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Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America by Edmund Burke

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You will now, Sir, perhaps imagine that I am on the point of proposing to you a
scheme for a representation of the Colonies in Parliament. Perhaps I might be
inclined to entertain some such thought; but a great flood stops me in my
course. Opposuit natura. [Footnote: 50 ]--I cannot remove the eternal barriers
of the creation. The thing, in that mode, I do not know to be possible. As I
meddle with no theory,[Footnote: 51] I do not absolutely assert the
impracticability of such a representation; but I do not see my way to it, and
those who have been more confident have not been more successful. However, the
arm of public benevolence is not shortened, and there are often several means to
the same end. What nature has disjoined in one way, wisdom may unite in another.
When we cannot give the benefit as we would wish, let us not refuse it
altogether. If we cannot give the principal, let us find a substitute. But how?
Where? What substitute?

Fortunately I am not obliged, for the ways and means of this substitute, to tax
my own unproductive invention. I am not even obliged to go to the rich treasury
of the fertile framers of imaginary commonwealths--not to the Republic of Plato,
[Footnote: 52] not to the Utopia of More, [Footnote: 52] not to the Oceana of
Harrington. It is before me--it is at my feet,

"And the rude swain Treads daily on it with his clouted shoon."
[Footnote: 53]

I only wish you to recognize, for the theory, the ancient constitutional policy
of this kingdom with regard to representation, as that policy has been declared
in Acts of Parliament; and as to the practice, to return to that mode which a
uniform experience has marked out to you as best, and in which you walked with
security, advantage, and honor, until the year 1763. [Footnote: 54]

My Resolutions therefore mean to establish the equity and justice of a taxation
of America by GRANT, and not by IMPOSITION; to mark the LEGAL COMPETENCY
[Footnote: 55] of the Colony Assemblies for the support of their government in
peace, and for public aids in time of war; to acknowledge that this legal
competency has had a DUTIFUL AND BENEFICIAL EXERCISE; and that experience has
a method of supply.

These solid truths compose six fundamental propositions. There are three more
Resolutions corollary to these. If you admit the first set, you can hardly
reject the others. But if you admit the first, I shall be far from solicitous
whether you accept or refuse the last. I think these six massive pillars will be
of strength sufficient to support the temple of British concord. I have no more
doubt than I entertain of my existence that, if you admitted these, you would
command an immediate peace, and, with but tolerable future management, a lasting
obedience in America. I am not arrogant in this confident assurance. The
propositions are all mere matters of fact, and if they are such facts as draw
irresistible conclusions even in the stating, this is the power of truth, and
not any management of mine.

Sir, I shall open the whole plan to you, together with such observations on the
motions as may tend to illustrate them where they may want explanation. The
first is a Resolution--

"That the Colonies and Plantations of Great Britain in North America, consisting
of fourteen separate Governments, and containing two millions and upwards of
free inhabitants, have not had the liberty and privilege of electing and sending
any Knights and Burgesses, or others, to represent them in the High Court of

This is a plain matter of fact, necessary to be laid down, and, excepting the
description, it is laid down in the language of the Constitution; it is taken
nearly verbatim from Acts of Parliament.

The second is like unto the first--

"That the said Colonies and Plantations have been liable to, and bounden by,
several subsidies, payments, rates, and taxes given and granted by Parliament,
though the said Colonies and Plantations have not their Knights and Burgesses in
the said High Court of Parliament, of their own election, to represent the
condition of their country; by lack whereof they have been oftentimes touched
and grieved by subsidies given, granted, and assented to, in the said Court, in
a manner prejudicial to the commonwealth, quietness, rest, and peace of the
subjects inhabiting within the same."

Is this description too hot, or too cold; too strong, or too weak? Does it
arrogate too much to the supreme legislature? Does it lean too much to the
claims of the people? If it runs into any of these errors, the fault is not
mine. It is the language of your own ancient Acts of Parliament.

"Non meus hic sermo, sed quae praecepit Ofellus,
Rusticus, abnormis sapiens."
[Footnote: 56]

It is the genuine produce of the ancient, rustic, manly, homebred sense of this
country.--I did not dare to rub off a particle of the venerable rust that rather
adorns and preserves, than destroys, the metal. It would be a profanation to
touch with a tool the stones which construct the sacred altar of peace. I would
not violate with modern polish the ingenuous and noble roughness of these truly
Constitutional materials. Above all things, I was resolved not to be guilty of
tampering, the odious vice of restless and unstable minds. I put my foot in the
tracks of our forefathers, where I can neither wander nor stumble. Determining
to fix articles of peace, I was resolved not to be wise beyond what was written;
I was resolved to use nothing else than the form of sound words, to let others
abound in their own sense, and carefully to abstain from all expressions of my
own. What the law has said, I say. In all things else I am silent. I have no
organ but for her words. This, if it be not ingenious, I am sure is safe.
[Footnote: 57]

There are indeed words expressive of grievance in this second Resolution, which
those who are resolved always to be in the right will deny to contain matter of
fact, as applied to the present case, although Parliament thought them true with
regard to the counties of Chester and Durham. They will deny that the Americans
were ever "touched and grieved" with the taxes. If they consider nothing in
taxes but their weight as pecuniary impositions, there might be some pretence
for this denial; but men may be sorely touched and deeply grieved in their
privileges, as well as in their purses. Men may lose little in property by the
act which takes away all their freedom. When a man is robbed of a trifle on the
highway, it is not the twopence lost that constitutes the capital outrage. This
is not confined to privileges. Even ancient indulgences, withdrawn without
offence on the part of those who enjoyed such favors, operate as grievances. But
were the Americans then not touched and grieved by the taxes, in some measure,
merely as taxes? If so, why were they almost all either wholly repealed, or
exceedingly reduced? Were they not touched and grieved even by the regulating
duties of the sixth of George the Second? Else, why were the duties first
reduced to one third in 1764, and afterwards to a third of that third in the
year 1766? Were they not touched and grieved by the Stamp Act? I shall say they
were, until that tax is revived. Were they not touched and grieved by the duties
of 1767, which were likewise repealed, and which Lord Hillsborough tells you,
for the Ministry, were laid contrary to the true principle of commerce? Is not
the assurance given by that noble person to the Colonies of a resolution to lay
no more taxes on them an admission that taxes would touch and grieve them? Is
not the Resolution of the noble lord in the blue ribbon, now standing on your
Journals, the strongest of all proofs that Parliamentary subsidies really
touched and grieved them? Else why all these changes, modifications, repeals,
assurances, and resolutions?

