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keep their dwellings, how could it have been recovered, but by the slaughter of our friends ? A bomb might as well destroy an Englishman as a Frenchman; and by famine we know that the inhabitants would be the first that should perish.
This infliction of promiscuous evil may therefore be lamented, but cannot be blamed. The power of lawful government must be maintained; and the miseries which rebellion produces, can be charged only on the rebels.
That man likewise is not a Patriot, who denies his governours their due praise, and who conceals from the people the benefits which they receive. Those therefore can lay no claim to this illustrious appellation, who impute want of publick spirit to the late parliament; an assembly of men, whom, notwithstanding some fluctuation of counsel, and some weakness of agency, the nation must always remember with gratitude, since it is indebted to them for a very ample concession in the resignation of protections, and a wise and honest attempt to improve the constitution, in the new judicature insti. tuted for the trial of elections.
The right of protection, which might be necessary when it was first claimed, and was very consistent with that liberality of immunities in which the feudal constitution delighted, was by its nature liable to abuse, and had in reality been sometimes misapplied, to the evasion of the law, and the defeat of justice. The evil was perhaps not adequate to the clamour; nor is it very certain, that the possible good of this privilege was not more than equal to the possible evil. It is however plain, that whether they gave any thing or not to the Publick, they at least lost something from themselves. They divested their dignity of a very splendid distinction, and showed that they were more willing than their predecessors to stand on a level with their fellow-subjects.
The new mode of trying elections, if it be found effectual, will diffuse its consequences further than seems yet to be foreseen. It is, I believe, generally considered as advantageous only to those who claim seats in parliament; but, if to choose representatives be one of the most valuable rights of Englishmen, every voter must consider that law as adding to his happiness, which makes his suffrage efficacious; since it was vain to choose, while the election could be controlled by any other power.
With what imperious contempt of ancient rights, and what audaciousness of arbitrary authority former parliaments have judged the disputes about elections, it is not necessary to relate. The claim of a candidate, and the right of electors, are said scarcely to have been, even in appearance, referred to conscience; but to have been decided by party, by passion, by prejudice, or by frolick. To have friends in the borough was of litile use to him, who wanted friends in the house'; a pretence was easily found to evade a majority, and the seat was at last his, that was chosen not by his electors, but his fellowsenators. .
Thus the nation was insulted with a mock election, and the parliament was filled with spurious representatives; one of the most important claims, that of right to sit in the supreme council of the kingdom,
was debated in jest, and no man could be confident of success from the justice of his cause.
A disputed election is now tried with the same scrupulousness and solemnity, as any other title. The candidate that has deserved well of his neighbours, may now be certain of enjoying the effect of their approbation; and the elector, who has voted honestly for known merit, may be certain that he has not voted in vain.
Such was the parliament, which some of those, who are now aspiring to sit in another, have taught the rabble to consider as an unlawful convention of men, worthless, venal, and prostitute, slaves of the court, and tyrants of the people.
That the next House of Commons may act upon the principles of the last, with more constancy and higher spirit, inust be the wish of all who wish well to the Publick; and it is surely not too much to expect, that the nation will recover from its delusion, and unite in a general abhorrence of those who, by deceiving the credulous with fictitious mischiefs, overbearing the weak by audacity of falsehood, by appealing to the judgment of ignorance, and flattering the vanity of meanness, by slandering honesty and insulting dignity, have gathered round them whatever the kingdom can supply of base, and gross, and profligate; and, raised by merit to this bad eminence, arrogate to themselves the name of PATRIOTS.
Taxation no Tyranny ;
RESOLUTIONS AND ADDRESS
TN all the parts of human knowledge, whether terI minating in science merely speculative, or operating upon life private or civil, are admitted some fundamental principles, or common axioms, which being generally received are little doubted, and being little doubted have been rarely proved.
Of these gratuitous and acknowledged truths it is often the fate to become less evident by endeavours to explain them, however necessary such endeavours may be made by the miapprehensions of absurdity, or the sophistries of interest. It is difficult to prove the principles of science, because notions cannot always be found more intelligible
than those which are questioned. It is difficult to prove the principles of practice, because they have for the most part not been discovered by investigation, but obtruded by experience; and the demonstrator will find, after an operose deduction, that he has been trying to make that seen which can be only felt.
Of this kind is the position, that the supreme power of every community has the right of requiring from all its subjects, such contributions as are necessary to the publick safety or publick prosperity, which was considered by all mankind as comprising the primary and essential condition of all political society, till it became disputed by those zealots of anarchy, who have denied to the parliament of Britain the right of taxing the American Colonies.
In favour of this exemption of the Americans from the authority of their lawful sovereign, and the dominion of their mother-country, very loud clamours have been raised, and many wild assertions advanced, which by such as borrow their opinions from the reigning fashion have been admitted as arguments; and what is strange, though their tendency is to lessen English honour, and English power, have been heard by Englishmen with a wish to find them true. Passion has in its first violence controlled interest, as the eddy for a while runs against the stream.
To be prejudiced is always to be weak; yet there are prejudices so near to laudable, that they have been often praised, and are always pardoned. To love their country has been considered as virtue in men, whose love could not be otherwise than blind,