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[526] with murder, it was noticed that he trembled and
Chap. LII.} 1774. April.
faltered at every word; showing that he was the vassal of a stronger will than his own, and vainly struggled to wrestle down the feelings which his nature refused to disavow. ‘If the people of America,’ said Van, ‘oppose the measures of Government that are now sent, I would do, as was done of old, in the time of the ancient Britons; I would burn and set fire to all their woods, and leave their country open. If we are likely to lose it, I think it better lost by our own soldiers, than wrested from us by our rebellious children.’ ‘The Bill is meant to enslave America,’ said Sawbridge with only forty to listen to him. ‘I execrate the present measure,’ cried Barre; ‘you have had one meeting of the Colonies in Congress; you may soon have another. The Americans will not abandon their principles; for if they submit they are slaves.’

Yet the Bill passed the Commons by a vote of more than four to one. But evil when it comes, is intermixed with good; the ill is evanescent, the good endures. The British Government inflamed the passions of the English people against America, and courted their sympathy; as a consequence, the secrecy of the debates in Parliament came to an end; and this great change in the political relation of the Legislature to public opinion, was conceded by a Tory Government, seeking strength from popular excitement. The concession was irrevocable.

A fourth measure legalized the quartering of troops within the town of Boston. The fifth statute professed to regulate the Government of the Province of Quebec. The nation which would not so much as legally recognise the existence of a Catholic in Ireland,

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