraint, will you add a new tax to deprive them of the last remnants of their liberty? This would be to plunge them into the most odious slavery, against which their charters should protect them.2 If this house suffers the Stamp Act to continue in force, France will gain more by your colonies than
chap. XXI.} 1766. Jan.
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