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‘ [173] and torn by bloody factions; but they were still much
Chap. LI.} 1775.
preferable to the ancient monarchies or aristocracies, which seem to have been quite intolerable. Modern manners have corrected this abuse; and all the republics in Europe, without exception, are so well governed, that one is at a loss to which we should give the preference.’ ‘I am an American in my principles, and wish we would let them alone to govern or misgovern themselves, as they think proper; the affair is of no consequence or of little consequence to us.’

But one greater than Robertson and wiser than Hume gave the best expression to the mind of Scotland. Adam Smith, the peer and the teacher of statesmen, enrolled among the servants of humanity and benefactors of our race, one who had closely studied France as well as Britain, and who in his style combined the grace and the clearness of a man of the world with profound wisdom and the sincere search for truth, applied to the crisis those principles of freedom and right which made Scotland, under every disadvantage of an oppressive form of feudalism and a deceitful system of representation, an efficient instrument in promoting the liberties of mankind. He would have the American colonies either fairly represented in parliament, or independent. The prohibitory laws of England towards the colonies he pronounced ‘a manifest violation of the most sacred rights,’ ‘impertinent badges of slavery imposed upon them without any sufficient reason by the groundless jealousy of the merchants and manufacturers of the mother country.’ ‘Great Britain,’ said he, ‘derives nothing but loss from the dominion she assumes ’

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