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charter, which we look upon as the anterior solemn royal instruction, for the rule of their conduct, as well as of our own.


Upon the whole, from what we have said, we presume it evidently appears, that proprietary instructions and restrictions upon their governors, as they have occasionally been made a part of the public records at different times, have been judged and resolved by our governor, council, and the representatives of the people, either,

"1. Inconsistent with the legal prerogative of the crown settled by act of Parliament.

"2. Or a positive breach of the charter of privileges to the people.

"3. Or absurd in their conclusions, and therefore impracticable.

"4. Or void in themselves. Therefore,

"Whenever the governor shall be pleased to lay his proprietary instructions before us for our examination, and if then they should appear to be of the same kind as heretofore, his good judgment should lead him to conclude, that such considerations in life' as our allegiance to the crown, or the immediate safety of the colony, &c., are sufficient inducements for him to disobey them, notwithstanding any penal bonds to the contrary, we shall cheerfully continue to grant such further sums of money for the King's use, as the circumstances of the country may bear, and in a manner we judge least burthensome to the inhabitants of this province."

Lastly, that they might be able to set all imputation and misrepresentation whatsoever at defiance, they applied themselves to find out some expedient by which the service recommended to them by the crown might be promoted as far as in them lay, even without the

concurrence of the governor. In order to which, having thoroughly weighed the contents of Sir Thomas Robinson's last letter, and the state of the provincial treasury, in which there were scarce five hundred pounds remaining, they unanimously resolved to raise five thousand pounds on the credit of the province for the accommodation of the King's troops; and empowered certain members of their own to negotiate the loan, and allow such interest as should be found necessary.

The controversy, however, which this new governor had been so ingenious as to work up to such a pitch in so short a time, was, by the continuance of the same ingenuity, to be still continued as warm as ever.

Accordingly, down came another message from him, in which he complains to the assembly of the very great obscurity, unnecessary repetitions, and unmeaning paragraphs contained in their last performance; and, through the whole, manifests that spirit of perverseness which is but too prevalent with most men on the like occasions. Of the inaccuracies before acknowledged in that performance (and which are perhaps unavoidable in pieces drawn up from a variety of suggestions, and subject to a variety of alterations and additions,) he takes all the advantage he can; and does indeed foul the water, though he cannot divert the current.

It would be endless to wade through all the minutenesses of so tedious a contest; and odds if the reader did not leave the writer in the midst of it.

To be as concise as possible, therefore, his paper is as insidious as that of the assembly was candid and open. He would not allow that he had promised them a sight of his instructions -with regard to their bill for granting twenty thousand pounds to the King; which was so far true, because he could have none regarding that particular measure. He would not allow that

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he had represented their application for those instructions, as having a tendency to alienate the affections of the people from the King; which was also true, because such his representation had been confined to the expressions they had made use of concerning the invasion of their civil and religious liberties; the last of which is indeed no otherwise to be accounted for, than by the demand made upon them to establish a militia, and thereby oblige those to carry arms who made it a point of conscience to disavow resistance by force. Those expressions, he would needs have it, had the tendency he ascribed to them; because "he very well knew how fond the people were of their currency, and how averse to any restraint upon it." He endeavoured to embroil them with the crown for having called the instruction in question an infraction of the royal charter. He reproached them both with ingratitude and with injustice, for being pleased to be angry with their proprietaries. In vindicating the affections of those gentlemen to the province, he derived his argument from their interest in it; and he is peremptory, that, instead of entertaining designs to invade the just rights and privileges of the inhabitants, there was nothing they so much detested and abhorred; he adhered to the resolution he had taken, nevertheless, not to lay his instructions before them at that time; being sensible they were no way necessary, and that, the assembly having already declared them destructive to their liberties, they were not in a proper temper for the consideration of them. To show he was not restrained by proprietary instructions from passing bills for the defence of the country, he declares himself ready to pass a law for establishing a militia, &c., and for emitting any sum in paper money on proprietary terms; that is to say, on such funds as might sink the same

in five years. He perseveres in maintaining, that the act of the sixth of Queen Anne had been shamefully slighted even in their province; because pieces of eight were then, and had been for many years past, current at seven shillings and sixpence; whereas, according to that act, they should pass for six shillings only; as if money, like all other commodities, would not find and fix its own value, in spite of all the precautions and provisions the wit of man could invent. He also maintained, that, on a reëxamination of the provincial accounts, their revenue was seven thousand three hundred and eighty-one pounds per annum, clear of the five hundred pounds per annum for sinking the five thousand pounds formerly given for the King's use; and that the sums due, and which, by the laws in being, should have been paid in the September preceding, amounted at least to fourteen thousand pounds. He averred they could not but be sensible that the twenty thousand pounds currency they proposed to give, and called a generous sum, was very insufficient to answer the exigence, and that it was not two pence in the pound upon the just and real value of the estates of the province; and, in short, he said whatsoever else occurred to him, which could favor his purpose of figuring here at home; as if he was in all respects right, and the assembly in all respects wrong.

Argumentatively then, if not historically, we have now the merits of the case before us; and may safely pronounce, that, if instructions may or can be construed into laws, instructions are then of more value than proclamations, which do not pretend to any such authority. That, though grants from the crown are in the first instance matter of grace, the subject may claim the benefit of them as matter of right. That when the prerogative has once laid any restraint on itself, nothing

short of a positive act of forfeiture, or act of Parliament can authorize any species of resumption. That, if a subsequent instruction may cancel or obviate an original grant, charters, under all the sanctions the prerogative can give them, are no better than quicksands. That in the charter given to William Penn, Esquire, and solemnly accepted as the basis of government by his followers, there is no reserve on the behalf of the crown to tie up the province from making the same use of its credit, which is the privilege of every private subject. That, notwithstanding all the pretended sacro-sanctitude of an instruction, probationary at first, neither renewed or referred to, directly or indirectly, by his Majesty or his ministers afterwards, and virtually discharged by a subsequent act of Parliament, which expressly restrained some colonies, and consequently left the rest in possession of their ancient liberty, the governor was notoriously ready to dispense with it on proprietary terms. That the difference between five and ten years for sinking the bills, was a point in which the national interest had no concern. That, if the eastern colonies, which were those restrained by the said act, might, nevertheless, in case of exigence, make new issues of paper money, those unrestrained might surely do the same in the like case, on such terms, and after such a mode, as appeared most reasonable to themselves. That, according to all the representations of the governor to the assembly, if true, the fate of the province, if not of the public, depended on their giving a supply. That, consequently, no exigency could be more pressing than the present, nor emission of paper money better warranted. And that he could, nevertheless, leave the province exposed to all the calamities, which that exigence could possibly bring upon it, or upon the service in general, rather than

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