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[276] to himself, would have fallen into insignificance, be-
Chap. XL.} 1769. April.
came the most conspicuous man in England. This subserviency of the body, once esteemed the most august assembly in Europe, exhibited it to the world as a collection of pensioners and office-holders, and the property of the Minister.1 Yet the Administration, with Parliament as its obedient instrument, heard with alarm how widely the American plan of passive resistance was extending. Besides: Chatham might reappear; and those Ministers who had been of his selection, stood in constant dread of his rebuke. Grafton and Camden, therefore, silent in the House of Lords, insisted in Council, that some attempt should be made to conciliate the Colonies.

Accordingly on the first day of May, just on the

eve of the prorogation of Parliament, the Cabinet discussed the policy which it should definitively adopt.

All agreed that the duties on the British manufactures of glass, paper, and painters' colors, were contrary to the true principles of commerce, and should be repealed; there remained of Charles Townshend's Revenue Act nothing but the duty on tea; and this, evaded by smuggling or by abstinence from its use, yielded in all America not fifteen hundred dollars, not three hundred pounds a year. Why should such a duty be retained, at the cost of the affections of thirteen Provinces and two millions of people? Grafton spoke first and earnestly for its repeal; Camden seconded him with equal vigor. Granby and Conway gave their voice and their vote on the same side,

1 W. S. Johnson to Robert Temple, II. 69.

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