‘Your views,’ replied Choiseul, “are as subtle as they are comprehensive and well considered. The King is perfectly aware of their sagacity and solidity; and I will communicate them to the Court of Madrid.” 1 The statesmen of France had their best allies in the British Ministry, who hoped to control America by menace and terror. ‘The matter is now brought to a point;’ said Hillsborough in the House of Lords.2 ‘Parliament must give up its authority over the Colonies, or bring them to effectual submission. Your Lordships will see it absolutely necessary not to recede an ace; for my part, I cannot entertain a thought of repealing the late Acts, and hope nobody will even move it, or so much as wish for it. Not the amount of the duties, which will not be more than ten thousand pounds per annum in all North America, but the principle upon which the laws are founded, is complained of. Legislation and taxation will stand or fall together. The notion of the Americans is a polytheism in politics, absurd, fatal to the constitution, and never to be admitted. The North Americans, in general, are a very good set of people, and only misled by a few wicked, factious and designing men. I will, therefore, for the present only propose ’
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