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‘ [48] its attention to give relief to great Britain from bear-
Chap. XXVII.} 1767. Jan.
ing the whole expense of securing, defending, and protecting America and the West India Islands; I shall bring into the House some propositions that I hope may tend, in time, to ease the people of England upon this head, and yet not be heavy in any manner upon the people in the Colonies. I know the mode by which a revenue may be drawn from America without offence.’1 As he spoke the House shook with applause; ‘hear him,’ ‘hear him,’ now swelling loudest from his own side, now from the benches of the Opposition. ‘I am still,’ he continued, ‘a firm advocate for the Stamp Act,2 for its principle and for the duty itself,3 only the heats which prevailed made it an improper time to press it. I laugh at the absurd distinction between internal and external taxes. I know no such distinction. It is a distinction without a difference; it is perfect nonsense; if we have a right to impose the one, we have a right to impose the other; the distinction is ridiculous in the opinion of every body, except the Americans.’ Looking up where the Colony Agents usually sat, he added with emotion, ‘I speak this aloud, that all you who are in the galleries may hear me;4 and, after this, I do not expect to have my statue erected ’

1 Garth to Committee of South Carolina, 31 Jan. 1767; Grafton's Autobiography.

2 Charlemont to Flood, 29 Jan. 1767.

3 Shelburne to Chatham, 1 Feb. 1767; Chat. Corr. III. 184, 185.

4 W. S. Johnson to Gov. Pitkin, 12 Feb. 1767. I follow the Account of Johnson from his Mss., of which I took and preserve copies. The story in Pitkin's Political and Civil History of the United States, i. 217, seems to me to have been fashioned by verbal tradition. I was told the same story, but not as to be found in the Mss. One English historian has quoted from Pitkin the passage, which might seem to prove that Townshend acted on a sudden impulse. The supposition would be erroneous. Townshend's policy was adopted deliberately.

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