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‘ [75] army there and here. An American army and con-
Chap XXIX.} 1767. May.
sequently an American revenue, are essential; but I am willing to have both in the manner most easy to the people.’1

On the thirteenth day of May, Townshend came to the House of Commons, in the flush of his reputation and the consciousness of his supremacy. A more eventful day for England had not dawned in that century. When the resolutions for the Stamp Act were voted, Parliament was unenlightened. Now it had had the experience of taxing America, and of repealing the tax through fear of civil war. What is done now cannot easily be revoked. A secret consciousness prevailed that a great wrong was about to be done. The liberty and interests of America were at issue, and yet the doors of the House of Commons were, by special order, shut against every Agent of the Colonies, and even against every American merchant.

Townshend opened the debate2 with professions of candor and the air of a man of business. Exculpating alike Pennsylvania and Connecticut, he named as the delinquent Colonies, Massachusetts, which had invaded the King's prerogative by a general amnesty, and, in a message to its Governor, had used expressions in derogation of the authority of Parliament; Rhode Island, which had postponed, but not refused an indemnity to the sufferers by the Stamp Act; and

1 W. S. Johnson to the Governor of Connecticut, 16 May, 1767.

2 De Guerchy to Choiseul, 14 May, 1767. I have very full reports from Garth, Agent for South Carolina, and member of the House of Commons, who was present, and from W. S. Johnson, who got reports from Whately and from Richard Jackson, and from Trecothick. Compare Walpole's Memoirs, III. 28; Cavendish Debates, i. 38, 39, 213; Franklin's Writings, VII. 333.

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