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‘ [322] this House has betrayed the rights of its constitu-
Chap. XLII.} 1770. Jan.
ents.’ ‘In times of less licentiousness,’ rejoined Gilmour, ‘members have been sent to the Tower for words of less offence.’ ‘The mean consideration of my own safety,’ continued Saville, ‘shall never be put in the balance against my duty to my constituents. I will own no superior but the laws; nor bend the knee to any but to Him who made me.’

The accusation which Saville brought against the House of Commons, was the gravest that could be presented; if false, was an outrage in comparison with which that of Wilkes was a trifle. But Lord North1 bore the reproach meekly and soothed the majority into quietude. The debate proceeded, and presently Barre spoke. ‘The people of England know, the people of Ireland know, and the American people feel, that the iron hand of ministerial despotism is lifted up against them; but it is not less formidable against the prince, than against the people.’—‘The trumpeters of sedition have produced the disaffection;’ replied Lord North, speaking at great length.

‘The drunken ragamuffins of a vociferous mob are exalted into equal importance with men of judgment, morals, and property. I can never acquiesce in the absurd opinion that all men are equal. The contest in America which at first might easily have been ended, is now for no less than sovereignty on one side, and independence on the other.’ The Ministry who were crushed in the argument, carried the House by a very large majority.

In the House of Lords, Chatham, whose voice had

1 H. Walpole, III. 39.

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