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[419] Hanover held the throne; by law the English
chap. XXII.} 1766. Feb.
church was established, with a prayer-book and a creed as authorised by parliament, and with such bishops as the crown gave leave to choose; by law the Catholics and Dissenters were disfranchised, and none but conformers to the worship of the legal church could hold office or sit in the legislature; by law the House of Commons was lifted above responsibility to the people; by law the colonies were ‘bound’ to be taxed at mercy. The tory party took the law as it stood, and set itself against reform. Henceforward its leaders and lights were to be found, not among the gallant descendants of ancient houses; not among the representatives of mediaeval traditions. It was a new party, of which the leaders and expounders were to be new men. The moneyed interest, so firmly opposed to the legitimacy and aristocracy of the Middle Age, was to become its ally. Mansfield was its impersonation, and would transmit it, through Thurlow and Wedderburn, to Eldon.

It is the office of law to decide questions of possession. The just judge is appointed to be the conservator of society. Woe hangs over the land where the absolute principles of private law are applied to questions of public law; and the effort is made to bar the progress of the undying race .by the despotic rules which ascertain the rights of property of evanescent mortals. Humanity smiled at the parchment chains which the lawyers threw around it, even though those chains were protected by a coalition of the army, the navy, the halls of justice, a corrupt parliament, and the crown. The new tory party created a new opposition. The non-electors of Great Britain were to become as little content with virtual representation

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