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‘ [518] are worthy of a great mind; I see their propriety,
Chap. LII.} 1774. March
and wish to adopt them;’ and the House directed North, Thurlow, and Wedderburn to prepare and bring in a bill accordingly.

On the twenty-ninth of March, the Boston Port Bill underwent in the House of Lords a fuller and fairer discussion. The rightness of mind of Rockingham impelled him to resist it with firmness, and the Duke of Richmond ardently supported him. ‘Nothing can justify the Ministers hereafter,’ said Temple, ‘except the town of Boston proving in an actual state of rebellion.’ The good Lord Dartmouth, who sincerely desired to see lenient measures adopted, showed his disposition by calling what passed in Boston commotion, not open rebellion. Lord Mansfield, a man ‘in the cool decline of life,’ acquainted only with the occupations of peace, a civil magistrate, covered with judicial purple and ermine that should have no stain of blood, with eyes broad open to the consequences, rose to take the guidance of the House out of the hands of the faltering Minister. ‘What passed in Boston,’ said he, ‘is the last overt act of High Treason, proceeding from our over lenity and want of foresight. It is, however, the luckiest event that could befall this country, for all may now be recovered. Compensation to the East India Company I regard as no object of the Bill.1 The sword is drawn,2 and you must throw away the scabbard.3 Pass this Act, and you will be passed the Rubicon.4 The Americans will then know that we shall temporize ’

1 Shelburne to Chatham, 4 April, 1774; in Chatham's Corr. IV. 339.

2 Life of Lord Mansfield in Almon's Biographical Anecdotes, i. 35.

3 Speech of Barre, 2 May, 1774.

4 Garnier to D'Aiguillon, 8 April.

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