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[161] a speedy end of the disorders by most decisive exer-
Chap. LI.} 1775. Oct.
tions, he recommended an increase of the navy and the army; at the same time he proposed to send over commissioners with power to grant pardons and receive the submission of the several colonies. Thus the speech, which in its words and its effects was irrevocable, presented a false issue. The Americans had not designed to establish an independent government; of their leading statesmen it was the desire of Samuel Adams alone; they had all been educated in the love and admiration of constitutional monarchy, and even John Adams and Jefferson so sincerely shrunk back from the attempt at creating another government in its stead, that, to the last moment, they were most anxious to avert a separation, if it could be avoided without a loss of their inherited liberties.

The house of commons took the king at his word; Acland, who moved the address, reduced the question into a very short compass: ‘Does Britain choose to acquiesce in the independence of America, or to enforce her submission?’ Lyttelton, whom we have seen as governor of South Carolina, in seconding the address, explained the inherent weakness of the southern colonies; and with obvious satisfaction intimated that, ‘if a few regiments were sent there, the negroes would rise, and imbrue their hands in the blood of their masters. He was against conciliatory offers; the honor of the nation required coercive measures; the colonies ought to be conquered before mercy should be shown them.’ The house sustained these sentiments by a vote of two hundred and seventy eight against one hundred and ten.

On the report of the address, the debate was renewed.

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