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ence was made without a comparison; but it genitors ; that they are too obstinate for persuahas never been my fortune to tind, either in an- sion, and too powerful for constraint; that they rient or modern writers, any honourable men- will laugh at argument, and defeat violence; tion of those, who bave with equal blindness that the continent of North America contains hated their country.
three millions, not of men merely, but of Whigs
, These antipatriotic prejudices are the abor- of Whigs fierce for liberty, and disdainful of tions of folly impregnated by faction, which dominion; that they multiply with the fecundity being produced against the standing order of of their own rattlesnakes, so that every quarter nature, have not strength sufficient for long life. of a century doubles their numbers. They are born only to scream and perish, and Men accustomed to think themselves masters, leave those to contempt or detestation, whose do not love to be threatened. This talk is, I kindness was employed to nurse them into mis- hope, commonly thrown away, or raises passions chief.
different from those which it was intended to To perplex the opinion of the public, many excite. Instead of terrifying the English hearer artifices have been used, which, as usually hap- to tame acquiescence, it disposes him to hasten pens when falsehood is to be maintained by the experiment of bending obstinacy before it is fraud, lose their force by counteracting one become yet more obdurate, and convinces bim another.
that it is necessary to attack a nation thus The nation is sometimes to be mollified by a litic while we may yet hope to prevail. When tender tale of men, who fled from tyranny to he is told through what extent of territory me rocks and deserts, and is persuaded to lose all must travel to subdue them, be recollects how claims of justice, and all sense of dignity, in far, a few years ago, we travelled in their de. compassion for a harmless people, who having fence. When it is urged that they will shout worked hard for bread in a wild country, and up like the hydra, he naturally considers how obtained by the slow progression of manual in the hydra was destroyed. dustry the accommodations of life, are now in- Nothing dejects a trader like the interruption vaded by unprecedented oppression, and plun- of his profits. A commercial people, however dered of their properties by the barpies of tax- nagnanimous, shrinks at the thought of declination.
ing traffic, and an unfavourable balance. The We are told how their industry is obstructed effect of this terror has been tried. We have by unnatural restraints, and their trade confined been stunned with the importance of our Amehy rigorous prohibitions; how they are forbid-rican commerce, and heard of merchants with den to enjoy the products of their own soil, to warehouses that are never to be emptied, and of manufacture the materials which nature spreads manufacturers starving for want of work. before them, or to carry their own goods to the That our commerce with America is profitnearest market: and surely the generosity of able, however less than ostentatious or deceitful English virtue will never heap new weight upon estimates have made it, and that it is our interthosc that are already overladen; will never est to preserve it, has never been denied ; bat delight in that dominion, which cannot be ex- surely it will most effectually be preserved, bý ercised but by cruelty and outrage.
being kept always in our own power. Conces But while we are melting in silent sorrow, sions may promote it for a moment, but superiand in the transports of delirious pity dropping ority only can ensure its continuance. There both the sword and balance from our hands, will always be a part, and always a very large another friend of the Americans thinks it better part, of every community that have no care bat to awaken another passion, and tries to alarm for themselves, and whose care for themselves our interest, or excite our veneration, by ac- reaches little farther than impatience of immecounts of their greatness and their opulence, of diate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good. the fertility of their land, and the splendour of The blind are said to feel with peculiar nicets. their towns. We then begin to consider the They who look but little into futurity, bare question with more evenness of mind, are ready perhaps the quickest sensation of the present
. to conclude that those restrictions are not very | A merchant's desire is not of glory, but of gain; oppressive which have been found consistent not of public wealth, but of private emolument; with this speedy growth of prosperity; and be- he is therefore rarely to be consulted about war gin to think it reasonable that they, who thus and peace, or any designs of wide extent and Aourish under the protection of our government, distant consequence. should contribute something towards its ex- Yet this, like other general characters, will pense.
sometimes fail. The traders of Birmingham Bat we are soon told that the Americans, have rescued themselves from all imputation of however wealthy, cannot be taxed; that they narrow selfishness by a manly recommendation are the descendants of men who left all for lib- to parliament of the rights and dignity of their orty, and that they have constantly preserved native country. the principles and stubborpness of their pro- To these men I do not intend to ascribe au
absurd and enthusiastic contempt of interest, which support the constitution of English gov.
