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[87] themselves. With Edmund Burke1 in the gallery for
chap. V.} 1763. Mar.
one of his hearers, he dazzled country gentlemen by playing before their eyes the image of a revenue to be raised in America. The House of Commons listened with complacency to a plan which, at the expense of the colonies, would give twenty new places of colonels, that might be filled by members of their own body.

On the Report to the House, Pitt wished only that more troops had been retained in service; and as if to provoke France to distrust, he called ‘the peace hollow and insecure, a mere armed truce for ten years.’2 The support of Pitt prevented any opposition to the plan.

Two days after, on the ninth day of March, 1763, Charles Townshend came forward with a part of the scheme for taxing America by act of parliament. The existing duty on the trade of the continental colonies with the French and Spanish islands was, from its excessive amount, wholly prohibitory, and had been regularly evaded by a treaty of connivance between the merchants on the one side, and the custom-house officers and their English patrons on the other; for the custom-house officers were ‘quartered upon’ by those through whom they gained their places. The minister proposed to reduce the

1 Burke's speech on American Taxation.

2 Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of George the Third, i. 247. Rigby to the Duke of Bedford, 10 March, 1763. In Correspodence of Duke of Bedford, III. 218.

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