The next proposition is--

"That, from the distance of the said Colonies, and from other circumstances, no
method hath hitherto been devised for procuring a representation in Parliament
for the said Colonies"

This is an assertion of a fact, I go no further on the paper, though, in my
private judgment, a useful representation is impossible--I am sure it is not
desired by them, nor ought it perhaps by us--but I abstain from opinions

The fourth Resolution is--

"That each of the said Colonies hath within itself a body, chosen in part, or in
the whole, by the freemen, free-holders, or other free inhabitants thereof,
commonly called the General Assembly, or General Court, with powers legally to
raise, levy, and assess, according to the several usage of such Colonies duties
and taxes towards defraying all sorts of public services"

This competence in the Colony Assemblies is certain. It is proved by the whole
tenor of their Acts of Supply in all the Assemblies, in which the constant style
of granting is, "an aid to his Majesty", and Acts granting to the Crown have
regularly for near a century passed the public offices without dispute. Those
who have been pleased paradoxically to deny this right, holding that none but
the British Parliament can grant to the Crown, are wished to look to what is
done, not only in the Colonies, but in Ireland, in one uniform unbroken tenor
every session. Sir, I am surprised that this doctrine should come from some of
the law servants of the Crown. I say that if the Crown could be responsible, his
Majesty--but certainly the Ministers,--and even these law officers themselves
through whose hands the Acts passed, biennially in Ireland, or annually in the
Colonies--are in an habitual course of committing impeachable offences. What
habitual offenders have been all Presidents of the Council, all Secretaries of
State, all First Lords of Trade, all Attorneys and all Solicitors General!
However, they are safe, as no one impeaches them; and there is no ground of
charge against them except in their own unfounded theories.

The fifth Resolution is also a resolution of fact--

"That the said General Assemblies, General Courts, or other
bodies legally qualified as aforesaid, have at sundry times
freely granted several large subsidies and public aids for
his Majesty's service, according to their abilities, when
required thereto by letter from one of his Majesty's
principal Secretaries of State; and that their right to grant the
same, and their cheerfulness and sufficiency in the said
grants, have been at sundry times acknowledged by Parliament."

To say nothing of their great expenses in the Indian wars, and not to take their
exertion in foreign ones so high as the supplies in the year 1695--not to go
back to their public contributions in the year 1710--I shall begin to travel
only where the journals give me light, resolving to deal in nothing but fact,
authenticated by Parliamentary record, and to build myself wholly on that solid

On the 4th of April, 1748, a Committee of this House came to the following

"Resolved: That it is the opinion of this Committee that it is
just and reasonable that the several Provinces and Colonies
of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and
Rhode Island, be reimbursed the expenses they have been
at in taking and securing to the Crown of Great Britain,
the Island of Cape Breton and its dependencies."

The expenses were immense for such Colonies. They were above L200,000 sterling;
money first raised and advanced on their public credit.

On the 28th of January, 1756, a message from the King came to us, to this

"His Majesty, being sensible of the zeal and vigor with which
his faithful subjects of certain Colonies in North America
have exerted themselves in defence of his Majesty's just
rights and possessions, recommends it to this House to
take the same into their consideration, and to enable his
Majesty to give them such assistance as may be a proper
reward and encouragement."

On the 3d of February, 1756, the House came to a suitable Resolution, expressed
in words nearly the same as those of the message, but with the further addition,
that the money then voted was as an encouragement to the Colonies to exert
themselves with vigor. It will not be necessary to go through all the
testimonies which your own records have given to the truth of my Resolutions. I
will only refer you to the places in the Journals:

Vol. xxvii.--16th and 19th May, 1757.
Vol. xxviii.--June 1st, 1758; April 26th and 30th, 1759;
March 26th and 31st, and April 28th, 1760;
Jan. 9th and 20th, 1761.
Vol. xxix.--Jan. 22d and 26th, 1762; March 14th and 17th,

Sir, here is the repeated acknowledgment of Parliament that the Colonies not
only gave, but gave to satiety. This nation has formally acknowledged two
things: first, that the Colonies had gone beyond their abilities, Parliament
having thought it necessary to reimburse them; secondly, that they had acted
legally and laudably in their grants of money, and their maintenance of troops,
since the compensation is expressly given as reward and encouragement. Reward is
not bestowed for acts that are unlawful; and encouragement is not held out to
things that deserve reprehension. My Resolution therefore does nothing more than
collect into one proposition what is scattered through your Journals. I give you
nothing but your own; and you cannot refuse in the gross what you have so often
acknowledged in detail. The admission of this, which will be so honorable to
them and to you, will, indeed, be mortal to all the miserable stories by which
the passions of the misguided people [Footnote: 58] have been engaged in an
unhappy system. The people heard, indeed, from the beginning of these disputes,
one thing continually dinned in their ears, that reason and justice demanded
that the Americans, who paid no taxes, should be compelled to contribute. How
did that fact of their paying nothing stand when the taxing system began? When
Mr. Grenville began to form his system of American revenue, he stated in this
House that the Colonies were then in debt two millions six hundred thousand
pounds sterling money, and was of opinion they would discharge that debt in four
years. On this state, those untaxed people were actually subject to the payment
of taxes to the amount of six hundred and fifty thousand a year. In fact,
however, Mr. Grenville was mistaken. The funds given for sinking the debt did
not prove quite so ample as both the Colonies and he expected. The calculation
was too sanguine; the reduction was not completed till some years after, and at
different times in different Colonies. However, the taxes after the war
continued too great to bear any addition, with prudence or propriety; and when
the burthens imposed in consequence of former requisitions were discharged, our
tone became too high to resort again to requisition. No Colony, since that time,
ever has had any requisition whatsoever made to it.

We see the sense of the Crown, and the sense of Parliament, on the productive
nature of a REVENUE BY GRANT. Now search the same Journals for the produce of
the REVENUE BY IMPOSITION. Where is it? Let us know the volume and the page.
What is the gross, what is the net produce? To what service is it applied? How
have you appropriated its surplus? What! Can none of the many skilful index-
makers that we are now employing find any trace of it?--Well, let them and that
rest together. But are the Journals, which say nothing of the revenue, as silent
on the discontent? Oh no! a child may find it. It is the melancholy burthen and
blot of every page.

I think, then, I am, from those Journals, justified in the sixth and last
Resolution, which is---

"That it hath been found by experience that the manner of granting the said
supplies and aids, by the said General Assemblies, hath been more agreeable to
the said Colonies, and more beneficial and conducive to the public service, than
the mode of giving and granting aids in Parliament, to be raised and paid in the
said Colonies."

This makes the whole of the fundamental part of the plan. The conclusion is
irresistible. You cannot say that you were driven by any necessity to an
exercise of the utmost rights of legislature. You cannot assert that you took on
yourselves the task of imposing Colony taxes from the want of another legal body
that is competent to the purpose of supplying the exigencies of the state
without wounding the prejudices of the people. Neither is it true that the body
so qualified, and having that competence, had neglected the duty.

