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[323] not been heard for three years, proposed to consider
Chap. XLII.} 1770. Jan.
the causes of the discontent which prevailed in so many parts of the British dominions. ‘I have not,’ said he, ‘altered my ideas with regard to the principles upon which America should be governed. I own I have a natural leaning towards that country; I cherish liberty wherever it is planted. America was settled upon ideas of liberty, and the vine has taken deep root and spread throughout the land. Long may it flourish.1 Call the combinations of the Americans dangerous; yet not unwarrantable. The discontent of two millions of people should be treated candidly; and its foundation removed.’ ‘Let us save,’ he continued, ‘this Constitution, dangerously invaded at home; and let us extend its benefits to the remotest corners of the empire. Let slavery exist nowhere among us; for whether it be in America, or in Ireland, or here at home, you will find it a disease which spreads by contact, and soon reaches from the extremity to the heart.’

Camden, whom Chatham's presence awed more than office attracted, awoke to his old friendship for America, and by implication accused his colleagues of conspiring against the liberties of the country.

Lord Mansfield, in his reply to Chatham, ‘which was a masterpiece of art and address,’2 declined giving an opinion on the legality of the proceedings

1 W. S. Johnson's Report of Chatham's Speech, in his letter to Gov. Trumbull of Connecticut, 10 January, 1770; and in a letter to the Rev. Dr. W. S. Johnson, of the same date. The report of the American Debate on America is the safest guide. The American understood the figure of the vine to refer to liberty in America. Chatham never meant to say it had embraced whole nations.

2 W. S. Johnson's Report of the H. Walpole in Memoirs, III. 35.

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