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‘ [194] independent of the colonial Legislature to dragoon
Chap. XXXVI.} 1768. Sept.
us.’ He openly denied the superiority of the existing forms of government. It was not reverence for Kings, he would say, that brought the ancestors of New England to America. They fled from Kings and bishops, and looked up to the King of Kings. ‘We are free, therefore,’ he concluded, ‘and want no King.’1 ‘The times were never better in Rome, than when they had no King and were a free State.’ As he reflected on the extent of the Colonies in America, he saw the vast empire that was forming, and was conscious it must fashion its own institutions, and reform those of England.

But at this time Massachusetts had no representative body. Bernard had hinted, that instructions might be given to forbid the calling of the Assembly even at the annual period in May; and to reduce the Province to submission by the indefinite suspension of its Legislature. Was there no remedy? The men of Boston and the villages round about it were ready to spring to arms. But of what use were ‘unconnected’ movements? Ten thousand men had assembled suddenly in 1746 on the rumor of the approach of a French expedition; thirty thousand could at a signal come forth, with gun in hand, to drive the British troops into the sea; but was there the steady courage to keep passion in check, and restrain disorder?

On the fifth of September, there appeared in the Boston Gazette, a paper in the form of Queries,2

1 Affidavits in the State-paper Office London.

2 Queries in Boston Gazette, 5 Sept. 1768; 701, 31, signed Clericus Americanus. Bernard to Hillsborough, 16 Sept. 1768, Letters to Hillsborough, &c. 70.

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