The question now, on all this accumulated matter, is: whether you will choose to
abide by a profitable experience, or a mischievous theory; whether you choose to
build on imagination, or fact; whether you prefer enjoyment, or hope;
satisfaction in your subjects, or discontent?

If these propositions are accepted, everything which has been made to enforce a
contrary system must, I take it for granted, fall along with it. On that ground,
I have drawn the following Resolution, which, when it comes to be moved, will
naturally be divided in a proper manner:

"That it may be proper to repeal an Act [Footnote: 59] made in the seventh year
of the reign of his present Majesty, entitled, An Act for granting certain
duties in the British Colonies and Plantations in America; for allowing a
drawback of the duties of customs upon the exportation from this Kingdom of
coffee and cocoa-nuts of the produce of the said Colonies or Plantations; for
discontinuing the drawbacks payable on china earthenware exported to America;
and for more effectually preventing the clandestine running of goods in the said
Colonies and Plantations. And that it may be proper to repeal an Act [Footnote:
60] made in the fourteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, entitled,
An Act to discontinue, in such manner and for such time as are therein
mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading or shipping of goods, wares, and
merchandise at the town and within the harbor of Boston, in the Province of
Massachusetts Bay, in North America. And that it may be proper to repeal an Act
made in the fourteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, entitled, An
Act for the impartial administration of justice [Footnote: 61] in the cases of
persons questioned for any acts done by them in the execution of the law, or for
the suppression of riots and tumults, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, in
New England. And that it may be proper to repeal an Act made in the fourteenth
year of the reign of his present Majesty, entitled, An Act for the better
regulating [Footnote: 62] of the Government of the Province of the Massachusetts
Bay, in New England. And also that it may be proper to explain and amend an Act
made in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, entitled,
An Act for the Trial of Treasons [Footnote: 63] committed out of the King's

I wish, Sir, to repeal the Boston Port Bill, because--independently of the
dangerous precedent of suspending the rights of the subject during the King's
pleasure--it was passed, as I apprehend, with less regularity and on more
partial principles than it ought. The corporation of Boston was not heard before
it was condemned. Other towns, full as guilty as she was, have not had their
ports blocked up. Even the Restraining Bill of the present session does not go
to the length of the Boston Port Act. The same ideas of prudence which induced
you not to extend equal punishment to equal guilt, even when you were punishing,
induced me, who mean not to chastise, but to reconcile, to be satisfied with the
punishment already partially inflicted.

Ideas of prudence and accommodation to circumstances prevent you from taking
away the charters of Connecticut and Rhode Island, as you have taken away that
of Massachusetts Bay, though the Crown has far less power in the two former
provinces than it enjoyed in the latter, and though the abuses have been full as
great, and as flagrant, in the exempted as in the punished. The same reasons of
prudence and accommodation have weight with me in restoring the charter of
Massachusetts Bay. Besides, Sir, the Act which changes the charter of
Massachusetts is in many particulars so exceptionable that if I did not wish
absolutely to repeal, I would by all means desire to alter it, as several of its
provisions tend to the subversion of all public and private justice. Such, among
others, is the power in the Governor to change the sheriff at his pleasure, and
to make a new returning officer for every special cause. It is shameful to
behold such a regulation standing among English laws.

The Act for bringing persons accused of committing murder, under the orders of
Government to England for trial, is but temporary. That Act has calculated the
probable duration of our quarrel with the Colonies, and is accommodated to that
supposed duration. I would hasten the happy moment of reconciliation, and
therefore must, on my principle, get rid of that most justly obnoxious Act.

The Act of Henry the Eighth, for the Trial of Treasons, I do not mean to take
away, but to confine it to its proper bounds and original intention; to make it
expressly for trial of treasons--and the greatest treasons may be committed--in
places where the jurisdiction of the Crown does not extend.

Having guarded the privileges of local legislature, I would next secure to the
Colonies a fair and unbiassed judicature, for which purpose, Sir, I propose the
following Resolution:

"That, from the time when the General Assembly or General Court of any Colony or
Plantation in North America shall have appointed by Act of Assembly, duly
confirmed, a settled salary to the offices of the Chief Justice and other Judges
of the Superior Court, it may be proper that the said Chief Justice and other
Judges of the Superior Courts of such Colony shall hold his and their office and
offices during their good behavior, and shall not be removed therefrom but when
the said removal shall be adjudged by his Majesty in Council, upon a hearing on
complaint from the General Assembly, or on a complaint from the Governor, or
Council, or the House of Representatives severally, or of the Colony in which
the said Chief Justice and other Judges have exercised the said offices"

The next Resolution relates to the Courts of Admiralty. It is this.

"That it may be proper to regulate the Courts of Admiralty or Vice Admiralty
authorized by the fifteenth Chapter of the Fourth of George the Third, in such a
manner as to make the same more commodious to those who sue, or are sued, in the
said Courts, and to provide for the more decent maintenance of the Judges in the

These courts I do not wish to take away, they are in themselves proper
establishments. This court is one of the capital securities of the Act of
Navigation. The extent of its jurisdiction, indeed, has been increased, but this
is altogether as proper, and is indeed on many accounts more eligible, where new
powers were wanted, than a court absolutely new. But courts incommodiously
situated, in effect, deny justice, and a court partaking in the fruits of its
own condemnation is a robber. The Congress complain, and complain justly, of
this grievance.

These are the three consequential propositions I have thought of two or three
more, but they come rather too near detail, and to the province of executive
government, which I wish Parliament always to superintend, never to assume. If
the first six are granted, congruity will carry the latter three. If not, the
things that remain unrepealed will be, I hope, rather unseemly incumbrances on
the building, than very materially detrimental to its strength and stability.

Here, Sir, I should close, but I plainly perceive some objections remain which I
ought, if possible, to remove. The first will be that, in resorting to the
doctrine of our ancestors, as contained in the preamble to the Chester Act, I
prove too much, that the grievance from a want of representation, stated in that
preamble, goes to the whole of legislation as well as to taxation, and that the
Colonies, grounding themselves upon that doctrine, will apply it to all parts of
legislative authority.