is highly probable; but power is no sufficient Lest all these topics of persuasion should fail, evidence of truth. Let us examine our own the greater actor of patriotism has tried another, claim, and the objections of the recusants, with in which terror and pity are happily combined, caution proportioned to the event of the decinot without a proper superaddition of that ad- sion, which must convict one part of robbery, miration which latter ages have brought into the or the other of rebellion. drama. The beroes of Boston, he tells us, if A tax is a payment exacted by authority from the stamp act had not been repealed, would part of the community for the benefit of the have left their town, their port, and their trade, whole. From whom, and in what proportion, have resigned the splendour of opulence, and such payment shall be required, and to what quitted the delights of neighbourhood, to dis- uses it shall be applied, those only are to judge perse themselves over the country, where they to whom government is intrusted. In the Briwould till the ground, and fish in the rivers, and tish dominions taxes are apportioned, levied, range the mountains, AND BE FREE.
and appropriated by the states assembled in parThese surely are brave words. If the mere liament. sound of freedom can operate thus powerfully, Of every empire all the subordinate commulet po man hereafter doubt the story of the Pied Dities are liable to taxation, because they all Piper. The removal of the people of Boston share the benefits of government, and therefore into the country, seems even to the Congress not ought all to furnish their proportion of the exonly difficult in its execution, but important in pense. its consequences. The difficulty of execution is This the Americans have never openly denied. best known to the Bostonians themselves; the That it is their duty to pay the costs of their consequence, alas ! will only be, that they will own safety, they seem to admit; nor do they releave good houses to wiser men.
fuse their contribution to the exigences, whatYet before they quit the comforts of a warm ever they may be, of the British empire ; but home for the sounding something which they they make this participation of the public burthink better, he cannot be thought their enemy den a duty of very uncertain extent, and imwho advises them to consider well whetber they perfect obligation, a duty temporary, occasional, shall find it. By turning fishermen or hunters, and elective, of which they reserve to themwoodmen or shepherds, they may become wild, selves the right of settling the degree, the time, but it is not so easy to conceive them frec; for and the duration, of judging when it may he who can be more a slave than he that is driven required, and when it has been performed. by force from the comforts of life, is compelled They allow to the supreme power nothing to leave his house to a casual comer, and wbat- more than the liberty of notifying to them its ever he does, or wherever he wanders, finds demands or its necessities. Of this notification every moment some new testimony of his own they profess to think for themselves, how far it subjection? If choice of evil be freedom, the shall influence their counsels, and of the necrgfelon in the galleys has his option of labour sities alleged, how far thoy shall endeavour to or of stripes. The Bostonian may quit his relieve them. They assume the exclusive power house to starve in the fields ; his dog may refuse of settling not only the mode but the quantity to set, and smart under the lash, and they may of this payment. They are ready to co-operato then congratulate each other upon the smiles with all the other dominions of the king; but of liberty, profuse of bliss and pregnant with de- they will co-operate by no means which they do light.
not like, and at no greater charge than they are To treat such designs as serious, would be to willing to bear. think too contemptuously of Bostonian under- This claim, wild as it may seem, this claim, standings. The artifice indeed is not new; the which supposes dominion without authority, blusterer who threatened in vain to destroy his and subjects without subordination, has found opponent, has sometimes obtained his end, by among the libertines of policy many clamorous making it believed that he would hang himself. and hardy vindicators. The laws of nature,
But terrors and pity are not the only means the rights of humanity, the faith of charters, by which the taxation of the Americans is op- the danger of liberty, the encroachments of posed. There are those who profess to use usurpation, have been thundered in our cars, them only as auxiliaries to reason and justice, sometimes by interested faction, and sometimes who tell us, that to tax the colonies is usurpa- by honest stupidity. tion and oppression, an invasion of natural and It is said by Fontenelle, that if twenty philojual rights, and a violation of those principles sophers sbould resolutely deny that the presenco of the sun makes the day, he will not despair enemies and the same friends; the government but whole nations may adopt the opinion. So protected individuals, and individuals were remany political dogmatists have denied to the quired to refer their designs to the prosperity of Mother-country the power of taxing the Colo- the government. nies, and have enforced their denial with so By this principle it is, that states are formed much violence of outcry, that their sect is al- and consolidated. Every man is taught to conready very numerous, and the public voice sus- sider his own happiness as combined with the pends its decision.
