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‘ [129] strengthened. At present there is not a ship
Chap. XXXII.} 1768. Feb.
of war in the Province, nor a company of soldiers, nearer than New-York.’1

The alternative was thus presented to the Ministry and the King. On the one side Massachusetts asked relief from taxation without representation, and invited the several Colonies to unite in the petition; the Crown officers, on the other, sent their memorial for a fleet and regiments.

But what could an armed force find to do? The system of opposition was passive. The House left no doubt of its purpose not to arrest the execution of any law; and, on the twenty-sixth of February, by a vote of eighty-one to the one vote of Timothy Ruggles, discouraged the use of superfluities, and gave a preference to American manufactures in Resolves,2 which, said Bernard, ‘were so decently and cautiously worded, that at another time they would scarcely have given offence.’3 Could an army compel a colonist to buy a new coat instead of continuing to wear an old one? or force the consumption of tea? or compel any one to purchase what he was resolved to do without? Every one in England, Grafton, North, even Hillsborough, professed to disapprove of Townshend's Revenue Act. Why will they not quiet America by its revocation? Sending regiments into Boston will be a summons for America to make the last appeal.

1 Memorial of the Commissioner of Customs, 12 Feb. 1768. Compare Treasury Minute Book XXXIX. 108. Letter of the Commissioners, of 3 May, 1768.

2 Memorial of Commissioners of the Customs, 28 March, 1768. Boston Gazette, 29 Feb. 1768.

3 Bernard to Shelburne, 1768.

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