To this objection, with all possible deference and humility, and wishing as
little as any man living to impair the smallest particle of our supreme
authority, I answer, that the words are the words of Parliament, and not mine,
and that all false and inconclusive inferences drawn from them are not mine, for
I heartily disclaim any such inference. I have chosen the words of an Act of
Parliament which Mr. Grenville, surely a tolerably zealous and very judicious
advocate for the sovereignty of Parliament, formerly moved to have read at your
table in confirmation of his tenets. It is true that Lord Chatham considered
these preambles as declaring strongly in favor of his opinions. He was a no less
powerful advocate for the privileges of the Americans. Ought I not from hence to
presume that these preambles are as favorable as possible to both, when properly
understood; favorable both to the rights of Parliament, and to the privilege of
the dependencies of this Crown? But, Sir, the object of grievance in my
Resolution I have not taken from the Chester, but from the Durham Act, which
confines the hardship of want of representation to the case of subsidies, and
which therefore falls in exactly with the case of the Colonies. But whether the
unrepresented counties were de jure or de facto [Footnote: 64] bound, the
preambles do not accurately distinguish, nor indeed was it necessary; for,
whether de jure or de facto, the Legislature thought the exercise of the power
of taxing as of right, or as of fact without right, equally a grievance, and
equally oppressive.

I do not know that the Colonies have, in any general way, or in any cool hour,
gone much beyond the demand of humanity in relation to taxes. It is not fair to
judge of the temper or dispositions of any man, or any set of men, when they are
composed and at rest, from their conduct or their expressions in a state of
disturbance and irritation. It is besides a very great mistake to imagine that
mankind follow up practically any speculative principle, either of government or
of freedom, as far as it will go in argument and logical illation. We Englishmen
stop very short of the principles upon which we support any given part of our
Constitution, or even the whole of it together. I could easily, if I had not
already tired you, give you very striking and convincing instances of it. This
is nothing but what is natural and proper. All government, indeed every human
benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on
compromise and barter. We balance inconveniences; we give and take; we remit
some rights, that we may enjoy others; and we choose rather to be happy citizens
than subtle disputants. As we must give away some natural liberty to enjoy civil
advantages, so we must sacrifice some civil liberties for the advantages to be
derived from the communion and fellowship of a great empire. But, in all fair
dealings, the thing bought must bear some proportion to the purchase paid. None
will barter away the immediate jewel of his soul. [Footnote: 65] Though a great
house is apt to make slaves haughty, yet it is purchasing a part of the
artificial importance of a great empire too dear to pay for it all essential
rights and all the intrinsic dignity of human nature. None of us who would not
risk his life rather than fall under a government purely arbitrary. But although
there are some amongst us who think our Constitution wants many improvements to
make it a complete system of liberty, perhaps none who are of that opinion would
think it right to aim at such improvement by disturbing his country, and risking
everything that is dear to him. In every arduous enterprise we consider what we
are to lose, as well as what we are to gain; and the more and better stake of
liberty every people possess, the less they will hazard in a vain attempt to
make it more. These are the cords of man. Man acts from adequate motives
relative to his interest, and not on metaphysical speculations. Aristotle, the
great master of reasoning, cautions us, and with great weight and propriety,
against this species of delusive geometrical accuracy in moral arguments as the
most fallacious of all sophistry.

The Americans will have no interest contrary to the grandeur and glory of
England, when they are not oppressed by the weight of it; and they will rather
be inclined to respect the acts of a superintending legislature when they see
them the acts of that power which is itself the security, not the rival, of
their secondary importance. In this assurance my mind most perfectly acquiesces,
and I confess I feel not the least alarm from the discontents which are to arise
from putting people at their ease, nor do I apprehend the destruction of this
Empire from giving, by an act of free grace and indulgence, to two millions of
my fellow-citizens some share of those rights upon which. I have always been
taught to value myself.

It is said, indeed, that this power of granting, vested in American Assemblies,
would dissolve the unity of the Empire, which was preserved entire, although
Wales, and Chester, and Durham were added to it. Truly, Mr. Speaker, I do not
know what this unity means, nor has it ever been heard of, that I know, in the
constitutional policy of this country. The very idea of subordination of parts
excludes this notion of simple and undivided unity. England is the head; but she
is not the head and the members too. Ireland has ever had from the beginning a
separate, but not an independent, legislature, which, far from distracting,
promoted the union of the whole. Everything was sweetly and harmoniously
disposed through both islands for the conservation of English dominion, and the
communication of English liberties. I do not see that the same principles might
not be carried into twenty islands and with the same good effect. This is my
model with regard to America, as far as the internal circumstances of the two
countries are the same. I know no other unity of this Empire than I can draw
from its example during these periods, when it seemed to my poor understanding
more united than it is now, or than it is likely to be by the present methods.

But since I speak of these methods, I recollect, Mr. Speaker, almost too late,
that I promised, before I finished, to say something of the proposition of the
noble lord on the floor, which has been so lately received and stands on your
Journals. I must be deeply concerned whenever it is my misfortune to continue a
difference with the majority of this House; but as the reasons for that
difference are my apology for thus troubling you, suffer me to state them in a
very few words. I shall compress them into as small a body as I possibly can,
having already debated that matter at large when the question was before the

First, then, I cannot admit that proposition of a ransom [Footnote: 66] by
auction; because it is a mere project. It is a thing new, unheard of; supported
by no experience; justified by no analogy; without example of our ancestors, or
root in the Constitution. It is neither regular Parliamentary taxation, nor
Colony grant. Experimentum in corpore vili [Footnote: 67] is a good rule, which
will ever make me adverse to any trial of experiments on what is certainly the
most valuable of all subjects, the peace of this Empire.

Secondly, it is an experiment which must be fatal in the end to our
Constitution. For what is it but a scheme for taxing the Colonies in the ante-
chamber of the noble lord and his successors? To settle the quotas and
proportions in this House is clearly impossible. You, Sir, may flatter yourself
you shall sit a state auctioneer, with your hammer in your hand, and knock down
to each Colony as it bids. But to settle, on the plan laid down by the noble
lord, the true proportional payment for four or five and twenty governments
according to the absolute and the relative wealth of each, and according to the
British proportion of wealth and burthen, is a wild and chimerical notion. This
new taxation must therefore come in by the back door of the Constitution. Each
quota must be brought to this House ready formed; you can neither add nor alter.
You must register it. You can do nothing further, for on what grounds can you
deliberate either before or after the proposition? You cannot hear the counsel
for all these provinces, quarrelling each on its own quantity of payment, and
its proportion to others If you should attempt it, the Committee of Provincial
Ways and Means, or by whatever other name it will delight to be called, must
swallow up all the time of Parliament.

Thirdly, it does not give satisfaction to the complaint of the Colonies. They
complain that they are taxed without their consent, you answer, that you will
fix the sum at which they shall be taxed. That is, you give them the very
grievance for the remedy. You tell them, indeed, that you will leave the mode to
themselves. I really beg pardon--it gives me pain to mention it--but you must be
sensible that you will not perform this part of the compact. For, suppose the
Colonies were to lay the duties, which furnished their contingent, upon the
importation of your manufactures, you know you would never suffer such a tax to
be laid. You know, too, that you would not suffer many other modes of taxation,
so that, when you come to explain yourself, it will be found that you will
neither leave to themselves the quantum nor the mode, nor indeed anything. The
whole is delusion from one end to the other.

