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[431]

‘Do you think the people of America would sub-

chap. XXIII.} 1766. Feb.
mit to pay the Stamp Duty if it was moderated?’ ‘No; never. They will never submit to it.’ And when the subject was brought up a second and a third time, and one of Grenville's ministry asked, ‘May not a military force carry the Stamp Act into execution?’ Franklin answered, ‘Suppose a military force sent into America; they will find nobody in arms; what are they then to do? They cannot force a man to take stamps who chooses to do without them. They will not find a rebellion: they may, indeed, make one.’

‘How would the Americans receive a future tax, imposed on the same principle with that of the Stamp Act?’ ‘Just as they do this; they would not pay it,’ was the answer. ‘What will be the opinion of the Americans on the resolutions of this house and the House of Lords asserting the right of parliament to tax the people there?’ ‘They will think the resolutions unconstitutional and unjust.’ ‘How would they receive an internal regulation, connected with a tax?’ ‘It would be objected to. When aids to the crown are wanted they are, according to the old established usage to be asked of the assemblies, who will, as they always have done, grant them freely. They think it extremely hard, that a body in which they have no representatives should make a merit of giving and granting what is not its own, but theirs; and deprive them of a right which is the security of all their other rights.’ ‘The post-office,’ interposed Grenville to Franklin, the deputy postmaster for America, ‘is not the post-office, which they have long received, a tax as well as a regulation?’ and Charles Townshend repeated the question. ‘No,’ replied

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