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[124] and they referred the consideration of their
Chap. XXXI.} 1768. Jan.
present circumstances to the wisdom and clemency of the King.

In the several papers which, after a fortnight's anxious deliberation, were adopted by an Assembly, composed for the most part of farmers and delegates from the rural population, the calmness of the language is suited to the earnestness of their purpose; nor is there one line which betrays haste, or hesitation. It remained for the House ‘to inform the other Governments with its proceedings against the late Acts, that, if they thought fit, they might join1 therein.’ But this, it was said in a house of eightytwo Members, would be considered in England, as appointing a second Congress; and the negative prevailed by a vote of two to one. The country members were slow in perceiving the imminence and extent of the public danger.

At this appearance of indecision, Bernard conceived ‘great hopes.’ ‘It will,’ said he, ‘make some atonement for their Remonstrance.’2

The towns in the central Provinces had not as yet seconded the proposal of Boston to import nothing from England. ‘The British Government will probably pursue the mildest policy,’ wrote De Kalb to Choiseul from Philadelphia.3 ‘The Colonies are but lightly taxed, and could not resist force. Distance from the British Government makes these people more free; but at heart they have little disposition to ’

1 Compare Bernard to Shelburne, 18 Feb. 1768.

2 Bernard to the Secretary of State, 30 January, 1768, in Letter to the Ministry, 7. and Bernard to Shelburne, 2 Feb. 1768.

3 De Kalb to the Duke de Choiseul, Philadelphia, 15 January, 1768. But compare his letter to Choiseul of 20 January, 1768.

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