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[69] towards Massachusetts, where Bernard,1 Hutchinson,
Chap XXIX.} 1767. April.
and Oliver,2 with perseverance equalled only by their duplicity, sought to increase their emoluments, to free themselves from ‘their dependence on the people for a necessary support,’ and to consolidate their authority by the presence of a small standing army. The opinions of Hutchinson were of peculiar importance, for while he assented to Bernard's views, and was forming relations with Israel Mauduit and Whately, and through them with Jenkinson, Grenville and Wedderburn, his plausible letters to Richard Jackson had so imposed upon the more liberal statesmen of England, that they looked forward with hope to his appointment as Bernard's successor.

We are arrived at the last moment in American affairs, when revolution might still have been easily postponed; and must pause to ask after the points in issue. As yet they were trifling. The late solemn deliberation of the Peers was but a frivolous caviling on the form of a royal veto.3

The People of Massachusetts, seeing a disposition to mar its Charter, and use military power in its government, needed more than ever an Agent in England.4 Bernard insisted that no one should receive that appointment without his approval; and repeatedly negatived the dismissal of the last incumbent. But

1 Bernard to Shelburne, 6 May, 1767.

2 Oliver to T. Whately, 7 May, 1767.

3 The papers are many on a very trifling matter. Board of Trade to the King, 6 Dec. 1766; Reference in Council, 13 April, 1767; Subject considered in Council, 1 May, 1767; Opinion of Attorney and Sol. General, ordered 4 May; Phil. Sharpe to Att. and Sol. Gen. 4 May; Decision of the Council, 9 May; Final Order in Council, 13 May, 1767; Address of Commons for Papers, 14 May, 1767; Papers laid before Parliament, 18 May, 1767. The subject need have had no notice at all but in the ordinary course of business.

4 Bernard to Shelburne, 28 March, 1767.

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