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‘ [398] and the rights of the imperial crown, it was
chap. XXI.} 1766. Jan.
Edmund Burke.’ He was the advocate ‘of an unlimited legislative power over the colonies.’ ‘He saw not how the power of taxation could be given up, without giving up the rest.’ If Pitt was able to see it, Pitt ‘saw further than he could.’ His wishes were ‘very earnest to keep the whole body of this authority perfect and entire.’ He was ‘jealous of it;’ he was ‘honestly of that opinion;’ and Rockingham, after proceeding so far, and finding in Pitt all the encouragement that he expected, let the negotiation drop. Conway and Grafton were compelled to disregard their own avowals on the question of the right of taxation; and the ministry conformed to the opinion, which was that of Charles Yorke, the Attorney-General, and still more of Edmund Burke.

Neglected by Rockingham, hated by the aristocracy, and feared by the king, Pitt pursued his career alone. In the quiet of confidential intercourse, he inquired if fleets and armies could reduce America, and heard from a friend, that the Americans would not submit, that they would still have their woods and liberty. Thomas Hollis sent to him the ‘masterly’ essay of John Adams on the canon and feudal law. He read it, and pronounced it ‘indeed masterly.’

The papers which had been agreed upon by the American Congress had been received by De Berdt, the agent for Massachusetts. Conway did not scruple to present its petition to the king, and George Cooke, the member for Middlesex, was so pleased with that to the Commons, that on Monday, the twenty-seventh of January, he offered it to the house, where he read it twice over. Jenkinson opposed receiving it, as did

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