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‘ [274] impatience, levity, and fickleness. I see nothing un-
Chap. XL.} 1769. April.
commercial, in making the Americans pay a duty upon tea.’

No one would defend the Act, yet few urged its repeal. The Rockingham party were willing that it should remain as a source of embarrassment to the Ministers. Conway next proposed as a middle course, to agree to take it into consideration the next session. ‘I approve the middle course,’ said Beckford. ‘I was the first man who said you ought not tax America for the purpose of revenue. The duty upon tea, with a great army to collect it, has produced in the Southern part of America, only two hundred and ninety-four pounds, fourteen shillings; in the Northern part it has produced nothing.’ ‘For the sake of a paltry revenue,’ cried Lord Beauchamp, ‘we lose the affection of two millions of people.’ ‘We have trusted to terror too long,’ observed Jackson. ‘Washing my hands of the charge of severity,’ said Lord North, ‘I will not vote for holding out hopes, that may not be realized.’ ‘If you are ready to repeal this Act,’ retorted Grenville, in answer to Lord North, ‘why keep it in force for a single hour? You ought not to do so, from anger or ill-humor. Why dally and delay in a business of such infinite importance? Why pretend that it is too late in the session, that this is not the time, when the difficulty is every day increasing? If the Act is wrong, or you cannot maintain it, give it up like men. If you do not mean to bind the Colonies by your laws in cases of taxation, tell the Americans so fairly, and conciliate their affections.’

Lord North put an end to the conversation, by moving the previous question for the order of the

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