Fourthly, this method of ransom by auction, unless it be universally accepted,
will plunge you into great and inextricable difficulties. In what year of our
Lord are the proportions of payments to be settled? To say nothing of the
impossibility that Colony agents should have general powers of taxing the
Colonies at their discretion, consider, I implore you, that the communication by
special messages and orders between these agents and their constituents, on each
variation of the case, when the parties come to contend together and to dispute
on their relative proportions, will be a matter of delay, perplexity, and
confusion that never can have an end.

If all the Colonies do not appear at the outcry, what is the condition of those
assemblies who offer, by themselves or their agents, to tax themselves up to
your ideas of their proportion? The refractory Colonies who refuse all
composition will remain taxed only to your old impositions, which, however
grievous in principle, are trifling as to production. The obedient Colonies in
this scheme are heavily taxed, the refractory remain unburdened. What will you
do? Will you lay new and heavier taxes by Parliament on the disobedient? Pray
consider in what way you can do it. You are perfectly convinced that, in the way
of taxing, you can do nothing but at the ports. Now suppose it is Virginia that
refuses to appear at your auction, while Maryland and North Carolina bid
handsomely for their ransom, and are taxed to your quota, how will you put these
Colonies on a par? Will you tax the tobacco of Virginia? If you do, you give its
death-wound to your English revenue at home, and to one of the very greatest
articles of your own foreign trade. If you tax the import of that rebellious
Colony, what do you tax but your own manufactures, or the goods of some other
obedient and already well-taxed Colony? Who has said one word on this labyrinth
of detail, which bewilders you more and more as you enter into it? Who has
presented, who can present you with a clue to lead you out of it? I think, Sir,
it is impossible that you should not recollect that the Colony bounds are so
implicated in one another,--you know it by your other experiments in the bill
for prohibiting the New England fishery,--that you can lay no possible
restraints on almost any of them which may not be presently eluded, if you do
not confound the innocent with the guilty, and burthen those whom, upon every
principle, you ought to exonerate. He must be grossly ignorant of America who
thinks that, without falling into this confusion of all rules of equity and
policy, you can restrain any single Colony, especially Virginia and Maryland,
the central and most important of them all.

Let it also be considered that, either in the present confusion you settle a
permanent contingent, which will and must be trifling, and then you have no
effectual revenue; or you change the quota at every exigency, and then on every
new repartition you will have a new quarrel.

Reflect, besides, that when you have fixed a quota for every Colony, you have
not provided for prompt and punctual payment. Suppose one, two, five, ten years'
arrears. You cannot issue a Treasury Extent against the failing Colony. You must
make new Boston Port Bills, new restraining laws, new acts for dragging men to
England for trial. You must send out new fleets, new armies. All is to begin
again. From this day forward the Empire is never to know an hour's tranquillity.
An intestine fire will be kept alive in the bowels of the Colonies, which one
time or other must consume this whole Empire. I allow indeed that the empire of
Germany raises her revenue and her troops by quotas and contingents; but the
revenue of the empire, and the army of the empire, is the worst revenue and the
worst army in the world.

Instead of a standing revenue, you will therefore have a perpetual quarrel.
Indeed, the noble lord who proposed this project of a ransom by auction seems
himself to be of that opinion. His project was rather designed for breaking the
union of the Colonies than for establishing a revenue. He confessed he
apprehended that his proposal would not be to their taste. I say this scheme of
disunion seems to be at the bottom of the project; for I will not suspect that
the noble lord meant nothing but merely to delude the nation by an airy phantom
which he never intended to realize. But whatever his views may be, as I propose
the peace and union of the Colonies as the very foundation of my plan, it cannot
accord with one whose foundation is perpetual discord.

Compare the two. This I offer to give you is plain and simple. The other full of
perplexed and intricate mazes. This is mild; that harsh. This is found by
experience effectual for its purposes; the other is a new project. This is
universal; the other calculated for certain Colonies only. This is immediate in
its conciliatory operation; the other remote, contingent, full of hazard. Mine
is what becomes the dignity of a ruling people--gratuitous, unconditional, and
not held out as a matter of bargain and sale. I have done my duty in proposing
it to you. I have indeed tired you by a long discourse; but this is the
misfortune of those to whose influence nothing will be conceded, and who must
win every inch of their ground by argument. You have heard me with goodness. May
you decide with wisdom! For my part, I feel my mind greatly disburthened by what
I have done to-day. I have been the less fearful of trying your patience,
because on this subject I mean to spare it altogether in future. I have this
comfort, that in every stage of the American affairs I have steadily opposed the
measures that have produced the confusion, and may bring on the destruction, of
this Empire. I now go so far as to risk a proposal of my own. If I cannot give
peace to my country, I give it to my conscience.

But what, says the financier, is peace to us without money? Your plan gives us
no revenue. No! But it does; for it secures to the subject the power or refusal,
the first of all revenues. Experience is a cheat, and fact a liar, if this power
in the subject of proportioning his grant, or of not granting at all, has not
been found the richest mine of revenue ever discovered by the skill or by the
fortune of man. It does not indeed vote you L152,750 11s. 23/4d, nor any other
paltry limited sum; but it gives the strong box itself, the fund, the bank--from
whence only revenues can arise amongst a people sensible of freedom. Posita
luditur arca. [Footnote: 68] Cannot you, in England--cannot you, at this time of
day--cannot you, a House of Commons, trust to the principle which has raised so
mighty a revenue, and accumulated a debt of near 140,000,000 in this country? Is
this principle to be true in England, and false everywhere else? Is it not true
in Ireland? Has it not hitherto been true in the Colonies? Why should you
presume that, in any country, a body duly constituted for any function will
neglect to perform its duty and abdicate its trust? Such a presumption
[Footnote: 69] would go against all governments in all modes. But, in truth,
this dread of penury of supply from a free assembly has no foundation in nature;
for first, observe that, besides the desire which all men have naturally of
supporting the honor of their own government, that sense of dignity and that
security to property which ever attends freedom has a tendency to increase the
stock of the free community. Most may be taken where most is accumulated. And
what is the soil or climate where experience has not uniformly proved that the
voluntary flow of heaped-up plenty, bursting from the weight of its own rich
luxuriance, has ever run with a more copious stream of revenue than could be
squeezed from the dry husks of oppressed indigence by the straining of all the
politic machinery in the world? [Footnote: 70]

Next, we know that parties must ever exist in a free country. We know, too, that
the emulations of such parties--their contradictions, their reciprocal
necessities, their hopes, and their fears--must send them all in their turns to
him that holds the balance of the State. The parties are the gamesters; but
Government keeps the table, and is sure to be the winner in the end. When this
game is played, I really think it is more to be feared that the people will be
exhausted, than that Government will not be supplied; whereas, whatever is got
by acts of absolute power ill obeyed, because odious, or by contracts ill kept,
because constrained, will be narrow, feeble, uncertain, and precarious.

