,’ said the calm Andrew Eliot
, of Boston
, ‘the people glory in the name, and only desire to enjoy the liberties of Englishmen.’1
‘There is not the least foundation for the suspicion, that they aim at independence.
If we have no forces, or new Stamp Act, I would almost answer for them.
Our warmest patriots speak of our connection with Great Britain
as our felicity; and to have it broken, as one of the greatest misfortunes that could befall us. We are not so vain as to think we could be able to effect it; and nothing could influence us to desire it, but such attempts on our liberties as I hope Great Britain
will be just enough never to make.
Oppression makes wise men mad.’2
To tranquillize America nothing more was wanting than a respect for its rights, and some accommodation to its confirmed habits and opinions.
The Colonies had, each of them, a direction of its own and a character of its own, which required to be harmoniously reconciled with the motion impressed upon it by the imperial Legislature.
But this demanded study, self-possession and candor.
The Parliament of that day esteemed itself the absolute master of America
; and recognising no reciprocity of obligations, it thought nothing so wrong as thwarting the execution of its will.
It did not doubt its own superiority of intelligence, and to maintain its authority and reduce every refractory body to obedience, appeared to it the perfection of statesmanship, and the true method