public prosperity, and to think himself great In moral and political questions the contest and powerful, in proportion to the greatness and between interest and justice has been often te- power of his governors. divus and often fierce, but perhaps it never hap. Had the western continent been discovered pened before, that justice found much opposition between the fourth and tenth century, when all with interest on her side.
the northern world was in motion; and bad For the satisfaction of this inquiry, it is ne- navigation been at that time sufficiently advanced cessary to consider how a Colony is constituted, to make so long a passage easily practicable, what are the terms of migration as dictated by there is little reason for doubting but the intrnature, or settled by compact, and what social mescence of nations would have found its veni, or political rights the man loses, or acquires, that like all other expansive violence, where there leaves his country to establish himself in a dis- was least resistance ; and that Huns and l'astant plantation.
dals, instead of fighting their way to the south of two modes of migration the history of of Europe, would have gone by thousands and mankind informs us, and so far as I can yet dis- by myriads under their several chiefs to take cover, of two only.
possession of regions smiling with pleasure and In countries where life was yet unadjusted, waving with fertility, from which the naked and policy unformed, it sometimes happened inhabitants were unable to repel them. that by the dissensions of heads of families, by Every expedition would in those days of laxity the ambition of daring adventurers, by some ac- have produced a distinct and independent state. cidental pressure of distress, or by the mere dis- The Scandinavian heroes might have divided content of idleness, one part of the community the country among them, and bave spread the broke off from the rest, and numbers, greater or feudal subdivision of regality from Hudson's smaller, forsook their habitations, put them- Bay to the Pacific Ocean. selves under the command of some favourite of But Columbus came five or six hundred years fortune, and with or without the consent of too late for the candidates of sovereignty. When their countrymen or governors, went out to see he formed bis project of discovery, the fluctuawhat better regions they could occupy, and in tions of military turbulence had subsided, and what place, by conquest or by treaty, they could Europe began to regain a settled form, by estagain a babitation.
blished government and regular subordination. Sons of enterprise like these, who committed No man could any longer erect hiinself into a to their own swords their bopes and their lives, chieftain, and lead out his fellow-subjects by his when they left their country, became another own authority to plunder or to war. nation, with designs, and prospects, and inter- committed any act of hostility by land or så: ests of their own. They looked back no more without the commission of some acknowledged to their former home; they expected no help sovereign, was considered by all mankind as a from those whom they had left behind; if they robber or pirate, names which were now of little conquered, they conquered for themselves; if credit, and of which therefore no man was they were destroyed, they were not by any other ambitious. power either lamented or revenged.
Columbus in a remoter time would have found Of this kind seem to have been all the migra- his way to some discontented Lord, or some tions of the early world, whether historical or younger brother of a petty sovereigo, who would fabulous, and of this kind were the eruptions of have taken fire at his proposal, and have quickly those nations which from the North invaded the kindled with equal heat a troop of followers; Roman empire, and filled Europe with new they would have built ships, or have seized them, sovereignties.