"Ease would retract Vows made in pain, as violent and void."

I, for one, protest against compounding our demands. I declare against
compounding, for a poor limited sum, the immense, ever-growing, eternal debt
which is due to generous government from protected freedom. And so may I speed
in the great object I propose to you, as I think it would not only be an act of
injustice, but would be the worst economy in the world, to compel the Colonies
to a sum certain, either in the way of ransom or in the way of compulsory

But to clear up my ideas on this subject: a revenue from America transmitted
hither--do not delude yourselves--you never can receive it; no, not a shilling.
We have experience that from remote countries it is not to be expected. If, when
you attempted to extract revenue from Bengal, you were obliged to return in loan
what you had taken in imposition, what can you expect from North America? For
certainly, if ever there was a country qualified to produce wealth, it is India;
or an institution fit for the transmission, it is the East India Company.
America has none of these aptitudes. If America gives you taxable objects on
which you lay your duties here, and gives you, at the same time, a surplus by a
foreign sale of her commodities to pay the duties on these objects which you tax
at home, she has performed her part to the British revenue. But with regard to
her own internal establishments, she may, I doubt not she will, contribute in
moderation. I say in moderation, for she ought not to be permitted to exhaust
herself. She ought to be reserved to a war, the weight of which, with the
enemies [Footnote: 71] that we are most likely to have, must be considerable in
her quarter of the globe. There she may serve you, and serve you essentially.

For that service--for all service, whether of revenue, trade, or empire--my
trust is in her interest in the British Constitution. My hold of the Colonies is
in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from
similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as
air, [Footnote: 72] are as strong as links of iron. Let the Colonists always
keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government,--they will
cling and grapple to you, [Footnote: 73] and no force under heaven will be of
power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood that
your government may be one thing, and their privileges another, that these two
things may exist without any mutual relation, the cement is gone [Footnote: 74]-
-the cohesion is loosened--and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As
long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as
the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith,
wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn
their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have;
the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience.
Slavery they can have anywhere--it is a weed that grows in every soil. They may
have it from Spain; they may have it from Prussia. But, until you become lost to
all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can
have from none but you. This is the commodity of price of which you have the
monopoly. This is the true Act of Navigation which binds to you the commerce of
the Colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them
this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond which originally
made, and must still preserve, the unity of the Empire. Do not entertain so weak
an imagination as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your
sufferances, your cockets and your clearances, are what form the great
securities of your commerce. Do not dream that your letters of office, and your
instructions, and your suspending clauses, are the things that hold together the
great contexture of the mysterious whole. These things do not make your
government. Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the
English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the
spirit of the English Constitution which, infused through the mighty mass,
pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivifies every part of the Empire, even
down to the minutest member.

Is it not the same virtue which does everything for us here in England? Do you
imagine, then, that it is the Land Tax Act which raises your revenue? that it is
the annual vote in the Committee of Supply which gives you your army? or that it
is the Mutiny Bill which inspires it with bravery and discipline? No! surely no!
It is the love of the people; it is their attachment to their government, from
the sense of the deep stake they have in such a glorious institution, which
gives you your army and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal obedience
without which your army would be a base rabble, and your navy nothing but rotten

All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd
[Footnote: 75] of those vulgar and mechanical politicians who have no place
among us; a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross and
material, and who, therefore, far from being qualified to be directors of the
great movement of empire, are not fit to turn a wheel in the machine. But to men
truly initiated and rightly taught, these ruling and master principles which, in
the opinion of such men as I have mentioned, have no substantial existence, are
in truth everything, and all in all. Magnanimity [Footnote: 76] in politics is
not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill
together. If we are conscious of our station, and glow with zeal to fill our
places as becomes our situation and ourselves, we ought to auspicate [Footnote:
77] all our public proceedings on America with the old warning of the church,
Sursum corda! [Footnote: 78] We ought to elevate our minds to the greatness of
that trust to which the order of providence has called us. By adverting to the
dignity of this high calling our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into
a glorious empire, and have made the most extensive and the only honorable
conquests--not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the
happiness, of the human race. Let us get an American revenue as we have got an
American empire. English privileges have made it all that it is; English
privileges alone will make it all it can be.

In full confidence of this unalterable truth, I now, quod felix faustumque sit,
[Footnote: 79] lay the first stone of the Temple of Peace; and I move you--

"That the Colonies and Plantations of Great Britain in North America, consisting
of fourteen separate governments, and containing two millions and upwards of
free inhabitants, have not had the liberty and privilege of electing and sending
any Knights and Burgesses, or others, to represent them in the High Court of


[Footnote: 1. grand penal bill. This bill originated with Lord North. It
restricted the trade of the New England colonies to England and her
dependencies. It also placed serious limitations upon the Newfoundland
fisheries. The House of Lords was dissatisfied with the measure because it did
not include all the colonies.]

[Footnote: 2. When I first had the honor. Burke was first elected to Parliament
Dec. 26, 1765. He was at the time secretary to Lord Rockingham, Prime Minister.
Previous to this he had made himself thoroughly familiar with England's policy
in dealing with her dependencies--notably Ireland.]

[Footnote: 3. my original sentiments. After many demonstrations both in America
and England the Stamp Act became a law in 1765. One of the first tasks the
Rockingham ministry set itself was to bring about a repeal of this act. Burke
made his first speech in support of his party. He argued that the abstract and
theoretical rights claimed by England in matters of government should be set
aside when they were unfavorable to the happiness and prosperity of her colonies
and herself. His speech was complimented by Pitt, and Dr. Johnson wrote that no
new member had ever before attracted such attention.]

[Footnote: 4. America has been kept in agitation. For a period of nearly one
hundred years the affairs of the colonies had been intrusted to a standing
committee appointed by Parliament. This committee was called "The Lords of
Trade." From its members came many if not the majority of the propositions for
the regulation of the American trade. To them the colonial governors, who were
appointed by the king, gave full accounts of the proceedings of the colonial
legislatures. These reports, often colored by personal prejudice, did not always
represent the colonists in the best light. It was mainly through the influence
of one of the former Lords of Trade, Charles Townshend, who afterwards became
the leading voice in the Pitt ministry, that the Stamp Act was passed.]

