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[394] have been laid on the continent in favor of the
chap. XXI.} 1766. Jan.
islands. Let acts of parliament in consequence of treaties remain; but let not an English minister become a custom-house officer for Spain, or for any foreign power.

The gentleman must not wonder he was not contradicted, when, as the minister, he asserted a right of parliament to tax America. There is a modesty in this house which does not choose to contradict a minister. I wish gentlemen would get the better of it. If they do not, perhaps,

he continued, glancing at the coming question of the reform of parliament,

the collective body may begin to abate of its respect for the representative. Lord Bacon has told me, that a great question will not fail of being agitated at one time or another.

A great deal has been said without doors of the strength of America. It is a topic that ought to be cautiously meddled with. In a good cause, on a sound bottom, the force of this country can crush America to atoms. If any idea of renouncing allegiance has existed, it was but a momentary frenzy; and if the case was either probable or possible, I should think of the Atlantic sea as less than a line dividing one country from another. The will of parliament, properly signified, must for ever keep the colonies dependent upon the sovereign kingdom of Great Britain. But on this ground of the Stamp Act, when so many here will think it a crying injustice, I am one who will lift up my hands against it. In such a cause your success would be hazardous. America, if she fell, would fall like the strong man; she would embrace the pillars of the state, and pull down the constitution along with her.

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