to them solemnly, on the second day of March, ‘it is
in me alone that the sovereign power resides.
Justice is done only in my name, and the fulness of judicial authority remains always in me. To me alone belongs the legislative power, irresponsible and undivided.
Public order emanates entirely from me. I am the people.’1
Against this the people could have but one rallying cry, Freedom and Equality; and America
was compelled to teach the utterance of the powerful words.
For, on Tuesday, the fourth of March, 1766, came on the third reading of the bill declaratory of the absolute power of parliament to bind America, as well as that for the repeal of the Stamp Act.
moved to leave out the claim of right in all cases whatsoever.
The analogy between Ireland
was much insisted upon, and he renewed his opinion, that the parliament had no right to tax America, while unrepresented.
‘This opinion,’ said he, ‘has been treated, in my absence, as the child of ignorance, as the language of a foreigner, who knew nothing of the constitution.
Yet the common law is my guide; it is civil law that is the foreigner.
I am sorry to have been treated as an overheated enthusiastic leveller, yet I never will change my opinions.
was never taxed till represented; nor do I contend for more than was given up to Ireland
in the reign of King William.
I never gave my dissent with more dislike to a question, than I now give it.’
The amendment was rejected, and henceforward America would have to resist in the parliament of England, as France
in its king, a claim of absolute, irresponsible, legislative power.