and have wandered with him at all adventures But when by the gradual admission of wiser as far as they could keep hope in their company. laws and gentler manners, society became more But the age being now past of vagrant excursion compacted and better regulated, it was found and fortuitous hostility, he was under the neces: that the power of every people consisted in sity of travelling from court to court, scorned union, produced by one common interest, and and repulsed as a wild projector, an idle prooperating in joint efforts and consistent counsels. miser of kingdoms in the clouds; nor has ang
From this time independence perceptibly part of the world yet had reason to rejoice that wasted away. No part of the nation was per- he found at last reception and employment. mitted to act for itself. All now had the same
In the same year, in a year hitherto disastrous
to mankind, by the Portuguese was discovered | whom the king grants a charter, permitting the passage of the Indies, and by the Spaniards them to settle in some distant country, and enthe coast of America. The nations of Europe abling them to constitute a corporation, enjoying were fired with boundless expectations, and the such powers as the charter grants, to be addiscoverers pursuing their enterprise, made con- ministered in such forms as the charter prequests in both hemispheres of wide extent. scribes. As a corporation, they make laws for But the adventurers were not contented with themselves; but as a corporation subsisting by plunder: though they took gold and silver to a grant from higher authority, to the control oi themselves, they seized islands and kingdoms that authority they continue subject. in the name of their sovereigns. When a new As men are placed at a greater distance from region was gained, a governor was appointed by the supreme council of the kingdom, they must that power which had given the commission to be intrusted with ampler liberty of regulating the conqueror; nor have I met with any Eu- their conduct by their own wisdom. As they ropean but Stukeley of London that formed a are more secluded from easy recourse to nadesign of exalting himself in the newly found tional judicature, they must be more extencountries to independent dominion.
sively commissioned to pass judgment on each To secure a conquest, it was always necessary other. to plant a colony, and territories thus occupied For this reason our more important and opuand settled were rightly considered as mere ex- lent colonies see the appearance and feel the tensions, or processes of empire; as ramifica- effect of a regular legislature, which in some tions which, by the circulation of one public places has acted so long with unquestioned auinterest, communicated with the original source thority, that it has forgotten whence that auof dominion, and which were kept flourishing thority was originally derived. and spreading by the radical vigour of the To their charters the colonies owe, like other Mother-country.
corporations, their political existence. The soThe colonies of England differ no otherwise lemnities of legislation, the administration of from those of other nations, than as the English | justice, the security of property, are all beconstitution differs from theirs. All govern- stowed upon them by the royal grant. Withment is ultimately and essentially absolute, but out their charter there would be no power subordinate societies may have more immuni- among them, by which any law could be made, ties, or individuals greater liberty, as the opera- or duties enjoined, any debt recovered, or cri. tions of government are differently conducted. minal punished. An Englishman in the common course of life A charter is a grant of certain powers or priand action feels no restraint. An English co-vileges given to a part of the community for lony has very liberal powers of regulating its the advantage of the whole, and is therefore own manners and adjusting its own affairs. liable by its nature to change or to revocation. But an English individual may by the supreme Every act of government aims at public good. authority be deprived of liberty, and a colony A charter, which experience has shown to be divested of its powers for reasons of which that detrimental to the nation is to be repealed; beauthority is the only judge.
cause general prosperity must always be preIn sovereignty there are no gradations. There ferred to particular interest. If a charter be may be limited royalty, there may be limited used to evil purposes, it is forfeited, as the consulship; but there can be no limited govern- weapon is taken away which is injuriously em
There must in every society be some ployed. power or other from which there is no appeal, The charter therefore by which provincial which admits no restrictions, which pervades governments are constituted, may be always lethe whole mass of the community, regulates gally, and where it is either inconvenient in its and adjusts all subordination, enacts laws or re- nature or misapplied in its use, may be equitably peals them, erects or annuls judicatures, ex- repealed; by such repeal the whole fabric of tends or contracts privileges, exempt itself frora subordination is immediately destroyed, and the question or control, and bounded only by phy- constitution sunk at once into a chaos : the 80sical necessity.
ciety is dissolved into a tumult of individuals, By this power, wherever it subsists, all legis- without authority to command, or obligation to lation and jurisdiction is animated and main-obey; without any punishment of wrongs but tained. From this all legal rights are emana- personal resentment, or any protection of tions, which, whether equitably or not, may be right but by the hand of the possessor. jegally recalled. It is not infallible, for it may A colony is to the Mother-country as a do wrong; but it is irresistible, for it can be re- member to the body, deriving its action and its sisted only by rebellion, by an act which makes strength from the general principle of vitality; it questionable what shall be thenceforward the receiving from the body, and communicating to opreme power.
it all the benefits and evils of bealth and dis. An English colony is a number of persons, to ease ; liable in dangerous maladies to sharp ap.
