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[232] opposition to the Declaratory Act with his present sup-
Chap. XXXVIII} 1768. Nov.
port of the plan of the Ministry. ‘My astonishment at the folly of his opinions,’ he said, ‘is lost in indignation at the baseness of his conduct.’1 The order, he insisted, requiring the Massachusetts Assembly to rescind a vote under a penalty, was absolutely illegal and unconstitutional; and in this Grenville agreed with him. ‘I wish the Stamp Act had never been passed,’ said Barrington in reply; ‘but the Americans are traitors; worse than traitors against the Crown; they are traitors against the Legislature. The troops are to bring rioters to justice.’ Wedderburne, who at that moment belonged to himself and spoke in opposition to enhance his price, declaimed against governing by files of musketeers and terror; and he, too, condemned the Ministerial mandate as illegal.2 ‘Though it were considered wiser,’ said Rigby, ‘to alter the American tax, than to continue it, I would not alter it, so long as the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay continues in its present state.’ ‘Let the nation return to its old good nature and its old good humor,’ were the words of Alderman Beckford,3 whom nobody minded, and who spoke more wisely than they all; ‘it were best to repeal the late act, and conciliate the Colonies by moderation and kindness.’

Lord North, the recognised leader of the Ministry and the Friend of the King, made reply: ‘America must fear you, before she can love you. If America

1 From the Report of Edmund Burke's Speech, of 8 November, 1768; in the Boston Gazette of 23 January, 1769; 721, 3, 2 and 3.

2 Arthur Lee's Report of the Debate, in Appendix to Life of R. H. Lee, 262. W. S. Johnson to W. Pitkin, 18 Nov. 1768; and W. S. Johnson's Diary, for 8 Nov. 1768, Cavendish Debates.

3 W. S Johnson to Pitkin, 15 Nov. 1768.

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