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‘ [405] and extorted from those, who, if they have property,
Chap. XLVII.} 1771. July.
have a right to the absolute disposal of it. To withhold your assent to this bill, merely by force of instruction, is effectually vacating the Charter and giving instructions the force of laws, within this Province. If such a doctrine shall be established, the representatives of a free people would be reduced to this fatal alternative,—either to have no taxes levied and raised at all, or to have them raised and levied in such a way and manner, and upon those only whom his Majesty pleases.’1 At the first meeting of the Assembly, loyalty had visibly prevailed, and the decided patriots were in a minority; necessity had extorted the most explicit assertion of colonial rights, and an unanswerable exposition of the limit of the prerogative. In closing the session Hutchinson put at issue the respect for monarchy itself. ‘I know,’ said he, ‘that your messages and resolves of the last year were very displeasing to the King;2 I shall transmit my messages, and this your extraordinary answer to be laid before him.’ Thus the Province was led to speculate on the personal opinions of their Sovereign, and to inquire into the use of regal power itself; while the King regarded the contest with Massachusetts as involving not only the power of Great Britain and the rights of the Crown, but his personal honor.

Wise men saw the event that was approaching, but not that it was so near. ‘Out of the eater cometh forth meat,’ said Cooper the clergyman;3 and Franklin

1 Message from the House to the Governor, 5 July, 1771.

2 Bradford's State Papers, 311.

3 Samuel Cooper to B. Franklin, 10 July, 1771.

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