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[170] one by one; with power to grant pardons to individ-
Chap. LI.} 1775. Dec.
uals or to a whole community in the lump. The atrocity of the measure was exposed in the house of commons, but without effect; on the third reading, in the house of lords, Mansfield explained his own views, which in their essential features were also those of the king: β€˜The people of America are as much bound to obey the acts of the British parliament as the inhabitants of London and Middlesex. I have not a doubt in my mind, that ever since the peace of Paris the northern colonies have been meditating a state of independence on this country. But allowing that all their professions are genuine, that every measure hitherto taken to compel submission to the parliamentary authority of this country was cruel and unjust, yet what, my lords, are we to do? Are we to rest inactive with our arms across, till they shall think proper to begin the attack, and gain strength to do it with effect? We are now in such a situation that we must either fight or be pursued. As a Swedish general said to his men of their enemy, β€œ If you do not kill them, they will kill you;” if we do not, my lords, get the better of America, America will get the better of us. Are we to stand idle, because we are told this is an unjust war? I do not consider who was originally in the wrong; we are now only to consider where we are. The justice of the cause must give way to our present situation; and the consequences which must ensue should we recede, would, nay must be, infinitely worse, than any we have to dread by pursuing the present plan, or agreeing to a final separation.’ After these words the bill was adopted without a division.

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