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[44] the Act of Parliament, when they had really made
Chap. XXVII.} 1766. Dec.
‘provision for quartering two battalions and one company of artillery.’ They did but exercise a discretion of their own, and refused to be ‘guilty of a breach of trust,’ by imposing heavier burdens than the people could support.1 This prudent reserve secured unanimity in the Assembly and among their constituents.2 In New-York as well as over all North America, the Act declaratory of the absolute power of Parliament was met by ‘the principle of the supreme power of the people in all cases whatsoever.’3

Before American affairs engaged the attention of Parliament, the power of Chatham's Ministry was shaken by Camden's indiscretion. On occasion of a scarcity, the Ministry had prohibited the export of corn. Camden defended the measure as ‘not only excusable but legal;’ and to the complaints of its arbitrariness, rashly answered: ‘The Crown may do whatever the safety of the State may require, during the recess of Parliament, which is at most but a forty days tyranny.’ This dangerous opinion Chatham rejected, and Mansfield triumphantly overturned.

The waves thus raised had not subsided, when traces began to appear of the influence of Paxton, who had arrived from Boston, to tell his stories of rebellion against the Navigation Act, and to be congratulated on the accession to power of his patron, Charles Townshend. In Parliament a spirit was rising very different from that which had prevailed in the previous winter. ‘So long as I am in office,’ said

1 Address of the Assembly of New-York to the Governor, delivered 18 Dec. 1766, in Prior Documents, 120; Holt's N. Y. Gazette, 1251, 24 Dec. 1766.

2 Gov. Moore to Board of Trade, 19 Dec. 1766, and to Shelburne, 19 Dec. 1766.

3 Colden to Shelburne, Dec. 1766.

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