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[138] side of liberty. It had a majority for Newcastle after
Chap. XXXII.} 1768. March
he had ejected Pitt; for Bute when he dismissed Newcastle; for Grenville so long as he was the friend of Bute; for Grenville, when he became Bute's most implacable foe; and for the slender capacity of the inexperienced Rockingham. The shadow of Chatham, after his desertion of the House, could sway its decisions. When Charles Townshend, rebelling in the Cabinet, seemed likely to become Minister, it listened to him. When Townshend died, North easily restored subordination.

Nor was it less impudent as to measures. It promoted the alliance with the King of Prussia and deserted him; it protected the issue of general warrants, and utterly condemned them; it passed the Stamp Act, and it repealed the Stamp Act; it began to treat America with tenderness, then veered about, imposed new taxes, changed essentially American Constitutions, and showed a readiness to suspend and abolish the freedom of the American Legislative. It was corrupt, and it knew itself to be corrupt, and made a jest of its own corruption. While it lasted, it was ready to bestow its favors on any Minister or party; and when it was gone, and had no more chances at prostitution, men wrote its epitaph as of the most scandalously abandoned body that England had ever known.1

Up to this time the Colonists had looked to Parliament as the bulwark of their liberties; henceforward they knew it to be their most dangerous enemy. They avowed that they would not pay

1 W. S. Johnson, 29 April, 1768.

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