[Footnote: 5. a worthy member. Mr. Rose Fuller.]

[Footnote: 6. former methods. Condense the thought in this paragraph. Are such
"methods" practised nowadays?]

[Footnote: 7. paper government. Burke possibly had in mind the constitution
prepared for the Carolinas by John Locke and Earl of Shaftesbury. The scheme was
utterly impracticable and gave cause for endless dissatisfaction.]

[Footnote: 8. Refined policy. After a careful reading of the paragraph determine
what Burke means by "refined policy."]

[Footnote: 9. the project. The bill referred to had been passed by the House on
Feb. 27. It provided that those colonies which voluntarily voted contributions
for the common defence and support of the English government, and in addition
made provision for the administration of their own civil affairs, should be
exempt from taxation, except such as was necessary for the regulation of trade.
It has been declared by some that the measure was meant m good faith and that
its recognition and acceptance by the colonies would have brought good results.
Burke, along with others of the opposition, argued that the intention of the
bill was to cause dissension and division among the colonies. Compare 7, 11-12.
State your opinion and give reasons.]

[Footnote: 10. the noble lord in the blue ribbon Lord North (1732-1792) He
entered Parliament at the age of twenty-two, served as Lord of the Treasury,
1759; was removed by Rockingham, 1765; was again appointed by Pitt to the office
of Joint Paymaster of the Forces, became Prime Minister, 1770, and resigned,
1781 Lord North is described both by his contemporaries and later histonaus as
an easy-going, indolent man, short-sighted and rather stupid, though obstinate
and courageous. He was the willing servant of George III, and believed in the
principle of authority as opposed to that of conciliation. The blue ribbon was
the badge of the Order of the Garter instituted by Edward III Lord North was
made a Knight of the Garter, 1772. Burke often mentions the "blue ribbon" in
speaking of the Prime Minister. Why?]

[Footnote: 11. Colony agents. It was customary for colonies to select some one
to represent them in important matters of legislation. Burke himself served as
the agent of New York. Do you think this tact accounts in any way for his
attitude in this speech?]

[Footnote: 12. our address Parliament had prepared an address to the king some
months previous, in which Massachusetts was declared to be in a state of
rebellion. The immediate cause of this address was the Boston Tea Party. The
lives and fortunes of his Majesty's subjects were represented as being in
danger, and he was asked to deal vigorously not only with Massachusetts but with
her sympathizers.]

[Footnote: 13. those chances. Suggested perhaps by lines in Julius Caesar, IV.,
iii., 216-219:--

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries."]

[Footnote: 14. according to that nature and to those circumstances. Compare with
8. Point out the connection between the thought here expressed and Burke's idea
of "expediency."]

[Footnote: 15. great consideration. This paragraph has been censured for its too
florid style. It may be rather gorgeous and rhetorical when considered as part
of an argument, yet it is very characteristic of Burke as a writer. In no other
passage of the speech is there such vivid clear-cut imagery. Note the
picturesque quality of the lines and detect if you can any confusion in

[Footnote: 16. It is good for us to be here. Burke's favorite books were
Shakespeare, Milton, and the Bible. Trace the above sentence to one of these.]

[Footnote: 17.
"Facta parentun
Jam legere et quae sit poteris cognoscere virtus."
--VIRGIL'S Eclogues, IV., 26, 27]

Notice the alteration. Already old enough to study the deeds of his father and
to know what virtue is.

[Footnote: 18. before you taste of death. Compare 16.]

[Footnote: 19. Roman charity. This suggests the more famous "Ancient Roman
honor" (Merchant of Venice, III., 11, 291). The incident referred to by Burke is
told by several writers. A father condemned to death by starvation is visited in
prison by his daughter, who secretly nourishes him with milk from her breasts.]

[Footnote: 20. complexions. "Mislike me not for my COMPLEXION."--M. V. Is the
word used in the same sense by Burke?]

[Footnote: 21. the thunder of the state. What is the classical allusion?]

[Footnote: 22. a nation is not governed.

"Who overcomes By force hath overcome but half his foe"
--Paradise Lost, 1, 648, 649.]

[Footnote: 23. Our ancient indulgence. "The wise and salutary neglect," which
Burke has just mentioned, was the result of (a) the struggle of Charles I. with
Parliament, (b) the confusion and readjustment at the Restoration, (c) the
Revolution of 1688, (d) the attitude of France in favoring the cause of the
Stuarts, (e) the ascendency of the Whigs. England had her hands full in
attending to affairs at home. As a result of this the colonies were practically
their own masters in matters of government. Also the political party known as
the Whigs had its origin shortly before William and Mary ascended the throne.
This party favored the colonies and respected their ideas of liberty and

[Footnote: 24. great contests. One instance of this is Magna Charta. Suggest

[Footnote: 25. Freedom is to them Such keen analysis and subtle reasoning is
characteristic of Burke It is this tendency that justifies some of his admirers
in calling him "Philosopher Statesman". Consider his thought attentively and
determine whether or not his argument is entirely sound. Is he correct in
speaking of our Gothic ancestors?]

[Footnote: 26. Abeunt studia in mores. Studies become a part of character.]

[Footnote: 27. winged ministers of vengeance. A figure suggested perhaps by
Horace, Odes, Bk. IV., 4: "Ministrum fulmims alitem"--the thunder's winged

[Footnote: 28. the circulation. The Conciliation, as all of Burke's writings, is
rich in such figurative expressions. In every instance the student should
discover the source of the figure and determine definitely whether or not his
author is accurate and suggestive.]

[Footnote: 29. its imperfections.

"But sent to my account
With all my imperfections upon my head."
--Hamlet, I, v, 78, 79.]

[Footnote: 30. same plan. The act referred to, known as the Regulating Act,
became a law May 10, 1774. It provided (a) that the council, or the higher
branch of the legislature, should be appointed by the Crown (the popular
assemblies had previously selected the members of the council); (b) that
officers of the common courts should be chosen by the royal governors, and (c)
that public meetings (except for elections) should not be held without the
sanction of the king. These measures were practically ignored. By means of
circular letters the colonies were fully instructed through their
representatives. As a direct result of the Regulating Act, along with other
high-handed proceedings of the same sort, delegates were secretly appointed for
the Continental Congress on Sept. 1 at Philadelphia. The delegates from
Massachusetts were Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Paine, and Thomas Cushing.]

[Footnote: 31. their liberties. Compare 24]

[Footnote: 32. sudden or partial view. Goodrich, in his Select British
Eloquence, speaking of Burke's comprehensiveness in discussing his subject,
compares him to one standing upon an eminence, taking a large and rounded view
of it on every side. The justice of this observation is seen in such instances
as the above. It is this breadth and clearness of vision more than anything else
that distinguishes Burke so sharply from his contemporaries.]

