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[172] instance its ratification was opposed by the Bishop of
chap. IX.} 1763. Dec.
London, who remarked on ‘the great change in the temper of the people of Virginia in the compass of a few years, and the diminution of the prerogative of the crown.’ ‘The rights of the clergy and the authority of the king,’ said he, ‘must stand or fall together.’1 And the Act was negatived by the king in council. The ‘Two-penny Act’ became, therefore, null and void from the beginning; and in the Virginia courts of law it remained only to inquire by a jury into the amount of damages which the complainants had sustained.2

Patrick Henry was one of those engaged to plead against ‘the parsons,’ whose cause was become a contest between the prerogative and the people of Virginia. When a boy, he had learned something of Latin; of Greek, the letters; but nothing methodically. It had been his delight to wander alone with the gun or the angling-rod; or by some sequestered stream to enjoy the ecstasy of meditative idleness. He married at eighteen; attempted trade; toiled unsuccessfully as a farmer; then with buoyant mind resolved on becoming a lawyer; and answering questions successfully by the aid of six weeks study of Coke upon Littleton and the Statutes of Virginia, he gained a license as a barrister. For three years the novice dwelt under the roof of his father-in-law, an inn-keeper near Hanover Courthouse, ignorant of the science of law, and slowly learning its forms.

On the first day of December, as Patrick Henry

1 Bishop of London to Board of Trade, January, 1759.

2 Compare Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier to Board of Trade, 30 June, 1760.

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