plications, of which the body however must par , house is fortified by the law, and that nothing take the pain ; and exposed, if incurably tainted, can be taken from him but by his own consent to amputation, by which the body likewise will This consent is given for every man by his re be mutilated.
presentative in parliament. The Americana The Mother-country always considers the unrepresented, cannot consent to English taxa colonies thus connected, as parts of itself; the tions as a corporation, and they will not consent prosperity or unhappiness of either, is the pros- as individuals. perity or unhappiness of both: not perhaps of Of this argument, it has been observed by both in the same degree, for the body nay sub- more than one, that its force extends equally to bist, though less commodiously, without a limb, all other laws, for a freeman is not to be exposed but the limb must perish if it be parted from the to punishment, or be called to any onerous serbody.
vice, but by his own consent. The Congreso Our celonies therefore, however distant, have has extracted a position from the fanciful Moubeen hitherto treated as constituent parts of tesquieu, that “ in a free state every man being the British empire. The inhabitants incorporat- a free agent, ought to be concerned in his owa ed by English charters, are entitled to all the government.” Whatever is true of taxation, is rights of Englishmen. They are governed by true of every other law, that be who is bound English laws, entitled to English dignities, regu- by it, without his consent, is not free, for be is lated by English counsels, and protected by not concerned in his own government. English arms; and it seems to follow by con- He that denies the English parliament the sequence not easily avoided, that they are sub- right of taxation, denies it likewise the right of ject to English government, and chargeable by making any other laws civil or criminal, yet this English taxation.
power over the colonies was never yet disputed To him that considers the nature, the original, by themselves. They have always admitted the progress, and the constitution of the colo- statutes for the punishment of offences, and for nies, who remembers that the first discoverers the redress or prevention of inconveniences; and had commissions from the crown, that the first the reception of any law draws after it, by : settlers owe to a charter their civil forms and chain which can not be broken, the unwelcome regular magistracy, and that all personal immu- necessity of submitting to taxation. nities and legal securities, by which the con- That a freeman is governed by himself, or by dition of the subject has been from time to laws to which he has consented, is a position el time improved, have been extended to the colo- mighty sound; but every man that otters it, with nists, it will not be doubted but the parliament whatever confidence, and every man that hears of England has a right to bind them by sta- it, with whatever acquiescence, if consent be tutes, and to bind them on all cases whatsoever, supposed to imply the power of refusal, feels it and has therefore a natural and constitutional to be false. We virtually and implicitly allow power of laying upon them any tax or impost, the institutions of any government of which we whether external or internal, upon the product enjoy the benefit, and solicit the protection. In of land, or the manufactures of industry, in wide-extended dominions, though power has the exigencies of war, or in the time of profound been diffused with the most even hand, yet : peace, for the defence of America, for the pur- very small part of the people are either prima pose of raising a revenue, or for any other end rily or secondarily consulted in legislation. The beneticial to the empire.
business of the public must be done by delegaThere are some, and those not inconsiderable tion. The choice of delegates is made by a select for number, nor contemptible for knowledge, number, and those who are not electors stand who except the power of taxation from the idle and helpless spectators of the commonweal, general dominion of parliament, and hold, that wholly unconcerned in the government of these whatever degrees of obedience may be exacted, selves. or whatever authority may be exercised in other Of the electors, the hap is but little better. acts of government, there is still reverence to be They are often far from unanimity in their paid to money, and that legislation passes its choice, and where the numbers approach to limits when it violates the purse.
equality, almost half must be governed not only Of this exception, which, by a head not fully without, but against their choice. impregnated with politics, is not easily compre- How any man can have consented to instihended, it is alleged as an unanswerable reason, tutions established in distent ages, it will be that the colonies send no representatives to the difficult to explain. In the most favourite resiHouse of Commons.
dence of liberty, the consent of individuals is It is, say the American advocates, the natural merely passive, a tacit admission, in every comte distinction of a freeman, and the legal privilege munity, of the terms which that community of an Englishman, that he is able to call his grants and requires. As all are born the subpossessions his own, that he can sit secure in the jects of some state or other, we may be said to enjoyment of inheritance or acquisition, that his have been all born consenting to some systera