[Footnote: 33. three ways. How does the first differ from the third?]

[Footnote: 34. Spoliatis arma supersunt. Though plundered their arms still

[Footnote: 35. your speech would betray you. "Thy speech bewrayeth thee"--Matt.
xxvi 73. There is much justice in the observation that Burke is often verbose,
yet such paragraphs as this prove how well he knew to condense and prune his
expression. It is an excellent plan to select from day to day passages of this
sort and commit them to memory for recitation when the speech has been

[Footnote: 36. to persuade slaves. Does this suggest one of Byron's poems?]

[Footnote: 37. causes of quarrel. The Assembly of Virginia in 1770 attempted to
restrict the slave trade. Other colonies made the same effort, but Parliament
vetoed these measures, accompanying its action with the blunt statement that the
slave trade was profitable to England. Observe how effectively Burke uses his
wide knowledge of history.]

[Footnote: 38. ex vi termini. From the force of the word.]

[Footnote: 39. abstract right. Compare with 14; also 8. Point out connection in

[Footnote: 40. Act of Henry the Eighth. Burke alludes to this in his letter to
the sheriffs of Bristol in the following terms: "To try a man under this Act is
to condemn him unheard. A person is brought hither in the dungeon of a ship
hold; thence he is vomited into a dungeon on land, loaded with irons,
unfurnished with money, unsupported by friends, three thousand miles from all
means of calling upon or confronting evidence, where no one local circumstance
that tends to detect perjury can possibly be judged of;--such a person may be
executed according to form, but he can never be tried according to justice."]

[Footnote: 41. correctly right. Explain.]

[Footnote: 42. Paradise Lost, II., 392-394.]

[Footnote: 43. This passage should be carefully studied. Burke's theory of
government is given in the Conciliation by just such lines as these. Refer to
other instances of principles which he considers fundamental in matters of

[Footnote: 44. exquisite. Exact meaning?]

[Footnote: 45. trade laws. What would have been the nature of a change
beneficial to the colonies?]

[Footnote: 46. English conquest. At Henry II.'s accession, 1154, Ireland had
fallen from the civilization which had once flourished upon her soil and which
had been introduced by her missionaries into England during the seventh century.
Henry II. obtained the sanction of the Pope, invaded the island, and partially
subdued the inhabitants. For an interesting account of England's relations to
Ireland the student should consult Green's Short History of the English People.]

[Footnote: 47. You deposed kings. What English kings have been deposed?]

[Footnote: 48. Lords Marchers. March, boundary. These lords were given
permission by the English kings to take from the Welsh as much land as they
could. They built their castles on the boundary line between the two countries,
and when they were not quarrelling among themselves waged a guerilla warfare
against the Welsh. The Lords Marchers, because of special privileges and the
peculiar circumstances of their life, were virtually kings--petty kings, of

[Footnote: 49. "When the clear star has shone upon the sailors, the troubled
water flows down from the rocks, the winds fall, the clouds fade away, and,
since they (Castor and Pollux) have so willed it, the threatening waves settle
on the deep."--HORACE, Odes, I., 12, 27-32.]

[Footnote: 50. Opposuit natura. Nature opposed.]

[Footnote: 51. no theory. Select other instances of Burke's impatience with
fine-spun theories in statescraft]

[Footnote: 52. Republic of Plato Utopia of More Ideal states
Consult the Century Dictionary]

[Footnote: 53.
"And the DULL swain
Treads daily on it with his clouted shoon"
--MILTON'S Comus, 6, 34, 35.]

[Footnote: 54. the year 1763 The date marks the beginning of the active struggle
between England and the American colonies. The Stamp Act was the first definite
step taken by the English Parliament in the attempt to tax the colonies without
their consent.]

[Footnote: 55. legal competency. This had been practically recognized by
Parliament prior to the passage of the Stamp Act. In Massachusetts the Colonial
Assembly had made grants from year to year to the governor, both for his salary
and the incidental expenses of his office. Notwithstanding the fact that he was
appointed (in most cases) by the Crown, and invariably had the ear of the Lords
of Trade, the colonies generally had things their own way and enjoyed a
political freedom greater, perhaps, than did the people of England.]

[Footnote: 56. This is not my doctrine, but that of Ofellus; a rustic, yet
unusually wise]

[Footnote: 57. Compare in point of style with 43, 22-25; 44, 1-6 In what way do
such passages differ from Burke's prevailng style? What is the central thought
in each paragraph?]

[Footnote: 58. misguided people. There is little doubt that the colonists m many
instances were misrepresented by the Lords of Trade and by the royal governors.
See an interesting account of this in Fiske's American Revolution.]

[Footnote: 59. an Act. Passed in 1767. It provided for a duty on imports,
including tea, glass, and paper.]

[Footnote: 60 An Act. Boston Post Bill.]

[Footnote: 61. impartial administration of justice. This provided that if any
person in Massachusetts were charged with murder, or any other capital offence,
he should be tried either in some other colony or in Great Britain]

[Footnote: 62. An Act for the better regulating See 87, 23. ]

[Footnote: 63. Trial of Treasons See 50, 20.]

[Footnote: 64. de jure. According to law. de facto. According to fact.]

[Footnote: 65. jewel of his soul.

"Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls"
--Othello, III, iii, 155,156.]

[Footnote: 66. proposition of a ransom. See 8, 13.]

[Footnote: 67. An experiment upon something of no value.]

[Footnote: 68. They stake their fortune and play.]

[Footnote: 69. Such a presumption Is Burke right in this? Select instances which
seem to warrant rest such a presumption. Discuss the political parties of
Burke's own day from this point of view.]

[Footnote: 70. What can you say about the style of this passage? Note the
figure, sentence structure, and diction. Does it seem artificial and
overwrought? Compare it with 43, 22-25; 44. 1-6; also with 90, 23-25, 91, 1-25,
92, 1-23.]

[Footnote: 71. enemies. France and Spain.]

[Footnote: 72. light as air.

"Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ"
--Othello, III, iii, 322-324]

[Footnote: 73. grapple to you.
"The friends thou hast and their adoption tried
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel"
--Hamlet, I., iii, 62,63.]

[Footnote: 74. the cement is gone. Figure?]

[Footnote: 75. profane herd.

"Odi profanum volgus et arceo"
I hate the vulgar herd and keep it from me
--Horace, Odes, III, 1, 1]

[Footnote: 76. Magnanimity. Etymology?]

[Footnote: 77. auspicate Etymology and derivation?]

[Footnote: 78. Sursum corda. Lift up your hearts.]

[Footnote: 79. quod felix faustumque sit. May it be happy and fortunate.]

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