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[255]

His reasoning was just; his language flowing and

Chap. XXXIX.} 1769. Jan.
forcible; his voice and action animated; warmed by the nobleness of his subject, he charmed all that heard him; yet the Resolutions were adopted in committee by nearly three votes to one; and the Address was carried by a decided majority.1 This adoption of a vengeful and impracticable policy renewed the wakefulness of France. ‘An attempt to seize the defenders of American Liberties,’ said its ambassador to Choiseul,

would precipitate the revolution. How great will be the indignation of the Americans, when they learn that Britain, without receiving their representations, without hearing their agents, treats them as slaves, and condemns them as rebels. They never will recognise the right claimed by Parliament; even if they bear with it, their hearts will breathe nothing but independence, and will own no other country than the wilderness which their industry has fertilized. Henceforward, the Colonies are divided from the Metropolis in interests and in principles; and the bonds of their dependence will be severed on the first opportunity. Spain and France should adopt towards them general principles, entirely different from those which have been practised till now; and, even at the risk of transient inconveniences, should depart from the ancient prohibitory laws of commerce. The two courts must consider whether it is for their interest to second the revolution which menaces England, at the risk of the consequences which may a little later result from it for

1 W. S. Johnson to Governor Pitkin, 9 Feb. 1769. Diary of W. S. Johnson, for Friday 27 Jan. 1769.

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